Thursday, April 14, 2005

Earthlink and Line Slamming

Earthlink slammed my home dsl line last week. I had originally ordered earthlink, then learned from them that they couldn't serve my house. I cancelled my order on March 23, 2005 was given a confirm number for the cancellation and then got service from SBC Yahoo. After getting my SBC Yahoo setup working for a week, I lost DSL service. After 2 hours of phone calls to SBC, I got a phone call from their technical support telling me that I had "ordered" Earthlink /Covad and that SBC could not restore my line until I cancelled Earthlink.

For 5 hours on a Saturday, I tried to explain to 4 different companies that I had not ordered Earthlink and that they had invaded my line on April 6 or 2 weeks after I had, according to their own records, cancelled my service. Earthlink finally fessed up, but never really apologized, and then tried to blame Covad. Covad had proof that Earthlink convenientily and to their benefit never notified them of the cancellation. I then asked Earthlink to compensate me for trespassing on my line and disrupting my service. After 3 levels of technical support, they said they couldn't authorize anything like that and I would have to take it up with corporate who could only be sued in the state of Georgia and btw, they had no phone number and refuse anything that isn't certified. Oh, by the way, even though it was their fault it would take 3-5 business days to disconnect my line and once done, I would have to call SBC yahoo to reestablish my service.

I waited 3 business days and called Earthlink to ask the simple question, have you disconnected my line yet? I then went through 3 levels of technical support before anyone could give me an answer.

Apparently when it comes to phone service, line slamming is punishable with a fine. This is not yet the case with DSL service according to SBC Yahoo's technical support folk. I believe that companies like Earthlink are doing this on purpose and they are essentially the Michael Jackson's of DSL service because they feel free to play with my lines without my permission and think nothing of it. They weren't even in a rush to fix the situation.

If you have Earthlink, drop them.
If someone asks you to recommend a DSL provider, never recommend Earthlink
If you are a hacker and want to mess with a service provider....

I'd love to hear about similar experiences with line slamming. It seems like my state's PUC ought to be interested in the problem.


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