I received a telemarketing call on September 7, 2006 from Bellsouth. The lady asked me how much I was paying for my Internet. I told her I paid $15 or so for my AT &T dialup service. She then offered me phone service, exactly what I have now with no bells and whistles or long distance plan, and Extreme DSL 3.0 for $47.95 plus whatever taxes she could not see in her system. These taxes likely were state taxes local to Kentucky.
The telemarketer had a thick accent so I made her repeat the offer probably 10-15 times. She also offered me a $75 gift card from Visa or MasterCard to pay for the modem
and a $125 cash back voucher. While the telemarketer could not quote me an exact price, she did say that most of my taxes were included in this rate so that a price of $50-53 would be reasonably close to a correct price for my monthly service. She never broke down exactly how much each service cost but said that the two together would be $47.95 plus tax.
Since I am a Ph.D. student at a local seminary and since my wife and I are not overwhelmed with prosperity,
I accepted the offer, and then the problems started. First, when the e-mail came in, it said Ultra DSL 2.0 instead of Extreme DSL 3.0. The regular price
was listed, but a link in the message said that promotional pricing might not be included in this given price. When I called Bellsouth the next day, a
representative said that Extreme 3.0 might not be available in my area and said that that circumstance might explain the order. No one actually checked
to see if it was available; they simply assumed that it wasn\'t; as it turns out, that was the least of my concerns.
I am willing to use 2.0 instead of 3.0; the problem is that the price I was quoted, not surprisingly, is not what I bgot. I did get the free modem and the $125 voucher, but I called Bellsouth the day after the telemarketing call and 2-3 other times to ask them if their system showed the special promotional pricing. All I was told, time and again, was that since I had not! been billed, they couldn\'t tell. When my first prorated bill came in, I noticed that I got the normal $32.95 price for the DSL Ultra with no discounts
I talked to 8-10 Bellsouth representatives this week, getting bounced around from DSL to residential, back to DSL, etc. Most of the reps gave me the same song and dance saying they could do nothing to help me except for one supervisor in residential who said that I was not the first person to call with a complaint like this, that she had received quite a few calls like mine, and that I should threaten to disconnect my service and see if that
got me anywhere. Perhaps, she maintained, I could get a credit for 2-3 months of service or at least for $15 a month for a few months. Admittedly one or two of the representatives offered me a credit--one for a month of service at essentially the price I was promised and one for 2 or 3 months of service at that rate, but I turned them down because I expect them to give me what I ordered. I already accepted a lesser speed of DSL; I refuse to pay more for it than I was told I would have to pay. The reps kept telling me about \"straightforward pricing\" and \"codes\" which, according to them, mean that no one, even the CEO, could change the pricing for DSL. Now I have until Friday the 13th to cancel the service and owe nothing. I have contacted the Better
Business Bureau and am contacting you to know what I should do and also to tell anyone and everyone to, if at all possible, avoid Bellsouth, cancel their services, and encourage others to do so. Thank you.