• Report: #761454
Complaint Review:

Answering Specialists

  • Submitted: Fri, August 05, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, January 29, 2012

  • Reported By: Shannon — grand junction Colorado United States of America
Answering Specialists
Internet United States of America

Answering Specialists Hostile Attitude, Attempted to Keep Billing me, Hidden Charges, Refusal to be Reasonable grand junction, Internet

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Please Honor Your Agreements - we do!

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I never go out of my way to write a negative review. 

However, the unnecessary bullying practices and hostile attitude of THE OWNER has left me no other choice but to speak out against his business practices. 

1) Hidden charges. 

I read through my agreement, and there was no indication that there were hidden charges for Memorial Day weekend.  It is still not clear in the agreement for services where I agreed to accept any special charge. 

2) Refusal to be Reasonable. 

So I asked for the service to be discontinued, albeit a few days into the beginning of the month.  But, I pointed out that I had stopped using the service, stopped the phone forwarding, had no intention to continuing to use the service.  Additionally, I complained that I had been billed for phone calls and the Memorial Day charges, but... I had NOT received an invoice for the charges.  Worse yet, I never received an itemized list of phone calls. 

The response I received was very dry and technical.  30 days notice for cancellation, period.  No attempt to be reasonable or to treat my complaint of mistreatment with compassion or decency. 

3) Hostile and Rude

Instead, when I persisted in standing up for myself, the owner became rude. 

quote from me...

"I am uncomfortable with a business that would charge me an unknown quantity with no itemized statement ahead of time to explain the charges.  It is not a good business practice.  This is a main motivator for why I discontinued using this service and this company, Answering Specialists -- for what I consider to be less than acceptable business practice. 

It is in how you handle a dissatisfied customer, though, that is perhaps the most critical consideration of acceptable business practice. 

Mr Tim Harlan, you have dealt with me in the past with what I consider to be a considerable lack of
compassion.  While you have enjoyed pointing out the letter of the law, and have attacked me for not just accepting your point of view (telling someone to 'grow up' is not a mature response from an individual performing customer service duties); please recognize that if you cannot handle my situation as a compassionate human being, then I will look to others for assistance from this
company until I find someone who can demonstrate compassion.  Surely, there is someone in a position of authority who can be found possessing such compassion and attention to customer care.  "

response from the owner...

"I am not here for reasons of compassion Im here to run a business.  If your looking for compassion please consider joining a support group of some sort."

3) Attempted Charge with NO PROOF of service being utilized

So, you'd think they would clear my name out of their records, right?  No, they tried to sneak in another charge.  Claiming that there was a phone call... but unable to provide proof of how that phone call could have happened though I had discontinued call forwarding months ago. 


It is bad business practice to make charges but be unable to provided documentation of how those charges were justified. 

It is WORSE business practice to attack someone who asks for explanation.  In fact, the only person who tends to get upset when it is suggested that they have been treated unfairly, are bullies. 

I will not tolerate the bullying and the abuse -- I hope no one else suffers this abuse, either!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/05/2011 12:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/answering-specialists/internet/answering-specialists-hostile-attitude-attempted-to-keep-billing-me-hidden-charges-ref-761454. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Please Honor Your Agreements - we do!

AUTHOR: Tim - (United States of America)

I am Tim Harlan and I am more than happy to respond to the claims of this former client.

We have no hidden charges.  In the very first email contact with any client - including this client - we sent a complete price list that includes any and all charges we have available.  Our prices are very modest - $19.95 per month plus $0.69 cents per call.  We do have a holiday fee of $7.50 in months with a major holiday.  This is listed very clearly in our price list.  It is also repeated in the signup process - which anyone can go to our website and see - it is not optional.

We do not ask our clients to submit to a long term contract to do business with our company.  We do however ask for a 30 day notice to terminate effective the last day of the end of the month in which the notice is given.  The service agreement is clearly available on our website and is in paragraph 1 of the service agreement.  I believe this is more than reasonable.

This client apparently can read very well - or doesn't care what they agreed to.  The client wanted to change the agreement after he signs it claiming that the Holiday Fee was a hidden charge - nothing could be farther from the truth.  Then, when he doesn't get his way, and finds that we won't agree not to charge this fee - which he agreed to - he wants to cancel service.  We are fine with this and agree to cancel his service - however, within the terms of the service agreement he agreed to.  This is also not acceptable to him - he wants to cancel without notice.  This we also did not agree to.  If you don't intend to keep your agreements - don't enter into them.

So now were unwilling to be reasonable?  I don't think so.  The client says they continued to push for his position - he actually got very abusive and nasty.  Please don't enter into a contract with our company if you don't intend to honor your agreement.  We honor ours!

We do not have long term contracts.  We simply ask that your provide a 30 day notice effective the last day of the month you give the notice in to discontinue service.  Although every client agrees to these terms when they sign up - some, when they cancel think they do not have to abide by the terms of their agreement and are angry when you are
required to pay for what they agreed to.  This is not a failure on our side - but rather a unwillingness of the customer to pay what they owe and agreed to.

When we have to turn a customer to collections, they will often do just as this client has done and strike out to attempt to hurt our company by leaving anonymous negative feedback as this client has chosen to do on sites like this.  It is unfortunate, however it does happen.

We have thousands of very happy clients who use our services on a daily basis to service their clients.  We continue to grow each year and will continue to do our best to service all of our clients to the best of our ability.
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