Friday, July 27, 2007

Qwest CEO goes to jail, does not pass go

Here's a bit of news that made me smile, Qwest's CEO Joe Nacchio gets 6 years in prison for stealing 52 million dollars. And he has to pay it back. But why stop there?

Qwest's CEO was just following company policy. Stealing is incorporated into their business model. Shareholders or customers, it doesn't matter, these are pockets full of green that must be added to the Qwest bottom line.

When I was in college I had to deal with Qwest for landline phone service. They come out, to hook up my service, and charge me $80 worth of services that I specifically asked them not to do. After months of trying to get the charges removed, they "reorganized" my bill and suddenly no one could even verify what the charges were. It was all just one lump "past due" balance with no history attached whatsoever. I did not have my original bill, Qwest CSRs could care less and supervisors never called back. What's a poor college student to do?

All this time I've been paying my regular bill, minus the $80 bad charge, and they decide to cut our phone. So my roommate gets the phone in his name, and all is well. Being a college student, I wasn't about to pay $80 to these ripoff artists. Of course, a year later I start getting collection calls. I explain everything, even write a formal letter of dispute. Well, the agency tells me to pound sand. They contact Qwest, who reads off their computer and sees "owes $80 past due" and, well, I'm a consumer, to heck with my rights. So the agency won't back off, and I have no recourse. What can I do, sue them? How is a poor college student supposed to do that?

So I pay them $80 just to get them off my back. But Qwest is, by far, the most crooked company I'd ever done business with. Can you guess what happened? A year later I get another collections call for the same amount. Qwest has no record of payment. All I have is a copy of a statement, which just shows my payment as some code surely only the bank understands. So again, I am told to pound sand. And again, another $80 is stolen from a poor college student. I had the foresight to tell them to send me a letter verifying that I paid, and they did, so all was well.

Anyway, don't stop with Nacchio. Send them all to jail.

I'm not bitter at all.

No comments: