Qwest Communications — refuses to refund money!
This is beyond absurd. It's actually become more comical than anything else. In short, I signed up with Qwest for cell service in May but decided to cancel (within the 15-day rule they have, so no penalties). When I signed up, they required a $200 deposit which I paid up front, but after canceling, to this day, I have yet to receive even a simple apology, let alone my money.
Incidentally, this is AFTER filing cases with the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General, and the Federal Communications Commission. **Note: everything written in this report is absolute fact, with the exception of the first two sentences, and the final two paragraphs (those are my opinions).
In May, I signed up with Qwest for wireless service, providing my own equipment as opposed to having to purchase anything additional. As such, my service was to be on a 'month-to-month' basis -- no commitments or contracts. However, I was still required by Qwest to make a deposit in the amount of $200.00, despite the lack of any commitment for service, but Qwest assured me several times that my deposit, upon discontinuance of service, if any, would be returned to me without 'early termination' or any other such penalties, inasmuch as no contract existed to begin with.
After a couple days, I contacted Qwest customer service via phone. The rep informed me of my option to receive up to a $150 credit towards my bill from if I agreed to switch from a MTM arrangement to a contract of commitment. I was assured that, as is normally the case, if I decided to terminate the contract within 15 days of the initiation of the new contract that no early termination fees / penalties would apply, and I ultimately did agree to enter into such a contract with Qwest effective immediately.
After using the service for a week or so, I decided to discontinue service with Qwest, and therefore did so on before 15 days had passed (to avoid any penalties). 30 days after I canceled, I received a piece of mail with Qwest's name on it (which I presumed was the refund of my deposit). Enclosed, however, was a letter entitled 'COLLECTION AGENCY REFERRAL NOTIFICATION' stating 'legal action' if 'payment of [my] delinquent account... [was] not made immediately,' and that my credit 'has been negatively impacted.' Attached was a bill stub which read: 'Total Amount Due: $99.40'
I returned to where the original retail location & asked the Qwest sales reps for an interpretation of the situation, and was told to contact customer care via phone. I did so, and they referred me back to the store, who again referred me to customer service, etc. Customer service said the store was responsible because that's where I made the initial deposit (for the month-to-month agreement); the store's statement was that corporate (customer service) was responsible because the actual contract itself was initiated over the phone with them. I ended up filing a complaint with the BBB in August after forming the opinion that my money was not going to be returned to me otherwise. My desired resolution submitted to the BBB was as follows:
'The monetary amount of compensation I'm requesting from Qwest... is $2,290.40 and is based on two factors. The first being simply the amount of the original money owed ($200.00) to me.
The second... include[s] the amounts of $90.40 along with $2,000, with the reasonings as respectively follow:
- The alleged amount I owe... and,
- ...In regards to the inaccuracy of my credit worthiness caused by what appears to be blatant gross neglect on Qwest's behalf and the denial(s) of credit, etc., incurred by me as a result thereof,... it's my opinion that everyone deserves a second chance..., and this is no exception to that, giving Qwest the benefit of the doubt. Thus the amount of $2,000.00, which is half what the court system believes is fair.
...In the interest of justice and humility, however,... I'm requesting one more thing from Qwest: immediate payment of the $200.00 Qwest has that belongs to me,... an immediate reversal of any and all negativity on my credit records (coming as a result of the above situation) and also... a simple apology. If Qwest is willing to fulfill these final requests..., I agree that I will cease to pursue any other additional compensation, and that I will terminate any pursuit for a settlement beyond $200.00 in compensation.
To finalize, my ultimate request for settlement is simply my rightfully-own $200.00 back, the removal of anything negative on my credit..., and a simple apology... Otherwise, without exception, my originally stated request will stand...
Thank you for your time in addressing this issue.'
After another month, and after more than one notice from the BBB, Qwest finally responded with: '[Rep from Qwest] has been communicating with [myself] via email to resolve his complaint.' I did in fact receive one e-mail from Qwest, as they stated. My rebuttal to their response was: 'Contact was made, but nothing beyond such within the last 30+ days.'
After another month, and again after an attempt from BBB with 'No response from Business re: Consumer Rebuttal', Qwest responded with: 'Qwest continues to investigate the missing deposit for [myself].'
Again I responded (becoming frustrated at this point), and my response was labeled by the BBB as: 'Consumer rejects business' final offer'. I failed to recognize anything even resembling an offer, let alone a final offer, and the BBB docket says nothing about any such offer anywhere prior to me 'rejecting their offer'.
At present, the time had now reached late October, and I then resorted to submitting a case to the Attorney General's Office in regards to everything that took place, and I also updated the BBB case docket to reflect so. The following day, BBB updated the case docket, stating they had judged the case 'Administratively Closed', and publicly made it known as a statistic that Qwest did in fact make a 'reasonable effort' to resolve the matter, and yet I remained dissatisfied. BBB further notated on the update that 'it appeared as though some laws may have been broken', and suggested 'seeking legal advise' and 'filing a federal complaint'.
In mid-November, I received an email from the Atty General, informing me that a response was received from Qwest and that my complaint with the Atty General was to be closed.
Attached was a copy of Qwest's response, in which Qwest stated,... our Executive office has been corresponding back and forth with [myself] since August of this year,' one of several falsehoods stated by Qwest throughout the duration of this on-going matter; as of this writing, the only correspondence I've gotten from Qwest is that same original email listed above. So unless sending me a single e-mail constitutes 'back-and-forth' correspondence, there's no truth in the statement Qwest gave to the Atty General.
I subsequently filed yet another case, this time with with the Federal Communications Commission, and have attempted to do the same with the Federal Trade Commission but have been unsuccessful. To this day, nothing further has transpired from any of the parties I've mentioned in this report, dated 12-14-07.
My attempts to contact the FTC have also included my feelings on the matter, in that I felt the BBB's actions were biased and unacceptable, and that their public declaration that Qwest was not only in the right, but that the company made all efforts to satisfy my request was a complete lie, and furthermore, a blatant obstruction of justice.
I feel I have been more than reasonable towards all parties throughout this whole process, but as I originally addressed with Qwest and the BBB in my initial complaint, this could have easily been settled had Qwest done no more than live up to that which they're responsible for, accompanied (on principle) by a simple apology; neither of which have yet to occur.
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