Moving into an apartment for college, I called Centurylink - one of only two providers to my complex - to see what kind of deals I could get on tv-internet packages. I settled on them because they offered me a "student discount package" with 10mbps internet and DirectTV for an extraordinarily low monthly rate, no installation charges, first time fee waivers etc etc I was even offered a $50 AmEx gift card in my name for being so awesome I guess. And all of this with NO CONTRACT?!?!?! Yes indeed, if I signed up now. So of course I signed up.
Installation day comes, DirectTV says your apartment doesn't face our satellite sorry get TV elsewhere. OK...no big deal but they could have asked me if I faced north/south east/west first right? Internet guy comes to install, has no clue what he is doing. Takes all day and when I am finally up and running I am getting less than 1mbps off and on. I let it go for a few months because I am busy with school and it isn't a big issue. Besides, I didn't sign a contract so I can cancel whenever I want right?
Finally, 2 months after installation I've had it, I can't even run a google search my service is so bad. I call and try to cancel because I can get faster speeds from my current cable company cheaper anyway. I am informed I am under contract. What? After talking to MANY representatives with all levels of knowledge about the company I am told that any special price I got was because it was a yearly contract and I had "signed" it by clicking "I Agree" on some legal mumbo jumbo I was supposed to read when I signed up for an online Century Link account on activation day (while the useless installation technician was breathing down my neck saying click here here and here so I can go home). Ok but I was told specifically it would be month-to-month billing. I wrote down everything that I was told during the phone conversation I had with the salesperson and I still have the notes. Unfortunately they say there is no way to "prove" this is what I was told over a phone conversation (which is true I suppose, if it was unrecorded) and the only way to dispute it is to pay a $200 cancellation fee and then contact the "escalation" office where they may be able to find a recording of the conversation and prove me right. IF I am right I MAY get my $200 back. Of course, that sounds like a complete waste of $200 I may never see again.
So I get someone to come fix my internet so I at least get what I pay for, which is, by the way $10 or so higher than I was quoted even after all the fees I was made aware of. When the guy comes to repair my internet as soon as he walks in the door he says "Well I found some issues 'down the road' that may have been slowing you down." What does that even mean????? He couldn't explain it to me. Sounds extraordinarily fishy. Whatever he "found" it must have worked because I thankfully get 9.5-9.8mbps on a regular basis now. After asking around after the incident, however, I've heard other people in my area have been given the same runaround by this company being told they are getting a great deal, no strings attached, and then been saddled with huge cancellation fees when they are unsatisfied with their service and are charged more than they expected.
By the way, no I never did get that gift card. I wonder what their escalation office would say about that.