Dimed, then nickeled

EarthLink sends along this little pleasantry:

We’re writing to let you know that your prepaid EarthLink service term will soon expire.

If you’d like to prepay for another term and continue to enjoy a special discounted rate, just contact a friendly Live Chat representative at:

Or you can call us at [number redacted].

For your protection, please do not send us payment information by email.

Please note: if you do not set up a new prepay term your account will be automatically switched to a monthly billing plan. This will ensure your EarthLink service goes uninterrupted.

I’m pretty sure if Dale Carnegie were running an ISP, he wouldn’t run it this way.

I went through this once before. The friendly Live Chat representative has evidently been tasked with “Sell more services or else.” There’s no other reason why a routine which takes a matter of seconds — how hard is it to change an expiration date? — ends up sucking twenty minutes out of the day. This is one of those cases where it’s worth $14 just to avoid talking to someone.

(See also these delightful experiences.)


  1. Tatyana »

    21 January 2012 · 6:41 pm

    A friendly Earthlink representative?! [sounds of sardonic Mephistopheles’ laughter]
    When I moved and was changing address for my utilities accounts I was able to do that in less than 10 min with electric, gas, cellphone companies. Earthlink took several days of repeated calls, each lasting half-n-hour, endless repeated questions by one rep (my account number, a “security question”, amount of my last bill, when did I pay, etc.) – who then would proceed transferring me to another rep with same set of questions, and so on and so bloody on. Each of them, curiously, had American nicknames, no last name and an incomprehensible rural Indian accent. Just like in “this is Peggie” commercial. Only real.

  2. Dan B »

    21 January 2012 · 7:30 pm

    Earthlink still exists?

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