Disorganized company,conflicting messages, subpar service
by Fiddlerphil - 7/3/12 11:28 AM
In Reply to: Do you use Clear Wireless Internet? I need reviews. by donaldg101
Our house is in the strongest 4g coverage area on the Clear coverage map, but due to a tall apartment building between us and the nearest tower, the signal is actually too weak to support internet connection. We canceled the service within the trial period and received a refund for the service price, but still needed a refund for the device. As per one part of the website, and one service representative on the phone, we took the device to the Clear retail outlet where we had purchased it, along with the receipt. At the store, the employee informed us that we had to request a shipping label and mail it back. To be sure, we called Clear again and they said, yes, request the shipping label but then take it to the store and they will send it back. We followed these instructions, but again at the store the employee said, no, you have to mail it back to the company, we don't do that. So, before doing so, we called Clear again and received confirmation that this was indeed what we had to do. We mailed the device back with the receipt. Two weeks later, we received an email that said they had received the device, and, providing we had fulfilled the requirements, we should have a refund within 4 weeks. Three weeks later we received an email that explicitly stated that we had fulfilled each of the return requirements and a refund would be credited to the card on file within 7 days, but we should allow an additional 7 days for our bank to process it. We waited 14 business days, and it had not arrived so we called Clear. The first representative asked how much we had paid for the device and said he would "put it in as a refund". When we said, "So the email was wrong?" He said, "Maybe it just didn't get processed as a refund yet." This was disheartening, considering we had returned the device almost two months before and received multiple emails assuring us of a refund. The representative could see that we had received the email, but didn't seem to be able to do anything more about it. He gave us a ticket number and said someone would call in 3-5 days to give us more information. This call came and the representative said he needed to confirm our address so he could send us a prepaid Visa card. This was not what was promised in the emails we received so we refused, asking to have the money credited to our account. I have worked in customer service for a few years, and I have seen that these prepaid cards are notoriously fickle instruments, often causing frustration and annoyance at the cash register. Aside from that, mailing the card was going to take another month or so, and we had already been told the money should be back in our account. After some discussion, this representative determined he could not help and said he would let the accounts payable department know and someone else would call us. The third call came, and this time the representative seemed to know well what he was talking about. He apologized repeatedly for the inconvenience, but still said he was going to mail a prepaid visa card. Through our discussion, we got a clearer picture of how the Clear outlet, the warehouse, and the accounts department all generally don't communicate with each other. The system is dysfunctional in that none of them really knows what the other is doing or is supposed to do. When I referenced the email saying the money should already be in our account, he could see that we received an email but said he could not see that part of the email. However, if I faxed him the email, perhaps he could move the process along. I pointed out that faxing an email doesn't make sense, and he said it had to do with a policy about copies of things. So, after confirming and acknowledging that faxing an email, rather than forwarding it, is backwards and illogical, I agreed to do it. He said that he would call back upon receiving the fax. I faxed it immediately after hanging up yesterday, and have not yet received a call back.
This whole experience has been, and continues to be, frustrating and disappointing as we have not received a refund and are well past the original promise of 4 weeks, let alone the explicit recent notice of 7 days. It is frustrating that no representative seems to be able to do anything to help solve the issue; they can only restart processes from the beginning. Additionally, it is annoying that representatives, apart from the supervisor I recently spoke with, seem instructed not to behave like humans, but rather like robots who must read off a screen rather than engage naturally in conversation. This does nothing to encourage customers or make them feel heard. Rather, it can frustrate and alienate them into becoming angry, even the calmest of customers, leading to entirely avoidable verbal conflict.
Finally, this experience has been particularly aggravating because we did everything in our power to follow the correct process. We took no instruction at face value, whether from a retail outlet representative, phone representative, or website, but checked and double-checked to make sure everything was in order. Even going above and beyond the responsibilities of a conscious customer, engaging courteously with staff, and receiving confirmation of doing everything right, we still have not received our refund. Clear has fallen disappointingly short on expeditiousness and shirked its promises, leaving once enthusiastic customers aggravated, disgruntled, and disillusioned.