MCI -- Horrendous experience

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Jan 25, 2002.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I am in desperate need of venting, so here goes...
    I have been an MCI long distance customer for several years. I don't really make a lot of calls, but those I do make are usually within the USA, and my bill is around $7 per month. (The rates vary from 10c to 25c per minute depending on when the call was made.)
    One of our friends recently moved to Ireland and my wife made a 71-minute call to her a couple of weeks ago-- on a Saturday. We just received the bill: $212! MCI charged $2.41 per minute (again, this was on a Saturday) and the taxes/fee were around $40. I then went to MCI's website to look at their rate plans. According to the website, their "MCI International Weekends" rate is 9c per minute to Ireland, with a monthly fee of $3. I spoke to a "customer service" representative who told me there was no way to credit or adjust my account. I was very pleasant until it became clear that she wouldn't offer any help. I even offered to be retroactively charged the monthly rate for the program for two years, just so the discount rate could be applied to this one call. No dice.
    I understand that my wife should have checked into the rates before making the call. But isn't it kind of ridiculous to have a "Standard Weekend" rate of $2.41 per minute for unsuspecting customers and a $0.09 rate for customers paying an extra $3 per month, and then not make a one-time adjustment for an honest mistake? I am canceling service with MCI, because I feel they are unwilling to be reasonable. If it were a disagreement over $10 vs. $40 I would probably just chalk it up to experience. But for them to demand I pay $200+ simply because my wife didn't sign up for the plan ahead of time is unfair.
    MCI SUCKS!
     
  2. Stephen_Opipari

    Stephen_Opipari Stunt Coordinator

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    I hear you, completely.
    And, I'll tell you, their local service is just as bad. I acutally had the salespeople flat out *lie* about how MCI handles LATA/Local Long Distance then it ended up costing 2x as much as Ameritech. And all becauese I didn't take down the name of the yahoo who sold me the service, I couldn't gripe about it and have MCI or anyone else listen.
    But, I think the worst part is that their departments are so out of touch with each other that I kept getting billed 5 months after I was 100% disconnected with them in order to stop receiveing bills for service.
    Pathetic company. And I thought SBC/Ameritech took bad customer service with pride... [​IMG]
    [​IMG] to MCI
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Well, the problem is easily solvable: Don't pay it. Tell them to F-off, literally, and don't pay it.

    All they can do is send it to collections. And when the collections agency calls you the first time, you tell them that if they call you ever again over this issue you are going to sue them silly. They'll back right off.

    The next thing that will happen is it may go on your credit report. Actually, I don't think that would happen, because a regular phone is not something that normally shows up on a credit report. Even if it does, you simply write letters to the three credit reporting agencies and I believe they are required by law to put your version of the events on your report.

    Trust me, if you have a good credit report otherwise, nobody is going to deny you credit based on one bad note from MCI.

    Basically, I wouldn't pay it. But I'm a jerk that way. When I feel some company has wronged me, I tell them where to stick it and refuse to pay for their "services". The last one was a $300+ medical bill for my wife that was totally unwarranted. We had paid our deductable and insurance had paid the rest yet these people were insisting we owed them all this money TWO YEARS after the fact. They had "gone through their books" and "realized" that we owed them money. All I know is that every time we went in they got a check for $15 and the insurance paid the rest and two years later you don't come back and harass people because you screwed up. I refused to pay it. They sent notices and warnings that they were going to send it to collections every month for a year even after being told to stop. I ripped most up without even opening them. Eventually they went away. They never did send it to collections nor did it show up on my credit report, likely because they were told if it did they would be in deep legal doo doo...

    Threats are usually enough to stop most people. And you should never feel obligated to pay any bill just because someone says you have to. MCI has no power over you and cannot force you to pay them. Just because a business says you have to pay, doesn't mean you have to pay. If the fees were fair and rightly incurred, then yes, you have a moral obligation to pay. But in this case, those fees are NOT fair, they're bullshit considering the circumstances.
     
  4. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    MCI, I believe, stands for Mis-Communicating Idiots. I work with MCI every day, and they are generally incompetent buffoons (but not nearly as bad as Ameritech). While I don't have any of their phone services, my first-hand experiences with their employees & management are enough to forever keep me from dealing with them.
    As for long distance, might I suggest Americom.com? I've had them for a couple years now, and have no complaints. I get 5.4 cents per minute (might be as low as 5 cents, I'd have to double-check) for state-to-state calles, and 6.1cpm for intrastate calls. This is 24x7, with no monthly fees. They also provide a toll-free number that is 5.4cpm, and have decent customer service. When I first switched, my long distance bill went from $30-40 per month, to under $10, and I've never had any problems with their service. And, no, I do not work for them, or get paid for my endorsement.
     
  5. EugeneR

    EugeneR Second Unit

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    Why deal with a low level CSR who has no power to give you what you want? You should've asked for a manager right away instead of getting all upset. Going up the chain of command and being polite but firm brings great results just about every time. At this point, your best bet is to dig around MCI's web site, come up with the name and address of the president, and write him a polite letter (not an e-mail) voicing your displeasure. You'd be amazed at how quickly a letter to a company's president gets things accomplished.
     
  6. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Ryan and Eugene are both right. I have worked in collections before and now work in a legal department for a leasing company for a pretty huge U.S. bank.

    If you had bugged them for a manager, there is a good chance you would have had the charge waived on the spot. They don't want to be bothered by stuff like this as they usually have much bigger fish to fry.

    As far as sending it to collections, they could possibly report it on you credit report, but like Ryan said, write the bureaus - (SP? I hate that fucking word)and simply tell them the charges are bogus (don't go into detail). The account on you credit report should eventually be marked disputed. Collection agencies don't usually do much except send out letters that look like junk mail and make some phone calls. When they call be polite and say, "Please put me on you do not call list" (like you would with telemarketers) or you can tell them to piss off and never call again. They probably won't. They will send off some more letters and eventually closed their file as uncollectable - need to litigate. Obviously nobody is going to sue you over this as the courts fees and the process server fees will probably be more than what you owe.

    Also, (and I may be wrong, it has been so long since I have signed up for any kind of long distance service) nobody is suppose to be able to pull your credit report (and ultimately report things) unless you have given them your social security # in the first place. I guess what I can't remember is if you have to give MCI/Ameritech/so-on your social security # when you sign up. On some contracts I deal with where we either have somebody who personally guarranteed the contract or a sole proprietorship but we have no personally information on file (eg, we never required it) we are told time and time again not to even think about pulling their credit. I'm not an attorney, so this may be wrong, but I deal with a number of different attorneys and they all tell me the same thing.

    The down side is dont plan on doing business with MCI again (not that you would want to). But in this day of mergers, some time down the road you may no have much of a choice.....
     
  7. Randy Tennison

    Randy Tennison Screenwriter

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    Uhh, I guess I am in the minority. Your wife used the service. She didn't check the rates prior to making the calls. MCI provided the service at their posted rate. You owe the bill. Just because they would not work with you on reducing the bill is no reason to cheat them out of money they are owed. To not pay them is stealing. You received a service, you owe them the money.

    I do agree that you have every right to never use their services again, based upon your experience. Express your displeasure in a letter to the president of MCI, to the FCC, the FTC. the BBB,hell, even to your senator or congressman. But don't steal from them by refusing to make the payment.

    I'll take off my goody goody two shoes now.
     
  8. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Fuck'em. Don't pay it.
     
  9. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    er, I pretty much agree with Randy, sure try and get it reduced, but you did use the service. If they had deliberately misled you about the price there would be more reason to be angry, but that doesn't appear to be what happened.
     

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