Denver Better Business Bureau issues warning about CenturyLink

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DENVER -- The Better Business Bureau issued a warning Friday on CenturyLink for "advertising claim concerns, a pattern of complaints and government action." As a result, CenturyLink now has a C rating with the Denver/Boulder BBB.

The company is a major internet, TV and telephone technology provider.

CenturyLink had 11,954 reportable complaints in a three-year period as of Thursday, a statement from the BBB said.

The Better Business Bureau addressed the issues it raised with specific information.

Advertising issues

The BBB said it contacted CenturyLink in September regarding claims on the company's website "using questionable sales tactics, 'up to' price savings and 'free' claims, and guarantees that lacked terms and conditions."

The organization said it asked CenturyLink to modify a number of claims in accordance with the BBB Code of Advertising, through which the agency reviews local business advertising and challenges any potential false or misleading ads to protect consumers.

No modifications have been made according to the BBB.

Pattern of complaints

BBB said in its statement it has identified a pattern of complaints against CenturyLink.

The BBB said some customers claim they are charged more than the price they agreed to pay when signing up for service, and that they don't receive the speed and quality that is promised by sales representatives.

The BBB said it also received complaints that the business is not responsive to customers' questions or concerns.

"One consumer explained that they have contacted CenturyLink 47 times since signing up in order to have the overcharge fixed, but the bill has not reflected an adjustment [on the bill]," the BBB said.

Government action

The attorney general in Arizona agreed to an "Assurance of Discontinuance" with CenturyLink in April. The BBB said the attorney general believes the company engaged in practices related to its billing and customer service to Arizona consumers who bought telephone and high speed internet services that violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. These allegations are detailed here.

"CenturyLink strives to ensure its advertising is informative and to provide the best possible service at all times," the company said in a statement. "As a customer-first business, we take any complaint seriously and work diligently to provide each customer with a fair and quick resolution.

"And where our investigations into complaints show that process changes can improve the customer experience, we make improvements and incorporate them into our employee training and customer outreach.

"Improving the customer experience is our constant objective, and customer feedback, even if negative, is an important part of this continuous effort.  Feedback is always welcome."

If customers have billing questions, they can contact CenturyLink at 800-423-8994 or online at CenturyLink.com."

The BBB said consumers who have similar experiences with this or any other company can file a dispute or customer review on the BBB's website.

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