TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Lingo (Primus Telecommunications) Horror Story

Re: Lingo (Primus Telecommunications) Horror Story

Ed (
25 Apr 2005 17:45:17 -0700

I'm replying to my own post.

I want to be absolutely fair so I'm going to report what appears
(today) to be good news. Hopefully, it will stay that way.

I called Primus Telecommunications today. This time, I talked with a
wonderful woman named Nancy.

She listened to the whole story. I took me about 15 minutes or so
just to tell her about all the phone calling I had done to cancel in
September of 2004.

In September, I called many times and talked to many people.

I also told her that I never received equipment and that no one I ever
spoke to at Primus Telecommunications had ever claimed to have sent me

She said, "So you never received a box from us." I said, "yes, I
never received a box."

She then called me back in about 15 minutes or so (I did not time
anything so this is very rough) and told me "you have been credited
the full amount." Sounds like they now agree I don't owe them

I still get knots in my stomach when I write this because I have had
these charges resusitate themselves so many times. It's a gut

In any case, here's my theory for whatever it may be worth. Since it
is all theory, it may not be worth much.

I suspect that all of this is bungling, not maliciousness. I'm
reminded not to assume evil where incompetence will do.

At the time I signed up for Lingo, they were new to all this. If I'm
not mistaken, they started the service around June of 2004. If this
is correct then they had only been at it a couple of months.

I was very quick to try to cancel when I did not receive equipment and
they just did not seem prepared to deal with it. I really and truly
believe that they did have a cancellation team in place but it was
just not sufficient to meet the need. This is why I was unable to get

In October 2004, I started getting letters from their collections
department (see my earlier post for chronology of events). So, I kept
calling Customer Service to say I had cancelled and they kept
reassuring me that I did not owe anything.

Problem is, Customer Service (one phone number) does not seem to have
a good line of communication with the other department, Domestic
Collections (another phone number). I could be wrong but it appears
to me that Customer Service and Domestic Collections are not even in
the same country. I'm assuming poor communications here because
talking to one department does not seem to affect the actions of the
other department (in my case).

In any case, talking to Nancy of Domestic Collections seems to (oh how
I hope!) to have solved the problem.

I will take responsibility here and post again in 60 days (or sooner
if things go badly for me). I so hope never to hear from these people

In 60 days, I hope to be able to report that it appears to be all one
big goof-up and I hever heard from Primus Telecommications again.

I feel it is very important to be absolutely fair and there is never
an excuse for hurting people (or companies) worse than you've been
hurt. In other words, balance and justice.

I'm actually quite optimistic at this point because I do not find
other complaints against Primus Telecommunications similar to mine on
the Internet or Usenet. Not that I've tried that hard to find them.

I'm hoping that this is a comedy of errors and an exception to what is
(I hope) good customer service in most cases.

I'm really not trying to get people to stop using Lingo. I just want
to get out from under the pressure of these totally unjustified

Again, I remind you of the central point: I never received equipment
and therefore could not possibly ever have made phone calls.

TELECOM Digest Editor questioned me:

> Do you have any tracking numbers from the shipment Lingo was supposed
> to send you?

Funny thing is, Lingo has never claimed to have sent me equipment.
This is one reason why I call this a "comedy of errors."

In early September, I printed out a copy of my computer screen
detailing my order on the Lingo web site. At that time, the order was
described as being "in process."

If the order had shipped, I assume it would have said "shipped" or
something to that effect.

It's my belief that I canceled the order (after weeks of waiting)
prior to their people ever attempting to ship the order.

So no, I don't think there ever was a tracking number.

The printout of the order being "in process" after weeks of waiting
was the basis for my letter to my credit card company asking them to
reverse the charges. My credit card company has been reversing the
charges ever since.

By the way, if I've learned anything from this experience, I've
learned this: Keep careful records. My records are very good. Had I
known how this was going to turn out, I would have been even more
meticulous about detail.

I started keeping records on September 10 when I had tried to cancel
the day before. I've been keeping records of everything ever since.


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