2010-03-03

Goodbye smooge@mindspring.com (or How not to do customer service)

A long time ago (1995?), I had gotten married and my wife and I were moving to Champaign Illinois for her to go to graduate school and me to work for Spyglass, Inc. We needed to get email and such so she signed up with an ISP called Mindspring so that we could get dialup access. Years later (1997?) I would get a sub-mail account so that I could post to mailing lists and such without looking like I was a mouth of Spyglass or Red Hat. Years later Mindspring was bought by Earthlink, we went away from dialup to Cable or DSL, and the accounts were just used for various email accounts.

Later google mail came around, and I switched most of my stuff to there as it had a large buffer and it's mail interface was not as painful as the one Earthlink was using. We had been discussing stopping using Earthlink as it was an expense that really wasn't worth what we were getting out of it anymore. However, we kept going month to month until "the Incident" happened late last year. My folks who we had signed up with Earthlink DSL back in the early 2000's modem had died. My dad called up for what to do, and was told that they would only replace the modem if he signed up for an extra years of service. He couldn't even find out what modems he could buy if he wanted to do it himself. I found out about this finally this month, where it was too late to do anything about the problem...

So instead we decided to cancel service. Since my account was a sub-account of my wife's all I could do was delete smooge@mindspring.com and listen for 20 minutes while my wife tried to get the account deleted. First they said go to the online customer service system... only to be told when a real human showed up that service cancellation had to be done by phone. Then there was a long wait in the queue and then a long list of getting the "Would you like to think about this a bit more?", "We can give you a free month.", "Would you be interested in our DSL options instead?", "How about just keeping your email account for $10.00/month?" After the 8th (I was counting) "No sir I just want to cancel my account." we finally got to delete the account....

to get an email this morning saying that if we didn't want to do this they could reactivate it. Personally I am at the apoplectic stage... my wife just started giggling insanely so I think it broke her. Anyway long story short, I personally could not recommend Earthlink anymore. [Your Mileage May Vary.. we may have just had a string of problems.]
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