Complaint Review: RCN Communications - Princeton NJ
RCN Communications RCN RCN Cable Grande Communications Wave Broadband RCN Deceptive Business Practices Princeton NJ
*General Comment: Never change, you guys!
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this correspondence to address an issue with my place of employment, RCN Communications, which is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey and has customer service centers in several locations including Bethlehem PA, Wilkes Barre PA, Chicago, New York, Boston and Washington DC. I wish to remain anonymous, but feel that I must address, in good conscience, the deceptive practices and price gauging going on within this business.
The following is a list of grievances that I can confirm as a longtime employee of the company:
1) Old business codes are kept on the books which are costing many customers hundreds of dollars more than they should be paying. These are only changed if a customer calls in to complain about the pricing, and then is told they have received a big discount based on length of service. There are many customers unaware they are paying much more than they should be. (old “R” system codes that have not been deactivated for the current “N” codes.)
2) A business system which is built to entice new customers with low first year prices, and then to hike rates as much as possible in subsequent years. Every service is accompanied with promo codes and the hope is that when the promos fall off, the current customer will not call in to question the price hike. As equipment, phone, internet and cable services lose their promotions, the price for the customer skyrockets.
3) In addition, free service offers are made to entice the new customer, but do not end; rather, they begin to charge the customer, and the customer is not notified of the additional fee until it is listed on page 4 of their billing statement. For example, premium channels such as Showtime or Starz will be offered for the first 6 months free, but at the six-month mark, the service begins to charge rather than stop.
4) New customer service representatives are told to quote new customers the before tax price of the services being sold rather than the after-tax price unless asked. With cable rates skyrocketing, this can result in an additional $20 - $90 extra a month in taxes. In addition, install fees of $49.95 and activation fees of $9.99 are added to every new account and often not disclosed to the customer. Customers are also told their rate will stay the same for 12 months but as promos fall off the accounts at random increments, they will still see the price go up throughout the year despite what they are told. Being provided false information.
5) CSRs will take advantage of less educated consumers by adding unnecessary services to accounts to raise their commissions or even to get back at an angry customer. If a customer argues, there are some who will raise their internet speed to get a higher price (and bigger commission), as it won’t be detected for a month later when the new bills cut. By that time, the CSR still gets credited the sale, even if the customer disputes the services on their account. Senior citizens are especially preyed upon, especially if it is noted they are in assisted living or similar living situation. Sales will load their account with unnecessary, pricey services (a gig for granny is the joke) to get the big commission, knowing the client is likely unaware of what they are paying for until it is too late.
6) Penalties and surcharges are assessed on virtually everything with no grace periods. If a payment is received late by a day, it still gets a $9 late fee. If an auto-payment fails for ANY reason (expiration date, lack of funds, etc.), the customer is charged $35 + the $9 late fee + the amount owed. If the customer attempts to use the same credit card again, not knowing there is an issue with the card, these costs can be doubled or tripled for each time used. It is not unheard of for a customer to be charged $90 for being late by autopay only by a couple of days because of a bank error or unnoticed card issue.
7) The automated phone system has been designed to make it frustrating for the customer to actually reach a real customer service representative. It makes the consumer become impatient and if they react by hitting buttons out of sequence, it takes them even longer to enter a live representative queue. In addition, if the customer decides to make payments through the automated phone system, they are charged $4.50 in addition to their payment. The reward for patience to getting to a live CSR to make a payment? A $6.95 surcharge on top of their payment.
8) People are told throughout the year that their rates will remain the same for 12 months but that is not true as everyone’s rates are raised every January by staggering amounts. It is called price hike season at RCN and it gets customers to call in so that new sales and surcharges can be assessed on top of their current bills. Any price hike is never announced ahead of time and customers only learn of price increases when they receive their next billing statement.
9) Field services are questionable at best. Although there are direct RCN technicians who do quality work, the company also uses contractors for the work who will often do shoddy work, not show up within the allotted time windows given to customers, and cause damage to property. To make a claim against poor install work is a cumbersome and arduous process.
10) The company uses faulty technology which has a tendency for outages and a need for service calls to get fees to roll out techs or get additional products added on to a customer account. $54.95 is charged for each service call. Customers are told that they will not be charged if the issue is related to RCN equipment, but they are almost always assessed the one-time fee whether that is the case or not. RCN is betting that the customer would rather just pay the fee than go through the trouble of disputing the charge. TIVO cable boxes regularly fail due to internet disruptions, slow-downs or even brief power outages. RCN openly admits that their 4in1 modem rollouts were garbage technology but has not replaced the units that customers have if they were given one unless requested. In addition, used equipment is often substituted for new equipment by the technicians.
11) RCN uses “sales shaming” to get its employees to continue its disingenuous practices. Everyone’s commissions and pay bonuses are displayed out in the open for all to see whether the employee likes it or not. Everyone is ranked so that each person is pushed to make more than the next. It allows an environment that makes employees do everything they can to get commission added, at the expense of the consumer.
12) The RCN business plan is essentially a sideways Ponzi scheme which attracts new customers with very low prices for the first year, but the longer you stay with the company, the more you will pay. There are little to no discounts for anyone who stays longer than 3 years with RCN. Long time customers are given no incentives or price breaks. RCN is willing to allow these older customers to cancel services as long as there is a continuous stream of new first year customers who can be caught unaware by these deceptive practices.
I am only confirming what many people are already saying about this company and how it is conducting itself unethically. Here are some additional links to further illustrate what is going on:
This is a company that truly needs to be put under a microscope and investigated. They just hiked the prices again on virtually every service and fee on the books for 2020. They are milking many bank accounts and destroying the credit scores of many customers. If they are notified of auditors in the building, they literally send supervisors to walk up and down the aisles to make sure everyone is in compliance. The only way to expose these practices are to apply pressure through public awareness or to have a surprise audit made on behalf of proper authorities. Only then will RCN customers no longer be taken advantage of…
RCN Communications Whistleblower
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/20/2020 07:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/rcn-communications/princeton-nj-cable-grande-1490639. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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