CenturyLink Claims There's no Way They Committed Billing Fraud

DooKey

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Earlier this year a CenturyLink whistleblower claimed the company was engaging in fraudulent billing practices towards broadband customers. In order to get to get to the bottom of this the company fired the whistleblower (says the whistleblower) and formed a special committee of independent board members to look into the charges. After reviewing 9.7 million documents, 32 billion billing records, and interviewing 200 current and former CenturyLink employees, the committee says no way there was any wrong doing on behalf of CenturyLink. As a matter of fact the real blame goes to the customers because they just can't understand pricing, promotions and stuff like that. That is certainly a relief as far as I'm concerned. It's good to know nothing nefarious was going on here. Check out the informative press release here.

Of course CenturyLink would have you believe that this confusing pricing just magically materialized by itself accidentally. In reality, large ISPs consistently employ confusing pricing in order to make direct price comparisons between ISP bundles all but impossible. It's standard practice. Centurylink also has a nasty habit of (apparently accidentally) imposing completely misleading fees to jack up the advertised price of service.
 

Dead Parrot

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Odd, when I read the 'informative press release', the 3rd and 4th bullet points mention that the company's promotions and billing were complex and sometimes confusing and did not confirm service letters with all the discounts and promotions listed. Further, they sometimes didn't provide customers with offered point of sale discounts.

They did fully exonerate the company's management. It seems that folks with Chief or Director in their title are mostly immune to error.
 

Navilor

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You see, instead, I am going to organize... a special, blue-ribbon fact-finding commission... made up of myself and, uh, Miss Betty Childs, and we will get to the bottom of this dastardly deed. - Stan Gable in Revenge of the Nerds
 

oROEchimaru

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So this still means the whistleblower part is moving forward right... since companies can't excuse themselves from crime?
 

oROEchimaru

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Every time a company investigates themselves an angel gets punched in the crotch.

self auditing, investigating is great (and cross investigating like hospital systems helping audit eachother via comittees)... however it should be for truly meeting their company goals or to prevent regulatory audits (do internal mock audits and partnership audits with competitors so that when the government or 3rd party does the audit your clear). It is a common and BEST practice in banking, hospital, IT/security type firms "get ahead of the audit make sure you really are doing good before the real audit".

In this case it seems more like "hey were not bad guys honest". For instance if you still had issue xyz even though you do audits to prevent xyz, the government is still going to fail you on xyz (for instance not securing HTTPS etc).
 

Brokennails

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Never had any normal billing issues. They just like to continue billing you after you cancel your service. Keep trying to charge me for 4 months of service I never used lol.
 

Spidey329

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They absolutely do. Few years back they came to me with a decent deal, moneyback guarantee. I signed up and gave them a whirl (didn't drop Cox, just in case).

What I found was:

- Their "up to X Mbps" speed is a pipedream. I was getting a fraction of the speed. Cox was giving me 80. They offered me 40. I don't game, so I figured why not. I was lucky to get 8.

- They made cancelling within the cancellation window a hassle and charged me anyways.

- I had to take the long way around to get my money back. Everyone kept passing it off. It wasn't until I went into a store and demanded it.

I almost had to sue them for the measly sum, and iirc, I also filled complaints with the BBB and the Attorney General. So f them.
 

nutzo

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They absolutely do. Few years back they came to me with a decent deal, moneyback guarantee. I signed up and gave them a whirl (didn't drop Cox, just in case).

What I found was:

- Their "up to X Mbps" speed is a pipedream. I was getting a fraction of the speed. Cox was giving me 80. They offered me 40. I don't game, so I figured why not. I was lucky to get 8.

- They made cancelling within the cancellation window a hassle and charged me anyways.

- I had to take the long way around to get my money back. Everyone kept passing it off. It wasn't until I went into a store and demanded it.

I almost had to sue them for the measly sum, and iirc, I also filled complaints with the BBB and the Attorney General. So f them.


I'm in the process of having a new line installed at one of the offices I support.
The old line was originally install by century link, but it's now owned by a different company that's just as bad. Supposed to be 20mb up & down, but we are luck if we get 5-10 during the day.
Complained multiple times over the past few years, but they always say it's working fine and we has the full bandwidth available.
Somehow the speed seems much better around 2-5 am :mad:

They used to be the only choice, but we finally had some competition. Hopefully the new fiber will be installed before the end of the month.
 

stefan231

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facepalm.jpg
 

Weenis

I said WEENIS, not...
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lol.. as someone who works with them. They're lying through their fucking teeth. They fucked up by not having good internal processes in place to deal with their own deadlines.
 

dj_spanmaster

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Whew! Glad that's settled. I love it when any organization investigates itself and finds itself completely innocent. Happens all the time. Best feeling of relief ever.
 

ZiggyDeath

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Sacking a whistleblower is illegal under the Sarbanes-Oxley act. Guy can get a payday if he can make his case in court.
 

EchtoGammut

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"Special Committee of independent board members", that sounds like a totally independent group that will do a unbiased audit.:blackeye:
 

lostin3d

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I switched to Comcast last year. I've no illusions about their interests regarding upcoming legislation's. However, I had CL for over ten years. My last promotion ended roughly 2 years ago and as told the price did go up. What they failed to convey was how even a year after the prices would continue to increase monthly until my yearly costs had increased by over $300. At that point I was very happy to switch, lower my costs, and literally increase my bandwidth by 10x(20Mbs to 200Mbs).
 

Dekoth-E-

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I've actually seen hundreds of Centurylink bills and I can confirm I've never seen anything that seems to be fraudulent on them. In fact CL has always been extremely upfront about the fact that customers in their area have literally ZERO other options and are quite happy to print line by line the hard core fucking they are delivering. They are quite proud of the fact that in this day and age they can sell end of line DSL service to people advertising peak speeds of 3mbs but congested speeds of 500k for $150/mo bundled with TV for the first year and it goes up $50/mo every year after until people literally end up with $400/mo bills for shit dsl and basic cable channels.
 

katanaD

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another tactic i hate that most seem to play is every so often, their plans/bundles change, and you are always included now in the new higher priced bundle, since the one you were in, doesnt exist anymore
 

PaulP

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This reminds me of their recent "price for life" promotion. What they don't tell you is that they mean "life of the plan", "life of the customer". And since they cancel plans every few years and force you to "upgrade", their promotion is extremely misleading. The only way they get away with it is because they also say, "as long as you keep your plan". That's a pretty slimy dodge, if you ask me.
 

Ocellaris

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Additionally, limitations in the Company's ordering and billing software made it difficult to provide customers with estimates of their bills and confirmation of service letters that reflected all discounts, prorated charges, taxes and fees."

Are these people fucking serious? They had no way of estimating a customers bill, yet they are certain everyone was bill correctly and customers were just confused? Fuck these assholes.
 
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