Earthlink's Worthless Customer Service Drives Man To Record And Post Calls

Unfazed by the idea of giving money to a company run by Scientologists, Steve signed up for Earthlink DSL back in May ’06. 4 months ago, his DSL started cutting in and out and he got static on the landline. Perhaps his router was possessed by body thetans. As Steve’s calls to customer service got more and more hopeless, he began recording and posting them online. Selected highlights…

Call 1 19:20 min: “I’m sobbing and thinking of ending my life.”
Call 2 16:22 min : “I’m now literally punching my way through walls with my bare hands.”
Call 3 23:00 min: “It is all I can do to keep my temper with this guy. I am inventing new swear words in my mind.”
Call 4: “She cuts me off when I ask to speak to a supervisor.”
Call 5: “Today I got Comcast. Already a million times better than earthlink.”

If Steve was even more clever, he might have tried reaching an executive and mentioning that unless satisfied, he might have to perform his civic duty and warn other customers away from Earthlink by posting his experience. Then it would have evolved from mere revenge tactic to a point of leverage.

The catalog of Steve’s adventures in futility remain forever immortalized at his site

(Image: The Illustrated History Of Scientology)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Flynn says:

    Way back when, I tried Earthlink DSL. I paid them for a static IP. They had the BIGGEST problem providing it, and I eventually terminated my account after almost two weeks of frustration. (Detail: They kept giving me the wrong IP addresses…this was before we had shorter TTL for most DNS packets, so being given the wrong IP address meant 2-3 days of missed mail, etc.)

    When I quit, they slapped me with an early termination fee. I tried to fight it, but they kept claiming that by installing their software, I agreed to their terms. Problem is, I ran through a router, and I never HAD to install their software. They had NO proof I had agreed to anything. The only place there were terms other than the click through on their software install was in the back of the manual, which I didn’t even have to look at.

    I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau when they threatened to ruin my credit if I ran a chargeback on their termination fee. Talking to customer service was horrible. I kept escalating and getting more and more confrontational people who would not address my claims.

    Flash forward almost 2 years later, and I got a check in the mail for $149.99. So, they eventually relented after 2 rounds back & forth with the BBB, but it took them 2 years, and every communication I had directly with Earthlink was HELL.

    I’ll never do business with them again.

  2. beyond says:

    Insert the name of just about any utility company here!

  3. warf0x0r says:

    I was surprised they didn’t oppose him recording the call.

  4. Caroofikus says:

    Strange to see the words “Comcast is better than” rather than “is better than Comcast”…

  5. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    “This call may be recorded or monitored. Huh, now I sound like you.”

  6. warf0x0r says:

    Wow, just finished the cancellation call. That must have felt sooooo good, to tell the guy go to my website its earthlink-sucks. ROFL!!!

    Did anyone else wonder if that was jazz flute?!?

  7. mikeluisortega says:

    Should have asked to speak to Zenu.

  8. DirkDiggler says:

    He can easily lose the domain to Earthlink, as it contains their name (something that the people at thought about).

  9. BurbankBurt says:

    I call them EarthStink. I won’t bore you with the saga, but suffice to say Earthtlink has the WORST customer service, tied only with Aaron Brothers Framing. Both of these companies had employees lie to me about either their name and/or their position during disputes.


  10. Angiol says:

    @DirkDiggler: Tell that to the people at [], [], and other sites. These domains have actually been ruled legal, due to the fact that nobody would think that is an official Best Buy site.

  11. morganlh85 says:

    Scientologists, huh? I had no idea.

  12. BuddhaLite says:

    While I can understand the frustration Earthlink is just reselling the service through the local telco. Hell I haven’t paid a payment to Earthlink in 4 years for my cable service and everything including support is done through Roadrunner. The only reason I hold on to their branded service is because I have a 9 year old Mindspring email address that’s still used.

  13. Ariah says:

    I’m listening to call #4 right now, and (in this call, at least) he’s quite a jerk. It’s not fair to continually berate a CSR because the previous one wasn’t able to fix the problem. Criticize the company itself, sure, but not the poor sap they have filling a seat.

  14. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Earthlink was a great ISP back in the dial-up days, before all the mergers and acquisitions happened. Service was reliable and tech support was great. Now they’re just another mega corporation.

  15. aikoto says:

    I had no idea Earthlink was run by Scientologists! I’ll don’t have their service, but add that to the list of companies to avoid.

    Speaking of, is there a consolidated list of Scientology organizations so we can not give them our business?

  16. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @jeremyduffy: Check for one. I haven’t been there in a while but I think I remember a link to one there. It’s a good, truthful site run by a sane, decent man who just can’t stand what $cientology does to people.

  17. beyond says:

    @Bevill: Yes, exactly. I signed up through Earthlink and that was it. Anytime I have a problem I need to contact the big provider. Near as I can tell, the only benefit of using Earthlink is a different price, but even that isn’t worth it. I think it saves me 30 cents at this point. I have their modem, their techs turned it on – not sure what Earthlink did but I think it’s supposed to be this “competition” thing…nope, there is only one cable broadband provider, regardless of whether it says “Earthlink broadband service” in a tiny line on my COMCAST bill.

  18. Call 5: “Today I got Comcast. Already a million times better than earthlink.”

    Whoa! Earthlink can’t be THAT bad!

  19. @Papa Midnight: I take it back. They’re jockying for position.

  20. behrens says:

    from call 2:

    Automated teller: Welcome to Earthlink! Briefly, tell me what I can help you with:

    Steve: I … I really don’t know anymore.

  21. extracrispy says:

    I hate EarthLink as much as the next consumer. They basically obliterated their primary brand identity, the phenomenal customer service they once had, by outsourcing it to India and the Philippines. But the idea that they are run by Scientologists is so fucking stupid and outdated. EarthLink is a publicly owned company. They have undergone numerous mergers, acquisitions and re-alignments. Very few of the original investors are involved in managing the company, and Sky Dayton, the founder of EarthLink who is a Scientologist, has moved on to other ventures (Helio anyone?) and barely participates in anything at EarthLink.

    Hate them because they suck, not because they were founded by cult members.

  22. infinitysnake says:

    Interesting, looks like the cartoon there reveals one of the secrets of “Lost.” ;-P

  23. night_sky says:

    I have had that static and DSL cutout problem twice before at two different homes. The problem is that water got into the phone box near the power line. I had service with Cruzio at the time (a county only DSL provider that had a high reputation for customer service). I complained to them before and they fixed the problem at my previous residence (they called PG&E to fix it). The second time it happened was at my current residence. This time, I had the same DSL cutting out problem but there wasn’t static on the phone line. I knew it was water in the box because it started happening after it rained. Well, this time Cruzio refused to fix it and said there was nothing they could do. I had signed a 12yr plan with them (thinking that if I ever had another problem, they would fix it like last time). BIG mistake! They didn’t fix it and charged a $120 dollar fee to get out of the contract (which should have been waived because they have a statement saying that if the DSL is messed up, the fee must be waived). When I asked them to waive it, they said there was nothing wrong with my DSL and said they have no other choice but to charge me for the early cancellation fee.

    Well, months later, I signed up for the only cable company that provides high-speed internet in my area-Charter. It costs me an arm and a leg but I don’t really have a choice in paying it if I want high-speed internet. It works because it’s through cable and not the phone line. I cannot get any DSL to my residents because neither the phone company nor Cruzio would fix my phone line.

    So to the person who wrote this story, please be aware that you will not be able to get reliable DSL service from that residence unless the phone company comes out and fixes your phone box.

  24. Trick says:

    I was with MindSpring for many years, one of the early customers and stayed with them right up until they sold out to EarthLink. There are those who still have a e-mail address, but it EarthLink, 100%.

    The Scientology thing didn’t bother me so much… are they really any worse than AT&T?

    The funny thing is that I went with for DSL back in 2000, as I was with them for local phone service and cellular service. I swore I would never deal with AT&T again.

    Little did I know that AT&T was buying up all the companies to get me back. My Cingular phone now has AT&T and sure I still have a e-mail address, but is AT&T, 100%.