On August 13th, I attempted to signup for Earthlink’s $21.95 dialup access. After the initial signup failed (or appeared to do nothing) I decided to call Earthlink’s 888 number and set it up person to person since Earthlink’s server didn’t do anything. After a few minutes of waiting I talked to a rep and he signed me up for the service. About 10 minutes after I was done speaking with the rep, he called back telling me that my credit card had been declined. It was odd that my credit card was declined, so I called my credit card company to ask them what the problem was. They promptly told me that I was over my limit. They then proceeded to tell me that Earthlink put a hold on my account for $21.95 x 29. Yes, that’s right, Earthlink put a hold onto my account for $636.55. My bank then told me I should contact the merchant (Earthlink) and have them reverse the hold. Following my banks advice, I called Earthlink back. Though I was twice sent to extensions that hung up on me after repeating a message that said their operating hours, I finally got through to some reps and was pointed from extension to extension. Each extension had the same problem though; they couldn’t find my account. Despite doing a three way call with my bank and an Earthlink rep to verify that these holds do exist the customer service at Earthlink still believed that since I don’t have an account, nothing was done to my account and everything would be fine. No, they would not be fine, the holds place on my account by Earthlink would make it so I couldn’t rent a van to move out of my apartment the next day (They ask for a credit card deposit).
Overall, I spent four hours on the phone tonight trying to get the holds reversed but nobody could/would do a thing at Earthlink. I ended up having to cancel my card and report the fraudulent charges/holds. The really sad part about this is Earthlink couldn’t even give me any kind of credit, not even a free month (even AOL does that, and you don’t even have to speak with them). They said I would have to be a customer in the first place to get a credit. I’m now perusing every legal channel I can against Earthlink (reporting to their merchant service, warning others, etc.)
Earthlink is now on the bottom of the ISP list (yes, AOL is ranked higher in my eyes). Please heed this warning; Earthlink may be a decent ISP, but if you have any credit card problems with them, good luck, you’re going to need it.