CenturyLink / incredibly poor service
Yes, this is a long complaint. The bottom line is that after jumping through every hoop CenturyLink has put in my path, my elderly mother still does not have phone service more than two week after I started the process of trying to get her a landline in her new apartment. CenturyLink has bungled this every step of the way, and they deserved to be first on the list of most disliked companies in the US. Here is my story: Needing to set up phone service for my elderly mother, I communicated with CenturyLink via their LiveChat desk and came away feeling relatively good about the experience even though it had taken about 90 minutes. My mother's phone line was to be activated on May 4 by 5 pm a few days after my call. This is the point where things began to go south even though On May 4 I thought the phone was working as I got a dial tone and could call out. On May 5 (after I had returned to my own home) my brother tried to call my mother on her new phone. The number did not work. At this point, I checked the emails from CenturyLink and found the account number did not match the number we had been assigned. I gave my brother the phone number from the account number to try, and that number did not work either. My niece then went to my mother's apartment and reported that the phone worked but that the number on it was yet a third number. The following day, that number no longer worked and upon checking yet again, my niece reported the line was dead. Next I called CenturyLink as I was now in my home state, not with my mother. First of all, I must report that it is extremely aggravating to work ones way though their answering system when calling from a phone with an area code that is not served by CenturyLink. After several false starts, I finally talked to a representative who, due to "a slow computer system, " was unable to find any information about my mother's order. She promised to call me back in 10 minutes. Ninety minutes later, I had to leave for a medical appointment, and when she called back later in the day and left a message, I did not bother to return the call as my niece and mother were going to be out of town for a few days. I initiated another LiveChat with CenturyLink on May 13 after both my niece and mother had returned home. I wanted to have a transcript of this conversation. During the course of our 3-hour chat as I was looking through the paperwork from previous discussions, it became apparent that even though in the first chat we all agreed the service was in one town, the service address was located in another town many miles from my mother (perhaps due to the fact that the first agent neglected to add the apartment number to my mother's address). At this point, the new agent said she would cancel the original order and start the process over for my mother. Except that during the process, because my mother was there and I was here (CenturyLink could not reach my mother by phone since due to their ineptitude my mother does not have a phone), the phone would have to be in my name. That is all well and good except for the fact that my credit has been locked for over 10 years. I realized during this process that I can drive a brand new car off a lot with much more ease than getting a phone line from CenturyLink (also, much more difficult than it was to get my cell phone from Verizon). And even though we had obviously gone through this process with my mother or there would not have been an order for CenturyLink to cancel, it had to be in my name since (Catch 22) there was no way to contact my mother by phone for her permission to put the account in her name. And there was no way for the agent to research the CenturyLink account my parents had in Arizona for at least 25 years even though when I closed that account in December the CenturyLink agent I spoke to then was eager to establish service for my mother in another location. I honestly have trouble believing that one, but their agents are skilled at sticking to the script. I gave up. After telling the agent I would open Experian and after doing so, she reported back that my credit was still locked. I reiterated I had opened Experian online and that it should be available. Then she checked again and reported that CenturyLink only uses TransUnion. (Why isn't that factoid in the script? Am I in the Twilight Zone?) By that point, having been online for close to three hours and late for an appointment, we agreed I would search for the TransUnion information, open that, and get back to her in the morning. She gave me an email address and told me she was available from 9-6 Mountain Time. The following morning I opened TransUnion (I'm spending $5 each time I open one of these accounts and leaving myself vulnerable to identity theft) and sent an email. It was close to two hours after the open window when I heard back from the agent. She apologized and said she had been in a meeting - was this not on her calendar when she gave me the times she would be available? We finally got everything set up, and she had agreed to look for the original number I had been assigned. When it was all printed out, I noticed the phone number was not the one we had been assigned originally. She failed to mention this, most likely afraid to confess that in all this mess they had reassigned MY phone number. But the phone was supposed to be activated by 5 pm on May 15. In point of fact, I now have an email from CenturyLink indicating the service order has been completed. HOWEVER, my niece reported this morning (May 16) that she has been to the apartment and the phone is still not connected. From other reviews of CenturyLink, I am obviously not the only one who has issues with this company. While their agents are unfailingly polite and upbeat, the lack of accuracy in providing service is appalling, and I am convinced CenturyLink is run by micromanagers who insist that one script will work for each situation. That being said, the $25 rebate on the first bill that was offered to me by the agent after I groused about having to pay to get my credit unlocked when my mother's had already been run the first time around is not enough to make up for the fact that I have spent in total nearly an entire day trying to get a phone connected for my elderly, hearing-impared, low-income mother. And to top it off, her phone STILL DOES NOT WORK. And the number that was promised to me the first time around has been given to someone who does not care what number they have. As I am totally convinced CenturyLink does not care for their landline customers as they are locked in on service providers.
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