Qwest Complaint - False and Deceptive Advertising
DENVER -- In response to a solicitation from Qwest Communications International I agreed to sign-up for Qwest Unlimited (intraLATA and interLATA) residential long distance telephone service beginning January 5, 2005. Initially I had been able to place unlimited, uninterrupted long distance telephone calls, consisting almost entirely of in-state calls. Shortly thereafter I began to experience frequent, unexpected disconnects when calling a friend across the state. On more than one occasion I called Qwest Customer Service to complain of the regular disconnects. Concerned that my monthly long distance calls were totaling an average of roughly five to six thousand minutes per month, the Qwest Customer Service representative asked if I had been running a business; I assured them that I was not. For a short time thereafter I was able to once again place unlimited, uninterrupted long distance telephone calls in which four hours or more per call were not unusual. It was not long afterwards that the disconnects resumed. Further complaints to Qwest Customer Service yielded no resolution of the disconnect problem.
Failing to resolve the disconnect issue through Qwest Customer Service I began filing complaints with the local regulatory authority: the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, hereinafter referred to as the WUTC. After several complaints had been filed with the WUTC I was promptly contacted by Qwest Customer Service. I informed them that the regular disconnects had (temporarily) stopped. Shortly following the calls from Qwest Customer Service I received a call from a Qwest engineer admitting that Qwest monitors long distance calls and uses programmable timers, as a precaution, to disconnect telephone circuits that they believe may have been accidentally or inadvertently left open for long periods of time. Once again the disconnects temporarily stopped. This was followed not long after by a continuation of the regular disconnects. Each time the disconnects began I immediately called the WUTC to complain. The disconnect problem continues to this day, with brief periods of unlimited, uninterrupted long distance calling.
Throughout this ordeal Qwest representatives persist in blaming my local telephone carrier, Verizon, the carrier of the receiving party I call most often, CenturyTel (now CenturyLink,) as well as my telephone equipment, which I have long since replaced to no avail. Over the last couple of years Verizon has placed traps on my phone line in an effort to determine if the source of the disconnect problem is the result of Verizon’s equipment. According to Verizon, each time the results have shown Verizon’s equipment to be operating properly. Qwest has never explicitly informed me - by phone or in writing - that they have performed similar troubleshooting efforts. After five years the WUTC, adding further insult to injury, continues to accept excuses from Qwest Communications thereby holding Qwest unaccountable for its actions or lack thereof.
As someone who is on Social Security Disability and has long suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, depression and other psychiatric disorders, I feel greatly betrayed by Qwest and the local telecom regulator. I unequivocally believe Qwest is solely responsible for the regular disconnects and that they are not the result of equipment malfunction or any other random act. In other words, as a frequent caller I firmly believe that I am being targeted by Qwest in an effort to coerce me into discontinuing my current, unprofitable Qwest long distance calling plan. It is my contention that Qwest must honor their UNLIMITED calling plan as promoted and advertised. Enduring regular disconnects for five years and counting is simply unacceptable and I intend to hold Qwest accountable.