Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't read this; it'll just make you mad...or confused

Click now for JiffNotes

After spending an hour on the phone with Earthlink last week to correct a "pending charge" of $149.95 (for "early termination"...hahahahaha), I got an invoice from them today that they had charged me the $149.95, anyway. I had a credit on my account of about $110 (from previous invalid charges), and then they charged the remaining $44 or so to my Amex. So, my account balance was zero, and they owed me $149.95. Simple, right? ... I had to pause there so that my insane laughter could taper off.

Here's how the chat went (and in the interest of full disclosure, I had some of the numbers wrong; this month's invoice charged me $149.95 + a valid $3.95 monthly fee, and I left that out of some of my calculations):

'Gordy B' says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?
lottloft@mindspring.com: Hello! My recent invoice, ###, shows a charge of $149.95. That should have been credited to me; the confirmation number I have for you is ###, from Carl.
Gordy B: I am sorry to hear that.
Gordy B: Please let me check our records and assist you.
Gordy B: I would like to inform you that you were charged $149.95 on invoice but not on your card. Right?
lottloft@mindspring.com: I previously had a credit balance of $110.84. So, $43.06 was charged to my card.
Gordy B: Yes, that is right, you were provided a credit of $99.95 as the Waver for the DSL service.
lottloft@mindspring.com: yes, this was the second time I was charged this invalid charge.
Gordy B: But were charged $50.00 as a partial charge for the equipment as you are still under the commitment with Phone service.
lottloft@mindspring.com: nope, I don't have phone service with you
lottloft@mindspring.com: Are you unable to find the credit with the confirmation number ###
Gordy B: One moment.
Gordy B: Thank you for being on hold.
Gordy B: Yes, I see that according to the case you were provided only a credit of $110.00 and not more than that.
lottloft@mindspring.com: That is incorrect. At the time, my account had a $110 credit on it already, and a "pending charge" of $149.95. The confirmation number I gave you was to revoke the $149.95 pending charge. It is an invalid charge, as I should not have been charged for early cancellation (I've been with you for about 10 years). I also should not have been charged the $50 moving fee, as the service was never moved. I have no desire to waste another hour of my day arguing on the phone as I did when I got that confirmation number, so please rectify this situation now, or pass me to a supervisor who can help me.
Gordy B: I am sorry to inform you that according to the confirmation number provided to you the information is as " tell eu that we already provide the credit for 110 dollars".
lottloft@mindspring.com: OK, well, pass me to someone that can credit this second incorrect charge.
lottloft@mindspring.com: The $149.95 is an invalid charge.
Gordy B: One moment.
Gordy B: Thank you for being on hold.
Gordy B: I see that the balance of $43.06 has been provided to you as credit.
Gordy B: On your account and it will be adjusted on your future invoices.
Gordy B: I am sorry for the confusion with the statement in the case number referred by you.
lottloft@mindspring.com: What is my current account balance?
Gordy B: It is that you have no balance due on your account.
Gordy B: From your end.
lottloft@mindspring.com: So, you should be issuing me a credit of $149.95 for the invalid charge: $110.84 of which was paid from the previous credit on my account, and $43.06 of which was charged to my American Express.
Gordy B: Yes, you are right.
lottloft@mindspring.com: ok
Gordy B: I appreciate your patience and understanding in this concern.
Gordy B: Is there anything else I can help you with?
lottloft@mindspring.com: When will that credit be issued?
Gordy B: It is already been issued and you will receive it within 7 - 10 days on your Amex card account.
lottloft@mindspring.com: What is my confirmation number for that?
Gordy B: One moment.
Gordy B: Thank you for being on hold.
Gordy B: The confirmation number is " ###".
Gordy B: Have I answered all your queries?
lottloft@mindspring.com: I just want to make sure I understand. In 7-10 days, a credit will appear on my American Express for $149.95. The confirmation number for this transaction is ###
Gordy B: The balance of $43.06 will appear out of $149.95 with the confirmation number provided.
lottloft@mindspring.com: So I should deny the charge of $43.06 to my American Express that has already occurred?
Gordy B: Yes, it will be refunded on your Amex Card back.
lottloft@mindspring.com: So, to confirm again. In 7-10 days, two credits will appear on my American Express. One for $43.06, and one for $106.89.
Gordy B: I did not get you by $106.89.
lottloft@mindspring.com: You owe me $149.95. I am trying to understand how that credit will be given to me.
Gordy B: I would like to inform you that you were already provided $110.00 and now I have provided you $43.06 as the refund and that makes the total of $153.06 that was deducted from your card.
lottloft@mindspring.com: That $110 was from a previous invalid charge.
lottloft@mindspring.com: It was applied to the $149.95 you incorrectly charged me AGAIN
Gordy B: You were charged only once for the invalid charges.
lottloft@mindspring.com: That is incorrect
Gordy B: I assure you that you were never charged twice for the incorrect amount.
lottloft@mindspring.com: I have been charged multiple times for invalid charges, and I am getting really, really tired of it.
Gordy B: But according to our records and invoices with our database I see that the balance is correct.
lottloft@mindspring.com: On 8/15, I was incorrectly charged for ADSL reactivation.
lottloft@mindspring.com: AND for Unlimited DIal up
lottloft@mindspring.com: These charges were in the amount of $116.19
lottloft@mindspring.com: The credit requests were approved on 8/21.
lottloft@mindspring.com: This resulted in my account having a credit balance of $116.19 (invoice ###)
lottloft@mindspring.com: Then, on 8/24, I was incorrectly charged for shipping on returned equipment.
lottloft@mindspring.com: This credit request was approved on 9/28.
lottloft@mindspring.com: This resulted in my account having a balance of $110.84
lottloft@mindspring.com: As it did, at the start of invoice ###
Gordy B: Yes, you are right.
Gordy B: But I need to also deduct the charges of $3.95 for 3 months on that amount. Right?
lottloft@mindspring.com: The $3.95 for 3 months is a valid charge. I am on the email-only plan.
Gordy B: Okay, if those charges are deducted from $149.95 then the balance can be provided to you.
lottloft@mindspring.com: No, those charges were all paid as well. We are disputing an invalid charge of $149.95. Since my account shows a zero balance, you owe me $149.95
Gordy B: Okay, as you wisht.
lottloft@mindspring.com: You need to credit me $149.95. That is the amount that I have paid you that I should not have.
lottloft@mindspring.com: OK, so you are going to credit my American Express $149.95. What is the confirmation number for that?
Gordy B: The confirmation number will be the same.

I have to say that the most distressing thing about this whole fiasco is the rep's use of a line from The Princess Bride to surrender.

JiffNotes
Earthlink still stinks. I'll be astonished if they get my account right next month.

4 comments:

Jean in Georgia said...

Who's on first... what's on second... I don't know ... Third base!!!

I wondered what happened to Abbott & Costello. Evidently they're working at Earthlink.

Carnac the magnificent predicts you'll be going through the exact same thing next month. May I suggest getting someone to write a letter using the appropriate amount of righteous indignation?? I'm pretty wound up right now.....

TeresaB said...

Better yet, just call Amex now and dispute the charge through them. That would probably be less painful.

Susan said...

I was almost ready to jump to the JiffNotes - it was getting painful to read the interaction!!

I would put something in writing to Earthlink and also something in writing to Amex, outlining the issues. That way, when it happens again, you can photocopy the original letter, and send it again to both places.

I definitely don't have the patience for those kinds of calls!

Erin said...

I agree, I would dispute the charge with the credit card company. That is nuts! It's really not that hard, folks!

Old Geek-outs