I am writing to inform your readers of any situation involving ALLTEL Communications.
As you know Alltel has recently merged with Verizon.
I live in Tucson having relocated here in December. As a part of moving I updated all of my account information to my new address. I have been a customer of Alltel for close to 10 years and have never had a problem with their service until this weekend.
On Saturday, February 14 I went to my local ALLTEL communications store to upgrade two of my phone lines. The service representative could not find any of my account information in their database. After a few moments of searching he found that my number has been switched to another service company operating under the name of Alltel.
As I have found when ALLTEL communications merged with Verizon some numbers in the Tucson area were divested to a third-party provider operating under the name of Alltel. Other numbers in the Tucson area remained at the Verizon owned ALLTEL communications. For those of us whose accounts were divested to the third-party carrier this means that we are not able to access retail services in any of the ALLTEL communications stores in the Tucson area. The nearest ALLTEL communications store that we can access is in Casa Grande. Alltel could reallocate our accounts to the current market area (396) but that would mean switching our accounts to Verizon.
I contacted ALLTEL customer service and was told that they could not switch my market area so that I could access a retail store in the Tucson metropolitan area. I escalated my concern to a supervisor level and spoke to Ian. I explained my situation and stated that the change promulgated by the merger constituted a material adverse effect to my service in that I live in a major metropolitan area, yet I would have to travel 80 miles to access a retail store owned by this company. I explain that this was a material adverse change in the service offered by their company and requested that the cancellation of my contracted phone lines without an early termination fee. ALLTEL customer service explained that they did not consider this to be a change in their service since I could access their customer service via phone and online. After a long conversation ALLTEL customer service refused to cancel my remaining contracts even though I could no longer access any retail services in a population center of more than 1 million people.
I further spoke to Tiffany in the ALLTEL retention department. She too refused to honor my request. When I commented to her that I would contact local consumer groups Tiffany stated "we do not take idle threats seriously."
In that untold numbers of Alltel communications subscribers in the Tucson area have unknowingly seen their service areas switch to a local provider in Casa Grande I believe this constitutes an adverse impact to the level of service offered by ALLTEL communication. I believe that part of the service offered by this firm is the ability to access services at a local retail level. As I pointed out to both representatives if I lived in a rural distant area than their rationale of only using telephone and Internet services would be more valid. In fact ALLTEL did not adequately notify Tucson subscribers that their services would no longer be available at retail level. I also have to express concern at how this type of change will impact subscribers who are elderly or infirm, and are not able or comfortable with using the phone or the Internet to conduct their business. I believe that ALLTEL should offer their subscribers the ability to cancel their contracts without early termination fee.
I am also very concerned at the arrogance displayed by Alltel customer service in stating that contacting any consumer group would be considered a "idle threat."
On behalf of subscribers to Alltel who have seen their service switched, or may not even know that the locus of their service has been switched, please look into this matter and see if you can motivate Alltel to offer subscribers a fair opportunity to cancel their service without excessive penalty.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Alltel