I have had serious issues with ACN in the past, but this one over the last couple of days completely takes the cake.
I received a letter with my bill this month. The letter was dated July 28th, and I received it on August 9th. It stated that my account was SEVERELY past due, and that my account was to be disconnected at the earliest, on August 8th. (Yes, you read that correctly).
I immediately pulled out my bill from last month, knowing I hadn't made my payment at the end of the month like I usually do (as my husband had just lost his job, and we were waiting for EI to come in), but wondering if there had been a balance from the previous bill I hadn't noticed. Nope. Just one bill, due July 22nd. So, here's the order of events:
July 4th - My husband loses his job.
July 10thish - I receive my bill for June. It is $78.39 due July 22nd.
July 22nd - I don't pay the $78.39, still waiting for EI.
July 28th - ACN notices I didn't pay my bill and sends a letter on this date.
August 9th - I receive my bill for July ($71.47) and a letter (sent July 28th) stating that my account is over 30 days past due.
I call Customer Service. The Customer Service Rep I speak to, a woman, huffs into the phone when I say I would like to make arrangements for when I can pay my past due amount (1st EI cheque is due to come in Aug 12). In a snotty voice, she replies that paying $78.39 will not stop ACN from disconnecting my phone, long distance and internet. I response with surprise. She responds with 'Well, you should pay your bills on time, DUH'. Yes, she ACTUALLY said this. I say that I want to escalate the call, and speak to a supervisor. She says that the supervisor won't tell me anything different. I tell her that it is about her tone of voice that I want to speak to the supervisor, as well as the '46 days' that my account is supposedly past due. After a few more times of me replying 'Go get your supervisor' to every single thing that she says, she goes and gets the supervisor.
While speaking with the supervisor, I inform him of how terribly the first customer care rep treated me, he says 'I understand that, and I will look into it'. At this point, I'm too angry to care if the woman will get 'looked into or not'. I start to ask about the '46 days late' business:
Me: My last bill was due July 22nd. That was 18 days ago. Where are the other 30-odd days coming from?
Him: You could have paid the bill starting from June 28th.
Me: But ... the bill wasn't due until July 22nd. If I paid the bill on July 21st, would it still have been a 'late' payment by three weeks?
Me: But I don't even receive my bill until two weeks after the billing period is over.
Him: But you can pay starting when the billing period is over, so the account is late from THAT date.
Me: This is ridiculous, but okay. So, I can pay the $78.39 past due amount on Thursday. Can you guarantee me that my account won't be disconnected (like every other phone provider in existence??).
Him: No. And you have to pay $149.86 for us to not cut off your account.
Him: The payment that was due for June, you haven't paid, and the payment for July isn't paid either. You need to bring the account up to date.
Me: The July payment isn't due for another TWO WEEKS.
Him: But the billing cycle is over. You need to pay it, or we will disconnect your services.
Me: I'm pretty sure that's illegal.
Him: No, that's our policy.
Me: To cut off services before the payment for them is even DUE?
Me: So. If I pay the 'late balance', which is only 'late' by 18 days, and bring the account 'up to date', your company will still cut off my services, even though I have no outstanding balances.
Him: That is correct.
Me: And what happens if I only pay what is late, and then pay the amount that is due Aug. 21st on or slightly before Aug 21st.
Him: You have to pay a reconnection fee ($35), and you MUST set up an auto-withdrawl for your bank account, so that it doesn't get cut off in the future.
Me: Uh-huh. Right. Okay, I want to escalate this further. May I speak with your supervisor?
Him: He won't tell you anything different. And his section is closed for the night (I had been on the phone into past 5pm my time).
Me: Can I have the phone number for him?
Him: Sure. (He gives me the number for tech support. Really.)
That was when I hung up the phone and called my ACN area Rep.
He seemed appalled at what the customer service had said to me, and immediately called the customer service guys again, to talk to them about the situation. He called me back and said that he got them to agree to not do anything to the account until Thursday Aug 12th, but then I would be expected to pay both the past due amount and the not yet due amount, in order to retain my services. I got into a heated discussion with my Area Rep, and again voiced my concern about the legality of threatening to cut off my services for a payment that is not yet due. He verbally shrugged, and we got off the phone.
Today (Thursday Aug 12th), I called again, hoping for a different service rep. I got one. A man this time.
I was told that my long distance services had already been cut off (which they had expressly promised not to do), and that if I didn't pay both the payment that was 48 days late, and the payment that wasn't due for two more weeks, then my services would be cut off. I tried to escalate the call, and HE WOULDN'T LET ME. He actually REFUSED to escalate the call. Would. Not. Do. It. No matter what I said.
I got their mailing information and have written the BBB about them, but I don't think that there's much that can be done.
So, all you 'I run my own business' ACN Reps out there: WHY DOES ACN HAVE THE ### CUSTOMER CARE EVER?