DSL Extreme – Customer Service Is Not In Your Contract (but a $250 cancellation fee is)

Posted October 3rd, 2008 at 9:09 PM by Anti-Trend

Who knows DSL Extreme better than me? Probably not very many people. I’ve been with DSLE with various accounts since 2000. I’m also a 10-year IT vet that happens to know a lot about networking — not that I expect you to believe “Mr. Random Internets Guy” about his geek cred, but there it is.

DSLE has had their boneheaded technical issues in the past, certainly. But I hate big telco, so I’ve tried to be a faithful customer. Incidentally, I just started as a sysadmin in the silicon valley area of Northern California, USA. There’s obviously a lot of tech here, which means a lot of ISP’s. Even so, I tried to keep DSLE in the spirit of supporting the little guy, and because your don’t have to be a lawyer to understand their fair access policy. As history will show, that turned out to be a mistake…

The numbers speak for themselves.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Things actually started off well this time, DSLE even kept their original turn on date for once — maybe the first time ever in my history with them. Only a few days later, AT&T broke something on their end, which took down my lines. When it came back up, no sync. After waiting on hold twice at an hour apiece (something I’ve come to expect from them), I was told that yep, as I suspected AT&T had messed something up. So they’d have to cancel and reorder my DSL through AT&T – 2 weeks wait time. Well, I telecommute about 50% of the time (including 3:00am maintenance windows), so unfortunately it wasn’t even an option for me to wait. I spoke with DSL Extreme’s billing department, politely explained my situation and asked to be let out of my contract. Keep in mind, I’m an 8-year faithful customer with at least a dozen referrals. The woman on the other end of the line basically told me to get f***ed.

I understand that working for an ISP is high-stress… hell, the whole industry is high stress. But I’ve never spoken to a customer service rep who was that rude in my entire life. So much for working with the customer. Even if I wasn’t already canceling DSLE out of necessity, I would have after that conversation. Not only that, I will warn all of my friends and colleagues with existing accounts and inform them to jump ship. DSL Extreme is not the little guy anymore; they’ve grown too big for their britches, and their customer support is awful. You’d be better off just going with the big guys for all the bullsh*t they put you through. If you’re getting ass for service anyway, might as well be tier-1 ass.

As for me, I went with Comcast, who gave me a turn on date of today, and even threw in a discount because they thought my DSL Extreme story about the rude b*tch in billing was hilarious. Is Comcast a big evil company? Certainly. Are they better to work with than DSL Extreme? In my experience, definitely. According to others on RateItAll.com, I’m not alone in this experience.


8 Responses to “DSL Extreme – Customer Service Is Not In Your Contract (but a $250 cancellation fee is)”

  1. lane McKeever on October 30th, 2008 1:08 AM

    The only way I can use my email is to click on your address and then on webmail interface. I have lost all my contacts. I do not know how to change this, other than to drop you as a provider and get a new one. I am so frustrated. If customer service can walk me thur this and get it straightened out I would appreciate it. Lane McKeever

  2. Anti-Trend on October 31st, 2008 1:45 AM

    Hi Lane,

    What you’ve replied to is not a DSL Extreme support area, but an independent website with news and reviews. I just happened to be reviewing DSL Extreme for their hassles and poor customer service. If you are looking for DSL Extreme’s customer support (or lack thereof), I’d look over here: https://www.dslextreme.com/Support/Default.aspx

    Good luck!

  3. Michael Cyns on January 19th, 2009 10:10 PM

    This is actually the worst experience I’ve ever had ordering a service online. I am an avid computer user and programmer. I wonder if there will be a class action lawsuit filed against dslextreme someday if they continue to “extort” other customers like this. I signed up online, they bombarded me with emails about preparing me for service or checking if service was available to me (relevant information was in text format, so received the emails), then hundreds of advertising or misc information emails (in html that deliver to my spam folder daily), etc. but no information on how to hook-up or initiate the service (such as login or installation instructions). So, I got tired of waiting and got another ISP.

    Then bills started coming. 3 months of service for $182 with their additional fees. No modem, just the contract. I called to inform them that I have not had internet access. They were unwavering because they feel that the contract that I accepted online is bulletproof. I even said I would cancel my other internet provider and use their service under contract if they show me how to get online and start my fees from that day. They were unwilling to make any adjustments and cancelled my service and indicated that I was in breach of contract and now owe the $182 plus $250 early termination fee (thought a big Italian guy was going to jump through the phone and start breaking stuff at my house with a tire iron until I paid).

    I think that the government confiscated $500 million dollars from Enzyte for the same exact business practices. I wonder how long dslextreme is going to conduct these types of practices until it bites them in the butt…

    I am disappointed that I signed up with dslextreme solely on Leo Laporte’s (KFI AM640 tech guy) recommendation and this is the service they provide. I am more disappointed at myself for not checking into the reviews about this company because every online forum has at least 25% negative feedback for this company. Even if I was wrong (which I am not because they did not indicate that my service was working, I needed my own modem because I did not specifically request one from them and did not get installation or activation instructions) they should have started my fees from the day they gave me the information to activate and use my service.

    I think by doing this, they not only lose my business but they damage the respect & credibility that I had for Leo Laporte’s product recommendations, as well.

  4. Lindsey Kinnsch on October 31st, 2009 11:06 PM

    WOW! I have been pumped on DSL Extreme for about a month and a half. I have been telling everyone about it!! I was JUST about to sign up and thought.. ehhhhhh… might as well check if there is any NEGATIVE FEEDBACK!!!

    Now that I have read THIS!!! NOT GONNA DO IT!!!

    I think someone needs to send this in as a certified letter to the President of this company. Hey, if I can break through to the President of Countrywide and get results, why not try it with this company?

    Lindsey Kinnsch

  5. Bill on March 26th, 2011 3:16 AM

    I just signed up with DSL.EXTREME because of Leo Laport’’s recommendation. I thought it was a good company and deal…well, I was mistaken. I received my modem and they never sent me any information that I needed to set up my modem with. Customer service, well let’s just say I never expected to get treated this way by a company I just started with!! I was told to contact tech support…I did, 23 minutes later, still on hold!! Called tech support again, 50 minutes on speaker phone…no one answered….called billing, told lady about the trouble I was having she cut me off and placed me on hold…I hung up. Called billing again, this time lady nicer, but ended up putting me on hold again for tech support…on hold for 13 minutes…I just hung up…I just had it!@!!

  6. Jeff on April 5th, 2011 5:53 AM

    If DSL is your only option, get the month-to-month plan to see if their completely incompetent tech support people can even get you connected! I tried to get their service and was told, one day after my activation date, that I should wait an additional day or two and power cycle the modem to check the connection as I was unable to connect that day and 1 day after the activation date. When I asked the “cancellation” customer support rep, she said she had no idea why tech support would ask that I wait a day or longer to re-try the connection and that If I did want to cancel the contract, I would have to pay $250. I stated “since I used maybe 30 min of your off-shore tech support time and was never able to get a connection therefore ZERO data usage was used and I requested a cancellation order three days after the activation date to which I was still not connected, why should I have to pay.” She just stated the rules of the early termination fee. Complete BS. I asked what are the exceptions to waiving a early termination fee. She said that if all efforts to establish a connection were unsuccessful due to the telephone connection, the fee would be waived. So either way, I tried to cancel three days into my contract based on no connectivity. They would not let me out of the contract. DO NOT USE DSL EXTREME if you can get get a comparable plan from your telephone provider.

  7. thanks4nada on April 5th, 2011 5:58 AM

    Three words best describe DSL Extreme: HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE! I have been a customer (a.k.a victim) for 2 years and I’ve regretted my decision every since. I would gladly switch back to Verizon but I’m using this for a business and I can’t afford to have my internet connection down for 30 – 45 days trying to switch back.

    When I say stay the F away from this company I mean it. As I write this I have been on hold for more than 45 minutes as I try to reach customer service. You read that correctly, on hold for 45 minutes.

    FIRST: DSL Extreme is a middleman. They buy bandwidth in bulk from Verizon and resell it to fools like me who think they’re getting a deal. Even if you switch from Verizon you are still using Verizon because your service is still going through them, you just don’t know it. DSL Extreme is no different than the corner liquor store owner who buys candy in bulk at Cost Co and resells it. I use to do this in third grade with Blow Pops; big deal, it’s not a real business model. At least when I sold Blow Pops I had an actual physical product, I had an asset on my balance sheet, I had inventory, I had Blow Pops. DSL Extreme has the worst kind of business model, middleman for an intangible service.

    SECOND: DSL Extreme is in Chatsworth Southern California. Southern California is one of the most expensive locations in the country that’s in the most unfriendly state towards businesses in the country. That means a significantly higher operating overhead (workmans comp insurance, overpriced real estate, high corporate taxes). Combine the high overhead with their horrific “middleman intangible business model” and you can see why they do not have the cash to hire competent employees who can provide quality customer service or the funds to purchase the needed telecom equipment for IT upgrades as technology changes.

    THIRD: Sense DSL Extreme buys their bandwith from other service providers like Verizon this puts DSL Extreme at a huge disadvantage because they do not have a true business specialty or a comparative advantage. As technology changes they are forced to upgrade in a market where they do not call the shots. Verizon on the other hand can call the shots. Market taker vs. market maker.

    FOURTH: DSL Extreme’s employees are arrogant.

    This is my story in a nutshell: I switched over to DSL Extreme and after 5 days I still did not have internet service. I called DSL Extreme for resolution and was informed me that they did not have my circuit (internet connection line) and I needed to call Verizon to tell them to release it. I then told DSL Extreme that this was their job and they needed to resolve this situation with Verizon. DSL Extreme said “NO!” and that it was my job to do this. I called Verizon and they informed me that they released my line and they did not have control of it. Obviously you can see where this is going. And yes, this crap went on for 5 weeks. 5 WEEKS DSL EMPLOYEES FOUGHT ME!

    Finally I had a very high level IT guy from Verizon call DSL Extreme’s IT department and he explained to DSL Extreme that they had my internet circuit ALL THIS TIME! DSL Extreme had no idea they had my circuit nor did they know how to grab it. UNFREKINBELIEVABLE!

    And that was just the tip of the ice berg. Seriously, DSL Extreme is the worst company I have ever done business with. When a company fails this badly that’s a direct reflection of its leadership. Or in this case, lack of leadership. FRONT AND CENTER GEORGE MITSOPOULOS! I’m talking about you.

    George Mitsopoulos, Vice President and General Manager of DSL Extreme in Chatsworth California is worthless. This guy spends his entire day updating either his Facebook account, Twittering or MySpace page. George Mitsopoulos is the perfect example of what America has turned into; worthless multitasking idiots who have no leadership skills and are not able to accomplish the most basic of tasks. George Mitsopoulos is weaker than circus lemonade; he couldn’t lead crap to a toilet. George Mitsopoulos is in charge of this train wreck of a company in Chatsworth California, DSL Extreme. His employees are rude, arrogant, unskilled and incapable of performing their duties. This is a text book example of poor leadership and George Mitsopoulos failed to implement policies, controls and procedures to meet the stated goals and objectives of DSL Extreme and its parent company IKANO. George Mitsopoulos is a failure. Period.

    DSL Extreme does not have customers, they have victims. I’m so sorry for leaving you Verizon. DSL Extreme made realize just how good I had it. I am so sorry.

    ON HOLD UPDATE: I have now been on hold for 75 minutes and it appears no one is answering the phone. It’s only a matter of time before this company goes out of business and who knows what will happen to my internet connection then.

    ON HOLD UPDATE: 90 minutes and still waiting.

    ON HOLD UPDATE: 100 minutes plus. This could be you, don’t make the same mistake I did.

  8. NewportTom on July 29th, 2011 11:27 PM

    I agree with everything in this listing and I am attempting to gather enough DSLX customers to start a class action lawsuit against these fools. Send an email with your contact data and a short story on your experience and lets see if we can put these morons out of business for good and maybe get some money back in the process. usegroups@hotmail,com put DSLX SUCKS in the subject line to get past the spam filter.

    Shine the light on liars and thieves and they will disappear like cockroaches.

    Lets be the light on this one


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