Unfortunately, this is not a concise history, but it's all pertinent.
It started in may 2006 when I decided to take Qwest up on their $99/mo. bundle for Landline, DSL and Wireless service. To start my new service, Qwest wanted me to physically pay $399 by money order at one of their payment centers (located in a local grocery store). $199 was for my new phone with 2 year contract, and $200 was a deposit the salesperson assured me I would be refunded on my first bill.
After a week of carrying two cell phones while waiting for my Qwest phone to start working, I was still getting calls on my Verizon phone. I called a Qwest rep who told me that I was not yet a customer. I told them that since I had been using DSL and their land-line all week, I was pretty sure I was, in fact, a Qwest customer. After roughly four cumulative hours on the telephone back and forth between Qwest and Verizon, with finger pointing in both directions, a conference call between myself, Richard Smith of Verizon and a Qwest supervisor by the name of Daphne finally revealed that Qwest had never submitted the request for transfer of service.
With some pressing, Qwest acknowledged that whomever took my original order had set up my home account separate from my wireless service. The rep was not sure I would still be eligible for the bundle price, in spite of the fact that this was clearly Qwest's error. I was finally assured that my service would cost the same, even if it didn't show up as a bundle.
When I got my first bill for $469.10, I was shocked to see that they were asking me to kindly pay $399 for my new phone. I called and again was told that I was not yet a customer. I advised the rep to check my wireless number even though the account number on my bill was clearly my home #. (Sure enough: the error had not yet been corrected.) The rep stated that Qwest didn't accept payments at "payment centers".
I had to FAX them the copy of my money order, and then had to reiterate that $200 was supposed to be for a deposit and that the phone was purchased for $199 with a 2 year contract. The rep agreed to credit the $399, but waived off the $200 deposit saying I would probably get it back at the end of 1 year. I went through several reps who identified themselves as managers and was unable to get any resolution from there. I gave up in frustration and hoped I'd see $200 at the end of a year. (I never did)
Over the following year and a half, attempts to correct the bundle prices continued, and my monthly bills averaged $45 over what I was promised. Customer Service insisted that the difference was just fees and surcharges etc. I learned that the hours spent explaining my situation to 3-4 different reps (who identified themselves as managers and or supervisors) would be fruitless. I gave up.
In Feb. 2009, I learned that Qwest was handing its wireless services over to Verizon (whose service I had left less than 2 years prior!), but that I would be required to either sign a new 2 year contract or to pay the $200 early termination fee. This was frustrating to me, but after almost 2 years of taking it up the tail pipe by these @$$holes, I realized it wasn't worth fighting, and $200 would be a small price to pay to be finished with Qwest.
My final bill came on 2/12/2009. 1 month's service and fees: $532.58. Qwest's website showed my monthly bill (as usual: well over the roughly $100 bundle price I was promised at startup), a $200 early termination fee, and some "Miscellaneous Fee" for roughly $220 some odd (I can no longer log onto the site because now, I truly am not a customer.)
I was furious. No longer settling for Customer Mismanagement via phone, I went to a Qwest retail store and spoke with "Solutions Center Manager" S.K. "Pat" Patrick. He assured me he would get to the bottom of this situation and would call me back in a day or two. A week later, on 2/24/2009, I called him and asked him what was going on. He told me he had forwarded it along to the "Complex Billing Dept and I should hear something within the week."
Two and a half weeks later, on 3/13/2009 at 3:30 PM, I called Mr. Patrick again and told him I had just received a collections notice. He assured me he would get it pulled from collections and find out what was happening. I pressed him for when I would hear from him. He said he would call me "by Monday at the latest." Tuesday morning, at 9:40 AM: He said he was on his way to the store and would call me as soon as he got in. That afternoon I still had not heard from him so again, *I called him*. He then said that he still had no idea what the $220 some-odd charge was for, and that there was nothing else he could do. He then referred me to "Qwest Executive Escalations" with a mailing address.
This is where it stands. Qwest is threatening to take my account to collections for an unfair $200 early termination fee and a $220 some-odd Miscellaneous Fee that one of their "Solutions Center Managers" cannot figure out.
If I was to put a dollar amount on what Qwest owes me, it would be $200 for the Deposit that was never refunded and an average of $45 a month for 19 months of overcharging the promised bundle price, or roughly $1050.00. Obviously, they will need to drop the collections activity as well.
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