No, CenturyLink, my name is not “John Sweet Candy”

John Sweet’s CenturyLink bill lists him as “John Sweet Candy.” A company representative has apologized for the wrong name and offered a refund and discount. But where’s the money?

Question: CenturyLink changed my online profile to show my name as “Penitentiary Pink” and “John Sweet Candy” on two of the web pages related to my account for Internet service.

I wrote a complaint email, and received a phone call back from a representative of CenturyLink, who apologized for the demeaning misrepresentations. He confirmed that my complaint was valid, meaning the names were not set by myself or someone using my login credentials. And he offered to reduce my bill from $74 to $29 per month, plus issue a credit of $84.

Three weeks have passed, and my bill is still for $74 and there was no credit issued. Now I feel like I was played the fool yet again, but they get away with it because there are very few choices for Internet service, and the other companies have an equally poor reputation. Can you help? — John Sweet, Phoenix

Answer: Ah, another name change on a bill. Won’t these companies ever learn that name-calling never gets you anywhere? This reminds me of the Comcast customer whose name was switched to an obscenity on his bill. Not quite as bad, but still offensive.

But did CenturyLink really do this to you? You say a representative admitted that the blame lay with the company. I checked with the company, and it told me a different story.

“After investigating the issue, we did not find any evidence suggesting an employee accessed this account to change the greeting or account description,” the spokesman said.

Related story:   Two new phone lines and $2,000 extra on my bill? What gives, Sprint?

Of course, it’s possible that the first person you spoke with didn’t conduct a thorough investigation. The employee just saw the playground insults and assumed they were CenturyLink’s fault.

Then again, CenturyLink could have done this and is now denying it.

There’s no way for me to know.

When the promised discount and credit didn’t show up, I might have appealed this to someone higher up at CenturyLink. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of CenturyLink’s executives on my consumer advocacy site.

CenturyLink has processed the refund and adjusted your bill, as promised.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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