Having heard some interesting things about this ISP, I tried it for less than 15 days. What I got out of the trial can be best summarized as pain due to service problems, headache due to to many run-arounds and a loss or seizure of $21.90 by Earthlink Network. To tell the whole truth, a good friend of mine from the college days told me to give this ISP a try. He has been using it with success so far. He asked me to try it and give his name to benefit a free month of service. When I signed up for the service, I failed to mention his name after encountering so many problems the night of the installation. When I contacted the support center, some workers/experts/techies tried to help me out. What was supposed to take a matter of a few minutes ended up taking more than 5 hours on my cell phone. So much for all the free hours on the week-end! I did not want to give up, especially after a good recommendation from a trusted friend. Well, I should have trusted my instincts in the first place!
The first Earthlink Expert from the support center gave up on me
After trying to install the service for me, the first worker bailed out on me. I must say that he tried very hard to solve the problem, but he realized he could and had to consult with another of his colleagues. When he replaced him to install the service for me, it was high time. Even he had to take a long time to figure out what was wrong with the whole installation process. By then, my ears were burning. I was ready to quit just like the first Earthlink worker did. The second guy asked me to hang in there while he consulted the manuals. My wife wanted to use a different ISP. It was time that we changed ISPs. We really wanted to take advantage of Earthlink's spamkiller. For the few days that we could access Earthlink, we did not have any problems with the many pop-ups and related ads that take over your computer. If everything else went wrong, I will say that this one feature/software did a fabulous job. Everything was free. In addition, I also enjoyed their e-mail forwarding feature. Not too many ISPs offer it.
When I was about to lose all hope of having Earthlink, the support center technician tried a different trick and managed to connect me to the Internet. I was ready to do my work. Well, happiness is temporal. The next few days, I started having problems connecting and downloading any page without taking a whole lot of time. It was practically difficult to do anything. My wife was ready to kick Earthlink to the corner. I looked at my drawer to find the two CDs that I had received in the mail. I tried to install it using the CDs. It was to no avail. Earthlink did not want to work for me. It remained unchanged until I realized that the former ISP we were using was not so bad after all. No wonder Earthlink occupies the lowly third place among all the ISPs!
I was ready to call it quits and move on to an ISP that worked for me and my wife. For what we do, MSN and AOL worked perfectly. So, despite all the recent aggressive ads on these networks and frequent pop-unders and pop-ups, we decided to go back to what works for us. AOL and MSN have worked for both of us in the past. What we like about these ISPs is that they made it easy for us, members, to install their service and cancel membership later on. They are not hungry for pocketing members' money. They are not into the business of angering users who will tell others including friends, colleagues and family members. Well, consider yourself warned, epinions community. If you want to use Earthlink service, you will have a headache in the end. I preferred to have an headache instead of losing my money for a service that did not work for me.
Earthlink Network was only after my money and disregarded service and customer satisfaction
Cancelling an Earthlink membership is harder than gettting the installation of their service
When I could not take it any longer, I wanted out. But to get my wish, it would have to take many phone calls while having to listen to contradictory messages. For example, there is nowhere on the site that you can just send an e-mail out to the support center to cancel your membership. Earthlink Network pretends to have an open-door policy, but all they are doing is to try to confuse you. As a complainant/customer, you have to use your brain to try to get a message to them. They make it difficult for you to tell them that you don't want their nonexistant service any longer. And if you are seeking to cancel your membership toward the beginning of the month because you hope not to be charged, bad luck. Their claim will be that you have PREPAID! No matter, no techies will take your phone calls, they will give you the run-arounds until you get tired of asking for the same thing. After digging through the website and calling the listed 1-800-890-6356 and 1-800-719-4660, I found workers who told me that they did not take care of canceling membership. Then, they forwarded my call to somebody who was supposed to be doing this. There was nobody at all. It was an answering machine and long, slow instrumental music with Earthlink ads and request to send an e-mail. What e-mail will should you ask!
Copy of my letter to Earthlink Network
I had to go to Earthlink again to look for information that was buried among all the pages. By then, I did not want to have anything to do with Earthlink and its support center. It was all a big ruse and joke to me! Why make a cancellation so difficult! Each time, I managed to stay on the line and talked to somebody, they said they could not cancel my membership. Who could then? It was not easy to find somebody to talk to. Customer service is the company's lowest point and weakness as far as I am concerned.
Feb. 14, 2003
I have sent many e-mails to your support center this morning. I have been told to go the support center. Then I was told to call the 800 number listed above. I called that number. Then, deep inside your web site, I found 800-890-6356. I called it and was given the run-around.
Then, at the end of the day, after listening to your automated system over and over asking me to wait for 10 and 15 minutes, I established contact with Nuri and Darrel Antworth.
I have asked both of them to cancel my account. I am hoping that they will cancel my account.
What kind of customer service is that! Long live the other ISPs that make it easy to get their services and cancel membership.
Please cancel my membership etc etc..
Support Center Insisted That I Send A Registered Letter In Its Response
Why should it be so difficult to cancel a membership? Why do they make so hard?
Copies of their letter
Dear Joseph J. Charles,
Thank you for contacting us.I understand you wish to cancel your account.What is the reason you wish to cancel your account? I would like to assist you so that you do not need to cancel; are you having a technical problem or a customer service issue with which I can try to help?We do appreciate your business.
If the reason for your cancellation is due to a technical issue, please contact our technical support via live chat at http://support.earthlink.net/chat or by telephone at 1-800-719-4660 option 1, if you would like to resolve the problem.If you still wish to cancel your account, you have two options:1) You may call our Customer Service department at 1-800-719-4660 option 2.2) You may cancel by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested addressed to:EarthLink Inc.;1375 Peachtree Street, Level AAtlanta, GA 30309At this time, EarthLink does not accept email or Live Chat cancellations of services.
The reason for this is to protect our members from fraudulent changes to their account.Accounts are set to close at the end of the current cycle. We don't prorate charges.Please have your account security information on hand (last 4 digits of credit card number, secret word, etc.)to make the process easier.Once again, please feel free to contact us at the numbers noted above so that we can make the requested changes to your account.EarthLink offers many additional services, so be sure to inquire at the numbers above.Why wait? Resolve your customer service questions on-line at our Account Maintenance web site. To add email mailboxes, change passwords, or update your credit card information, go to:http://myaccount.earthlink.netWe also offer a wide variety of online self help options for technical issues such as setting up your service, troubleshooting problems, or just using the Internet and email, you can access clear, step-by-step instructions at your Support Center:http://support.earthlink.net....
I had to send a registered or certified mail, return receipt requested addressed to:EarthLink Inc.;1375 Peachtree Street, Level AAtlanta, GA.
I made sure they got my message in another e-mail:
Since I can't use your service. Please cancel my membership effective immediately. I have asked Nuri and Darrel Antworth to cancel my membership this evening too.I am recording all this information for further reference.Why the h... make it so difficult to get out of your d... bad service. CANCEL NOW
Dear Joseph j. Charles,
Thank you for contacting us.We have received your message and we are sorry that you wish to cancel your EarthLink services. At this time, EarthLink does not accept email cancellations of services. The reason for this is to protect our members from fraudulent changes to their account.If you wish to cancel your account, you have two options:1) You may call our Customer Service department at 1.800.719.4660 option 2.2) You may cancel by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested addressed to:EarthLink Inc.;1375 Peachtree Street, Level AAtlanta, GA 30309Accounts are set to close at the end of the current cycle.
We don't prorate charges.We do appreciate your business. If the reason for your cancellation is due to a technical issue, please contact our technical support at 1.800.719.4660 option 1, if you would like to resolve the problem.Please have your account security information on hand (last 4 digits of credit card number, secret word, etc.)to make the process easier.Once again, please feel free to contact us at the numbers noted above so that we can make the requested changes to your account.EarthLink offers many additional services, so be sure to inquire at the numbers above.Why wait? Resolve your customer service questions on-line at our Account Maintenance web site. To add email mailboxes, change passwords, or update your credit card information, go to:http://myaccount.earthlink.netWe also offer a wide variety of online self help options for technical issues such as setting up your service, troubleshooting problems, or just using the Internet and email, you can access clear, step-by-step instructions at your Support Center:http://support.earthlink.netLesley Y.Electronic SupportEarthLink, Inc.Why Wait?
Final Confirmation of Cancellation in March.
Cancellation is not as easy as sending an e-mail. Using Earthlink is as hard as using any traditional company when it comes to breaking ranks with them. You will have a hard time to get rid of them. So toward the beginning of this month, I was told my account was not charged because it was cancelled on Feb. 14. Great news? No. I was charged for Feb. any way. They don't want to refund me. I promised them that I would share my experience with my friends, family members and colleagues. I guess they'd rather have $21..once instead of receiving it every month from many people.
My experience exists only as a warning
Feel free to have your own experience. If you use judgement, you will know what to do. As for me, I will not let any of my acquaintances even think about Earthlink. It's not worth treating putting money before people!
Guess what? Two days ago, I found an e-mail of one of their agents trying to get me to move to Earthlink. I did not even think twice before deleting. In hindsight, I should have kept it to use it in this review.