Earthlink DSL

Posted on Sunday, July 15th, 2007 at 4:52pm CDT by d3a5b187

Company: Earthlink DSL

Category: Other

The Earthlink Upshot: I signed up with Earthlink on July 2. In less than two weeks, I had racked up three case numbers, 11 phone calls (that I can remember), six hours of ineffective Earthlink customer service, six lost work hours that had to be made up on my weekend, and untold aggravation. I don't believe yelling at customer service people actually gets anything done, but I actually had to raise my voice to penetrate a thick cloud of incompetence.

The Details:

In the interests of lowering my combined bills, I called DirecTV on July 2 to sign up for their package deals with their Internet partner. My decision to switch from AT&T Yahoo DSL to Earthlink resulted into a nightmarish week.

Error 1: DirecTV Internet Solutions department said the Earthlink portion would charge me $19.99/month, and in addition DirecTV would be $10 less to match an existing AT&T package offer. Earthlink sent me an order confirmation receipt with a pricing noting $12.99 for three months, then $39.99 thereafter.

Error 2: Aside from that email notification, I never received any welcome emails, packets nor equipment from Earthlink. On July 6, I was suddenly without any Internet service because Earthlink cancelled my AT&T service on my behalf without notification. That happened on my telecommuting day, and as a result, I couldn't access work information for a phone meeting, and had to work several hours over the weekend to make up.

Error 3: Since I didn't know at first why my service was disconnected, I spent two hours back and forth with AT&T Yahoo (which has EXCELLENT customer service and tech support) and Earthlink. After five phone calls between the two, the Earthlink rep assured me my Earthlink DSL service would be activated by 6pm. Although Earthlink's tech support was unable to tell me if my existing AT&T 2Wire 1800HG Gateway wireless modem could work with its service, AT&T/Yahoo assured me it would. The service was NOT activated at 6pm.

Error 4: I called the Earthlink supervisor, Archie, on duty July 7 (Saturday). While he gave me the customer service therapy-speak about understanding how frustrated I felt, he was unable to explain why my Internet service had been disconnected without being sent any welcome packet, nor why activation hadn't been completed by said time. He said because AT&T somehow still owned the line, I would not have internet all weekend because none of their technicians involved in that part worked on the weekend. It took some anger on my part asking why this happened in the first place before he finally offered me a free month's service for the inconvenience.

Error 5: Inexplicably, my service worked on Sunday evening. (Apparently someone at AT&T does work weekends.) An Earthlink supervior (Mark) did leave a message Monday morning to make sure I had service, but left no explanation on my voicemail (as I requested) how Earthlink would've disconnected my service without providing me any equipment. As for the service, the signal would disappear after several hours. By mid-week, the signal disappeared entirely.

Error 6: I called Earthlink twice more that week. Tech support tried to blame the equipment or line (even though inexplicably the service worked before with my existing equipment). They would not transfer me to a Delta Technician (which apparently exist) until I called the next day to cancel my Earthlink service.

Error 6: I spoked to two senior customer service representatives when I tried to cancel -- the first transferred me to the Delta technician. After two hours, I called back the Delta technician line, and he said he's transfer me back to the senior customer support after explaining all I had gone through.

Error 7: Sheila, the senior customer representative based out of the Philippines, obviously did not comprehend the extent of the problems when she talked to me. She did tell me my account showed a $19.99 rate, but couldn't tell me why I received an email stating otherwise. She said a modem was scheduled to arrive at my house the next day (the irony), but couldn't explain why my service was disconnected prior to my equipment being sent. She offered me a free month's service, which I pointed out had been offered previously and so was no incentive. She finally transferred me to her supervisor, Julia. At least with all the other customer reps, while ineffective, they aimed to be empathetic. Julia from the Philippines office tried to assess the blame to my authorizing Earthlink in the first place. Faced with such complete lack of understanding, I asked that Earthlink cancel my service and restore my AT*T service -- which she said they couldn't do, so i gave up on the latter and

asked for a cancellation.

Other Providers:

I called DirecTV (a third time, as I called the company earlier to note the incorrect billing) to report how terrible Earthlink was. DirecTV agreed to maintain the $10 discount given all the problems I had gone through.

I called AT&T to apologize for straying, and to beg them to take me back at the same rate. The upside was, AT&T could restore my connection faster than the normal 5 to 7 days. The bad news, I had to pay a higher rate (from $17.99 to its current $24.99 pricing).

I plan to call back DirecTV to see if it can make up for this, as the whole point of this switch had been to save money, not spend more. DirecTV does provide great customer service, so we'll see what happens after this.


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