Telepacific Communications / Disconnect/Billing
We recently had a terrible experience with Telepacific that I want to warn you about. We notified them on May 19, 2009 that we wanted to disconnect our service with them. We were moving offices, and we did not want to use their service at our new location. On May 28, 2009, we received email confirmation from them (from their disconnect department) that our account would be disconnected on June 19, 2009, which would also be our billing end-date. I should note that up to this point we had had no issues with them.
As part of our move process, we issued a port request for a single fax number, and this is where the fun began. On the billing end-date (6/19/09), they denied the port request. Their rationale was that I was not an authorized user on the account. Huh? I opened up the account for my company, and I was the ONLY user authorized on the account.
So, how could they deny the port request? Well, after doing some research, it turns out that this is a common Telepacific practice. They block the initial port request to extend the billing period. And, as anyone who has tried to port a number knows, it often takes 30 days (or more) to port a number, so when they block the first request, they know that they've got another thirty days (or more) to bill you. If you don't believe me, take a look at this: http://www.topix.com/forum/city/los-angeles-ca/TPRSG5C1EGDTDEPUE
But, it gets better. So, the port request is resubmitted, and Telepacific provides a new port date of July 30, 2009. Well, apparently the port is approved on that date, BUT they decide not to release the number until August 12, 2009. So, now, they've not only blocked the first port request to extend billing, but they've now delayed the release of the number for nearly two more weeks to continue running up the service charges.
During the period from June 19 onward, they billed us twice (we were on autopay so they hit our credit card!), with total charges of more than $2, 100.00. As you can imagine, we were not standing by idly during this period. In fact, we (I) made more than 12 phone calls to the customer service department, the billing department, the porting department, the disconnect department...in other words, anyone who would listen. And, each time I called, two things happened: 1) the person from Telepacific indicated that it was "some other department's responsibility (i.e. billing said it was disconnect, disconnect said it was porting, etc.) to resolve the problem"; and 2) they said that they would have someone call me back with a solution. Well, each time, no one called me back. I even tried the "executive escalation" numbers that Telepacific provided on its website. I guess even the executives don't want to take responsibility for what their company does...
In fairness to Telepacific, I doubt that they are the only carrier that pulls these types of stunts, but you should be forewarned that they (or any other carrier) may try to pull the same stunt with you. Unfortunately, I don't know what to recommend to avoid this, since it was a dishonest and deliberate act on the part of Telepacific.
I have subsequently contacted the PUC to file a complaint and my credit card company to dispute the charges. We'll see what happens from here, but I can assure you that we'll never be a Telepacific customer again.