Complaint Filed with the BBB:
I signed up for Clear internet service on 7/8/11 under the advertised "free trial" offer. After beginning service I realized it would not work for me because of the horrible connection and internet speed, but I called up twice within the two weeks in an attempt to
correct the poor service, and even tried a different modem. However, after the third week the service was actually worse and neither modem or any other time spent with customer service would correct the problem, so I called Clear (888-888-3113) again to get the details of the refund they advertised. I was advised that they would email the return postage and confirmed with them that they simply needed to receive the equipment in 3-5 days and my refund would be processed immediately. This
occurred on 7-31. My service was turned off by them on 8-1, so I called to have it turned back on as I awaited my new internet service to be installed. Once again I confirmed that the "free" trial period would end on 8-8, one month from beginning service. I sent the equipment back and confirmed receipt on their end on 8-5. On 8-10 I called to confirm they were
processing my refund as I had not heard anything from them, nor had a refund on my credit card. On this day the very rude customer service manager informed me that Clear did not offer a truly 'free' trial period, but instead it would be a prorated use charge; the only trial was for the modem which was $20.
Not getting anywhere with the customer service rep I agreed to pay the $45 service charge for the 'free' trial, but asked for evidence of where I had agreed to the pay a prorated charge for service. She informed me she would email me that
information, which she never did (not in spam/junk folder either) and that the refund for the modem would show up within 5 days. Today, 8-12, I checked my credit card for the refund, which it was there, but now there was a $45 charge right after it;
apparently for the second month of internet service of which I could not use because I had already returned the modem a week prior.
I was not happy about being lied to about their 'free' trial, but after having spent over 3 hours with them regarding service and customer service issues I was willing to cut my losses. However, for them to charge me for another month
of service that I could not possibly even use (they had the modem required to get the internet access in their warehouse), I am outright livid. The kind of business practice cannot be allowed; not in a country of laws that were established to serve and protect
its citizens. Clear is blatantly committing a felony - they are stealing peoples money.
I did, prior to writing this, attempt to clarify and resolve the situation, but the customer service representative simply told me "all he could do was escalate the issue because he did not have the tools to refund the money". This is nothing more than a company policy that is intended to deter clients from wasting even more time arguing with Clear in order to return their property (money).
The Clear company has obviously mislead potential customers with their promotion of a "free trial" as well as having a refund policy that is so time consuming and aggravating that most unsatisfied customers are caught between wasting their time or losing their money; both of which are 'money' when it comes down to it.
Businesses like Clear should not be allowed to operate unregulated like this, so I hope that the BBB will keep a watchful eye on them and their illegal and unethical business practices.