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Counting down the minutes until March 25, 2009 (Read 1667 times)
ajdeeelite
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Yakity yak....

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Counting down the minutes until March 25, 2009
08/12/08 at 17:36:16
 
That's when my contract with Earthlink is up.  I cannot wait to get a new ISP!
 
I've been an Earthlink subscriber since March of 2003.  Until last month I rarely had a problem.  (When I first signed up with my service I was having problems connecting.  After sending a new modem with the correct cable, it worked.)
 
On the morning of Tuesday, July 29, I noticed some connectivity problems. I did the usual unplug, sit and wait, then restart.  It worked and I was able to check my email.  When I got home from work that night I had the same problem.  I was able to check my email once, then it stopped working.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe it was a system-wide outage due to the earthquake earlier in the day or something.  I figured if it wasn't working the next day, I would call tech support.
 
Guess what?  It wasn't working the next day.  I tried all the basic troubleshooting tricks.  Unplugged everything, plugged everything back in, tried different cords, made sure the phone was working, made sure my bills were paid, etc. etc.  Tried resetting the modem, but it wouldn't reset.  Tried the diagnostics page in FF in IE, but nothing came up.  So I broke down and called tech support.
 
After waiting on hold for awhile, I was finally connected to someone with a fake American name who sounded devoid of all emotion and condescending.  We did all the troubleshooting again.  No DSL, no modem reset, no diagnostics page.  All the while, apparently the connection to India was bad because every time I would say something, it would take him a few minutes to respond.  I was seriously getting so frustrated and yelling things like, "I love talking to myself!" into the phone with no response.  When I finally did get a response, the deduction was that, ah, it must be the line.  He'll send out a line tech from Verizon and someone will call me back in 24 hours.  That was Wednesday.  I received a call back on Friday afternoon while I was at work.  They said I would have to call back when I was at home at my computer.  
 
I was busy doing weekend things and didn't get a chance to call until Sunday morning.  So I called and got the "we're working on your trouble ticket, please call back in 8 hours" message that I know so well now.  I didn't hang up since I figured they were expecting my call or something.  
 
The guy I talked to said that the phone company said the line was fine (shocker), and he did some more remote testing of the line.  His conclusion was that my account was reset or needed to be reset or something.  I didn't entirely understand.  He said that he was closing my ticket and would transfer me to the department who handled the accounts.  
 
When I was transferred to that department, I had to tell the entire story and her response was, "Well, there are no notes on your account that says why you were transferred over here so I can't help you.  I'll transfer you back to tech support."  Oh my gosh.  Seriously?  
 
So now I have to explain everything AGAIN and they opened ANOTHER trouble ticket because the original one was closed.  And guess what?  They're going to send out a line tech from Verizon to check the line and someone will call me back in 24 hours.
 
Of course I didn't get a call back in 24 hours.  So after 32 hours I called them when I got home from work Monday night.  I got the "we're working on your trouble ticket, please call back in 8 hours" message again, but continued to hold.  After sitting on hold for 20 minutes before my call was answered, I was told that they haven't heard anything back from Verizon so I should call back in an hour.  Hmm.  Something tells me you won't have an answer for me then either.
 
On Tuesday at work I tried to use their joke called live support chat.  The conversation went something like this:
 
Me: I wanted to get the status of my trouble ticket.  I don't have the number with me but I can give you my phone number:
Jim B: Great.  I can help you with that.  Please tell me what problem you are having.
Me: I want to check the status of my trouble ticket.
Jim B: Please describe the trouble you are having with your DSL.
Me: Nevermind
 
I might as well have told him I lost my shoes or ate pancakes for breakfast.  
 
When I got home from work on Tuesday I called tech support again.  Got the "we're working on your trouble ticket, please call back in 8 hours" again (I wonder how many people fall for that?).  When I got a tech on the phone he reviewed the report from Verizon and said that the line was working fine.  No, really?!  So he said that it was probably my modem.  I said that he may be right since it won't reset.  So what to do?  
 
My choices: spend $74.99 on a new modem from Earthlink plus shipping $34.99 overnight or $27.99 2 day air.  OR I could have a new modem sent to me at no cost (other than above-mentioned shipping) but I would have to renew my contract for another year.  I told him there was no way that I was doing either of those things.  He said that I've had my modem more than 30 days (uh, it's been over 5 years!) that they could not replace it.  Maybe this is common practice in the DSL world, I don't know, but it really angered me.  That's like telling someone that you can pay a ridiculous amount of money for cable every month, but if your cable box stops working you have to buy a new one.
 
...continued below....
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ajdeeelite
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Yakity yak....

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Re: Counting down the minutes until March 25, 2009
Reply #1 - 08/12/08 at 18:05:21
 
So the tech support guy transfers me to customer support since he said he couldn't do anything to get me a new modem.  I explained to the girl who took my call what was going on and that I wanted a new modem sent to me at no cost with no extension of my contract.  Is that really so much to ask since the tech support guy thought that it might be my modem but wasn't even really sure?  Why would I spend $74.99 on something that may or may not fix my problem?  
 
She told me that there was no way that she could help me, so fuming, I said that I wanted to cancel my account.  She "transferred" me to the department who could help me out with that.  After ten minutes on hold, the hold music cut out to silence.  After ten minutes of silence I finally hung up.  
 
I continued to use the dial up service from Earthlink since I have 20 hours "free" each month.  Over the next few days I weighed the pros and cons of cancelling my service and signing up with a new ISP.  The fact of the matter was that I was screwed either way because I don't have the money right now to cancel my contract and get a new ISP.  So a friend of mine found an old DSL modem that was in a box of stuff he was about to take to e-cycle.  Woo hoo!  I picked up on Saturday night.
 
On Sunday morning...day 12 or 13...I hooked up the new modem...and...nothing.  No connection.  When my friend gave me his modem he said that I might need to find a driver for it.  So I thought that I would check my Earthlink set up cd to see if it had any drivers on it.  Except I couldn't find the disk, only the case.  And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that when I got my new computer a few years ago, I never installed any Earthlink software.  I just plugged in the modem and it worked.  For the heck of it, I checked to see if my computer came with any Earthlink software.  Ah ha!  It did!  I installed it....voila!  Connected!  It's not totally fixed because I still have to manually connect and I'm still getting an error that I have no network connection.  But magically somehow I do have a connection.
 
So yesterday, Monday, I called Earthlink to request a credit for the days that I did not have service.  From my past experience, I was expecting a fight.  So I was armed with my trouble ticket numbers, etc.  I spoke to Shine (not even joking) who said he would give me a $12 credit on my next invoice.  No questions asked.  I was shocked.  Though I was hesitant to think that my Earthlink woes were in the past, I was hopeful that things were looking up.  As we were finishing the phone call, Shine tried to sell me some anti-virus software and some hard drive clean up software.  I said no thanks, I wasn't interested, and we ended the call.
 
And then wouldn't you know it.  Today I get an email welcoming me to my new Norton Internet Security Subscription from Earthlink!  
 
Wait.  What?!
 
I checked my account online and now I'm suddenly enrolled in some $3.95/month service that I never authorized!  Oh, I was livid.  It's a good thing they haven't come up with a punch-people-through-the-phone technology because I would probably have gotten arrested today!
 
So I got to call Earthlink again today to waste more of my time to cancel a service I didn't subscribe to.  Gah!
 
I wonder what they'll do next?  The end of my contract cannot come soon enough!!
 
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ajdeeelite
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Yakity yak....

Posts: 4
Re: Counting down the minutes until March 25, 2009
Reply #2 - 08/27/08 at 12:50:37
 
The saga continues....
 
I check my credit card statement today and notice that the price charged this month is HIGHER.  They were supposed to issue me a credit and I'm billed MORE?!  Apparently they use backwards math in India.
 
I had attempted to close my account a year or two ago, but they convinced me to stay by offering me the same price Verizon was offering.  So the agreement was $19.95 for six months and $29.95 thereafter.  I confirmed at that time that that price would be fixed for the life of my membership and would not increase unexpectedly in the future.
 
Now suddenly they are billing me $49.95.  What the @^$#!?  
 
I just spend the last 40 minutes on the phone and this is what happened:
 
Connected to David in customer service.  Told me that $29.95 was my price for six months only.  I told him that, no, that's not the case, that I was guaranteed $29.95 for the life of my membership.  Besides, I've been billed $29.95 for longer than six months!  He put me on hold, and when he came back said that he would need to transfer me to a "supervisor."  Guess where he transferred me?  That's right, folks.  Tech support!  Gee, thanks for nothing!
 
Tech support transferred me back to customer support.  I talked with Tara (or maybe Sara?).  She said that I upgraded to a faster speed on 8/3.  How and why exactly would I do that when I didn't even have DSL service on 8/3?!  She put me on hold for a few minutes and came back to tell me that they would issue an $8 credit because my $12 credit "has already been issued." I had to explain some simple math to her, that an $8 credit doesn't fix the $20 price issue.  She finally agreed to the $20 credit, and then transferred me to a "senior agent" to get the regular monthly price adjusted.
 
I was transferred to Jen.  She asked how I was doing.  I said I'd had better days.  She said she was glad to hear that.  Sigh.  Anyway, after explaining AGAIN what is going on, she she that they show no record of me requesting an upgrade (uh...maybe because I didn't request it?!).  She said that she would have to transfer me back to customer service if I wanted a credit.
 
Oh my sweet heavens to betsey.
 
I told her that customer service had just transferred me to her.  She put me on hold to read the notes on my account.  What a concept!  She came back on the line to tell me that my speed would need to be downgraded.  I said great!  Because I never requested an upgrade!  Send me on back down!
 
She then said that she was getting an error while processing the downgrade and would need to place me on hold.  She came back and said that she cannot process downgrades; someone else from the "provisioning team" would have to do it and they would call me back.  Jen said that they would call me back by tomorrow at 10:00 AM.  Who wants to place some bets on whether or not they'll actually call?
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ajdeeelite
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Yakity yak....

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Re: Counting down the minutes until March 25, 2009
Reply #3 - 09/03/08 at 15:36:52
 
Surprise, surprise.  On 8/28 I received no call back.  So I called at 11:18 am.  My call was answered by Sharon who said she could not help me since I called billing and it was not a billing issue.
 
At 11:25 am she transferred me to the installations department.  My call was answered by Charity.  After explaining my story yet again, she tried to process my downgrade.  She said that she was encountering an error and could not process the downgrade.  She would need to contact their "partners" and call me back.  After telling her that no one called me back from yesterday, she said that she would definitely call me back within the hour to give me an update.  The call ended at 11:45 am.
 
With three minutes to spare, I received a call from Karen from Installation Services at 12:42 pm.  She said that their "downgrade tools are down."  But she was willing to offer me a credit for $10 off the next six months for my trouble.  I confirmed that she meant $10 off the wrong price of $29.95 and she said yes.  I told her I was not interested; I just wanted everything corrected.  She tried to process the downgrade again and received an error.  Again, she would need to contact their "partners" and call me back because it could take 24-48 hours.  She kept saying, "Rest assured, we will correct this problem and call you back."  The only thing I'm pretty much assured about is that I'm going to have to call back and go through this with someone else again.  The call ended at 12:47 pm.
 
I did not receive a call back on Friday as promised.  And then I was out of town for the Labor Day holiday.  
 
On Wednesday 9/2 (one week after I discovered the billing error) I called Earthlink again at 12:35 pm.  When I selected "all other issues" from the menu, I was disconnected.
 
At 12:40 pm I called back and my call was answered by Sam.  After explaining my story, he transferred me to the Installation Department at 12:44 pm.
 
My call was answered by Andrew at 12:47 pm.  I explained my story again.  After placing me on hold for a bit, he came back and said that either the downgrade had been processed or the downgrade had been requested.  Before I could ask him to clarify, he had quickly transferred me to billing to correct the rate.
 
At 12:53 pm my transferred call was answered by Lori in billing.  She pulled up my record and said that she had no record of a downgrade being processed.  She was actually the most helpful of anyone I'd talked to there.  Instead of just transferring me back to Installations, she called them herself first to see what was going on.  And then at 1:05 pm she transferred me to the person she had been talking to after she had confirmed that there was nothing that she could do and the downgrade had not processed.
 
My call was answered by Al at 1:19 pm.  After doing whatever it is that they do over there, he told me that he couldn't process the downgrade and would need to call me back tomorrow.  I told him that that has already happened twice and no one called me back, so I would prefer to wait on hold until it is complete.  He said that it would be a long time.  I told him that was fine.
 
I was on hold for probably 15 minutes when he came back and said that he could not process the downgrade.  Now this is where it gets interesting.
 
He said that the downgrade cannot be processed because my "service was disconnected in 2006."  I told him that it wasn't ever disconnected.  I had called to terminate my service, but when they offered me a better price, I decided not to.  It gets a little fuzzy for me on understanding what he's saying, but apparently my service has been cancelled since 2006 but I've magically had service and have been paying for said service since then.  We went around and around a few times since what I was hearing was all so ridiculous, and I couldn't quite understand why I've had service if my service was cancelled.  He said, "You're lucky."  I replied, "Oh, I'm lucky because I've been paying for this service that I'm enrolled in since 2006?!"  I started laughing like a crazy person.  
 
AND THEN he says that I've actually had 3.0 since 2004, not since 8/3/08 so there's really nothing to downgrade because nothing was upgraded on 8/3/08.  Apparently they made some changes to their billing system which caused a glitch and made my rate go up to $49.95 (the regular 3.0 price) instead of the agreed-upon $29.95.  
 
I started laughing like a crazy person again.  How can you not?  After a week of fighting with them over this stupid downgrade, they could have just adjusted the price back a week ago!
 
So Al transferred me to customer service to get the billing issue corrected.  Mike picked up my call and without asking for my number, my secret code word, my name, or my issue said, "You invoice will reflect a price of $29.95 next month."  Wait.  What?  It can't be that easy.  He put me on hold for a minute or two and came back with my confirmation number for the price adjustment.
 
I know it's too good to be true, so I'm just waiting to see what poo hits the fan next.
 
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