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Cybersurf Corp / Misrepresentation and deceptive business practices

1 United States

Cybersurf Corp

Sometimes in August, I went on their website, to check their offerings about internet phone+internet high speed+ long distance bundle called "Home Phone Premium". I was amazed by their low monthly price: $29.95 CDN, for the first 3 months, then $39.95 afterwards.

So, I got on the phone, and spoke to a sales representative, who assured me there were no other hidden costs. I made sure that there would not be any down time while Cybersurf was transferring my phone number from my then phone provider to them. This was very important to me, because I have a heart condition, and being without a phone could be a life and death situation for me, if I needed to call an ambulance. He assured me there would NOT be any down time, and promised me that everything would be done within 5-6 business days maximum. I asked him about their "Tech Support" once they took over my services from Primus, including my High Speed Internet, and he assured me TechSupport was 24/7. He also told me I should not even contact my phone provider, to let them know of my switching over to another company, that Cybersurf would take care of everything. I then gave him my credit card number, and told him to go ahead.

Then, after that was done, and the transaction had been processed with my credit card company, the Cybersurf salesman dropped one first bomb. He said, casually: "By the way, there is a one time $50. set-up fee". I told him he should have told me that sooner, instead of telling me there was absolutely no other costs besides the monthly charge of $29.95. However, since the transaction had already been processed, I let this one go by.

Then he dropped another bomb on me: That I would be charged $39.95 per month until Cybersurf had indeed taken over my phone, NOT $29.95, for the first 3 months, as he had first told me!!!

Then he told me a "kit" would be mailed to me very shortly,for me to set up things on my computer. He also told me they would email me to let me know when their actions were completed.

About 2 weeks later, not having heard anything from them, I called them back, and they told me that the reason nothing had happened yet was because they needed my "circuit ID number" from my present provider. They told me I had to get that number myself from Primus and then call Cybersurf back to give it to them. I told them I had been told by the sales representative that I would not need to do anything, that Cybersurf would deal with Primus themselves. I asked them why, if they needed me to get that famous "circuit ID", nobody from Cybersurf had contacted me to make that request? They said they had tried once, but I told them this was not true, because I never got a phone call or even an email from them in this regard (I have an answering machine, so, I would have gotten their message, if indeed they had called me!).

So, I called Primus, to get that "circuit ID number" *and had to wait 3 days before they retrieved it for me. Once I got it, I immediately called back Cybersurf and gave it to them. They told me things would happen very quickly from then on, that my account would finally be activated within only a few days.

In the mean time, I eventually received "the kit" which, it turns out, was composed of a voice terminal and some cables + an installation CD, with a note in it saying to install it right away, which I did, not really understanding why.

Several more days went by, and still no news from them. So, I called them back once again. And I finally spoke to the first competent tech support person I had ever talked to in my many contacts with Cybersurf. Her name was Karrie. She looked into my account, and was surprised that a "dry-loop" had not been ordered for my account, because without that "dry-loop", my line would go dead, and I would not be able to access the Internet either. As she was looking into my account on her computer, she admitted to me that it was quite obvious that I had never even been told about that "dry-loop" (which would cost me between $3 to $9 extra per month!!!) That young lady said she was going to look into it and get that dry-loop ordered and would email me to let me know,once that was done. She was also surprised that no "target" date had even been set for the activation and taking over of my phone number by Cybersurf. She promised me she would look into this as well and would contact me as soon as she found out.

In the mean time, I soon realized that my internet service had been re-routed through Cybersurf, even though I was still with my present Primus provider and paying for it still!!! And in a period of one week, their systems were totally down for very long periods, THREE!!!TIMES!!! And when I tried to call their Tech Support about that, I found out they were closed until the next day (IT TURNS OUT THAT THEIR TECH SUPPORT WAS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM MORNING TO LATE EVENIING DURING THE WEEK, AND EVEN SHORTER PERIODS ON WEEKENDS!!!)

A few more days went by, and still no news. Just out of curiosity, I went online, and logged into my Cybersurf (cia) account, because the salesman I had spoken to on my very first phone call,had given me an authorization key, which served in fact as my account number. I got the shock of my life: $120.18 CDN had been debited from my credit card, even though Cybersurf had not even yet taken over my phone from Primus!!!

Puzzled and enraged, I called Cybersurf back , and told them to cancel my account, and refund me the $120.18 because they had not even taken over my phone line yet, and because of all their lies about no hidden costs and 24/7 Tech Support, and also because they had had too many frequent system failures, in a very short period of time, making them too unreliable. The person I spoke to explained what that total was made of:

$50. one time set-up fee;

+ $34 and some cents for the shipment of the kit (WHICH, I REMINDED HER, NOBODY HAD EVER MENTIONED TO ME!!!);

+ the balance of the $120.18 for the monthly phone service, (again, even though Cybersurf had not even taken over yet!!!)

I reminded her that while Cybersurf were still dragging their heels, Primus was continuing to charge me $67. per month for their services. I also told her that even if Cybersurf had eventually taken over my phone line, I would still have to pay Primus another $67. for another month, as they request a 30 days notice from the moment another provider takes over their line, before closing an existing account.

The lady finally told me she could not refund me. So, I went online I dug out the name, physical mailing address, phone number, fax number of the President of Cybersurf, Mr Paul Marcia, and I also found the same info about the person in charge, Kelly O'Hallaran, here in my city. At that point, I had removed their kit from my computer and mailed it back to them at the address mentioned on the return shipping bag label. I made sure I got the post office to give me a stamped confirmation of my having returned that kit, as further proof that it was no longer in my possession.

So, I immediately emailed both of them with my request for a full refund, including in my email to the both of them, a copy of ALL my previous emails to Cybersurf, and also all the details I have described above in this complaint post. Just to be sure, in case my email to them would be filtered out by their spam filters, I faxed each of them all those documents, {which ended costing me over $10). I explained to them clearly that I had already spent over $187.!!! for my phone and internet service ($120.18 to Cybersurf and $67. to Primus) with no end in sight.

Several days later, still no news from them!!! So, I collected all the documents I had faxed to the both of them, and mailed it back to Mr Marcia in a registered letter. I know, by the shipping tracking number the post office had given me, that my registered letter was indeed received by Mr Marcia.

Yet, at this very date, I have neither heard back from him, nor has a refund been issued.

I have forwarded all my documents to the Better Business Bureau as well, as to the editor of Consumer Reports, to warn them about such scams. Please note that Cybersurf serves the USA as well as Canada.

So, in short, I ended up paying $120.18 to Cybersurf, for a period of LESS THAN ONE WEEK (from the moment they re-routed my Internet Service from Primus to themselves, to the time I uninstalled their kit from my computer, effectively, by doing that, re-routing my Internet service back to Primus).

So, you might be my last resort. Any way you can help?


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