Telecom frustrations

Sometimes you can feel very hopeless as a consumer, being bullied by companies and not knowing what to do against it. My dad has been fighting a telecom operator, Scarlet, since the end of October already and there is still no solution in sight.

Scarlet used to be my old internet provider (when I still was using my @pi.be or @planetinternet.be), but we had already experienced a couple of times that their customer service was inexisting. When I moved to my own appartment, I took adsl from a different provider, Versatel. My dad still used my old e-mail for a while but we gave him an adsl subscription for his birthday (from Versatel as well). After running both e-mail addresses for a while, I stopped my subscription with Scarlet with an registered mail. Indeed, in the beginning of November after 4 weeks, they confirmed the stopping of my subscription.

2 weeks later, I get an e-mail and my parents get a letter with felications from Scarlet for ordering a ADSL subscription with them... something we never ever did. So I immediately phone them to tell them that this is a mistake and that I am not interested in that subscription. No problem, it'll be cancelled.

But another letter arrives with the same message (no problem, it'll be cancelled once more), the adsl on my dad's telephone line gets switched from versatel to scarlet by our national telephone operator who is just carrying out orders : as a result my dad cannot log in onto Versatel anymore, neither to Scarlet since we don't have a running subscription yet and we don't want one (no problem, it'll be cancelled for sure, but stopping back that process can take some time since all these parties are involved), Versatel tries to setup our adsl a couple of times without success so they say( no problem, it'll be ok, just be patient, we'll send out another reminder), .....
until 2 weeks ago when we got confirmation and congratulations from Scarlet that our ADSL was now active and we could start using it. It also included some appologies that it took so long and it included our first invoice. When we phone them, they say they can only cancel it after we send a registered mail since we ordered this subscription. ARRRRRRGHHHH, my dad and I could kill some people last week. But no problem once more, they'd cancel this subscription. They were not sure if they could pay for our subscription with Versatel that we hadn't been able to use for over 2 months already!!!

thanx to an old colleague, I got the website and the e-mail address of a government mediator in telecom problems. Last week I sent Scarlet and that mediator a long letter, lining up all the facts. From Scarlet we didn't get any response (neither did my dad with his registered letter of the week before), but the mediator has taken on our case. Phewww, that's already a relieve and giving us hope again. I do hope that these telecom operators do respect a bit this government agency. We'll see what happens now. Let's all cross our fingers, so that my parents can maybe in the coming weeks surf on the internet again and read this blog here!!

Note to all Belgian readers: Never ever become a scarlet customer!

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