I had been with Qwest for years and never had a problem. I found their customer service to be exemplary. Then they were bought by CenturyLink. What a disaster. Anyway, here's my story.
I have never had fast internet service and it didn't really bother me much until I started watching videos streamed through my computer. I also found a need for more bandwidth because I am starting an Internet marketing business. So, I started calling CenturyLink about my bandwidth which was hovering around 2.5 mbps (pretty sad, huh!) I called approximately 5 times and they did various things to try to increase my internet speed. Nothing worked. At that time I noticed something interesting. Most of the time when I called back, they didn't have any record of my previous call.
So, in Feburary I called to cancel my phone and internet service. I was going completely cellular on my phone and switching to Comcast for my internet. At the time I called, the woman I spoke to offered me a $10 decrease in the price I was paying and upping my bandwidth to 5 mbps, all if I would sign a one year contract with them (I hadn't been on contract for a long time). I thought, humm, if that's what it takes to get faster internet service I'm willing to do it. What a mistake!
Nothing happened as far as my bandwidth is concerned. So I called again and again and again. They finally (three months later) sent someone out to see if the problem was in the lines to my house. The technician did some tests and found that there was a problem at a connector on the street. He fixed that problem. Then he told me the shocking truth. He told me that the best I could hope for on internet bandwidth speed was 3.0 because the phone lines in the part of Corvallis, Oregon where I live are old and need to be upgraded. Until they are upgraded, the best I could get would be 3.0. I was shocked. Why didn't the person who sold me the upgraded service know this?
So, I switched to Comcast (where I'm getting 24 mbps on the lan line and 12 mbps on my wifi).
When I called to cancel my service with CenturyLink, pointing out that they didn't meet their end of the contract, I was told they would charge me a $200 early termination fee. I pointed out that they did not meet their end of the contract by providing me with 5 mbps of bandwidth and the supervisor I was talking to said that they offered me "up to" 5 mbps and didn't guarantee 5 mbps. Well, that was a lie. The person I talked to said nothing about "up to". If she had, I would have cancelled my service at that time. With "up to" they could give me 1 mbps and still be within their contract terms.
So, I called again and again, each time talking to a supervisor trying to get someone who would listen and see that my case was valid. I started threatening them with leafleting my neighborhood with a flyer letting my neighbors know that they could get much more bandwidth from Comcast (for pretty much the same rate) but cautioning them to not let CenturyLink talk them into a contract. I also told them that I would be writing a letter to the editor of my local newspaper telling my story. The first two supervisors I talked to didn't seem to mind but the third finally agreed to cancel my contract and waive the early termination fee.
Well, I got a final bill and found that they had charged me the $200 early termination fee, but that they had given me a $120 credit. That left a balance of $80. So, I decided to stop phoning them since there was no evidence of anything that was said and start emailing them. I sent an e-mail to their customer service asking to be put in touch with their complaint department. I outlined my problem in that e-mail. I got a return e-mail telling me that they wouldn't waive the additional $80. This person told me 1) that I agreed to the contract to get the $10 a month decrease in my rate, not to get faster bandwidth (a lie) and 2) that I had agreed to a TWO YEAR contract not a one year contract (another lie).
All I can say is "avoid CenturyLink" if you can. I have purchased the domain name "Centurylink-scam.com" and will be posting my story there. I am also following through with the letter to the editor and leafleting my neighborhood. I find it astounding that a company as large as they are would rather harass me for $80 and take the chance of losing numerous customers rather than doing the right thing. I am not paying the $80. My credit is pristine and can take the hit. I won't be bullied into paying something I don't owe!