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Optimum: deceptive and unfair

Discussion in 'Other' started by Diplomat526, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Diplomat526

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    On Nov. 2, 2017 all cable service out: no phone, no tv, no internet. I called customer service, and spoke with Mauro. A tech needed to come out, and someone needed to be home. I told Mauro to cancel my service. He said that he would have to transfer my call and a man who spoke with a very heavy accent came on the line. I had difficulty understanding him. He ignored multiple requests to disconnect service, and instead offered a discount if I stayed. I made it clear I wanted to cancel. Unintelligible Guy then said that I “had until the end of the month.” To do what? I said I was filing a complaint with the NJ BPU and hung up.

    I filed a complaint with the BPU and sent an email to Optimum. Inexplicably, I was advised to contact the disconnection department. The Optimum reply also said that “It is the representative [sic] responsibility to notify the customer of our disconnect policy.” This info was not relayed to me by Mauro or Unintelligible Guy.

    I received a bill from Optimum for the entire month of November, although I only had service on Nov. 1. I returned the modem and cable box to Optimum and filed a complaint with the BBB. I received a call from Laurie from Optimum in response to the BPU complaint. The big reveal was that Mauro had transferred me to the Retention Dept, not the Disconnection Dept as I had been led to believe. This was a shocking deception, but Laurie did not explain or apologize, or tell me why my requests to disconnect were not honored. She made no apology or comment about the fact I could not understand Unintelligible Guy. Laurie detailed all the information Unintelligible Guy had allegedly relayed to me. This included the fact that Optimum does not prorate bills, regardless of how early in the month the service is cancelled.

    I told Laurie I should not be billed for a month of service when I had absolutely no service. She retorted that Optimum would have sent someone out to restore service. Left unsaid was just how quickly Optimum would respond, and the fact that I would have to miss work to waiting for the Optimum tech to arrive and then fix the problem. Bottom line: my November bill would not be prorated.

    I then received Optimum’s response to my BBB complaint:” … when a customer calls to disconnect their service, our representatives are instructed to remind the customer of the monthly period, and provide the option to schedule their disconnection date at the end of the monthly service period. “ I repeat that this did not happen in my experience.

    Optimum added that “customers who choose to disconnect their service early and return their equipment … can still continue to use our out-of-home services, such as: the TV to Go networks that they can watch on their mobile devices; Optimum WiFi’s more than 1.5 million hotspots, as well as Cable WiFi hotspots; Optimum e-mail; News 12 Networks and Newsday.com. “There may be 1.5 million wifi hotspots, but there are only 25 in my town, or 0.000017% of the existing hotspots. All are within small businesses I have never patronized. I have no use for Newsday.com or News 12. My Optimum email account mysteriously disappeared quite some time ago. The $173.31 that Optimum claims I owe includes $15.29 for the equipment I returned: $10 for the cable box and $4.95 for the modem plus $0.34 in modem sales tax. In addition to paying Optimum for no cable services, I am also expected to pay rental for equipment I no longer possess.

    The Optimum outage policy is in the fine print on the bill: “If you have a cable-related outage that lasts for more than six consecutive hours, you’ll receive full credit on your bill for the time lost provided you contact us within 30 days of the outage.” Optimum has neglected to credit my account for the service outage.

    Optimum’s no proration policy is an outrage. Optimum should not be permitted to charge customers beyond the date of cancellation, especially when the customer has absolutely no service. Optimum cannot be permitted to mislead customers and deprive them of their right to disconnect when they specifically request to disconnect. Please let me know if anyone has any ideas regarding how to get Optimum to do the right thing. I am also interested in publicizing this incident. Thanks.
     
    #1
  2. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Unfortunately, the only people you will be publicizing to is anyone who reads this post.

    We have company contacts on top of our page. I suggest you email the executives, one at a time starting at the bottom, and leaving a week in between letters, about your case.
     
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    jsn55 likes this.
  3. Diplomat526

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    To clarify: my intent was to solicit ideas regarding wider publication. There are cable subscribers out there who should be informed about how these companies operate.
     
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  4. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    I understand your wish. Your post was so long that I couldn't finish it. This forum helps people solve consumer problems. I wish I knew a place to refer you so you could make your feelings known to a larger audience. Perhaps an internet search will turn up some names.
     
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  5. Diplomat526

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    This was my first posting to this forum and will be my last. I do not understand why you would waste your time commenting about a post you deem to be so long you could not finish it. As a staff member, you should be able to arrange to have overly long posts such as mine cut off at an appropriate length or blocked entirely.
     
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  6. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    You might want to post this on Optimums Social Media outlets. They have far more people reading posts there.
     
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  7. Steve Neago

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    1. There may be a more direct method to address your concerns... the Federal Communications Commission is the primary federal government entity to regulate communications companies such as Optimum. IMHO, the Federal Law that most directly affects your complaints is the apparent violation by Optimum of the federal Fair Credit and Reporting Act and you should read about this Federal Law passed by Congress . I strongly suggest you send a notarized and registered letter to the Optimum Legal Department detailing your concerns, Optimum's lack of action and misleading referrals inside Optimum and you should request a specific employee contact in the Optimum Legal Department to address your concerns since you are getting conflicting instructions from different employees at Optimum. Mention in the letter you are are angered at Optimum staff misleading you and you expect an Optimum written response in writing within 1 week. I suggest that you only have Optimum contact you in writing because this is documented, while the content of your telephone calls to/from Optimum are not.
    2. After the notarized/registered letter is sent to Optimum, wait 1-2 week for Optimum's response and if they do not respond or you are not satisfied with the response, immediately file an informal complaint directly with the Federal Communications Commission through their Consumer and Governmental Affairs website at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us or else call the FCC directly at 1-888-225-5322. Your complaint will initially be documented as an "informal" complaint (implies no lawsuit filed as of yet) but often results in an immediate response from your ISP/TV/Telephone provider and the FCC keeps database of complaints that are filed against your ISP. The ISP is required by FCC administrative law to respond in writing to the complaint.
    3. Contacting the FCC and raising a complaint logged by the Feds against your ISP/TV/Internet provider serves several purposes that benefit you... a.) the FCC has more direct legal authority over your "services provider" and you will eventually get a written response to both you and the FCC for each of the concerns you raise. The "provider" should address each concern in writing - including billing concerns. b.) Both the BBB and Federal Trade Commission are powerless to contact the ISP/TV/Telephone Provider for you because they can only document and log calls. The BBB and FTC cannot force the ISP to obey administrative law & regulations because there must be a Federal District Court lawsuit and decision in your favor until the FTC can intervene. The BBB is a non-profit organization that only lists filed complaints against ISPs for several years and often removes the complaint.
    4. I was able to use these methods to eventually get Spectrum/Time Warner to release specific incoming telephone call information to my home's land line. I am on the FTC Do-Not-Call list for landline and cell telephones. I requested itemized info from Spectrum about specific and illegal 3rd Party company sales/marketing telephone calls that would would call my home telephone every other day. Spectrum staff initially declined to reveal the Caller-ID, caller telephone number, and call date/time info that I needed to file an FTC complaint against the 3rd Party companies telephone numbers. The Spectrum Tech Support Dept and Customer Service Department repeatedly closed my complaints about Spectrum blocking my access to my telephone call records for an FTC inquiry. Spectrum staff claimed they closed my complaints as "resolved" because Spectrum had an unwritten company rule that consumers like me are not entitled to my private telephone call info - even though it was requested by the FTC. As soon as I complained to the FCC that Spectrum's Tech Support Dept staff was making legal decisions about restricting customer access to their private telephone call records, Spectrum sent me the info I requested within 1 week.
    I Hope these suggestions help you and I am confident you can win these billing and account disconnect problems with Optimum.

    Regards, Steve
     
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  8. joycexyz

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    Many people send overly long posts, many of which are very difficult to read. They need to vent. I didn't find this one so onerous. As a Comcast customer, I find the abuse Diplomat526 endured to be the norm. Perhaps that's why I am able to read the post--I can sympathize. But rather than asking for a forum the OP should be contacting the FCC. And just pay the final bill (with great gnashing of teeth), and be happy to sever the relationship.
     
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  9. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Is it really necessary to nitpick like this? it does nothing to help the letter writer.
     
    #9
  10. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    It is still argumentative and unnecessary. Our directives from Chris are that these types of responses are unnecessary and rude. I am sure no one else noted it or cares
     
    #10
  11. Just A Guy

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    I've deleted my posts.
     
    #11
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