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-   -   MCI - Grrrr (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/phones-programs-partners/197028-mci-grrrr.html)

roti Jul 2, 99 1:41 pm

MCI - Grrrr
 
Miles for phone calls are great, and I've been receiving them from MCI or AT&T for more than a decade. BUT, the disingenuous manner in which MCI handled a rate increase earlier this year has me steamed.

I signed up for my current MCI account more than a year ago, at a rate of .12/min. The rate I pay is important because my phone bill averages $200/month. Three weeks ago, I was copying phone bills to obtain reimbursement from a client and discovered that I was being charged .15/min for my calls. I didn't remember any notification that my rate had been increased. So, I went back through my bills and found that on the 1/28/99 statement (which I received around 2/10/99), the fine print stated my rate "will" increase to .15/min effective 1/1/99.

In other words, I was notified about the increase about six weeks after it took effect. Furthermore, they actually started the new rate at the beginning of that billing cycle -- 12/28/98, four days ahead of the day they said the rate would increase.

I just spent a half-hour on the phone with a customer service supervisor who stated that in most states (mine included), they are not required by law to notify customers when they increase rates, as long as the increase is within the limit set by the state. When I asked when the new rate was effective for, she said 1/1/99. I pointed out that I had been charged .15/min for about two dozen calls prior to that and she said she would issue a refund (amounting to about $3), but that she would not issue a refund for calls made after 1/1.

The Massachusetts Telecommunications Dept tells me that MCI is within the law to tell customers about the increase after the fact, but said I was the first to call about an overcharge for the last four days of the year. She said she doubted whether anything would be done about it, given that it happened six months ago and I was the only complaint, but it did get me to thinking. If all MCI customers were overcharged in this state for those four days, the bottom line profit to MCI could well have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If it happened nationwide, as is probably the case, we're probably talking about millions of dollars in revenue.

I'm switching back to AT&T. I don't care about the miles and I can't wait to tell MCI where to stick the "we want you back" check that will come after I discontinue service.

doc Jul 2, 99 3:14 pm

Their supervisor never returned the promised call and a rep hung up on me. I'm not real pleased with their "customer service!"

mkpkmp Jul 2, 99 3:29 pm

Have you try to email the customer service instead of calling them? As many of you, my experience with the MCI customer service over the phone is not good. When they didn't credit me with the right number of mile for the "25K Win-Back" offer, I email them using the form in the Online Account Manager. A few days later, I received a nice apology email stating that the correct number of miles will be posted shortly. We will see if this will happen but at least this experience is better than the phone run-around.

ranles Jul 2, 99 4:43 pm

The whole concept of customer service is getting iffy at best.

On the other hand this board is full of people trying to sock-it to the phone companies for all the points they can get, even if it means saying they received an offer that they did not get (perhaps dishonest?).

Then we have those who switch back and forth. This is a great way to gain points and it is very legal. It is encouraged by the phone company, not your current server, but we know that switching back and forth is costing the economy plenty (and perhaps is unethical?) as we promise our business, but we only mean until something else comes along better.

One of the costs of all this is we need to be more aware of our bills. If we treat the phone companies, as we do, why should we be surprised they treat us so poorly. If money were as important as points, perhaps you would have noiced that your bill had increased 25% in January and continued so for the following six months!!! I bet if they failed to give you a five hundred point bonus, you probably would have caught that right away!


QuantumLeap Jul 2, 99 4:51 pm

Touche', Ranles http://talk.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif

Neal Jul 6, 99 2:56 pm

Ranles,

One thing has nothing to do with the other.
If I call MCI to try to straighten out a billing error, there is no excuse for getting rude service from very uninformed
reps. Do you really think they are assuming
I'm pulling a mileage scam and that in return they're going to give me the worst customer service possible? I don't think so! In fact, when I got fed up and cancelled MCI on all my lines, what do you think happened? I was flooded with telemarketing calls and letters offering me 5,000 miles (per line) to switch back.

Here's a case in point of a severe screw up and rude service by MCI. This does not even involve an account that was switched back and forth for miles or any other reason.

I set up my parents with MCI service to get
a special internet, sign up, rate of 9 cents.
I made myself the "contact person." This authorizes me to call MCI and ask questions and make changes to the service. My parents wanted me to do this because they're very old and realize I know more about long distance companies than they do. Well, the first one or two times I called MCI with a question, I gave them my security info and they told me anything I wanted to know. But the next time, I was told that my name was nowhere to be seen on their computers!! The rep said "I refuse to discuss this account with you!" In another instance in which I don't recall the specifics, there was other important info that disappeared from their computers.

The left hand of MCI Worldcom obviously does not know what the right hand is doing. I hardly think that the marketing of miles has anything to do with customer service.

Neal

wanderlust Jul 7, 99 11:50 am

There's always two cans and a string.

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