Ameritech Complaint - DSL Nigthmare Wont End
KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN -- Id like to give everyone my strongest warning against signing up for Ameritechs DSL service. If I had it to do over again, I would have waited for another provider to come into my area (which is now the case, but Im locked into a 1-yr "contract" with a $200 cancellation fee).
Until Ameritech came to my area (Kalamazoo, MI), there were no DSL choices. I first talked to a sales rep on 8/4/2000. I was transferred from rep to rep, told by some that DSL was in my area and others that it was not, but finally had an order placed on 8/15. A month later (9/25) I received a call from Ameritech saying they were canceling my order due to poor line quality, but that they would re-enter my order at that time (if I wished) because they were updating the lines in my area. Well, since the first Ameritech technician had already tested the line and told me it was clear, and since the third technician told me "off the record" that the central office in my area didnt have its DSLAM installed yet, I knew this was an Ameritech scam to prevent its time from order placement to completion from getting too long. But what choice did I have?
They re-entered the order and I went through the process again. Finally my DSL connection was up and running on 10/18. The worst part of this whole order process was the time I spent on hold and talking with sales rep and installation people who had no idea what was going on or what each other was doing and who contradicted each other to the point of ridiculousness. I tracked my hours spent with Ameritech to get this order in: nearly 9 hours (most spent waiting in the phone queue)!!!
Mistakenly, I thought my problems were over once the service was installed and running. (The only good part of this ordeal has been that the DSL service has been running well from 10/18-12/6.) Ameritech incorrectly billed my credit card for my services. Of course it was an overcharge in their favor (of $102). I spent 5 hrs. 6 mins. over two days trying to get the overcharge straightened out! I talked to Janet, Angie, Carol, Shannon, Dan, Joyce, Joan, Frank, Frankie, and finally Jeff (who says its all straight now). I was "accidentally" disconnected four times in the process of transferring me from sales to billing. Only two of the people called me back, though all had my phone number. Does this sound like a runaround scam to you?!
Heres how it worked. After waiting through their phone system, Id eventually get a billing rep. The billing rep would say the charges were accurate (though no one could tell me exactly what they were for AND their guesses changed with each person I talked to!). Finally, the billing rep would say he or she could do nothing without confirmation from a sales rep. Then they would say they would connect me to sales.
Heres step two in the scam. During the transfer I had to wait through the entire sales rep queue for my turn. When I got through to the sales rep I had to re-explain the entire story. The sales rep would say that the bill was in error and that what I thought it should be was correct. But then the sales rep would say he/she couldnt change the bill, only billing could do that. Of course, the billing person had not stayed connected or left the sales rep any method of contacting him/him. Which brings us to step 3 of the scam.
The sales rep now transfers me back to billing and I start the process all over again. I repeated this dance with four sets of sales/billing reps. After the first run through the scam, I asked the sales rep to stay on the line and explain everything to the billing rep. Unfortunately, I was mysteriously disconnected during the transfer. No one called me back, and I had to start the process from scratch. Another time, the sales rep stayed on after the three-way connection, explained to the billing rep what the charges should be, hung up, and then the billing rep said that she didnt hear exactly what the sales rep had said! So we had to contact another sales rep and repeat the process. Of course, the billing rep conveniently lost his connection and the sales rep couldnt recontact him.
Scam tricks to keep in mind. No one at Ameritech would give me a last name. No one would give me a phone number at which I (or the sales rep) could recontact the same person!!! They wouldnt even tell me what city they were in. When I spoke to the manager or team lead, the best I could get was a state and an ID# (which didnt do any good in getting reconnected to anyone since reps dont have phone numbers associated with IDs).
Bottom line is that I had to force Ameritech to connect me with both a sales rep and a billing manager at the same time (or they would keep changing stories), persist through the inability of being able to recontact the same person twice, and demand that the sales rep stay on the line while the billing rep read back the charges and the sales rep and I agreed to them. (The first time I made the billing rep read the charges back, they were not what the sales rep had just said!! The rep had to correct the billing rep and argue a bit more.)
So, is the nightmare over? I dont know. Both the sales reps and the billing reps refused my repeated requests to send me a contract or letter specifying the details of the package I bought or to send me an itemized list of charges. The last billing manager, Jeff, gave me his guarantee that the charges would be corrected on my credit card and that future billing would be correct. If it isnt, what can I do? Start over. I dont have any method of recontacting these people, they wont send me anything in writing, and the notes that they claim to be adding to my file never seem to be there when the next person I talk to accesses it!!
Again, I warn you to stay away from Ameritech DSL and from what I hear Ameritech billing in general.