Qwest Can't Get Wireless Working Because Macs Are "Practically An Obsolete System"

“This year I moved in May 2007. My new housemates and I decided that we wanted to share wireless internet in our house. We order Qwest wireless the first week of June 2007.

When I received the modem and start up disc, none of the codes would work for my computer, nor my housemates. I called Qwest and was told that it was because I had a MacBook. During the month of June I called Qwest over nine times, and was repeatedly told in both polite and in rude terms that the problem was my Mac, not Qwest. During one call to Qwest, an employee told me that he could get it up and running in 30 seconds if my computer were a PC. When I asked him if any of his colleagues were trained for Macs, he told me that hardly anyone uses macs and Qwest should not have to train its employees in a practically obsolete system. He then transferred me, against my will, to the apple support line.”

My computer is a 2007 Macbook that receives wireless at every coffee shop or business with wireless; i is not a problem with my computer. The apple support line should not have to pick up the pieces for Qwest employees.

The amount of time spent on the phone with Qwest in June, transfers directly to my cell phone bill. I went over my minutes for the first time in my cell phone contract by exactly the amount of time I was on the phone with Qwest. I admit, I do choose to have a cell phone instead of a landline. This means that 1-800 numbers cost minutes on my plan, yet if Qwest employees had been trained sufficiently in both Macs and PCs, I should have only had to make one phone call, and thus not go over my minutes. I do believe that part of my $57.54 monthly Qwest bill is to having access to customer service.

After this cell phone bill, I asked Qwest for a new modem to rent. I was sent a non-rental and charged roughly $100. I did not learn this until my bill at the end of July.

After receiving the new modem, I had the same series of problems with wireless not working in the household. After three more phone calls, I got a Qwest employee that knew Macs. He got the wireless up and running in under 30 seconds.

Shortly after the wireless got working, I got the bill for the charged modem. I immediately called billing and asked if I could have it transferred on my account as a rental. The first person I talked to did not think they could do it, but then I got them to transfer me to the Loyalties Department. The first person I talked to in loyalties, told me that they could change it to rental status, and because I was a loyal customer, he would give me three months for half price in recompense for all the previous trouble. He told me to wait three days to pay my bill, because he would start the discount that month. I was much relieved. Yet when I called to check on my bill five business days later, it had not changed.

When I called to check with billing they had two different computer profiles for me, one gave the information that loyalties had told me, the other had the higher bill. They could not rectify it, so instead of Qwest figuring it out its own internal error, they forced me to talk to Loyalties, billing, and customer care. I spent over two hours on the phone that day. I should not be the one communicating to each department in Qwest about Qwest’s own internal error on my bill. Qwest should be taking responsibility for making sure their profiles on the customer’s is correct. I believe this is what costumer service entails.

I canceled my service that day. This was the middle of August. I was told by Loyalties that my plan would be terminated, and essentially erase a month of service from my bill for all the inconvenience, and that she would send me a label with reference number for the modem, so that I wouldn’t have to eat the cost of the modem. I never received a reference number. It took the final bill until mid-September to arrive. Loyalties was able to give me the one month discount. Yet the modem had not been credited. I had to call again for a reference number to send the modem back. Again I was told not to pay the bill for the modem.

I sent the modem back near the end of September. On September 26th, I received notification that Qwest was going to send my bill to a collection agency if I did not pay or make arrangements for payments. The bill in question was the combination of the $100 erroneous charge for the modem, the non-credited month of service and a partial month of service. All of these charges I had been told by three separate employees to wait to pay, yet apparently interdepartmental communication had failed again. I called on the 26th and paid everything except for the modem cost, asking if that would stop them from sending it to collections. The Qwest employee told me it would.

One week later, I got another notice to pay the $100 for the modem, or it would be sent to collections. Again, I called and asked to put a stop on the transfer to collections. Again, I was told it would not be sent. Yet today, I got both a collections notice for the $100, and a phone call from collections. It was both the rudest letter and phone call that I have ever received, and it was due to the fact that I waited to pay the bill because Qwest had told me to wait. I paid the collections agency in order to save my credit rating, then called Qwest. I was told that the $100 had been credited to my account and the collections notice was a mistake.

I am dumbfounded that this went to collections despite my communication with Qwest. I feel harassed by this continued ill treatment, and blatant irresponsibility by Qwest. This irresponsibility has added up to a $100 collections bill, a threat to my credit, a $89 charge in overage minutes on my cell phone, and two months of bills paid to Qwest for wireless service when no wireless service was being received in our house. My main complaint is that as an individual paying for a service, I should receive that service in exchange for my payment. I that service should malfunction or not perform with in the bounds of its contract, then the company should be responsible for fixing it. It
is not the individual’s responsibility to call every department of a corporation to make sure they are getting proper customer service; it is the corporation’s responsibility in exchange for monthly payment to give proper service to the customer.

My house has switched to Charter and they had us up and running immediately. The one time that we have had a problem, Charter came to our house, and fixed it for us, free of charge. They did not force us to stay on the phone for multiple hours, or try to tell us that it was our computer’s problem.

Thank you for your time.

Lindsey Case

The game is called customer service hot potato. Each department receives a request, processes it, then figures out which other department to dispatch it away to, with the problem never getting solved. Lindsey did the right thing and voted with her dollar. It just sucks that she had to go through such hassle on all ends of the transaction. Well they got one part right. They had no problem signing her up as a customer and getting all her billing information.

(Photo: Getty)