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joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC

Router lease fee for Business DLS customers

I just realized that we've been getting charged for a router leasing fee from centurylink for our business DSL. I told them when i signed up i didn't want it to avoid the fee and they said ok and i bought a zyxel 660 modem. not the router, but modem only. Been working fine for a couple of years.

So i called to cancel and am told by the first rep and their supervisor that it is company policy for them to charge Business DSL customers this fee and unlike residential service, it is not optional. WTF?

They refused to remove the charge. I just sent an e-mail with some information about it to the talktous e-mail to see if they can help. If not, i just want this in public view and to see if anyone else has run into this.

I told them on the phone that this seems like theft. Doesn't seem to matter. The excuse i gave was it was to help them troubleshoot problems. Seems to me that right there is why they shouldn't charge us anything for them.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I don't want to come off as a ranting jerk that isn't being fair. I'm interested to see if anyone else has run into this on business DSL. Thanks,

Edited spelling mistake in title.

Ken1943

join:2001-12-30
Denver, CO
Don't know, but isn't all that stuff a business write off for taxes ?


joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC
reply to joebleed
No idea, i'm not in the accounting department and i have no idea about business tax laws/rules.

Even if it is, it isn't right for them to make this kind of charge mandatory when you can supply your own.


Irish Shark
Play Like A Champion Today
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-29
Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to joebleed
"Been working fine for a couple of years."

That statement make me believe that it has been a while that CL was billing you for the router. Why did it take so long to notice this charge? If I were CL, I could argue that since you have been paying for the router from day one, it is implied consent.

What does your original paperwork say? It should have the router and the monthly charge on it. If it does, you are late out of the gate. If it doesn't, I think you can fight it; but beware of the bear trap above.
--
"You can observe a lot by watching". Yogi Berra


joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC
I've never seen the paper work. all the bills go to the accounting department and are only reviewed by them; but they don't know what is supposed to be there and what isn't. It's been an issue i've brought up several times before. The only reason i was asked to look at things this time were due to several numbers that were showing up in the phone book for us.

I did place the order, but do not remember getting any paper work from the person that ran the temp line to our temp work trailers on the site. I can deal with not getting a refund, as you said, it should have been caught way before now. But them telling me it's mandatory for businesses and refusing to remove it?!?! That's just wrong.

I will see if they can pull up the first couple of bills we got from them for the new address. It's probably been charged the whole time. I'm not trying to accuse them of sticking it in there after the fact.

I've caught billing issues before for stuff related to our department that we never see. Usually i find them by accident. Last one i found i was helping the ap lady scan a stack of bills and saw an old maint contract still being billed from muzak or what ever they're called now. We canceled that a good two years prior and notified people we shouldn't be billed for it anymore. Still they were billing and getting paid. It really irks me to think about how often this is happening.

I just want this charge removed. I don't want their equipment. Sure, i'd love a refund on the back charges, but i don't expect it. I shouldn't expect it given the amount of time. It's the simple fact that they refuse to remove it due to it supposedly being a company policy. This is all i'm pissed about. That they will not remove it and are saying they force business customers to have this fee regardless. Billing mistakes happen and it's our own internal problem for not catching it until now. And paying a few for a while should never be considered an implied consent. It may be some how, but it shouldn't be.


Irish Shark
Play Like A Champion Today
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-29
Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
Take a walk down to accounting and have them pull the bills. You need to see what was on the first (say 5) bills.

CL and not collect on something that they did not legitimately bill for regardless of their claim that it is mandatory. That has to be documented in the paperwork. Many times a vendor will not spell every detail out because they reference other documents and they are incorporated into the contract. Look for anything that cites a business TOS or AUP or some other documents.

I don't know what business you are in or how large your organization is, but there should be a purchase order, contract, or the first bill that authorizes accounting to pay the bill.

[Sidebar] The should be in place a mechanism that somebody reviews the paperwork and signs off on it before it goes to accounting.
--
"You can observe a lot by watching". Yogi Berra


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to joebleed
Send a detailed message to: talktous@centurylink.com

They added the modem rental fee to my account when I switched to the CoreConnect service. I sent an email, and Joey removed the charges.


joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC
I've already sent them an e-mail. first response wasn't all too helpful. They asked if i had any more questions so i replied with 3 direct questions and have yet to hear back. I sent them an e-mial before i posted here.

As for getting accounting to pull the bill(s), i've put in the request. to get a copy of the whole bill it has to go to our corporate office. I'm still waiting. I talked to the new accounting manager (old one retired a little while ago, last one died, this one has only worked here a couple of months) He agrees we need to do something because he was wondering about it himself. We unfortunately suffer badly from the "we've done it this way for 40 years, why change it" mentality. And apparently it's never been done done before.

Billaustin, is your account a business one or residential?


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
Business Account - setup 6 years ago - switched to CoreConnect last year (3 year contract) to get lower pricing. Embarq supplied the first modem (which I still have). I've purchased several modems over the years. I bought a C1000A last November, which improved my upstream connection.


DSL68

@qwest.net
I'm in the process of getting the upstream increased on my CoreConnect plan (legacy Qwest market), and was told that my modem wouldn't support the 2Mbps upload. The quote I got from Feb 5th said I could buy ($99.00) or lease ($8.00/mo).


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
You can get the Actiontec C1000A in CenturyLink packaging at BestBuy for $99. It works on ADSL and VDSL circuits. If you plan on having service for more than a year, it is cheaper to buy the modem.


joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC
reply to joebleed
Just thought i'd post a quick update. Just noticed someone else that just discovered this issue.

»[CenturyTel] Want to use my own DSL Modem on Business Line

I'm waiting on our corporate office to send me the right bills. yesterday they sent me the most recent few months for the existing building..... Hopefully today or tomorrow I'll get the ones i want for the new building.

And I'll express my belief that businesses using their own equipment will not hinder, in anyway, their testing/trouble shooting. If it conforms to protocols and standards to work on their DSL network, it will probably respond to anything they see or want to test.

If I'm wrong about my belief on that, please tell me how i'm wrong. Thanks.

Edit: still no reply to my second e-mail/reply from talktous.

GetMoney

join:2010-06-11
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
CTL updated it's TOS for Biz Class DSL customers in Feb 2012. At that time it was decided that any DSL new customer (just new line activation, can be new or existing acct) would be charged a monthly lease fee. CTL does allow you to supply your own modem, but they're still gonna send you a modem and a monthly fee. So if your service was activated after that date you're stuck. If not you may have some leeway. Either way as long as your have their DSL you're always going subject to their TOS. You might want to get a good read at it. Should be on their website.


joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC
this line was started sometime in the latter part of 2010 or early 2011. I don't remember for sure when we put temp work trailers out there. Now the line did have to get moved from the temp trailers to the office building when it was built. That was done around June or July 2012. Wonder if that qualified for. But you giving me this date it is supposed to have started should at least help as well.

Thank You.

GetMoney

join:2010-06-11
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Glad to have helped. I think it's a bogus policy for what it's worth. Good luck in your qwest to get this taken care of. I've had mixed experiences with the TalkToUs crew... the guy that used to man the boards here did a great job, Joe I think was his name. I dunno what the hell happened after he disappeared. I guess they are okay with replying to posts a week after they appear. Then again, what large corporation would care about customer service???


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
Joey is still in the TalkToUs group (at least he was a couple weeks ago). Most of the issues he deals with are for customers in former Embarq areas.

GetMoney

join:2010-06-11
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
Oh okay I gotcha. I used to be a CTL customer for about 6 years before we moved 2 years ago. My job still has me working with some internal support groups there, mostly the business NOC. There used to be guys in Wake Forest that I'd work with on the phone. Now we talk to people all over, mainly in Minnesota. Those guys don't seem to have the prowess that the L-EQ guys did. The EQ days were the GOOD OLD DAYS! at least for me...


joebleed

join:2002-05-28
Tarboro, NC
reply to joebleed
Well, sadly it seems it was on the bill ever sense the beginning. On the old bills it even listed it under the optional charges. It's not listed that way now. Due to this BS policy change i suppose.

Still no response to my reply back to talktous.

I know it's our own fault for having no one that knows this stuff to review these bills, but at the same time, this simple, and in my opinion, stupid policy, which seems akin to theft, is going to cost centurylink 3 business lines and dsl. All i'm waiting on at this point is the fire alarm module to be installed so we can cancel the dsl and all of the phone lines for that building.

I know it may sound foolish and possibly pointless, but at that point, we will not need them anyway. If we ever have to do anything else in the new building we can't accomplish by going through us at the old building, i'll see if the local cable company can do better.