CenturyLink Holds Me To Imaginary Contract, Bills Me Twice For $700 ETF

Rick typed out his tale of Qwest/CenturyLink woe using the Consumerist Mobile Tipster app, and attached one of those pictures that has circulated online seemingly forever–a little boy sticking a butter knife in an electrical socket. That’s how this situation apparently makes him feel, and it’s easy to see why. He used to work for Qwest, and never really had any problems with them in seventeen years of service from them. When he finally canceled service, he was told that he was still under contract and owed an early termination fee. A twenty-year contract?

A year and a half after canceling Qwest service, Century Link (the new owner) turns over a bill I didn’t owe to a collection agency. I had Qwest for 10 years while I worked for them then another 7 after I left. They sent me this bill saying it was because I was in a contract when I cancelled service for over $700 and because I couldn’t prove it when I disconnected I just paid it to make it go away. Then a year and a half later they tried to collect it again via this collection agency.

I spent two hours on the phone with them both and was finally able to download the credit card statement to prove I paid it. I still don’t think I owed it on the first place – how can you be on a contract after having a service for 17 years? And I sure as hell wasn’t going to pay it twice. Qwest was an excellent employer, I will say that, but as a service provider – they suck!!!

When adding new features or locking in a new price with your telecom, always make sure that you’re not committing yourself to a new, shiny, and onerous new contract. Rick most likely knew better and wouldn’t have done this, but the rest of us who have never worked for our telecoms are not so savvy. Clearly this would not have happened if Rick were still working there to keep the company in shape.

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