Clearwire Early Termination Fees Charged Despite "Terrible" Service

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Saint Paul, MNPeople who have signed up for Clearwire Internet service are complaining that they got less than they bargained for. They say that the Clearwire service is terrible and they are charged ridiculous Clearwire early termination fees for canceling a service that they can barely use. Bruce G. (not his real name) says his Clearwire problems began immediately after the service was set up. Now, he is being charged over $500 for Clearwire fees for service that he says was inconsistent.

Slow InternetBruce says that he went through a local distributor to get Clearwire service, which he says was a mistake.

"They sell the unit, but they don't support it so you have to find a Clearwire representative," Bruce says. "The distributor came to my house, set up the unit and said it would work. But, right off the bat I had problems. I would call Clearwire support but it was never their fault. They always said it was something with Windows or with my settings. It was never their problem. I was able to get it to work, but it didn't work very well. It was sporadic and I lost the connection. I never got more than 3 out of 5 bars. And, basically from that point I was fed up. I canceled the account on my credit cards so they would not get paid.

"A year later, I got a letter saying the account was sent to collections. I called Clearwire to get it cleared up. They refused to do anything about it and they referred me to the collections agency. I do have their modem and they said they would remove $200 if I send the modem back, but I won't get any money back for their crappy service. I don't like to have scars on my credit report, but I won't give Clearwire any more money."

Bruce says he used the Clearwire service for approximately 6 months before he became fed up and canceled his payments. In that 6 months, he says he had terrible service from the modem and poor service from Clearwire representatives.

"During the 6 months I used the service I was in contact with Clearwire. Internet service was slow—there were good days and bad days. On good days, I could get 3 bars out of 5, but the majority of the time that was not the case. It was usually 2 bars. The service consistently dropped you. If you were online doing something, all of a sudden the connection would be lost.

"They were not willing to help with the problems. Upon talking to them a year later [after the account went to collections] they said to me that I should have had a certified Clearwire guy come up from a local town—but it had to be someone certified, not just a distributor—and attempt to fix the problem. I told them that the problem was poor reception where I was at and they could send a certified guy up to fix the problem. They said I had to have an active account to do that. So basically, I have to pay them money to have a guy come up and tell me the service in my area is bad.

"I got fed up with the conversations with Clearwire because I wasn't getting anywhere, which is why I canceled the payment. They are looking for month-to-month fees for this whole time plus a cancellation fee. Right now, they say I owe $550, with the modem. If I send the modem back, they will credit me $200, but I will still owe $350 for service I didn't use.

"People should know that if they buy this product from a local distributor, they will not be supported locally. Once you sign up, you are on your own and you will have to deal with the Clearwire representatives, because the distributors wash their hands of it."

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