CenturyLink Lingo Confuses Customers

Recently I helped a church reinstall internet and phone service after a fire.

Part of the plan was to bring fiber internet into the building from CenturyLink and use VoIP phones.

The internet got hooked up and the phones worked.

All good, until CenturyLink sent a letter to confirm the order. In the letter was this phrase: internet “. . . with Office Plus”.

What is Office Plus? After three days of calling and getting numerous different answers, I still didn’t know.

I was told to search the CenturyLink website for the answer. (Really, I’m supposed to go on a hunting expedition because the employees are too lazy or uninformed?) I did that and “Office Plus” was not to be found — by me or any employee.

One supervisor said it was a core component of the internet service. As I found out, this was a lie.

Apparently Office Plus is a group of cloud services that is bundled with the internet service. One of these services was Office 365. This was not turned on until two weeks after the internet was up and running, hence the big lie from the supervisor.

A CenturyLink bill showed up with a line item charge for “Office Plus”.

Again, more calling to CenturyLink to find out what is going on, because Office Plus was never mentioned, requested, or approved with the order was placed. More of the same confusion — all kinds of different answers about what Office Plus is.

In the end, after about 16 hours on the phone with CenturyLink over a two-month period, clarity arrived. Office Plus is a set of cloud services, but the phrase Office Plus apparently only shows up on the the order confirmation letter and the bill, not anywhere else. Employees use different terminology for the same services. This does not make for good customer service.

Not using the same nomenclature comes down to two reasons: a) attempts to deliberately confuse the customer to the company’s advantage or b) ineptitude within CenturyLink.

Being that an extra charge that was not authorized showed up on the bill, one has to wonder whether it was a or b.