Earthlink has wrongly charged me $380 because its agents have through incompetence or through unstated management policy:
1. Failed to carry out my instructions,
2. Made false statements regarding explicit contractual matters,
3. Failed to apply billing statements in accordance with its own policy statements.
4. Failed to provide notices and descriptions of charges
5. Applied an exorbitant charge for cancellation
These charges stem from the following informally stated occurrences.
1. Earthlink employee had either made the wrong entry or made no entry to change my account status.
2. A $19.95 charge for the month following my request for change allegedly represented the original account type fee plus a $10.00 charge for digital service, which I neither needed or requested. I dont have DSL or ISDN, 56K analog modem.
3. Evidently the dial-up contractor had been metering my dial-up hours over the months as though my account type were Limited+ and not notified Earthlink so they could pass it on to me on a monthly basis, as required.
Key to this matter is the competence level of Earthlink agents, because once shown by two examples that its representatives clearly do not understand or are unfamiliar with the Terms and Conditions and the User Agreement contracts, it can be next concluded that failing to carry out my instructions to change account Type is also believably attributed to the same incompetence.
According to the documented interaction with:
The #1 Provider of the Real Internet
CSR ID#: 219
This support person in an email to me regarding this circumstance stated: We have not received any requests to update the account to unlimited access.
The same agent states in another email breaks down the charges including a:
$10.00 digital surcharge which is applied when an analog dial up account accesses the internet using by means of a digital connection such as ISDN.
When a search on the Earthlink site for the text string digital surcharge is performed, the query returns the following text:
No pages on the EarthLink Site were found containing "digital surcharge".
h Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
h Try different keywords.
h Try more general keywords.
h Expand your search for "digital surcharge" to the entire Web.
Fact is, agent Favio V. is incorrect about the $10.00 digital surcharge. Is he to be believed when he says Earthlink did not receive a request to from me for Unlimited access?
In an email response from agent:
The #1 Provider of the Real Internet
CSR ID#: 1285
He says: Any customer subscribing to any service of ours can choose to use an ISDN modem.
This too is incorrect. In the section "EarthLink ISDN Usage" on its Web site, the following statement is available: ISDN use is not available to subscribers with an EarthLink Limited account.
Chris K. and Fabio V. are sitting there pounding out incorrect statements about my Earthlink service as stated publically on their site, either knowingly misrepresenting Earthlink policy to cover for the other errors in my account management, or they are utterly incompetent.
A second major issue is with Earthlink billing practice. From the following statements, billing is done only on a monthly basis for services used during that month. Furthermore, the constraints of billing on a monthly-only basis is reinforced in the "Miscellaneous" section that the agreement about payments constitute the entire agreement, meaning statements about monthly billing cycles are the only basis for billing to be done by Earthlink. Note the following direct contractual statement from the Earthlink site, which validates my claim.
You will be charged a monthly charge for the Service.
Later in the same section it states:
Charges are billed to your credit card or debit card, as applicable, each month for the Service and any additional usage or services.
This Agreement, the Acceptable Use Policy, and EarthLink's other Agreements and policies posted on EarthLink's Web site constitute the entire agreement between you and EarthLink with respect to your use of the Service.
So, when the following statement appears, is the customer to assume he used 286.99 extra hours in the month prior to April 24 and zero extra hours for the months of November, December, January, February, and March? Not likely by logic and not true by my attestation.
Date Description Qty Price Amount
-------- ------------------------------------------- ------------ ------------
Previous Balance .00
04/24/02 Apr 24-May 23:Limited Monthly 1.00 9.95 9.95
04/23/02 Apr 24-Apr 23:Hours used 296.99
04/23/02 Apr 24-Apr 23:Extra Usage Hour 286.99 1.00 286.99
Current Charges: 296.94
Balance Due: 296.94
Sent to on 04/25/02 : 296.94CR
Balance Due: .00
Again, this shows incompetence on Earthlinks part. Billing practice is not faithful to its stated User Agreement conditions.
In order to cancel Earthlink service, I called the specified number on the Earthlink site. While Earthlink claims cancellation can only be activated by calling that number, in fact it was not possible to cancel by calling this number. Earthlink's own Web site posts a cancellation call-in number no longer used for that purpose. This is another indicator that management at Earthlink is out of control, and thus has badly mismanaged my account. I had to call another number to affect cancellation.
After cancelling Earthlink service on May 23, I received another debit on my credit card account on May 31, of $83.71. This debit appeared with no notification or explaination. I presume this is the fee for cancellation that apparently appears somewhere on their site, according to other Rip-Off-Report reporters.
Finally, during a conversation to cancel my Earthlink service, the agent failed to provide his name, and refused to transmit text in electronic or paper format concerning the proceedings of the cancellation or the cancellation number, indicating the Earthlink policy of hiding or obscuring traceabiltiy for committed action of this agent.
In summary, I am not obligated to pay the $380 in full, because Eathlink has mismanaged the account, lied about the policy conditions applicable to this account to cover for errors made, and misapplied billing practice to recover losses attributable to misplaced information from its dial-up connections contractor. Earthlink has further gone to extremes to apply unfair business practice, either through the actions of incompetent agents, or the intentional policy of using obscure and unreasonable contract clauses, by failing to provide invoices to explain charges, and prolifically applying ruse in the form of delays, telephone call misdirection, agent misstatement, incorrect information about its business practice on its Web site, and failed agent statement traceability.
Earthlink has egregiously failed to act in good faith on its "Values," as stated on its site:
"We require complete honesty and integrity in everything we do.
We make commitments with care, and then live up to them. In all things, we do what we say we are going to do."
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