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Windstream / phone company charges fee for no service!

1 United States Review updated:

If there's one area where telecom companies are far more innovative than any other industry, it's in their remarkable creativity in coming up with new fees to charge their customers. One reader thinks he may have discovered the very epitome of this with his local phone company, Windstream, when he tried to cancel his long distance service.

"Somehow I knew it would have to come to this -- Windstream has figured out how to charge you for no service. I tried to cancel my long distance service yesterday -- we have cell phones and haven't made a long distance call on a land line for at least a year, so why pay $4.50 per month?"

"When I cancelled it, the Windstream rep says that I really haven't turned off long distance. If someone visits and makes a long distance call, since I'm not covered by a plan, that carrier can charge 'whatever they want.' That's kind of scary, but I explained that she'd misunderstood -- I want to turn off long distance. Windstream says that they can do that, but they'll have to charge me $2 per month to NOT have any long distance."

"And don't get me started on the 70 cents per month fee because I'm using touch tone phones instead of rotary phones. But they tell me that their service protection plan includes replacement of phones if they go bad. Maybe I'll report one that's dead and ask for a rotary replacement since I'm tired of that fee. I was curious and didn't find anyone on Google that still sells rotary phones for under $100, so I wonder what Windstream would do."

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  • Wi
      15th of Jan, 2007
    0 Votes

    They also bill you for insurance on your own phone jacks and lines. When I called and asked why the bill was so high, they said that I had used unlimited long distance and asked me if I wanted to keep the insurance on the lines and jacks. They don't even bill you for two months and then argue that their charges were legitimate and you have yet to use one month of the service. It's incredible that they can get by with charging for services you didn't use and didn't ask for. If I had another internet and phone service available I would drop these crooks in a heartbeat!

  • Sc
      26th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes

    Ed Foster: you must be in Texas. The PSc/PUC in Texas requires that charge to be separate on the bill. You can get a rotary phone and drop that charge or you could switch your phone to pulse dialing and that would do the same thing. Most areas have that charge bundle in with either their business or residential access line. About the long distance thing: when you purchase Residential service you get local service.. and then you choose a LD company. That could be your local provider or someone else. If you make a call and do not have a LD provider, normally the first network that the calls hit outside of your local calling area bills you. Most the time those rates are 3 or 5 dollars a minute since LD companies view you as a one time customer and not a loyal monthly customers.. It is also a way to get you to talk to their customer service to try and sell you things... None the less.. you can add a feature to stop LD but you do pay for the feature. If windstream picks up the call it would be 10 to 15 cents a minute.. they dont outrageously charge you their.. Phone companies only charge you what the state allows them to charge..

    For example the 1.97 that was just added for LD service could of been charged about 3 years ago but windstream has held back that long.. Hope this helps.

  • Ja
      18th of Oct, 2007
    -1 Votes

    You people must be the stupid customers that call in every day that can't read their bills!

  • Je
      21st of Oct, 2007
    -1 Votes

    I can read my bill just fine. In fact I have been able to read all of the bills that Windstream has sent me for the last 6 months since I canceled my service. You may be thinking that I should have paid my final bill and they wouldn't continue to send me bills. In fact I did pay my final bill on time and have complained several times to Windstream about continuing to receive bills for no reason. Every month they tell me that they will fix the problem and stop sending bills and every month they continue to waste time and money by sending another bill. I have confirmed several times that my account was paid in full on time. In my opinion Windstream has the worst customer service of any utility company I have ever dealt with.

  • Sa
      4th of Dec, 2007
    +1 Votes

    Windstream stinks and is totally incompetent.

    I was to move into an area in East TX so I setup with Windstream for land line phone and TV satellite service to be installed. Then BEFORE install date had to call and cancel all installation of service as I was ill and could not move at that time.

    Luckily I kept record of dates, people's names, and subject discussed.

    Then 6 months later got a call from Windstream's collection service that I was delinquent on my bills....for service that was never installed!!!

    Then spoke to Windstream and they agreed that they made an error in their records, that the service order had indeed been canceled, and that the bill would be removed and they would inform the collection agency.

    Today just went through the entire thing all over again. And again W agreed they made the mistake and will remove it. I suspect this will be a weekly chore so that they can somehow squeeze money out of me.

    If you have a choice, do NOT do any business with this rapacious and incompetent company.

  • Ch
      7th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    Windstream & Dish TV are by far the WORST utility companies I have ever dealt with. I was to receive my first month free of broadband service. When I did not receive it on the first bill, I called to correct it. I was told several times that I did receive a free month from 11/27 - 11/28 (ONE DAY of service). This was only the start. My bill should have been $70 + tax and somehow was $220. I told them to screw it and turn off everything. They said "I'd be glad to do that sir, let me transfer you." So while waiting to be transferred I received a recording that says, "I am sorry, the call could not be completed at this time." Windstream & Dish are a jokes of companies. We should start an online petition against them. Anyone interested, email me at "".

  • Ds
      8th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    call the corp office at 501-748-7000

  • Sl
      21st of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    They charged me $3.00/mo. for not having long distance.
    And I don't even want to get started about the charges I inquired when I switched to their bundle package several months ago. Well over $500.00, I let them take payments out of my checking account, and when that was finally over with, I get a new bill in the mail from them the other day for over $300.oo.

  • Sa
      23rd of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    Update to my original complaint under name Sandra Beene.

    I called Windstream and collection agency weekly and the problem stayed the same. I was still being billed for Windstream service after cancelling the installation, which they admitted. And W had not corrected their billing or let the collection agency know that I owed nothing. Plus the collection agency put that "delinquent" bill on my credit report---which is standard. Collection people actually believed me as they told me that W billing is often screwed up.

    So I looked up W corporate headquarters, got all my info ready, and called their head of Customer Service. Again went through the entire story. Head of CS said they would handle it.

    I made it clear that it must be handled correctly and to my satisfaction. If it was not handled I would have my lawyer do so as I had no more time.

    It took 2 more weeks but they did handle it.

    If there is any way for you to avoid this company then do so. They have grown way too fast to handle their business and do not seem to have a strong interest in good customer relations. Their sole interest is: keep that money from any source rolling in.

  • Er
      23rd of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I would like to say the service I recieved Saturday 22 was very good the young man that provided the service was well mannered really good at his job and took real pride in his job, and done what I believe to be above and beyond his job description.
    His name was Justin 'Telephone CO 'I believe he said, I just recall him saying Justin. He even left me a phone number to reach him in case of emergency it is my opion you have a valueable employee there.

  • Ja
      30th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    If you have a problem with your Windstream phone service, they will make you take your phone outside and plug it into their box. If you get a dial tone, it's your problem. If there is no dial tone, they will come out, but it will cost you $10.50 for every 15 minutes they are there working on the problem. Kinda makes you wanna go.

  • Ol
      5th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    Thee fees are simply legal money making ploys. The $2-$3 to NOT get long distance is a rip. A switching tech simply takes your LD carrier out of the switch. Thats it. So to retain a monthly fee for something that takes only a one time 3 minute step is pretty ludicrous! Do you think someone sits there and every month does something to your account that requires the fee? But telecom's are slowly losing market share not only in broadband, but in Land Lines. They are creating bundles to offer more services, for supposedly lower rates trying to hold on to old technologies. Even DSL service which is comparable to the Cable technology is run across 50-70 year old phones wire. It is quite normal to have ongoing trouble that can never be remedied. And you will never get the greatest speeds, no matter what you are offered. Every company has to have a bottom line, and they all have to make a profit...or there is no business. But at what price? Telecom's are bought and sold like regular commodities, they thin the heard, layoff 90% if the employee's, and try to limp along with minimal untrained and unknowledgable staff. The only way to get someone to take you serious when you call in is to be persisitant, and document...and even ask for the CEO. The squeeky wheel gets the grease! You think someone a little higher up would realize that they need to pull their head out, and offer true flat rates. Not a flat rate, plus 16 additional service fees and state allocated taxes. I no longer have a land line. I use Comcast for broadband, and my cell phone for calls. Saves me big at the end. For whats its worth. Being ex-telecom that may sound strange. But hey, I would rather save my money to put gas in my car at $3.60 a gallon, as opposed to handing it it over for bogus fees...

  • So
      11th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    After being charged for services I did not have I cancelled all services, I had nothing, no local, no long distance, no dsl nothing. I was still being billed so I paid the bill to be rid of WIindstream/ Alltel. A year and a half latter I am being billed again.

    I called the Public Utilities Commission who essentially told me they would investigate but there was nothing I could do.

    How do you start a class action suit? Does anybody know? Please tell me.

  • Te
      15th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    WINDSTREAM SUCKS! They have ### tech support Mostly Overseas Idiots that cannot speak English. The sales reps are utter idiots that can screw up just about anything. I was on the phone with the meatheads for almost 5 hours one day only to have my 800 number cancelled a few days later. I would never suggest Windstream to anyone - THEY BLOW. They are a bunch of dumb F*ing idiots that know nothing.

  • Al
      2nd of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Windstream SUCKS.
    Worst service - they've caused me more headache than i can even tell you! they are rude, unreasonable and make a dozen mistakes a minute. Someone help this company - they need a complete overhaul.

  • Rl
      14th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Flat out Windstream has the worst customer service I have ever had to endure. I have file complaints with the FCC the PSC to no avail.

    They can't get their bills straight. I have no long distance on my phone yet my bill may fluctuate by as much as $14.00 per month.

    When I call customer service they said they didn't know why it was so high. They told me to look at my bills. I said their online system only went back 6 months. I asked them to email me a copy of the bills, they said the didn't have that capability. They said they could mail them. I was fed up so I said fine mail them. The next month I had a $30.00 addition to my phone bill because they charged me for the copies of the phone bill -INCREDIBLE.

    The FCC/PSC are doing the public a dis-service by allowing these phone companies a monopoly on a given area. We must have competition to drive prices down and to increase customer service/satiscation.

    Americans need to speak out and I mean now.

  • Hm
      20th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    First of all, the telephone companies can't make up charges to put on customers bills. They all are approved by the PSC and FCC. Trust me you'd rather pay the toll restrictor then paying the causal billing you would get if someone used your long distance without a rate plan or carrier chosen. And trust me if you don't have long distance and you don't have the toll restrictor and you make a call... then you won't be connected by Windstream your call will go into a lottery of LD providers and you could pay 10 cents to 5 dollars per minute. So pay the 2-5 fee and be happy that you won't have to worry about this. I have worked for several telelphone companies and this is common practice and legal.
    I understand the frustration of having a tech support overseas... but everything is this country is so expensive... so can blame them. But last November they moved the tech support back to the states because of the demand of the customers... so don't use that complaint anymore.
    I'm sure we can all agree that we all have a bad experience with every company that we deal with... if its the telephone company, tv, cell phone, schools, etc... we could complain all day long. But honestly Windstream is a good company trying to stay competitive in a crazy market.
    Here is one piece of advice from someone who has worked in the telecommunications industry for years. You will get treated by the CSR's exactly how you treat them. If you call is ### and complaining... changes are they aren't gonna go out of their way to help you... they are gonna want to get you off the phone as soon as possible. And who could blame them. They understand that sometimes you have every right to be upset and trust me they will do everything they can to help you if you respect them. Lets all try to remember the people working in these call centers are regular people just working at a job... do you want people yelling and screaming at you at your job... didn't think so. And please quit saying, when you are talking to the reps on the phone... because I know your have "You people... (complaint)"! What are they a different bread of people that phone companies breed in their basements... its crazy. So please have respect and patience and you'll get a much better result.

  • Pi
      30th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Windstream is the worst #ing company ever. to the idiot who said we can't read our bills, get this:

    The #ing #s at windstream entered my ein# as my ss#. then, they shut down my account due to "fraud" and never notified me. I had to find out from a friend that my phone wasn't working! when I tried to call and ask why, they said they couldn't speak with me because there was fraud on my account. I said, "is it standard practice for there to be an instance of fraud and you not notify the account holder???" it took my lawyer to finally get through to them and realize that those #ing idiots entered my ss# in wrong; saw it was not the same name, and shut down my account for no reason without telling me... although I was still paying for it! what a bunch of shady #s! the promised me a free month of service for the error, which they never delivered! I had to make more phone calls to get them to deliver on this promise. I still have no idea how many business calls I missed due to their mistake.

    So to anyone justifying windstream... you must be one of the incompetent #s who works there! way to go #ing up everyone's life and bill! you should be proud!

  • Ch
      4th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    i can't get in for my password

  • Ch
      4th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    my password won't let me login

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