I'm not saying that I'm in love with my psychiatrist or anything -- I'm just saying that I feel heartbreak. Our relationship -- our professional relationship -- may be coming to an end, and I'm feeling the pang of heartbreak that is similiar to that of the termination of a love affair. My mood is melancholic; my heart is sad.
Yet it's not over yet, and may not be over at all. If I can bring myself to accept her terms -- the ultimatum she has presented me with -- then our meetings will continue. It is up to me. But those terms...Yea, they are harsh...
Today at work, and now at home, I listen to what appears to be a new album by David Gilmour; it sounds just like Pink Floyd. So I think I like it. Maybe I'll even end up loving it, once I'm drunk enough...
Don't worry, though -- it's not like that. Sure, I've got some peanuts, purchased at the 99-Cents Only Store, which I'm dutifully peeling apart one by one, ball parkin' it -- and a Budweiser slowing draining away...But I'm not looking for trouble, not tonight. I had enough of that last week.
It's funny, though, my reacquaintance with alcohol after so many months of sobriety. I think of my favorite alcoholics, those authors and musicians...did they think about it so much, as I do?
Of course they did.
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'Emma S.' says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?
email@example.com: I would like to request a refund for charges made to my bank card
firstname.lastname@example.org: My account is being charged each month...
Emma S.: To best assist you, you need to speak with a Customer Service Representative. Please standby while I transfer you.
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'Vincent K' says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?
email@example.com: Hi Vincent.
Vincent K: Okay. Let me check your account.
firstname.lastname@example.org: I've been trying to cancel this account since the day I signed up...
email@example.com: ...I've been charged $21.95 each month for 8 or 9 months...
Vincent K: Our records indicates that the refund for $24.00 has been processed to the VISA account associated on our files dated on 02/08/06.
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...Actually, to be more accurate...
email@example.com: Yes, but I'm certain to be charged again $21.95 today or tomorrow...
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...and I would prefer for the account to be cancelled instead.
email@example.com: Fact is, I haven't used the service. Ever.
firstname.lastname@example.org: And I don't have the money in the bank to cover the charges.
email@example.com: Last month, in fact, my bank account was overdrawn by this.
Vincent K: Our records indicates that your account is active and current with us.
firstname.lastname@example.org: What does that mean?
email@example.com: Please cancel the account.
Vincent K: I will be happy to assist you if you have any service related issues. I am sorry that I cannot process your request for cancellation because EarthLink does not accept cancellation requests via email/live chat. To cancel your service you must call 1-888-EarthLink, 7am - midnight EST M-F, and 8am - 10pm EST Sat/Sun or send registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to: EarthLink Inc.; 1375 Peachtree Street, Level A Atlanta, GA 30309. Accounts are set to close at the end of the current cycle. We don't prorate charges.
You can get more information regarding our cancellation policies at http://www.earthlink.net/about/policies/#termination
firstname.lastname@example.org: If you are not going to cancel my account, please ensure that it is not charged the full $21.95 this month...
email@example.com: ...I've had an arrangement whereby the account would be only charged $9.95/mo...
Vincent K: I suggest you to please get back to us if your account has been billed for any charges.
firstname.lastname@example.org: I don't want to be overdrawn again.
Vincent K: So that, we can able to assist you in forwarding a refund request to our Accounting Department against the charges incurred any on your account.
email@example.com: In the past, the agent set up my account to be charged only $9.95, rather than $21.95...
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...Please set up my account this way so that I am not continuing to be overdrawn...
Vincent K: I am sorry. It cannot be possible to apply the $9.95 promotional offer multiple times on one account.
email@example.com: ...That is not what I was explained prior...
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...Don't you understand? I do not want Earthlink service! I have *never* used it!
email@example.com: I do *not* want to be charged for this.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Do I need to contact the Better Business Bureau, or what?
Vincent K: I apologize, but unfortunately it is not possible for us to cancel the services through EarthLink Live Chat support. If you call into customer service in the above given number, they will assist you further in order to cancel the service.
Vincent K: I appreciate your cooperation on this issue.
email@example.com: Then *please* set up my account -- as another agent has done in the past -- so that I am only charged $9.95 rather than $21.95. I was told this would be renewed at that rate after the initial 6 months!
Vincent K: I am sorry. Please note that it cannot be possible to apply the $9.95 promotional plan on the account.
firstname.lastname@example.org: In fact, that rate ($9.95/mo) was a compromise, since I never should have been locked into the service in the first place!
Vincent K: Let me know if you have the AAA or AARP member ship number. So that, I can apply the $2.00 promotional offer on your account.
email@example.com: This is not right; I believe Earthlink is unlawfully charging my bank account.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Triple AAA? I do...
email@example.com: So then the service would only be $2/mo?
Vincent K: No. Once the AAA membership promotional plan applied on the account, each month your account will be billed for $19.95.
firstname.lastname@example.org: No, that is so wrong. You see...I signed up for Earthlink in June of last year (2005). The very next day, I requested a cancellation...
email@example.com: ...I was denied a cancellation...
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...I have contacted Earthlink again, requesting cancellation...
email@example.com: ...continuously being denied...
Vincent K: I am sorry. Since the account is active with us, our database process a charge as per the billing date mentioned on our files each month.
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...and the only thing I could do was accept a "promotional" discount of $9.95/mo to reduce my monthly fee by $12 each month...
email@example.com: ...This was a compromise I accepted, as long as the "promo" would be applied again at the end of the first 6 months...
Vincent K: I am sorry. It cannot be possible for us to apply multiple promotional offers on one account. Please note that, when your account was opened, you were offered a choice of billing methods. The information you provided at that time is what our system uses to collect your payments each month.
When you first logged on to your account, you agreed to the terms and conditions of the Internet Access Agreement, including the monthly payment. We must have a valid form of billing on the account at all times.
You can change the billing method at any time.
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...The rep I spoke with (and I have records of each person I have spoken with)...
email@example.com: ...One minute, please, I'm explaining to you my situation...
Vincent K: I realize the gravity of the situation and I certainly would like to assure you of our best services, as your satisfaction is our primary goal.
firstname.lastname@example.org: ...One moment...
email@example.com: Here is one example of my experience telephoning your Customer Service: http://www.somethingthathappened.com/2005/11/what-chris-doesnt-realize-is-that.html
firstname.lastname@example.org: I am documenting *every* encounter I have with Earthlink, to submit to the Better Business Bureau...
email@example.com: ...since I believe that I have been unlawfully charged for the better part of 9 months...
Vincent K: I am sorry. To best assist you on this issue, I suggest you to please contact our Customer Service directly in the above given number.
Vincent K: I appreciate your cooperation on this issue.
firstname.lastname@example.org: I have not received adequate customer service via your telephone support. I insist that this issue be resolved, immediately.
email@example.com: Are you still there?
Vincent K: Yes. I am with you.
Vincent K: I am sorry. Due to the nature of the issue, it cannot be possible for us to assist you further from EarthLink Live Chat support. To avoid any hold time while contact our Customer Service in the above given number, I suggest you to please contact our Customer Service during the early hours of the day.
Vincent K: I appreciate your patience and understanding on this issue.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Again, this is being documented. Here is the current link to the transcript I am publishing of this conversation: http://www.somethingthathappened.com/2006/03/welcome-to-earthlink-livechat.html
Vincent K: I realize how testing the situation can be and assure you of our cooperation in resolving the issue to your satisfaction. To best assist you on this issue, I suggest you to please contact our Customer Service in the above given number.
----end of transcript---
This conversation, which took place moments ago, is the latest episode in my continuing attempts at simply canceling my Earthlink dialup Internet service
-- a service which I've never used. (Here is my account of a prior encounter
with Earthlink "Customer Service".)
A few years ago, Earthlink was a decent service. Perhaps desperate to retain customers, the company is now resorting to unprincipled tactics. Beware.