Canceling Your Clear Wire Service? How About A Refund And Free Service?!

Rich decided to cancel his Clear Wire internet service to help cut his household costs. Most retention representatives would handle the request by kicking and screaming like angry toddlers waiting for a blood test. Not Clear Wire. After hearing that Rich had fallen on hard times, they offered to refund a month’s worth of service charges and kick in two free months of service to boot.

Rich writes:

I just wanted to write and and let everyone know how nice the customer service is at Clear. I had to call in to cancel my service cause i lost my job and had to cut back on my bills. So i call in and explain my situation to Alyssa, and she offers to refunds last month’s service fee of $50 and asks if i would be interested in 2 months of free service since i had been with them since they rolled out in Philadelphia. I of course agreed and asked why they would do that and she explained that they understand times are tough and finding a job is difficult and that they are doing this as a courtesy cause without internet its hard to found a job. I was very impressed and thought that people of the internet should know.

Just call back in two months to make sure the service is actually canceled. Who knows, you might even end up with a few extra freebies.


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  1. A.Mercer says:

    Wow. Not even close to my Clear Wire experience. I got their service. I was told there was a year long contract. 14 months later I find that DSL is available in my area. I call Clear Wire and tell them I am changing service. They say no problem. A few days later I see a hit to my bank account for a couple of hundred dollars. That hurt me bad because I was on a business trip and my account was already suffering from paying for flight and hotel room that I would later get reimbursed for. I called and was told it was a mistake. I called back to make sure it had been taken care of and was told it was not a mistake that I had cancelled early and there was an ETF. Turns out there it was a perpetual year long contract. You never go to monthly. There is only a couple of weeks each year where you can cancel your contract and not get hit with this fee. Before then or after then you would get the ETF. They claimed it was normal business and no one had complained before. Luckily, there was a grocery store nearby and I was able to buy enough food to keep me going for the rest of the week because I had no money to eat out on thanks to them. I was actually told by one of their staff that they had my money and there was nothing I could do about it.

    • GreatGerm says:

      That’s about the level of my experience with them. Took a BBB complaint + AG office making a phone call to them to get it all fixed.

      As a plus, my experience was referenced in a suit against them that led to either upgrading/adding towers in our area or stop selling new service.

    • Fair&Balanced says:

      This is why you always link accounts to credit cards and never to your debit card or checking account.

      • tbax929 says:

        This is why it’s better to insist on paper billing and not link to ANY accounts. The only folks I do business with who require me to link a card are TiVo and Netflix. Everyone else sends me a bill, or they don’t get my business.

        • A.Mercer says:

          Yeah, but they do not give this as an option. I was in a dusty Texas town that had very limited internet options at the time. I could go with a dialup or Clear Wire. I wanted a bit better speed than dialup. To their credit, I did have pretty decent speeds for me. I was not trying to watch videos or play online so they did not have to provide me with the fastest service possible. However, I did want a bit better than dialup.

          Clear Wire’s only payment option was for them to link to my credit card. I did not have one at the time but I did have a debit card. This proved to be my undoing. Later they hit me and there was nothing I could do about it. I complained to the BBB. Nothing really happened. I did get a letter later on that said something about the BBB removing Clear Wire from their ranks (at least in that town I think) for too many complaints. In fact, I just looked and they are still not BBB accredited.

          One thing I have learned is that reputable businesses do not insist on linking to you bank account or credit card. If a business insists upon this then you need to examine them much more closely. Heck. If I had to do it again I would find some way to create a special account just for them so if I needed to I could close it and they have access to nothing.

      • A.Mercer says:

        Well, the first lesson is try to not do business with someone who insists on linking to you at all. If that is not an option then use a credit card. I went to my credit union to get this reversed and they told me that they could not do it. Of course, I did not have this on a credit card. I have learned many things since this happened.

        • Dyscord says:

          Yeah, this is the reason I almost never let companies directly bill me. Only exception if it’s something that barely changes month to month. So far that’s Vonage, netflix, and gamefly.

    • _Rand_ says:

      Wow, thats the sort of shit that would have me calling a lawyer and anyone else who will listen.

    • watch me eat says:

      I wonder if OP is now tied into another one year contract, including an etf

      • A.Mercer says:

        Nope. Plus, the company I use now sends me a bill in the mail and I send them a check. They do not automatically deduct from any of my accounts.

      • A.Mercer says:

        Wow. I thought you were asking if I were but then my ego subsided and I realized you said OP as in original poster. Yours is a good question, though. Did the guy in the article further ensnare hisself? Does Clear Wire still do this practice? I have no idea.

    • Draygonia says:

      So did you rage on them and cut them to pieces? You seem like the kind of person that would do that… by the looks of your name… Alex, is it?

  2. Fair&Balanced says:

    So that is where the old AOL employees ended up.

    I was able to get a whole year free of AOL back in the 90s before they would actually cancel you.

    • hypochondriac says:

      I was just about to post something similar. Though the most I’ve gotten were 4 months free

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      and we wonder why they’re gone? You can be nice, or you can be a business for profit.

    • Madcat_Mike says:

      Wow… That makes me remember when I actually worked for AOL in the mid 90s. At the time, they gave a single account for business purposes and an extra account for personal use. I quit and stopped using AOL entirely since I was letting a friend use my extra account (didn’t need AOL for anything being in college and all) I never realized until over a year later that my extra account was still active even though I wasn’t ever billed for it. A call to AOL later to cancel and I walk away with 6 more free months with no strings. I was completely shocked.

      My story of how I managed to walk away with just over 2 years of totally free AOL service even if I never really used it.

  3. INsano says:

    Clear is great, and their service is so cheap compared to what you have to pay to Comcrap for them to throttle your browsing…

    Net neutrality kids, it f**king matters.

    • frank64 says:

      You can spell out the full curse word if you want. I don’t think there is much difference by putting stars in there anyway. But maybe some people don’t like uc together, and in that case – thank you.

    • SChance says:

      Clear(wire) throttles too. They also randomly cut service between 10pm and 2am – I mean, who would be using their internet service after 10pm on a Saturday?! Then there are the random modem resets . . .

      Oh, and for the poster who recommended paper billing? NOT AN OPTION with Clear(wire). The only reason I stay with them is that I’d have to get a landline to get anything else, or get cable. Clear(wire) is the lesser (priced) of three evils.

      • INsano says:

        Huh, interesting you have connection problems late at night. In my curious and frequent speed tests since I joined Clear a year and a half ago, late night is when I really see those +10mb bursts. I have a USB stick, do you use their home modem? Course everyone’s experience varies a lot depending on their location, house construction, computer location, etc.

        • radparker says:

          I had a USB stick and a home modem. The problem isn’t what kind of device; it’s probably more that they don’t have the capacity. You’re on a shared pipe with whoever else is using that tower, supposedly. So if they fire up BitTorrent, you’re hosed. That was my experience. In our case, it wasn’t 10pm-2am, it was 7pm-9pm. Like clockwork, every night, it slowed down to nothing. Also, at 4pm every day, we would get kicked off for five minutes or so. EVERY DAMN DAY. Clear is NOT ready for prime time.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      What does this have to do with net neutrality? In fact, the fact that you can choose Clear rather than Comcast makes the case for net neutrality LESS compelling, not more. If you can just switch providers if you’re unhappy, all the less reason for regulating providers.

      • NeverLetMeDown says:

        Also, as an aside, throttling and bandwidth caps are completely net-neutrality compliant, they just can’t be done on an application or content provider basis (so, Comcast can’t say “unlimited bandwidth to Fancast, but 10kbps to Hulu,” but it can say “limit of xyzGB/month,” or “speed caps on heavy users at peak times”).

      • INsano says:

        Well if you take a look at all the reports on broadband access, you’ll see that in most markets there ISN’T any competition, and when the incumbent provider throttles you without notice for their own reasons it matters. As an added bonus they’ll give up your private records at the drop of a hat to any demand. The different responses by Verizon and Comcast to MPAA record demands is instructive for example.

    • Chaosium says:

      “Clear is great, and their service is so cheap compared to what you have to pay to Comcrap for them to throttle your browsing…”

      I hate Comcast and wouldn’t go with them, but Clear is slow as hell, so your comparison is moot.

  4. aja175 says:

    Perception is everything…

    “Well I’m going to make sure gets resolved as soon as possible and I want to give you your next 3 months of service on our dime for the trouble. That sound good?”


    “Well I’m going to make sure gets resolved as soon as possible and give you the next couple months of service free. I totally understand why was , I’d like to give you a refund on your last bill as an apology. Just don’t tell my supervisor!”

    As a customer, which would you rather hear?

    • tbax929 says:

      The one that’s comprehensible. I’m not even sure what your second example translates to in English. LOL

      • aja175 says:

        doh! That’ll teach me to use carrots… It SHOULD have said

        “Well I’m going to make sure (whatever annoyed them enough to get them to cancel) gets resolved as soon as possible and give you the next couple months of service free. I totally understand why (what they called about) was (you get the idea), I’d like to give you a refund on your last bill as an apology. Just don’t tell my supervisor!”

    • koalabare says:

      Uh, they both sound great.

    • Miz_Ivy says:

      Um, what exactly needs to be resolved, and what does the customer service rep need to apologize for? He was cancelling because he lost his job and couldn’t afford it, not because they had screwed up in any way.

      They didn’t owe him anything, but kudos to them for actually giving a crap about their customers. Wish more companies were like that.

    • Marshmelly says:

      Nothing was wrong with the OP’s service, he was just cancelling. Also…both of those sound good to me and would be appreciated. Maybe I’m missing your point. Is it that the first option has to do with the company being generous and the second with only the CSR being generous? There wasn’t really any indication that the CSR was providing him with the 2 free months against company policy. So yea…I don’t seem to really understand your point.

  5. falnfenix says:

    We’ve had Clear for about 6 months, as they bought our previous ISP (Xohm). Every single call has been pleasant. Their support agents actually know what they’re doing, which is just another bonus for us.

    So far, in Baltimore, they’re the best option we have for service, support, and price.

  6. tys says:

    I had to register just to throw my two cents in on this one.

    I had clearwire for a little over a year. In that time I had constant issues with service. The techs blatantly told me they filter out netflix and other streaming video. Playing xbox was next to impossible as packet loss was constant. When I eventually had enough and cancelled the service I had to fight fight fight in order to have my fee reduced to $50. I now have comcast and its craptastic but at least I can stream a movie or play a game (most of the time).

  7. Amy Alkon says:

    Wow – how lovely. I’d bet that once he gets back on his feet, they’ll have him as a customer for life.

  8. DanRydell says:

    “Most retention representatives would handle the request by kicking and screaming like angry toddlers waiting for a blood test.”

    Umm… what? Every retention department I’ve dealt with has just offered free/discounted service. That’s pretty much what they do.

    • dreamfish says:

      … but there are those who want to leave (where the company makes them jump through hoops to do so) and then there are those who have to threaten to leave in order to get a good deal. My cable company had reduced the price on the service I had but didn’t tell me and I had to threaten cancellation to get them to reduce my charge.

    • madanthony says:

      I had a RePlayTV DVR that I was paying monthly for service on until the hard drive shit the bed. When I called to cancel, the guy was just like “OK, done”. Probably because they don’t make/sell the hardware anymore.

      The funny thing is I actually replaced the dead RePlay with another one – but it was one with a lifetime subscription (bought off eBay).

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Except for Verizon FIOs. They throttle like no one’s business (plus they upped my cost by $20 a month.) I couldn’t even watch a TV show or any streaming video it was so slow (of course it was great in the beginning) and I was paying for the “fastest” package. They kept telling me it was my computers, despite the fact that both of my laptops were just fine on other connections. When I told them I was switching to Clear, they practically laughed at me and told me they were the best and Clear could never match up to them. They didn’t even try to retain me.

      Guess what? Clear surpassed them a loooooooong time ago. Clear has been fantastic.

  9. TheDoctorPC says:

    Just saw the comment about Clear and wanted to make clear how dreadful my experience was.

    Clear promised high-speed Internet…5-6 Mbps…with bursts up to 10 or 12 Mbps.

    Although I had all 5 lights solidly lit up on the modem, my speeds were generally in the 1-2 Mbps range. After working with Clear techs over a period of 2 months, it became clear that Clear was not ready for prime time.

    They were unable to resolve the issue and, even though I had what they confirmed to be a strong signal, and was within .5 miles of their tower, they ultimately stated that I was in a “bad area.”

    In addition, they promised true Caller ID block, but then reneged on that as well. They finally explained that they had a “glitch” in their system. Caller ID block would work…some of the time, but not all. And, they claimed, they could not resolve that issue either.

    I ultimately canceled their dreadful service and then they fought me about a refund for the two months I had paid. This, after numerous tech support people assured me that my free trial period would be extended, so as to avoid any charges while they were working to resolve my issues.

    I still don’t have my money back.

    Clearly, Clear is NOT ready for prime time.

    What a disappointing experience.

    I would actually recommend Charter (I hate Charter. Did I mention that I hate Charter? I hate Charter.) over Clear’s “service”. Charter, of course, suffers from their “outage du jour” meaning that virtually every day (including today) one of their services (usually, Internet) goes down.

    Whatever happened to that high-speed Google fiber project?

    Beam me up, Scotty; there’s no intelligent life or quality Internet provider down here.

  10. crazydavythe1st says:

    They just want to make sure you stick with them when your wife finds a new job. And there’s nothing wrong with that – this is the smart way to do it.

  11. AndroidHumanoid says:

    My boyfriend has Clear Wire internet, and it is extremely slow. I believe he’s getting ripped off for the “dial up-like” internet he’s getting.

  12. HungryGal says:

    Sounds suspiciously like AOL. Does he have to call back in two months and re-cancel?

  13. Retired Again says:

    Too Bad Comcast doesn’t think that way. Interesting Comcast I had in two other states was great – service and systems. The SOUTH FLORIDA COMCAST is pathetic. Looking into Dish or Direct.
    One Comcast tech flat said he was unqualified to do my job plus 30% of boxes were defective.
    He said turnover in South Florida due to DISPATCHERS abusing field Technical workers, making them look bad, etc. He said Race Thing …. 95% dispatchers are of one race – (not white).

    • wcnghj says:

      Are you talking about TV or Internet?

      How many boxes do you have?!

    • frak says:

      “He said Race Thing …. 95% dispatchers are of one race – (not white).”

      I know that some people do not work well with Eskimos, personally I don’t have a problem.

    • jessjj347 says:

      One time the wire to my house got cut, and a Comcast guy came out to fix it.

      He said that ironically, he used to cut people’s wires as a prank when he was a kid….
      I wasn’t sure if that comment made him very qualified to do this job or very unqualified.

  14. empkae says:

    My experience was poor technical performance, and horrible customer service. The reps were cheerful, and sometimes said they would help, but the results were appalling. For example, I owned my modem and was billed for it month after month. For several months I had to call and work my way through their difficult phone trees and referrals in order to get the credited for the incorrect billing, and an unfilled promise to fix my account. At first I was told I had to FAX (!) my modem receipt to them! FAX! Who has a fax? Clearwire does, and will not accept an emailed jpg or pdf. (How quaint, 20th century of them.) They finally agreed to cancel my account, but continued to be bill me for it for several months and several more phone calls.

    When clearwire works, it’s great. When it does not, it sucks big time.

  15. KeithIrwin says:

    I could be wrong, but my guess would be that by accepting this two months of free service, he’s also agreeing to a one-year contract that they didn’t mention to him.

    • A.Mercer says:

      It will be buried down in the agreement somewhere. One of those cases where reading the pages of bull would pay off.

  16. heythere says:

    I love my Clear! When I first signed up I apparently had a bum modem, and spent a few nights on the phone with their tech support. They were always polite and helpful, they replaced my modem and then upgraded it for free a month later. I also LOVED having immediate internet when I moved, and did I mention that it is super cheap? Sometimes it slows when it rains, but other than that it is friggin awesome!

  17. brinks says:

    I was happy enough when my own cable company (WOW/Wide Open West) not only helped me select a cheaper bundle but offered, without any prompting from me, an additional $10 off for 6 months. Lots of places seem to be sympathetic to those of us who have lost their jobs and will do what they can to keep your business.

    BTW, if you get all teary with AT&T after saying you need to cancel your service because you lost your job and can’t afford their cheapest family plan, and you are insistent that you have to cancel because it’s just too much money, you might be lucky enough to get transferred to a retention specialist who has knowledge of some secret plan that’s $10 less than all published rates. Just sayin…

  18. radparker says:

    At $0, Clear still isn’t that great of a deal. I had it in Chicago and the service speed varied wildly, and it there were timeouts and brownouts regularly. I got an earful from them when I tried to cancel, but I did get a refund.

    • Destron says:

      When I lived in Texas I used Comcast and it was great, never had a single issue. They switched to Time Warner before I left but still had no problems with service.

      Job transferred me to another state and Comcast here SUCKS. When I first set it up the guy that came to hook up my service did not even work for Comcast – they had contracted the job out to him. Their local office is in a shed, if this was a company I had never heard of I would swear it was run my teenagers, my internet with “powerboost” was barely usable at times, forget about playing games online.

      So I switched to one of those bundles with Direct TV for cable and Quest for internet, have not had any problems since, but when I canceled Comcast they just said ‘OK – Done, just return our equipment in 30 days or you pay for it”. Not that any amount of begging or pleading or discounts/free service would have kept me, but they didn’t even try.

  19. MrEvil says:

    My guess is Clear is hoping on you finding work in those 2 months and you continuing your service with them once you do. Still, that’s a pretty sweet deal.

  20. Tracer Bullet says:

    I am having internet slowness issues with clear wireless. After only an hour or two worth of technical troubleshooting they realized the issue is on their end. They are not charging me until they can resolve the issue. This is amazing customer service compared to the cable companies. Despite the high latency and slow speeds I am receiving, I would still recommend them because if there is a problem, they will work with you until it is fixed, and not charge you when the issue is on their end. In my experience it is extrodinarily difficult to get cable to even admit there is a problem if it is on their end.

  21. operator207 says:

    The ISP I worked for years ago did this for awhile. About the time the Board Members started getting antsy we were bleeding too many customers. ANYTHING to keep them as a customer. It looked better to the BOD, and to stockholders.

    If it makes you feel better, that ISP is still in business, it’s just running on a skeleton crew minus a few bones.

  22. Conservative Mom says:

    Clear is cost effective and their customer service is friendly. However, we tried clear after comcast in an effort to reduce cost. Their modem signaled 5 bars but we were unable to get any laptop, desktop or any other device to go online with their signal. When we called to cancel the account, the rep assured me he could get it to work. I was unwilling to listen but he persisted so I placed my husband on the phone who succeeded in canceling the account. If the service was offered free but inhibited our ability to surf the net then it is worthless. Clear, get your ducks in a row before you chase clients. Value over cost will win every time in my book.