Consumers Speak: Earthlink Puts the DSL in DSL

This bad experience from “JJ” is eerily similar to an experience we had with Earthlink while in New Orleans. But it’s not us, we swear. In our case, we weren’t supposed to be signed up with Earthlink at all, ever. JJ writes:

Had quite a party with Earthlink last night. The skinny:

So I moved to a new digs in October, and informed Earthlink that I would not be renewing my DSL subscription (due to a whole different story of greed, incompetence, long phone calls, and no bandwidth for a month). I was told that this was “fine” and that everything would be taken care of.

Foolishly believing them, off I go to New Orleans to help out with the relief efforts for a while, and when I return, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but DSL bills for November and December, automatically charged to my account. Welcome home.

Minute-by-minute, blow-by-blow account after the jump. Spoiler: This one has a happyish ending.

JJ continues:

Below you will find a record of my descent into the bowels of customer “service”:

8:10 – Initiated call #1, go through menu options, placed immediately on hold
8:25 – “Jane” answers, informs me that my DSL is still active (where?), said she would transfer me to cancellations.
Now, since I’ve been cut off (read: hung
up on) literally 100% of the time I’ve been “transferred”, I asked for a direct number for that department should the transfer be unsuccesful. She kindly informed me that there was no direct number to the cancellation dept (huh?!).
8:34 – “transfered” to cancellation dept., on hold for 12 minutes
8:46 – line goes dead (not actually a surprise)
8:46:10 – Initiate string of profanity, followed by call #2
8:48 – Get past menu system options, again placed immediately on hold
8:55 – “Gavin” answers, offers to “transfer” me to cancellations. I accept, again asking for direct number, given: 1.888.327.84.54. I ask why “Jane” said there was no direct number, receive not one but two apologies, but no explanation.

8:59 – Placed on hold during “transfer” operation
9:02 – “Chad” in cancellations answers. I am told “Earthlink does not reverse charges”. I ask for a supervisor.
9:08 – “Chad” goes to get supervisor, am placed on hold.
9:40 – “Nell” comes to the phone, admits 39 minute delay in getting to me (hey, I only have 32 minutes by my count, but at this point, I’m not about to correct them.), apologizes twice (maybe that’s company policy).
I explain the situation: if they are taking my money without my consent, and giving me nothing in return, they are in fact stealing from me. Inform her that I have been flatly lied to (by “Jane”), and ask if it’s company policy to lie to customers (I wonder if “Jane” knows that the answer to that question is “no”), and ask what she is going to do about this situation.
9:52 – Hung up the phone, prepared large screwdriver with minimal orange juice.

RESULT:
charges totaling $99.90 for 11/2005, 12/2005 refunded (I’ll actually have to wait two days to see if this actually happens)
New price: $9.95/mo for 6 months for dial-up (which my mom uses, and NO contract, made “Nell” actually repeat the words back to me)

TIME ON HOLD: 15+12+7+3+32= 1 hour, 9 minutes.
TIME ACTUALLY SPENT TALKING TO A PERSON: 33 minutes. (less than half the hold time)
TOTAL TIME LOST: 1 hour 42 minutes that I will NEVER, EVER get back.

Next time, I think I’ll opt for the pointy sticks in my eyes.