Qwest in the dumper

matthew's picture

Finally, after years of service outages, shoddy quality, bills for services never received, and customer service reps who made promises never kept, we've divested ourselves of our local telephone monopoly, Qwest. I, along with 37,000 others, will now say that "Qwest Sucks".

Several months ago, we transferred our telephone service to Vonage. We've received excellent service, profoundly good sound quality, and a host of nifty features, for a low price of about 27 bucks a month. I initially posted about our experience with Vonage here. It was initially Sammy G who turned me on to Vonage in the first place.

Eventually, we apparently infected Weed with the Vonage Virus, and he sent me a PM saying he switched. I'm still waiting for Justin to do so (Hey! Dude! I just sent you a referral); and Justin, if you sign up, be sure to use refer-a-friend stuff so you and I get free months! Weed had already signed up, so I couldn't claim him for 2 free months of service.

Anyway, after we booted Qwest as our local telephone provider, we were still stuck with them for DSL service. Local alternatives were wireless, which I've had bad experiences with and prefer to avoid, and dial-up. Obviously, dial-up won't work with a VOIP phone, so we waited until Comcast came into town advertising cable Internet.

We finally got it installed today. Within hours, I called Qwest and formally terminated our last remaining tie to our local telephone company.

I couldn't be more pleased. It's fast. Real fast. About three times faster than Qwest DSL for downloads. It's unfortunate that Comcast hamstrings upload speeds (it's a fraction of Qwest's upload speed), but apparently they have a "Business" offering which offers dramatically improved uploads.

As 90% of what I do doesn't involve the need for amazingly fast uploads anyway, I'm not too concerned.

Anyway, our Vonage phone works perfectly. Our bandwidth is great. Unlike with Qwest, I can be downloading a few gigabytes of an ISO file at 400Kbytes/sec, and be yakking on the phone without any problems at all. No glitching. Whereas with Qwest, I couldn't even play an online game while someone was on the phone, the phone would get so glitchy.

I cranked our phone quality settings up all the way, and the quality difference is profound. It's the difference between cell-phone quality, and high-quality telephone. Very cool.

Anyway, I'm happy to finally be out of Qwest Hell. It's a hell they created for themselves and for us, and we figured the best possible revenge was to simply not pay them any more money.

Yay us!

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Sammy G's picture

I'm With You

We just had a tree branch go down in our backyard last night, landing on the phone line. I called Qwest and then said that as of one month ago, they are no longer dispatching their techs to clear limbs off their power lines.

What the heck am I paying a "wire maintenance" plan for?

matthew's picture

Phone or power?

I think Qwest was BSing you, trying to give an acceptable excuse as to why they can't come out. Chances are good that it was a power line the tree branch landed on, not a phone line (or it was both together, maybe?). Qwest has service agreements with local power companies that the power company handles line issues. Qwest techs aren't qualified to powerlines; they'd get killed. Try calling your power company.

If it's a tree limb on your phone line and not power, just climb up there and take it off. If it actually disables service, I'm certain Qwest will come out :) There's not much power going through a phone line. Enough to give you a healthy jolt, and it's not pleasant, but not enough to even remotely have a chance of killing you.

The "Wire Maintenance" plan is for wiring inside your house. If a Qwest tech is dispatched to your home to troubleshoot a phone issue, and finds out it's due to an internal wiring problem inside your house, if you have the wire maintenance plan they won't charge you. If you don't, you'll get socked with a $100 bill for the tech's visit.

I know more about the wiring in my house than any Qwest service monkey. They ain't touching it ever again :)

--
Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Sammy G's picture

Been Through That

Yeah, had to visually scope this morning. The limb is hitting both power and phone lines. I decided to call Qwest first.

Yes, the wire maintenance plan is for inside wiring. Except that when I initiated service, Qwest told me that the plan also covers any winter-related problems, like ice damage on the line. You don't live in MN, so you don't get to experience what -10 can do to a phone line. So the plan covers (covered?) more than just inside wiring.

I just find it interesting that they decided to stop coming out for any damage to the phone line. Another "what else can we do to disappoint" example.

Qwest Spirit of Service is a joke

Seriously, the Qwest Spirit of Service campaign was institued by appointed CEO Dick Noteabart who entered the company and splashed his face all over it as if he had everything to do with Qwest's existence or creation.

Since Joe Nachio robbed the company (White collar crime is hard to trace that's why these CEO's and other executives all think they can get away with it) Enter Dick Noteabart figuring that the Qwest Spirit of Service campaign would put a new clean imagine on Qwest however Dick forgot one thing; Qwest corrupted itself from the top down and Dick has not changed any of that. In fact management spending at Qwest is actually UP meanwhile the company is in negotiations to take away more employee benefits and retiree pensions!!!

That's what Qwest is good for, putting MORE money in the pockets that DON'T deserve it and taking it from the people who do. Not to mention that the customer is NOT Qwest's first line of priority, profit is. Now here is where the CEO or executive comes in and says well that is the first line of any business, WRONG! Real customer service is Dick!

More on Qwest

The main Qwest Sucks page

Qwest Sucks You Say?

Qwest sucks is what you guys say? Because Qwest lies? Because Qwest steals? Is this not typical in corporate America today? Does Qwest not behave like most, not all but most for profit corporations? Wal-Mart isn’t exactly innocent. Do you guys protest Wal-Mart too? Or just slam Qwest because as you say Qwest sucks?

Here is a Qwest employee message board at MSN and it looks like the employees agree that Qwest sucks
http://groups.msn.com/DSCNNCTDSQWestEMPLOYEEBOARD/general.msnw?action=ge...

Qwest broadband

Riddle me this...Qwest is based in Denver but many Denver residents cannot even get Qwest DSL?

Does anyone know any broadband alternates? I use Comcast but it's way over priced and the service falters about once a month so I would consider switching to something else if it were available.

i know what you mean, qwest sucks big time

i agree with you, i ordered a pay as you go phone from quest last week on thur. they said it would be here Tue. turns out they sent it to the wrong address, which i checked for correctness on thur., they did not change it to the correct address, like they said they would, tue. came and the phone did not. contacted them and they said it would be here thur. well not here on thur either, called and they said that the address was wrong again, west instead of east like on my address. i was promissed that i could use my phone, regular cell, and the min. would be credited between thur, and when phone arrives, on fri.they apoligized for the address mistake. i went to check remaing min on my current cell phone, while speaking to the quest rep. i asked about if the notes from the previous conversation about crediting me the min. was noted and he said that he had no such notes on record, no way would he do that. i don't know why the woman i talked to didn't put the notes in the record like she said she would, but i was lied to straight out. it's been a week and i still do not have the phone. when my contract is up, quest can go and lie to someone else, what a bunch of idiots, can't belive the monkeys they have working for them, well monkeys are smarter, sorry monkeys.

matthew's picture

A core reason for leaving Qwest...

A core reason for leaving Qwest was their continued billing of us for cell phone service we did not have or use. We cancelled our cell phone in December that year. I called them every two months for the next six months to remind them that we had terminated our service, but they were continuing to bill us and automatically deduct the phone charge from our bank account.

Finally, after six months of this (we're talking over $300 in overcharge on a phone service we had cancelled), I managed to talk to the right person and get it permanently cancelled. She assured me that they would refund the overcharge in full.

Next month, I saw that, not only had they not credited our account with the money they had stolen, but my new bill was now telling me that I was past due on my previous month's bill! It was exactly the amount that I had not paid because the CS rep had assured me I did not have to pay it since I had been trying to cancel my cell phone for six months.

I was, understandably, unhappy with this. Past-due notices end up on credit reports.

I called them to complain, and they said there was a note on my account from the billing department which read that "under no circumstances is this customer to be given a refund". But something more curious: they said they had not talked to me since December. When I initially called to cancel my service.

They had no record of any conversations with me since then. No explanation of how we stopped getting billed until the exact day I said I'd previously called again to cancel service, and had been assured they'd refund our $300. Just a record of the cancellation, with no explanation save the "don't refund" note.

Why was there a note saying not to give me a refund if I'd imagined these attempted cancellations on my behalf? Either they have systematic data integrity issues, or the data got nuked or hidden. Either way, bad form. The CS rep had no explanation, nor did his manager. Apparently, because of the lovely note on my account, I wasn't allowed to escalate that call any higher despite repeated protestations that I needed to speak to someone who could make the appropriate adjustment.

I eventually just paid up, said "screw it", and within a few weeks, I wrote this post. $350 was just not worth how much time and money it would have cost me to fight it in court, particularly when they were the ones with all the records (I didn't keep a call log until the one 6 months later), and those records had magically disappeared.

I'm still bitter. If they ever want money from me again, they'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead, uhh, wallet. Which, uh, my cold, dead fingers will be wrapped around in rigor-mortis with a tattoo that says "F U QWEST" on it.

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Qwest being based in Denver

Qwest being based in Denver has no impact on whether or not you can get dsl. A lot of it has to do with how far you are from the C.O. or remote terminal, and the quality of your actual phone line. DSL is available in lots of areas of Denver. A lot of times if it is not available in your neighborhood due to being too far from the C.O., Qwest will put a remote terminal (stinger) in to bring the service closer. This is an ongoing process and is very costly to Qwest. It can cost over one million dollars to put in the RT, so Qwest isn't going to put one in for only a few customers. Qwest is a business and wants to get a return on their investment. If you can have 50 neighbors sign a petition and submit it to Qwest, this often speeds up the process.

paul@murphymaphia.com's picture

Shut up

Shut up.

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*This signature is an experiment in Google Bombing
mot propre

Timpane's picture

umm..

This bears clarification.. wadhhup, paul?

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paul@murphymaphia.com's picture

Ah...

I was responding to the anonymous retard above me. Here's a more detailed response:

Dear Anonymous Retard,

First of all, You are a Qwest PR troll.

Second, a petition of neightbors is redundant. We already have Public Service Commissions (allegedly) representing the public interest in these affairs.

Third, the ONLY point of a public utility (even a privately operated one) is shared infrastructure costs. See, after the CO is installed in, say, West Jordan, 20 thousand people, or so, share the cost of that CO over it's servicable life.

In the end, lots of extra revenue is generated by that CO in a populated area. That extra revenue is intended to provide comparable services to people in less-populated areas that wouldn't otherwise justify that cost on their own.

Plus, Qwest is the WORST company in the world for all the reasons a company can be bad. So you come on here and try to explain that Qwest is just doing their best and, golly, we ought to really try to understand their position... well... Shut up.

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*This signature is an experiment in Google Bombing
mot propre

Let it be so...

Amen

Paul@murphymaphia.com Is an Idiot

YOU are a retard and probably one of the idiots that called in to Qwest about why your bill was 2 cents higher than it was the month before. That, or a deadbeat that didn't pay their bill and then called in to cause a scene about why your service was shut off. You don't even know what the PUC is! We're glad you don't have Qwest service anymore. One less idiot to deal with!

EDIT by matthew: F-bombs removed. Rant retained for the entertainment value.

matthew's picture

Well, at least....

Well, at least his rhetoric is consistent with his IP address. I kinda' wished he had a Comcast IP for the humor value! Anyway, according to his IP he's a Qwest DSL customer in or near Denver, Colorado.

IP Address: 71.218.208.118
ARIN Whois info
OrgName: Qwest Communications Corporation
OrgID: QCC-22
Address: 1801 California Street
City: Denver
StateProv: CO
PostalCode: 80202
Country: US

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Matthew P. Barnson

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Matthew P. Barnson

Sammy G's picture

Eerie Coincidence

Eerie coincidence that there was a blind post at random after all these years, given that Wife Unit made me kill Vonage and return to Qwest. Yuck. We've had problems with power outtages, security systems and the fact that Wife Unit doesn't like living off her cell phone. We're just getting their basic home line (landline) service.

Qwest is so bad. It was painful working with their tele-sales people. I feel like I'm returning for a beating.

weed's picture

Maybe...

My wife made me promise her I'd prevent her from making any major changes during her pregnancies Of course, to her major meant drastic haircuts or throwing away clothes, but the fact remains she knew she'd be irrational and wanted me to prevent it.

Sam, prevent your wife from being irrational. A simple UPS will keep the Vonage modem up during power outages, and as long as your cable/DSL line remains powered as well, you shouldn't notice any phone outage during a power outage. But be aware that old phones used to be powered over the phone line. Newer cordless phones usually have to have the base station plugged in to work. Regardless of if it's Vonage or Verizon or Qwest or whomever you have service through...if power goes out and your base station dies, you'll lose phone service unless you have an old-style phone that runs off the power in the line.

My $.02
Weed

My $.02
Weed

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[...] wife and I had been happy Comcast customers for two and a half years since ditching Qwest, who withdrew more than $300 from our bank account for phone service we didn't .... Although their upload speed was crap, Comcast had the bandwidth necessary to make our Vonage line [...]