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Not Trustworthy: Lumen, CenturyLink, Quantum Fiber

With the stroke of a simple mistake, Lumen destroyed several years of work for eldery customers. And there is no easy recourse for Lumen’s error. (Lumen also operates under CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber brands.)

Lumen’s negligence — or incompetence — took down three video surveillance systems, streaming services, and health monitoring systems used by residents in their 60’s and 70’s.

The 23+ year customers had invested lots of money and hundreds of hours to configure all these systems and services to work with CenturyLink fiber internet. The customers had a block of eight static IP numbers used for various purposes.

Combined with the fiber internet was a land line. The customers decided to port the phone number away from CenturyLink to a VoIP provider.

The customers initiated the port request with the VoIP provider. Then, the customers called CenturyLink to tell them that the port was happening and that internet and static IP numbers were not being cancelled and were to be retained. In fact, the customer called twice before the port was complete. The customers were told each time that there was no problem and there was nothing further to do. The customers were also told the amount the monthly bill would be without the phone service — clearly indicating that internet and static IPs would remain along with the cost of renting the modem.

The number was ported over to the VoIP service on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

The morning of Saturday, July 29, 2023 all internet for the customers disappeared.

The customers tried to call CenturyLink support and was directed by robot messages to use ctlchat.com.

The customers got into the ctlchat.com system and learned that the account — meaning all internet, not just the phone service — was cancelled.

The cancellation by Lumen was a clear mistake.

The customers then spent nearly three hours in chat and on the phone. CenturyLink chat told the customers to call Quantum Fiber.

A Quantum Fiber supervisor said the problem was with CenturyLink and to contact CenturyLink.

The customers went back to ctlchat.com and was told to contact Quantum Fiber.

The customers went back to Quantum Fiber and was told again to contact CenturyLink.

After nearly three hours NO ONE at a Lumen brand was willing or able to do anything.

During the prolonged hell with Lumen and it’s brands, the customers learned that Quantum Fiber does not provide static IP numbers.

As of this post, Lumen has left the customers hanging with no solution, no recourse. Nothing. This is how a big corporation shows appreciation for 23+ years of payments.

No wonder Lumen stock has plunged dramatically. There is no value in Lumen when it treats customers like this. Can you trust a company like this? Not likely.

Any updates will be posted below.

Update August 2, 2023: Customer talked with a Lumen supervsior who said the Internet and static IPs were cancelled by the VoIP provider receiving the landline number. Not true. VoIP.ms made it clear on August 1, 2023 when asked:

Hello, The process is pretty simple, we send the number and the customer info requesting it [the phone number] to be ported. The losing carrier then checks the info and either approves or rejects it. We did not request any cancellation since we did not even knew what was on the account besides the porting number. Some carriers though, close the account automatically if the main/only number leaves; however, this depends on them and it’s beyond our control. Thank you! LNP Specialist, VoIP.ms Customer Service

CenturyLink Update: September 6, 2023

Seven days of calling CenturyLink everyday, sometimes several times a day, got me no where. Each and every customer service representative said there was nothing they could do. They said the account was cancelled, dead, and could not be restored. A couple supervisors also said this.

I did not believe it because my neighbor still had CenturyLink service and the CenturyLink fiber to a church that I manage still had CenturyLink fiber.

I took the shotgun approach: letter to the CEO, emails to media relations, about 12 complaints through CL’s unresolved issues form, communications to the legal department before court action (per terms of service) and probably a few other ways I don’t recall.

Late morning on the Friday after the Saturday outage John [not real name] called from CenturyLink and said CenturyLink had made a mistake and that he has turned our Internet back on — including the original block of static IP numbers. Then, the following Wednesday, he called to confirm that everything was working and that every thing on the back end regarding the account should be fixed.

Bottom line: CenturyLink representatives for an entire week kept telling me that restoration could not be done. In fact, it could be done and was done. It should have been done on the first call, not a week later after going through hell and wasting all my time. How can anyone trust a company with such behavior?

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Unsound Language at Sound Credit Union

In June and July 2023 Sound Credit Union (SCU) changed the service provider that transfers money to accounts outside SCU.

One of the ways to transfer money to an account — or another person — is to use a service called “Pay Anyone”.

While it seems cool, SCU failed to provide adequate details on how the service works. This failure — or deliberate withholding of information — excludes a crucial piece of information. If the recipient of the funds chooses to receive the funds through an “instant” transfer using a debit card (essentially a reverse transaction) the recipient must pay $5.00 out of the funds!

The sender should fully be made aware of this EACH time to prevent a hassle with the recipient.

However, using Pay Anyone via SCU is unreliable. This user frequently got this error message when clicking on Pay Anyone from the menu.

Once a person can get to Pay Anyone the user can eventually bring up a page on a pending transaction. That page lacks clarity, though. The “Delete” button does not make clear what is being deleted. Is it the presentation record, the contact, or the pending transaction.

Any organization should use some common sense and do some testing before bringing a new service online.

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The Bad Ethics of CHI Health

CHI Health, also known as Catholic Health Initiatives, is a part of CommonSpirit Health.

I needed to visit an emergency room and I went to a CHI emergency room. I got the diagnosis and assistance I sought. Now healthy.

I was going to pay the bill that CHI sent, but alas, CHI has refused to provide the very information is says it needs.

On each billing statment, reminder statement, and overdue statement is this simple line of text: “Include your account number on your check”.

NOWHERE ON ANY OF THE STATEMENTS IS AN ACCOUNT NUMBER.

I wrote to CHI three times asking for the account number, which is also required by my bill pay service. CHI never responded.

Instead, CHI turned that unpaid bill over to a collection agency!

I got an UNDATED letter from RMP Services LLC.

A letter to Kevin E. Lofton, CHI Health CEO in Englewood, CO was never answered.

An organization that requires a certain piece of information for payment — an account number — and then refuses to provide it when asked numerous times and then turns the person wanting to pay the bill over to a collection agency has a serious lack of ethics. This may well be a simple sign of larger problems within the organization. Beware!

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Falsely Accused by Hertz Car Rental

Hertz — the car rental — company has been in the news the last several months for having people falsely arrested. You can see a few stories here:

Why Are Hertz Customers Getting Stopped–or Even Jailed–for Driving ‘Stolen’ Cars? | Inc.com

Furious Customers Are Suing Hertz for $529.7 Million. Here’s the Lesson Every CEO Should Learn | Inc.com

A Hertz Lawyer Just Said 6 Words the Company Should Hope Its Customers Never Hear | Inc.com

Hertz Files 3,365 Stolen Car Reports Every Year on Customers Who Rented Its Cars | Inc.com

At least two people have discovered that you didn’t even have to rent a car from Hertz to be falsely accused. The Colorado man in the story linked below never rented from Hertz and was never in Georgia, contrary to what Hertz swore for an arrest warrant.

Colorado man says Hertz had him arrested for stealing a car, despite never renting from the company – CBS News

The other case is my own. Hertz falsely accused me of chasing a Hertz employee with a screw driver on November 1, 2021. Click on the image below to enlarge the false accusation from Hertz.

It is, of course, shocking to open up your mail and be falsely accused.

I promptly did my own investigation of my where-abouts on November 1, 2021. Based on emails I sent, store receipts, home video surveillance footage, and Google Android Timeline, I KNOW I was nowhere near any Hertz property that day. The last time I rented a car from Hertz was about four years previous. And, I’ve never, ever, in my life, chased anyone at any time or location with a screw driver.

I engaged an attorney to let Hertz know that I would sue Mr. Ryan individually and Hertz as a corporation if they persisted in these false allegations.

Emails were exchanged between Hertz lawyer Adam Schloss and my attorney. After Mr. Schloss was told Hertz had made a mistake, Mr. Schloss still maintained I was the perpetrator:

“Perhaps your client isn’t telling you the whole story. But regardless, if your client ever threatens a Hertz employee again, damages corporate property, or comes onto Hertz property, he can explain it to law enforcement who are already well aware of the incident. 

Adam Schloss

Assistant General Counsel”

With that email was attached a photo of the perpetrator with a screw driver. The picture was taken by a Hertz employee. The picture clearly shows someone else — not me — with the screw driver. Everyone who has seen this picture immediately recognizes the person in the photo as NOT me.

My attorney also did a public disclosure request to Seattle Police Department regarding this incident. The police report clearly and confidently identifies a different person: different name, different vehicle, different license plate number.

The false accusation against me clearly illustrates complete disregard by Hertz to verify facts before zipping off an accusation. Mr. Ryan — a former police officer — apparently never bothered or concerned himself to read the police report. Mr Ryan’s sloppiness in producing an accusatory letter against me reflects a serious problem Hertz has in dealing with customers and even non-customers.

Here’s Mr. Ryan’s information from LinkedIn on February 8, 2022.

Nearly three months after Mr. Ryan’s false accusation was brought to the attention of Hertz headquarters, there has not been any acknowledgement of a mistake nor an apology.

I guess Hertz Ethics 101 is to never admit a mistake and keep being sloppy at the expense of innocent victims.