Lingo (Primus) / UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES
THE SERVICE ITSELF:
In fairness to the company, I have their router box, and my phone works. If everthing was just as all the original agreements we made, this deal would be STELLAR. There is some echo no matter what you do, and I often hear myself back on it. I can accept that. BEWARE if you are into online gaming. If you hook the router up and give it priority as they recommend, you WILL BE DISCONNECTED every 5-15 minutes. I discovered that the problem is actually built into the router's firewall. Unless you situate yourself OUTSIDE the NAT (no protection of any kind at all from hackers) you cannot bypass this problem with lingo in control of your traffic. If there's anyone else on your network, you can't take this option, anyway. This problem is easily solved by connecting the router to an empty port in the back of your main router. If you don't have a separate router, you are out of luck. Don't expect technical help from any of their support staff. Guaranteed they know less than you or I do. The lack of priority causes some stuttering when there's heavy net activity, but otherwise not too big a deal.
I researched them, their contracts, and those of their competitors. I even called them directly and discussed my issues with them before I placed the order, including the amount I would pay in taxes. The trial seemed good, the intro price was acceptable to set it up...everything looked ideal. Plus, they were offering a 25 dollar giftcard for signing up. They only asked you to stick around for 6 months, or they would charge you 59.95 cancellation fee. 30 days to try it for free, or return at no charge, no questions asked. Since the service was ok, of course I stuck with it. I had no way to know yet what was going to happen when my trial ran out, so there was no reason to worry about it. By then, they own you, and they take full advantage of it.
BEWARE OF THE WEBSITE.
Don't click anything unless you want to place an order. I clicked on softphone simply to read more about it...ONE TIME ONLY...and an order was placed for the service. This order could not be cancelled. Though it was on a 30 day free trial, I called and asked THEM to please take it off because I couldn't from their site. They assured me I would not be billed, and guess what happened? I was not only billed for the TAXES for the first "free" month, but I got fully billed for it AGAIN the next billing period. I called them, and they told me I was out of luck because they did not have record that I cancelled it. By the way, the same man who told me I would NOT be charged for it and that it would not be on the account was the same man who told me I had not properly cancelled it, and would not remove the charge from my account.
This was a big deal-breaker for me. This bill was $15 more per month (almost all taxes) than they quoted me. They blamed my state, though they had the info when they quoted me. With 21.95 service, I pay 35-40 dollars each month; and that is for VOIP. I'm calling through the internet! The same taxes should NOT apply. So...in the 4 months of being billed, I've paid over $80.00 more than I expected.
Also, you are required to keep your credit card on file for them to automatically withdraw your payment whenever they want. No automatic pament at their whim, and no phone service. I am at their mercy for whatever they decide to bill me. I don't have a credit card, so this has meant my personal checking account. You cannot cancel it. They must have something on file, and it MUST be legitimate. There is no going back.
ARBITRARY CHANGES IN CONTRACT TERMS:
Part of the allure of this deal was that they assured me that I could downgrade to the next lowest level if I found I didn't need the long distance. It was free at that point; then as soon as they billing started, they added a 9.95 fee to change my service plan. Then, within a day of the end of my trial, I received an e-mail changing the terms of my contract. Now, I have to keep the service for an entire year, or they will charge me 99.95 for breach of contract.
What's more, I just found out from another man on the service that, at the end of his ONE year, they have just changed HIS terms to 2 years within a day of his contract being up. Are they going to do that at each juncture? This means, theoretically, that you will be on contract forever. This is clearly unethical; yet, legally they are allowed, because it is in their contract that they are allowed to do this. Most companies use this type of contract to cover them in extreme situations. It's always possible for them to exploit it, but this is the first company I've used that has. That makes it unethical, but not illegal.
I would run as fast as I can away from this den of thieves if it wouldn't cost me dearly to do so.
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