It was the classic bait and switch. I got my most recent internet bill in the mail and it said my cost had doubled to $62.04. It has been 6 month since I started using this company. I had the original advertisement in my internet bill folder so I read it out to the representative “Pure broadband 34.95 a month for 12 months*”. The customer retention agent (I had already gotten to a second level representative due to my complaints to the original customer service representative) said that the program I signed up for was slightly cheaper each month by about 2 dollars but it only lasted 6 months. I maintained that I asked for the 12 month plan and told him to go back into their voice recordings to prove I was wrong (because they all record your conversations – and most of them tell you). Eventually he just gave in and put me on a different plan from the other two that costs about $53.76 a month – about 20 dollars more. Then, like a cop who gives you a ticket for speeding but not a ticket for no seat-belt, he gave me a a $10 dollar a month retention discount, at which point, I had to say thank you as I just sat there and took it.
I also noticed a $9.99 charge on all my bills for the last 6 months under the heading “Related Monthly Charges.” It was a charge called CenturyLink@Ease. At first the man insisted I had signed up this $9.99 program. I asked him what it was and he explained that it is a premium technical service package. At this point I knew I was duped because I would never agree an additional cost like that. I spent 5 years doing computer technical support and always insist on doing my own work. After explaining that to him he relented and gave me 60 dollars credit for the 6 months of the plan I had been charged for, didn’t know I had, had never used, or signed up for. The result of all this is that my bill is permanently higher but I get a month and a third or so of internet for free.
What is the moral of this story? Companies do this kind of crap all the time, especially the largest ones (in my humble opinion), like “Centurylink,” which is the merger of Centurylink and Qwest. Time to call the Better Business Bureau I guess. How effective do you think that’s going to be?