Jeff Sexton

Thursday, July 14, 2011


A couple days ago I received my latest billing from Qwest (paper mail, I don't trust them to accomplish any other method).

To my surprise, the prior month's amount showed unpaid, and so it was a double amount in total, plus a penalty.  I went to the bill section of my online bank service and was not surprised at all.  The bill was paid almost exactly a month ago.

So I get on the phone to Qwest.  The first customer service person just listened to the problem, then transferred me to a person that could deal with these issues.  There was a modest wait, not too bad.

The specialist listened to my explanation and also knew, or guessed, that I had used a bill pay service from my bank.  She explained to me that Qwest's posting of these amounts is backlogged.  She explained that Qwest has "millions of customers" in it's billing system and is unable to keep up.  Really.  She said this.  Too many customers...  That's the explanation.

She told me that the fee would be waived on my *next* billing and that I should pay the current month's bill (with the penalty) leaving off the last month's amount because that would be processed "'soon".  She also tacked on a couple weeks to my bill due date, pushing it into August.

If you are a Qwest customer, do not use a bill pay service.  Qwest is unable to handle the volume of business it has sold.  Qwest's billing system can not process one month's electronic payments in 30 days.  Send them a check.

Qwest is not alone in issues like this.  Telecom companies in the US have for many years been over-selling their infrastructure.   It makes me laugh out loud when I get junk mail from Qwest offering me even more services.

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