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CenturyTel - www.centurytel.com / Stupid visit fees

1 United States Review updated:

When I moved to Columbia, MO I was pitched (and bit) DSL Internet service from Verizon. I was assured it was available in my area. When Verizon came out to install, I was informed that we were nowhere near close enough to the nearest switch box (or whatever node or hub in the city) to hook us up. No DSL service available, even though they double checked my address twice in the six weeks after I first called them. No service. And the local cable company had a 6 week backlog before they could install a cable modem.

Verizon sold to CenturyTel and then CenturyTel wanted to sell me DSL Internet service. I said OK, as long as I could hook up all the family's computers. Was told: "no problem." They sent out a DSL modem and instruction sheet and I spent a couple of days trying to set it up and hook it up. After spending much of a night on the phone to tech support, tech support advised that their cable modems didn't support networking. Back to the cable modem.

Now, a couple of years later (last week), CenturyTel comes back to me and says they want to sell me DSL Internet service. I say OK if it can be networked. They assure me the new modems network. They ask how many phones I have: I say 4. They say they'll include 4 splitters/filters. I say fine. I find the DSL modem box on my doorstep a few days later (unlike the cable company or DirecTV, CenturyTel doesn't install, setup and show you how to use their stuff). I open the box and start reading the instructions, and it says I need those splitters/filters for everything and anything plugged into the phone system: satellite boxes, security systems, etc. That's news to me: I'm now short about 6 of those splitters/filters.

I call tech support. They say I'll have to buy more splitters/filters at about $39 apiece, but I'll have to wait to order them until tomorrow: customer service is only open 8-5. I ask about the (CenturyTel) security system, which is hooked to the phone line, but not via a wall jack: it's wired in behind the wall ... No place for me to insert a splitter/filter. Tech support, after a hold, tells me I need a whole house filter and to contact customer service tomorrow between 8-5.

I do that. After a couple of transfers and a couple of holds, I'm told they'll need to send out a technician to do the filter ... At a minimum cost of $85. I protest that I don't pay such fees when I sign up for service from DirecTV or the cable company, not even for upgrade tech visits ... Only for repairs (and I pay CenturyTel an additional monthly fee for inside wireline protection so I don't have to pay for repairs). CenturyTel's response: we can split that $85 charge over a few months' bills. I'm not objecting because I can't afford it, I'm objecting because I feel it's a ripoff to have to pay to have new service installed, new service where I'll be paying CenturyTel more than I did before.

What I'd like CenturyTel to do is install the dang system, make sure it works, and I'll pay for the monthly service (but NOT the dang install). If the whole house filter was necessary to accommodate some other vendor's security system, perhaps I could see the charge. But it's CenturyTel's system.

My response: I'm sticking with my MediaCom cable modem. It works. They don't charge me stupid visit fees.

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Comments

Vi
  5th of Jun, 2008
0 Votes

i agree with this customer. centurytel is a big rip off. i live in arkansas and the city that i live in only provides centurytel so you have no other choice. they charge way more than what anybody else does in the areas around us because they know you don't have a choice but to pay those outrageous fees and prices if you want phone or internet. i wish someone else would come here, i can guarantee they would be out of business in a heartbeat. oh.. wait, no they charge $700 dollars to cancell your one year contract. WTF!! $700 dollars is ridiculous!! after my contract was up, i cancelled and they still charged me 46 dollar cancellation fee. all you got to do is hit a few buttons. they are a rip off and full of BS! Choke on you dang line!!

Da
  2nd of Aug, 2008
0 Votes

Century Tel is the sole provider for my DSL and Phone in Arkansas, I guess for the rural counties. The state of Arkansas is doing letting them have control of certain areas. Comcast has a city 7 miles from me but I can't use them. I pay on average about 200.00 a month for their services. In Atlanta I paid Comcast about 60.00 less. For equal service. I feel sorry for the people of Arkansas since income is already low. Century Tel also charges deposits to just about all of the consumers who purchas their services. I paid Comcast zero deposit. Century Tel is holding about 400.00 in deposits that are refundable as long as you are never late for 12 months in a row. A customer service rep told me that recently he was wowed at the amount of the deposit. I really hope in these hard times the state of Arkansas watches predators like this and makes changes or at least gives options to people.

Ar
  4th of Aug, 2008
0 Votes

I live near St. Louis, MO and CenturyTel had a guy and a girl come buy selling us their service (they looked barely out of high school, or were stil in it). Basically we had Charter cable modem for internet, Charter digital phone for landline, and DirecTV for satellite television. They sold us a package going back to them for the regular phone service, DSL through those phone lines, and Dish Network for tv. It was going to save us approximately $40 per month. We had just had twin boys so money was tight so we said, all right, sure. Setting up the internet was a little bit of a pain but fortunately I know a little about networking so once I knew what I had to do and got my phone jacks squared away switching my home network (I have a Linksys wireless router) was relatively easy. And DSL we found was not slower than the cable modem even though it was less MB/S so it appears that they're right when they say that DSL is faster than cable because you have a dedicated line. Good thing we insisted they sign us up for a one year contract (after mentioning a one year they tried to later make it two and we're like "Uhh, no, you said one yesterday!"). My gripe is that when we got the bills once they tacked on all these extra b.s. fees and charges (I didn't know what 99% of them were and I doubt they're all legal!!) it ended up being MORE expensive than what we were paying before for the trifecta! We were pissed and we called and [censor]ed them out, I mean, they were in breech of contract. The sheet we signed had the price written on it what we'd pay per month. We forced them to remove some of the b.s. charges to where we're saving money again. But they said that when our year contract is up we'd have to pay them. So now in a year I'm gonna go to Charter and get their internet, again, phone, again, and then go ahead and get their dig. cable so we can get their package deal. What a pain in the ### and what a rip off! They should be investigated by the Feds for fraud I swear. BOTTOM LINE: So if you live in St. Charles County, Missouri, if CenturyTel comes knocking at your door selling you this package: BEWARE!

Ba
  11th of Sep, 2008
0 Votes

CenturyTel for all you Arkansas residents is a huge ripoff. I paid a $350.00 dollar deposit for Dishnetwork that when I cancelled service was applied to my phone bill account not Dishnetwork. They took the deposit saying that Dishnetwork wanted it for start up of service. When I called Dishnetwork they knew nothing about it. I restarted dish on my own without a deposit so please deal directly with dish especally if you are in ARkansas. Unfortunantly, Centruytel has a monopoly in certain areas in Arkansas. I think this is sad because most people don't know this but I found out directly from the Dishnetworks mouth. Even though CenturyTel had about 600.00 in deposits they keep it one way or another. Is to me deceptive business and not ethical at all. What made me call dish was to check on my deposit because they said I owed them $50.00 plus equipment charges. Please call dish first. I am totally shocked at the way this company does business. Just food for thought and been there done that won't go back to CenturyTel again. P.S. I did keep my home phone and internet because of need for home phone and no choice. Guess what no deposit this time. Sad.

Cl
  15th of Sep, 2008
0 Votes

I simply rage every time someone complains online when they obviously could have done a little bit of research prior to ordering any service at all. Half of the posters problems would have been a non-issue if they simply would have read a bit before placing an order with centurytel. Can't blame them because you didn't do your research...

Wi
  15th of Apr, 2009
0 Votes

not only does the service not operate correctly the hidden fees are more than the actual cost of the service. its a total ripoff, they lie over the phone when you order it.they plainly told me my bill would only increase 20 dollars. and it went up forty, 14.95? my ###. there should be a class action lawsuit against them. i would join in.go with dish or sattelite.

An
  1st of Nov, 2009
0 Votes

blatent misinformation even just plain theft the way never, NEVER are up front with the cost of the service you are ordering. Especially the shocking reaction you get from the first bill received. Its purposely formatted to be unreadable unless you work for them and know how the scams work.

Jo
  28th of Jan, 2011
0 Votes

everytime i try to get any help from centrytel thay say my accounts are closed does that mean i dont have to pay the bill and just use the service

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