The UnTexan is in New Mexico and would like to be writing about how good that feels. It’s nice to be back in the land where manana doesn’t mean tomorrow, it simply means not today. That’s expected and part of the charm of the place. However, there is manana and there is corporate assholery. In this case the corporation is Internet and phone service provider CenturyLink.
My complaint is simple: CenturyLink sold me services it cannot deliver, and knew it could not deliver when I made my purchase, then did absolutely nothing to ameliorate the situation.
Several weeks before coming to Santa Fe, I contracted with CenturyLink to have both telephone and wireless Internet installed at our new house the day we arrived. I bought a bundled deal that had everything my wife would need to do her job, which she brought with us when we moved. CenturyLink’s sales rep (wherever he was located, those people are everywhere) assured me there was no problem – and even checked to make sure service was available at my new address. A couple of days before leaving Texas, I received an email confirming that service would be established the day I arrived complete with order number, phone numbers, etc. We moved. But when we arrived there was no phone or Internet service. Additionally no modem/wireless router had been shipped to us (also as promised).
I called CenturyLink customer service (in Memphis, I think). The modem would be delivered the next day and everything would be up and running. The next day came, the modem arrived but nothing happened, still no phone or Internet. Meanwhile my wife was in a panic about doing her job and ended up going to a friend’s house to use her wireless Internet. I called customer service again (in one of the Dakotas) and was assured I would receive an installation visit that day. Nothing. My third call was answered by a guy in Salt Lake City who did some checking and said that I could not get service for at least 30 days because of a line upgrade in our area and that my order actually had been put on hold. He said the upgrade was because CenturyLink wants to sell people a new product. He at least got me phone service. Waiting 30 days was out of the question. I decided to try another Internet service, but my house is in the mountains and the wireless signal from their tower in Santa Fe is blocked by a ridgeline. So, back to CenturyLink. Meanwhile my wife’s panic grew even more panicky. I called CenturyLink one more time to check and this time was told, by a very pleasant somebody in South Dakota, it would be at least the end of July before I receive Internet service.
So yesterday (as my wife’s panic became the panickiest) I called CenturyLink one more time to tell them that their lying to me about installing my Internet service was creating real problems and forcing me to find more expensive service elsewhere, but that I would like to keep the unlimited long distance service that was one of the reasons I purchased the original CenturyLink bundled service. I also told them I believed I should get a discount on the phone service. I figured it was the least they could do, what with their failure to deliver all of the services they sold me. What did I get? A big laugh (literally) and the exact words, “I can tell you that ain’t gonna happen,” from the customer service rep who then passed me along to someone named Jill who must have gotten her degree (or maybe her GED) in piling up bullshit – that or they taught it to her at one of those corporate shit-shoveling seminars. Jill spoke a corporate language we all recognize as soon as we hear the first few words: I call it Arrogant Understanding. She was sure sorry I was frustrated, etc., etc., and sorry about the “inconvenience” it caused my wife (“More than an inconvenience,” I said. "A real problem." I was pissed off and she knew it. So she again told me she “understood my frustration.” Jill must have taken the extra-credit course in “understanding,” because she wanted me to know she understood the hell out of the situation, but I don’t want understanding, I want action), and she said (oops!) someone should have told me about the inavailability of service until the end of July, etc., etc, and how even she had CenturyLink phone service and her neighbors across the street could get DSL and she couldn’t get it (not my fucking problem, Jill baby) and the best she could do was give me $20 off my first phone bill (in other words, eat shit and kiss our CenturyLink ass). Big damned deal, Jill baby. I’ll take it. But I’m not through with CenturyLink yet. Strangely she seemed to think throughout the conversation that when CenturyLink was ready to hook me up in late July I’d be there, computer in hand. She even said there might be some “loyalty” perks in it for me (Jill really was the presumptuous bitch of arrogant understanding).
I’ve already called the local Better Business Bureau, which passed me along to the Better Business Bureau in Kansas City, where CenturyLink is headquartered. “All CenturyLink complaints go to Kansas City,” I was told, so I must not be the only complainer. A complaint form will arrive tomorrow or Thursday. I could complain online at www.kansascity.bbb.org but I don’t have any Internet service.
If you have a complaint against CenturyLink call 816-421-7800. Or go online and file your complaint at www.kansascity.bbb.org. And if you were considering purchasing anything from CenturyLink, don’t. Find someone else. Anyone else. CenturyLink lies. Don't buy what they sell. And if customer service wants to pass you along to someone named Jill, be ready for some shit to be shoveled your way. She'll understand.