Earthlink Complaint - Earthlink DSL is Terrible
NORWOOD, MASSACHUSETTS -- I sign up for Earthlink DSL (September 7, 2001)
After checking to make certain I was eligible for DSL on Earthlink's webpage, I decided to sign up for their service over the phone. When I called I was once again assured of my eligibility, and told that the service would be set up within 2-3 weeks. I went to the online store, Earthlinkstore.com, and ordered my free DSL modem.
I wait...and I wait
Every couple days or so, I check my DSL order status on Earthlink's webpage. On the 15th the status page shows my line as active. However, I still have not received my modem, so I wait some more. By the 25th, I STILL have not received my modem, so I check the website; my account is now listed as cancelled. I call
A word about calling Earthlink
On average it takes 15 minutes to get an Earthlink support person on the line, and everytime, without fail, you must be transferred to at least two more people before you get to someone who will help you. Every call I've made to Earthlink support took over an hour, 90% of which was spent on hold. I honestly think the support people just bounce callers around to avoid speaking with them. The funny thing is that it takes less than 30 seconds to get an Earthlink sales representative on the line if you're signing up for DSL. And, unlike the hyper-friendly sales staff, most of the support people I've encountered at Earthlink have been poorly trained and irritable. I guess Earthlink has discovered that it's cheaper to get new customers than take care of existing ones. Anyway, back to my story...
No service available
Finally I get through to Earthlink Installation Care Group, where no one seems to know what's going on with my account. I wind up speaking with James, who tells me that my line won't work with Earthlink, and I'm now ineligible for DSL. I ask why, but James doesn't know (which doesn't surprise me at this point) and he recommends I try another provider. I'm frustrated for having wasted three weeks on Earthlink, but since there's not much else I can do, I nicely ask James to completely cancel my account. He claims to do so, and assures me that I will not be charged for anything. Just to be sure, I call back and speak with Demitri, who also tells me my account is terminated. Case closed…or so I thought.
Earthlink won't release my line
I call Verizon and sign up for their DSL service, which I should receive by the 10th of October. On the 2nd however, I receive a call from Verizon telling me that they could not hook up my DSL because I already have DSL on the line. I ask them which company is on my line, but apparently they cannot legally tell me. It doesn't matter; I have a good idea which company it is.
I call Earthlink support, and eventually get Tita, who asks me for my credit card to verify my account. I give him my credit card, which is the same one I've been giving to everyone at Earthlink, but apparently he's got me down as having a different card, a type which, interestingly enough, I have never owned. He asks me for my Earthlink password, but since I
was never able to sign on to their DSL service, I don't have one. Tita does tell me that I'm not signed up for DSL, but that somehow, I now have a dial-up account with Earthlink. I ask to speak to a supervisor; Tita refuses. I demand to speak to a supervisor; Tita says there's no supervisor around. Finally I get Tita to allow me to speak with a supervisor, but here's the catch- the supervisor will call me back within 72 hours!
As soon as I get off the phone with Tita, I call Earthlink back. After another 25 minutes on hold, I get Raven, who has no problem accepting my credit card. Raven tells me that my DSL was cancelled earlier that morning (by Tita, who claimed I didn't have DSL) and that she's waiving my "early-termination" fee. She thinks this good news; I can't believe there's still charges appearing on my account, since I've been told numerous times that I would not be charged. But wait, it gets better...
The truth (or some of it) at last
Through Raven I find out that apparently Earthlink has known all along what Verizon and I suspected. Apparently they had put a circuit on my line in September; the circuit didn't work, so THEY LEFT IT ON THE LINE! I guess if they couldn't have me as a customer, they were going to make certain no one else could have me. The best part is that after this admission, Raven tells me it will take 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS to get the provisioning company to remove the circuit from my line. I tell her this is unacceptable, and that it is Earthlink's responsibility to free my line as soon as possible. She replies that she can't do anything more. I ask to speak to a supervisor; Raven asks why. I tell her I just WANT to speak with a supervisor; Raven puts me on hold for 10 minutes with no explanation. She picks up again and tells me in one breath that all supervisors are busy and puts me back on hold, again with no explanation and no hint at how long I'll be holding. I have no chance to say anything.
A supervisor (of sorts) at last
After another 10 minutes on hold, the supervisor, Leanne, comes on the line. She is apparently the only person who can actually help me, which makes me wonder why they've been wasting my time with Tita and Friends. She tells me she will put a rush on my request (first I've heard of this) and that within 3-5 business days the line will be free. She even calls me back later to let me know that the job will be finished in 3 days, and, GET THIS, thanks me for being an EARTHLINK CUSTOMER!
Well, today is the day Earthlink is supposed to free up my line. Hopefully Verizon will be able to hook up my DSL in the next week or two. (At least, I've already gotten my modem.) And after a solid month and a half of waiting, DSL should be pretty sweet.
Hopefully, there won't be anymore updates to this story...
Short and sweet - Earthlink broke the law two ways in their dealings with me:
(1)They sold me a service they couldn't provide.
(2)They sabotaged my line so that I couldn't go through another provider.
I have filed complaints with my Local Consumer Group, the Better Business
Bureau, and the FCC, but the frustrating thing is that none of these measures
will get back the month I spent fighting with Earthlink. Take my advice
and have nothing to do with Earthlink!
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