I Revolve Around You

Dear Earthlink,

Did I win the lottery, or do all of your new customers receive the same poor service? We did our research before singing up with you and felt that we had made a good decision. It appeared that we were receiving the best service at the best price, and JD Power and Associates assured us we’d get the help we needed if necessary.

In the month since we signed up with you we have logged more hours on the phone with your company than we have spent together as a family. We have been passed from department to department and put on hold so much that we have all the standard sayings memorized.

For three weeks after our alleged activation date we struggled to find a solution to our lack of connectivity. No one in any department was able to help us. It turns out that the first part of the problem was easily solved, but no one paid attention to me when I told them that our phone number had never switched over. It should have been a red flag the first time I mentioned it, but it was passed over as often as I brought it up. Thank goodness for the subcontracted technician who came over!

With that problem solved he discovered that the modem you sent us is subpar. It’s a common problem, he said, as the modems are of very poor quality and many of which are refurbished. “They even have an option when you call, push this button if your modem is defective.” He informed me that I need only call your department and explain the situation and that you’d send me a new one right away. My elation controlled by this one last hurdle, I called and politely explained the situation. I spent an hour and a half on the phone being passed back and forth between Technical Support and Installation Services as neither department wanted to take care of the problem and chose instead to just pass me off to the other. Finally I had to hang up as my time was up and I had squandered yet another day on Earthlink and needed to get on with my life. I apologize for my rudeness but your employee refused to understand that I could not go on hold one more time and I really had to go. It isn’t my job to be on the phone with Earthlink every day, I actually have a different job.

Magically, my modem worked for a couple of hours in the afternoon and I was lulled briefly into the security that someone had flipped a switch and I could finally connect with the world. I had the nagging suspicion that not everything was resolved, but was willing to forgo my cynicism and rejoice in being a part of the 21st Century.

Of course, within 24 hours I lost my connection as mysteriously as I had received it. This time, however, I couldn’t even dial into the system. I can only assume, since I couldn’t even get a person to talk to me on the phone, that this was part of yet another system outage. In your zeal to expand your clientele you have oversold the product without adequate infrastructure to support us.

I’m tired of the cliched corporate rhetoric. If one more person lamely recites “we are committed to solving this problem” my ears will bleed. I don’t think I’m asking too much to get what I’m paying for. It isn’t too much to ask to speak with a representative with whom I am mutually intelligible (English as a first language is not a guarantee.) It isn’t too much to ask that I get the service for which I was promised. It isn’t too much to ask that your employees do their jobs so that I don’t have to call and follow-up with them every day. It isn’t too much to ask that I’m only on hold as long as promised instead of double the time, every time. My internet is working this morning and I pray that nothing else goes wrong. I can’t bear to call your company once more. I think I’m even going to stay with the accelerated service which we’ll never receive because of our corrupted phone line. I may be wasting $20 every month, but it’ll be worth it to not be patronized by your phone representatives who are all unable and unwilling to help me.

I remain sincerely yours,

Completely Defeated


5 thoughts on “I Revolve Around You

  1. Eww the evil Earthlink strikes again.

    My parents have Earthlink and tried to switch to a different provider. When they tried to load the other software on the computer the Earthlink software blocked it and then basically shut down the whole computer. They had to take it to get fixed, and it was a real mess.

    So, good luck with them, those evil…well you get it.

  2. Oh, it’s so sad. Have you looked into withholding payment? Sometimes that works (up here) to get their attention. Not sure how it would work where you are though.

    I’m glad you’re getting a chance to catch up a bit. For your sake — and ours — I hope it’s going to last this time. The internet is not the same without you!

  3. Hi — I stop in and read your blog every once in a while, but I have to comment here and offer you my sympathy. Our first DSL modem from Earthlink was faulty, and it took many hours on the phone to India before they finally admitted it and sent us a new one. Now a year or so later our replacement modem is beginning to give out, but they keep claiming it’s our wireless router.

    It’s hard to get up the psychic strength to make the call to them, isn’t it? Knowing how long it will take? I wish you luck!

  4. Oh Heather I am so sorry! I echo Karen in saying that it hasn’t been the same without you online! Stay with us, the fight is worth it!

  5. I would put a complaint in with the Better Business Bureau. Like you said in the post, it is not too much to ask that they give you what they promised to give.
    I hope things work out!

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