Customers from Washington, Hawaii, Minnesota and North Carolina have teamed up to file a lawsuit against Clearwire for misrepresenting the quality of its hit-or-miss wireless network, and then charging ETFs for account cancellations even when there’s no service as promised. If they win, Clearwire will be banned “from enforcing the Early Termination Fees and from further false advertising.”
Bob Garfield, creator of ComcastMustDie.com, has declared victory. Comcast isn’t dead, but he says instead of being “a vast, greedy, blundering, tone-deaf corporate colossus,” it’s merely all of the above with the exception of tone-deaf. ComcastMustDie is one of the many online different outlets for customer rage that Comcast has tapped into to proactively respond to customer complaints. They still have a long way to go, but at least they’re listening. That is all Bob really wanted, it seems, as he’s moving on to a new project, CustomerCircus.net, that will solicit and broadcast consumer complaints against all kinds of companies. And yep, Comcast will still be one of them.
Naked (or “dry loop“) DSL is generally considered wonderful, especially among people who haven’t had a landline since, um, wait… oh yeah, never. But it seems that although AT&T was forced to offer it by the FCC as part of their merger with Cingular, they haven’t yet realized that it’s a product that they sell. Reader Brent just wanted to cancel, but AT&T said no. And then they said yes. And then they told him he never tried to cancel. And then they sent his account to collections…
Even a TV producer with 5 years experience in doing consumer complaint stories is powerless against AT&T’s incompetence. Anderson writes:
An alleged insider for AT&T sent us the following tip on how to avoid a connection fee if you plan on getting both a regular phone line and DSL through AT&T. We don’t know if it works, but you may be able to avoid a $40 charge for what amounts to “flipping a switch” at AT&T HQ.
Reader Kevin wanted to sign up for Verizon’s One Bill service, so he called to see if he qualified. The CSR told him that he did, so he signed up for it. Turns out, the CSR secretly signed him up for a more expensive DSL plan because his current one did not qualify. Now Verizon wants an early termination fee for the new, faster DSL and an activation fee to put Kevin back on the plan he used to have. Yuck.
You know those Verizon ads where someone is trying to make a call and like 100 Verizon people show up to help them do it? Arelene’s story is sort of like that. Except they all showed up to help her change her address. And they were one at a time. And it was over the phone. And it took several days. Here’s her tale, and how she eventually won…
Call 1-800-483-7988 and press 3 to reach the Verizon Customer Advocates for landlines and DSL. Other valid executive customer service contact information:
Would you buy DSL service from a company that either doesn’t care about Do Not Call lists or doesn’t know how they work? A man in Missouri was harassed to the point where he considered calling the police, because no matter what he did, AT&T wouldn’t stop calling. Every time he tried contacting AT&T to get it to stop, he ended up in automated phone systems with recorded messages, busy signals, and disconnections—but never a live person. Only after he wrote to a local consumer advocacy columnist did AT&T pay attention and turn off the telemarketing fire hose. AT&T didn’t, however, explain why they were targeting this person, or whether anyone else is facing the same barrage of calls.
Frontier Communications, a Rochester, NY based DSL provider, has recently added language in their acceptable use policy that caps “reasonable” high speed internet usage at 5GB per month, after which they may “suspend, terminate or apply additional charges to the Service.” Metered-internet-hating blog “Stop the Cap” calculated that at Frontier’s most expensive price (for those who do not accept a multi-year contract) the ISP is charging a whopping $10.80 per gigabyte.
Meet Dr. Herman I. Libshitz, a retired radiologist and potential Verizon customer who would like DSL. Sadly, Dr. Libshitz was informed that he could not use his name in his email address or as his user name because it has “shit” in it.
Verizon contacted us looking to solve the mystery of the “full” DSL and now reader Laurel has an update:
Laurel writes in to ask what Verizon means when they say their DSL is “full.” She’s trying to transfer her existing account to a house in the same zip code, but Verizon is saying “No.”
Verizon assured Erich that he could transfer his dry loop DSL service to his new apartment, but now that he’s moved, they’re telling him he can only receive traditional DSL service with a dial tone. Since Verizon is failing to live up to their contractual obligations, Erich asked to cancel without an early termination fee. Verizon refused to waive the fee, claiming that Erich was at fault for moving.
If you can’t free up any time from 9-5 on a weekday to have your Verizon DSL installed, the company will still bill you for the “service” you’re not receiving says reader Joshua. If you’d like them to stop doing this, they’ll charge you a $79 disconnect fee.
Nick was able to actually get decent Verizon tech support. But to do it, he had to trick the phone system and select “install problems” instead of “tech support” when he called. He writes:
I live in northwest Pennsylvania, an area formerly held by telecom company GTE (GTE North to be specifically I believe?). This has been particularly troublesome to the folks at Verizon when I’d call for tech support. Over the past few years of getting DSL from Verizon when the need would arise to call tech support I would cringe. I *knew* they wouldn’t be able to find my account, it always happens.