TDS Metrocom TDS Telecom Claimed no contract, locked us into long term contract with a $3000 Cancellation Fee, Gave terrible service, Phones went out - TDS Metrocom

TDS Metrocom
1 1.0
1 Review
November 30, 2010, Anonymous
United States

We have talked to Erika Patzer at 507 424-3109 as well as her boss, Mara Jarvee (not sure on the spelling) at 651-289-3273. We have also attempted to contact Mara's boss, Kristy Kipe (once again, unsure of the spelling) at the number we were given, 608-310-7700, which does not seem to be the correct number.
Back about a year ago, a salesperson from TDS contacted us and put together a quote. He promised us that if things didn't work out, whether because of a better deal, or just not being happy with their service, we could cancel at any time with no penalties. Largely due to this promise, We signed up for their telephone and internet service. From the beginning, we had problems with their equipment, including buzzing in the phones, the phones occasionally not working, the internet occasionally not working, the equipment being noisy, and the telephone bell we have (so that we can hear the phone when we are in the shop) not ringing. We called and asked them to fix each problem, and as far as the phone and/or internet being down they did, as for noisy equipment and buzzing in the phones, they said they didn't hear it.
The bell, however, they seemed to agree was a problem, but they couldn't see to get it working. They came and looked at it, said they fixed it, but the next day it was the same as ever, they came back and said we needed a higher voltage to the bell which would come from them replacing there equipment. The tech asked his boss for the correct equipment, but his boss would not allow him to give it to us as it was not the current model they were using. Apparently, for TDS a working bell was impossible.After months of messing around with their system and never getting it working, we got a call from Qwest offering us an equal deal to what TDS was giving us, so it finally seemed silly to keep messing around with the TDS system that never worked right; we called and asked if there would be any issues with cancelling, they said no, there would be no problems and we could have Qwest come and install it whenever and TDS would come to get there equipment whenever we did. We had Qwest come and install their phone system and internet again, and everything worked great, we had our bell, good call clarity, and no noisy equipment. We were happy.
A few weeks later, we got a bill from TDS. The bill was for a cancellation fee of around $3700! That's right, nearly 4 grand to cancel our service from a company that promised no cancellation fees!
We tried filing a BBB claim (which seems not to have gotten to the correct TDS location, as such, it was closed.), We tried filing a claim with the Public Utilities Commission, and we tried talking to our service rep at TDS. Nothing we tried made any progress, but in the meantime, TDS forwarded our bill to a collection agency. After much discussion and feeling that we had no other options, we signed back up with TDS; they had agreed to cancel the old cancellation fee if we signed a new contract. We continued to receive angry phone calls from bill collectors who called us liars when we explained the deal we had with TDS and told us we still needed to pay them.
Finally, the TDS tech came to install our new service, but he was unable to complete it because we had to set up our networks to handle the weirdnesses of TDS's internet connection. He said he would come back the next day to finish. He didn't come back the next day. Or Monday.
Today (Tuesday the 23) we arrived to the shop and found that our phones were disconnected. We called our rep who didn't answer, so we left a message. She did get a tech out too us after a while, but we lost a fair amount of business, and the trust of anyone who called us during the time we had no phone (do you trust a business after you call and it says that their line is no longer in service?)
So we are off to an even worse start than last time, though they did manage to get the bell working this time. I called and talked to a number of people at TDS, who said that they would let us out of our contract for free, but that our old early termination fee would go back into effect; clearly this doesn't help solve the problem.
We would like to get out of our contract with no fee, as it's clear that service will be just as bad as before, and we still will have nothing but problems. We want a phone system that just works. every time. Qwest fits that, TDS doesn't.

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