I got something in the mail from Earthlink advertising their DSL for only 49.95 a month. I was looking for a new internet provider so I decided to go ahead and sign up.
While on the phone they asked for a credit card number to pay for the shipping and handling of my modem. The charge was only 19.95 so I gave them my bank card number.
I had no trouble receiving the package and setting things up. I called them in the beginning of May on May 7th I was charged 49.90 instead of the 19.95 I was disturbed to find out that they had used my card for more money than I had authorized so I called and they told me that the 49.90 was an activation charge as well. I decided to let it slide.
Then In the month of June I get a letter saying that my bank is declining payment for $134.91 !!! Of course my bank was!! I didn't even have that much in my bank account and I was under the impression that I would pay them online when I got paid just like most other companies allow. I can't even imagine the overdraft fees if that transaction had gone through. I called them again and they told me a list of fees. I hung up and talked with my father. He convinced me to call them back and demand that they reduce the charges. This is a list I received in an email of the details of the charges:
05/22/07 Earthlink DSL and Home Phone
05/14/07 Home Phone and DSL Shipping 1.00 19.95
06/06/07 Jun 6-Jun 6:Norton Security .03 5.95
06/07/07 Jun 7-Jul 6:Norton Security 1.00 5.95
06/06/07 Jun 6-Jun 6:Weblife Plus .03 4.95
06/07/07 Jun 7-Jul 6:Weblife Plus 1.00 4.95
06/06/07 Jun 6-Jun 6:Family Content .03 5.95
06/07/07 Jun 7-Jul 6:Family Content 1.00 5.95
06/06/07 Jun 6-Jun 6:PC Fine Tune .03 4.95
06/07/07 Jun 7-Jul 6:PC Fine Tune 1.00 4.95
05/22/07 May 22-Jun 6:Enh Call Fwd .52 4.95
06/07/07 Jun 7-Jul 6:Enh Call Fwd 1.00 4.95
06/06/07 Jun 6-Jun 6:Email by Phone .03 4.95
06/07/07 Jun 7-Jul 6:Email by Phone 1.00 4.95
06/07/07 *Sales Tax
06/07/07 **Cost Recovery Surcharge
I called them back and told them that I was under the impression that I was going to have a connection for $50 a month as advertised and that I did not ask for any of those extra services that they were charging. The woman I talked to finally agreed to reduce the charges but I think that they were willing because I caught it before they were able to charge me. Reading some of these other stories, some people haven't been that lucky. Anyways she finally told me that my new charges were $75.92. I also got an invoice the next day for that amount. I was charged $75.00. The details of why it wasn't $50 was unclear to me but I was happy not to have to pay $134. I think it is weird that on the bill it said I owed 75.92 but they charged me an even $75.
I called them about their unauthorized use of my card They offered to let me pay by check but there was no way in Hell I was giving them my routing number and bank account number. They also said there was a $2.00 processing fee. it sounded like too much of a hassle and I didn't want to have to mail payments because if they were late it would give Earthlink an excuse for possibly shutting down my phone service temporarily. Plus I decided that they already have my card on record, and thats all that I want them to have. The operator assured me that the charges would always be consistently taken out on the 7th of each month.
My payment history with Earthlink has nor been very consistent as far as the amount charged:
Purchase on 5.07 earthlink. $49.90
Purchase on 6.17 for $75.00
Purchase on 7.08 ---$50.72
August 8th $50.72
September 08-- $50.72
October 08-- $50.72
November 08th $55.72
I called and asked when the earliest date was that I would be able to cancel my service. The man on the phone told me the date and I asked him what was the shipping address to return the modem. I had called month early to get the address for the shipping so that I could call again and confirm the address with another representative because I do not trust this company at all. He told me that I did not have to send it back. The modem is a gift for being with them for a year. I kept asking him whether they would surprise me with a charge later on and he assured me that the modem was a gift.
The only reason I have stayed with earthlink is because I have a $195 early termination fee that I know they will deduct right when I cancel. I would also like to keep my number. I know I could cancel my card, but the account would go to collections and I do not want to ruin my credit. After the year contract when I do cancel my service I will cancel my credit card. It seems that every operator I talk to has a foreign Indian accent. Which makes it hard to understand them.
Recently my charges have increased. So I decided to call them. I called earthlink and the woman on the line told me that it was a legitimate charge. Right before we were disconnected. I called again and the operator told me it was a legitimate charge. So I told her I was upset about not being informed about the increase. She said they sent me a letter in the mail and I should have gotten it by now. I told her I never received a letter and she told me that she would send it out that day. What good does that do me? Anyway I called again the next day and the operator told me that earthlink is not required to inform me of any increase charges because it is a tax for my area and the increase is not their responsibility so I asked her why the other operator would lie and tell me that they sent a letter. She said "I am sorry for that I don't know." She assured me that the amount I have to pay should not go up anymore. I then told her that if it did, I would report them to any agency I could and would go on the internet to make sure that others know what a rip off earthlink is. She then started saying crap like "I hope you are happy with our service. thank you for you time and I hope you have a good day" I just hung up.
The fact that they take the money out of my account makes it a little difficult to balance my checkbook because I have to balance the charge before they charge me so I will not spend any of the money and have an overdraft fee. The fact that they keep increasing the price makes it 10 times worse for me. I just keep checking my invoices that I receive through email and make sure I have logged the correct amount. Don't use this company!! If you still want to use them after this report, Give them a prepaid credit card number for the shipping and handling, not your bank card. I cannot wait until my contract with Earthlink is up. Then I will finally be free.
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