Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Always Something-- This Month It's Earthlink!

A long time ago I was a loyal Earthlink customer. I was with them for a considerable stretch-- it was over 5 years; I seem to remember the number 8 for some reason. Toward the end of that long and happy relationship I attempted to upgrade to DSL. It never worked out, customer support seemed to be drastically and perpetually worsening, so I dumped them. We had a local area dialup that's free, and it was working for me. Bye-bye mean people!

As my work online got more frequent and of a bulkier nature, it became prudent to upgrade to something like DSL or cable. The place in Cambridge is wired with much-appreciated Comcast service, but here in Green Harbor pickings are slim. Most mondo-mega-bulky stuff, therefore, is done on Ahmed's computer up-town, but with Romance News, Tower and Well, and some of the websites I do for others taking off... well, it was time. Since Verizon had a lot of locals screaming about damaged lines and fried computers, I looked into several options. The local cable company was very pricey.

The question, then, became does Earthlink still suck?
The answer is not only a resounding YES but a cautionary tale the likes of which I haven't dealt with since... err, well the last time they screwed me with my pants on.

After almost a month of waiting for service to be activated and being constantly disconnected, I got word that Comcast was going to be taking over our local cable services. This is great news, indeed, for those of us who have labored under the bad service and ridiculous pricing of Adelphia Cable, which had a dirty name in Marshvegas long before it had one in the national news. Since Comcast offers a really sweet three-for deal (99 bucks for cable tv, internet, and phone services), and since EarthFink was engaging in the above-mentioned unauthorized rogering of yours truly, I decided it would be prudent to simply cancel EarthFink and not be charged for a service they never activated and I no longer wanted.

Simple, right?

Only my local tech guy, who was fixing my crappy old computer (on which I keep offline files), explained that everyone in my area had problems with both EarthFink and Verizon, but that EarthFink had a nasty habit of deliberately disconnecting calls to avoid canceling the service before the trial agreement service plan was up... hence getting users for the fee, and often nailing them with the early termination charge (150 bucks) if they managed to drag the run-around out long enough.

How, then, do they get away with touting a "top rating" from JD Power and Associates???

"I'm pretty sure they lie," said he.

Armed with information from several consumer advocacy groups, including my Attorney General, I called them one last time and informed the manager (to whom I requested to speak) that the call was being recorded. I have to tell you, many of us have that device on our phones but I was all a-tingle to actually use it!

Guess what?

Although EVERY call to EarthFink's customer service lines is met with a "this call may be recorded" recording, they don't allow YOU to record THEM.

Huh. Weird. You'd think they were hiding something.

Anyway, I am still attempting to close the account I never used or initiated, which was never activated or enabled, but have only gotten through to ONE manager in over a week and a half (though it has been almost a month total, I wasn't up for both chemotherapy AND EarthFink), and she refused to take the call because she can't lie on a recording and get away with it.
Anyway... next month Comcast gets to take me out for a ride and we'll see where it goes. Hopefully to a happy place.

Meanwhile?

EarthFink bites. JD Power and Associates lies. I changed my pants. And life goes on in spite it all.

2 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Zinnia said...

Oy, those sorts of things can drive one to kick chickens. I've heard other people rant about both Earthlink and Comcast. I hope you find something that works for you soon.

Chrissy said...

Thanks, zinnia!

Oddly, when it comes to dial-up I went with a free program locally that provides NO customer support. You create your own DNS and wing it.

Had it for ten years and never needed help because it always works. Which makes you wonder...

DSL is so fun but is it worth the hassle? LOL!

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