Qwest customer service — the 8th circle of hell

By reeset / On / In Uncategorized

Agh — I thought I’d taken care of this last month.  Earlier this year, I’d signed up for Qwest DSL.  It was great — we finally had high speed and for the ~8 months I was with them, their service was exactly what I paid for.  However, our little city of Independence, OR laid their own fiber optic cables and are providing a minimal 5 MB line for less than what I was paying Qwest at the time.  Given that I like to buy local whenver possible, I made the switch last June.  This was when I discovered that Qwest must be cutting their customer services department because I was met with a voice directed customer service nightmare.  It was like the 8th circle of hell.  This stupid little recording asking me, “What would you like to do today?”, followed by, “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your request”.  Followed by a list of requests, followed by a list of requests, but numbers.  This maze of frustration lasted for ~15 minutes before I finally got to talk to a living, breathing person. 

Fast forward to July — this months Qwest bill arrives — and still, I’m seeing DSL service on the bill.  So, I go and get myself a couple of IBprofin, a double hot chocolate and again, tackled the Qwest customer service machine.  The annoying voice is back on the line — asking me again, questions that I know it can’t answer.  Why won’t it stop…another 15 minutes of navigating through this mess and I get a person — who is able to quickly help me.  I wonder how many calls qwest gets that are hangups?  That seems to be the only reason I can think of for having such a painful system is to reduce the number of calls to your customer service through attrition.  Dante would be proud.


14 thoughts on “Qwest customer service — the 8th circle of hell

  1. Here’s a tip. Ignore everything in the recording. Just sit silently while it goes through its routine. Monitor the phone just enouhg to be able to tell when it switches from recording to real person. It’ll take a few minutes but will be faster and less frustrating than trying to answer the unanswerable questions.

  2. ARGH….I understand. My best friend doesn’t allow the word “Qwest” to be uttered in her house, but here in Eastern Oregon, we have no choice. I’m calling them today after the SIXTH month of incorrect billing. Basically, my boyfriend and I moved in together and cancelled one account and bundled everything together, and we’ve been double-charged in every way possible ever since.

    I even had one customer service person try to tell me maybe I had a different name I should be charged under because my name wasn’t in their database–“Are you sure your name isn’t Shannon?” (duh–because my boyfriend is the account holder, yet they’re charing BOTH of us)… I’m thirty. You whould think I know my name by now.

    Frustrated in Pendleton…

  3. Qwest has THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER. I Had an account with them and cancelled it because of the disregard and rudeness of their customer service. I will NEVER do business with them again or recommend them even if I have to go back to dial up.

  4. Anytime I get a recorded list of options, I’ve discovered that if you hit a bunch of buttons, it assumes you don’t speak english and immediately transfers you to customer service. It’s a nifty trick and works almost every time 🙂

  5. I hopefully at the end of a 7 month ordeal with qwest. To say they are the worst company ever when it comes to customer service would be a compliment. As soon as everthing is cancelled I am calling in a priest to exorcise the demons. The automated phone service is a joke. The fastest way I have found to get past it and to a real person is to say immediately when the voice starts talking say operator. You will have to do this several times but you should be able to reach someone that most likely will not be able to help you with your problem.

  6. Qwest stinks in Utah too. I wanted to switch my DSL only account to a bundle (DSL, Phone + Direct TV).
    1. Failed install
    2. Got install right, but set it up under two account numbers.
    3. Received disconnect notice
    4. I call (hours worth of being on hold and taking in advertisements about how simple their bundles are and how great their customer service is).
    5. They tell me to send payment to account B.
    6. I send $250 to account B.
    7. I receive second disconnect notice.
    8. I call (hours more of being on hold)
    9. They could not figure out where my payment went, said they would call back in two days after investigation.
    10. No call back
    12. I call (hours of being on hold again).
    13. They say it’s fixed, but manager refused to conference in Direct TV to re-start satellite TV.
    14. Told me to send payment to account A and said that my previous payment (account B) was transferred to account A.
    16. I call (hours more being on hold, disconnected twice while waiting)
    17-25. ???

  7. I hear ya!

    Today I had a less than satisfactory experience with a seemingly simple customer service query for Qwest. You can listen to the conversation here.


  8. So maybe you should just ask for billing and get to the correct person. Its easy. Trust me

  9. Had Qwest phone/dsl bundle for one week. The phone went down, tried to report the failure on the web. was repeatedly given a number to call for service, could not get through their thick heads that none of my phones work so how was I to call. Finally got the web site and tried to file the problem only to be told they had a system problem and to call ……. Sprint was great but is being cancelled in the Springs.

  10. I rue the day I called Qwest to bundle my services. First, I called for a quote. Harmless enough, “how much would my total bill be for internet, cell phone, directtv, and home phone with long distance?” Notice I said “total bill”, and yet the quote i received conveniently omitted nearly 25-50 dollars worth of taxes, fees, and surcharges, (during one of my many future phone calls to Qwest I actually had a rep insult my intelligence by asking me if i don’t account for sales tax when visiting McDonald’s). While I am familiar with (as is any 10 yr. old) the concept of sales tax, i don’t have any working knowledge of current FCC rules and regulations regarding taxation. Upon my learning that i would never see the amount i was quoted on any bill ever, adjustments were made to get me at least closer, including switching me to an “international” long distance plan, that qualifies me for bundling credits but should really never be used lest i want to incur per minute charges (i previously had chosen a flat rate plan). Mind you, after learning the real scoop, i am already contracted in on my cell phone and directtv plans for at least two years each w/ penalties to incur if i cancel (even though i was duped into signing). Compounding the frustration i am having, as well as feeling undermined in my ability to make informed choices is the fact that Qwest customer service is not 24hrs, its open like a bank, mon-fri, closed on holidays. So i’m using like every other lunch hour in its entirety, dealing with my phone bill. Qwest owes me lunch! Directtv, don’t get me started! You cant call there and ask for a price, you will get an elaborate schedule of promotional discounts all set to expire and different intervals, it makes your head spin, i actually had a rep tell me “i don’t have a calculator” when i was demanding an answer to what i thought was a reasonable question – “how much?” Now almost a year later i am still paying the price of my mistake. Qwest switched my cell phone plan without my knowledge or consent, and when they switched it back omitted the very basic features of voice mail and caller id spurring yet another string of calls i had to make (its becoming a full time job at this point). I am still awaiting my bill to be cleared up from that mess for which they have no explanation other than “i don’t know what happened”. And for a double whammy, directtv billed me for “nfl Sunday Ticket” a channel i never wanted to begin with and cancelled a year earlier. Turns out, its on “auto-renew”, seems reasonable, right?

  11. Be careful when you change your cell phone service over to Verizon bcause if you get a faulty phone, verizon says it belongs to Qwest even though the phone says Verizon on it. A real screw! Never Again! Too bad I’m stuck with a 2 year contract!

  12. I down-sized with qwest in May 2008 and I just spent another lunch hour arguing with a customer service agent that cannot even tell me what the incorrect charges were for!!!
    I continue to get incorrect bills, and customer service keeps on telling me to pay the charges, and they will issue a credit when and if they agree????????? QWEST sucks!

  13. Here is how I FINALLY got disconnected from Qworst and got the obscene overcharges rescinded:

    1. Write to this person, explaining the problems in detail:

    Edward A. Mueller
    Chairman and CEO
    Qwest Corporation
    1801 California Street
    Denver, Colorado 80202

    2. Send a copy of your letter to your state’s corporation commission or public utility commission. Be sure to place, at the bottom of your letter to Mr. Mueller, this line: “cc” [name of your state’s regulatory agency]”

    It’s taken weeks, but I’m finally getting disentangled from this nightmarish corporation.