• Report:  #613

Complaint Review: Earthlink - Nationwide

Reported By:

Nationwide, U.S.A.
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Recently on the radio here in Salt Lake City, Utah, Earthlink, one of the largest providers of Internet service, advertised a "great" deal if you become a member of their internet family. For just $19.99 a month, you receive internet access and all the latest everything they have to offer, PLUS they will give you a digital camera, valued at "120.00" for free! On the radio advertisement, the only stipulation was that you had to remain a member for three months.

I was considering a change in service providers, so I called the 1-800-earthlink customer service number to get more information. Sure enough, the advertisement was valid. The first question out of the sales rep's mouth was "can I have your credit card number?" Well, I said, no, I don't provide credit card numbers for transactions over the phone or on-line. I prefer to pay cash for everything. "Well, then, we can't sign you up." Click. And with that, the representative hung up on me.

I called back and got anou=ther rep and started out the

conversation where I had left off with the other. She explained to me that the camera offer was valid, and that if I terminated my contract before the end of three months that I would be charged $89.00 for the camera. Wow, $89.00 for a supposidly $120.00 camera is a pretty good deal.

I then told her that I would not be paying with a credit card, as I have had numerous problems with over-the-phone transactions. She also told me that I couldn't sign up. When I asked why, she told me that if I were to cancel, they would bill my credit card for the camera. Fair enough, I said, but since I won't be paying with my card, I would be willing to pay, in cash, all three months up front so that circumstance wouldn't be an issue. I was told, "either pay with a credit card and get your camea, or pay in cash and don't get a camera." I also mentioned that no where in their radio advertisement did the restrictions state that a credit card was required, which possibly constituted false advertising. I received no reply to that.

When I told her that I believed it was illegal to deny payment with legal tender, in other words CASH, I was told that they could refuse service to anyone and that they didn't want "my" kind of customer to sign up with them.

Furious, I terminated the call. I then talked with my rommate who had seen their advertisement in the newspaper, called a local computer store and found out that the camera which was supposidly valued at $120.00 could be purchased for only $59.99!

I then called the local radio station and told them of this

problem, and the program director is contacting earthlink to either pull the ad or have it re-recorded.

None of the issues validate the use of a credit card, and I know, through a co-worker, that earthlink has made charges on their credit card bill over and beyond their $19.99 per month charges, and having them removed has been a nightmare. I feel they want your credit card to have direct access to your money.

Thank you for your site and for what you provide the consumer.

Connie Anast

[email protected]

1 Updates & Rebuttals


Earthlink is free to refuse cash if they choose.

#2Consumer Comment

Mon, January 05, 2004

While it seems strange behaviour, there is no legal requirement that anyone accept any particular form of payment. Earthlink is free to refuse cash if they choose.

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