Bay Area woman billed for internet service she hadn't used for 13 years

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Bay Area woman billed for internet not used for 13 years
A Walnut Creek woman discovered she had been paying for internet access she hadn't used for more than 13 years.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- I am speaking with Corey Goad from EarthLink.

"So how's EarthLink doing?" I ask.

"EarthLink is doing well, man. We like to call it a 28-year-old start up," Goad tells me.

Goad works for EarthLink, which is still out there providing internet access across the continental United States and a couple other countries.

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I became aware of EarthLink again because Mary McHughes from Oregon was visiting a friend in the Bay Area.

"I went down to visit my friend Susan in Walnut Creek, and while I was there, she had not been using her computer for a while," McHughes tells me. "I was trying to get her computer working. I noticed that she had an Earthlink email address."

McHughes found her friend was actually getting her internet service through Comcast. So she called EarthLink and told them, "You know we don't have Internet access. So Susan's been paying over $50 a month. I know she's had Comcast since 2010, so she's been paying for 13 years, and I said, 'Could she get a refund of maybe a year?'"

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She was told there can be no refund. So she reached out to 7 On Your Side, and we got a hold of Goad at Earthlink.

Goad tells me, "We would love to keep her as a customer at no cost -- just for what she went through -- for the foreseeable future."

EarthLink doesn't keep track of who's using the internet but does know McHughes's friend had used EarthLink email. Still Goad offers up a great solution.

"What we had talked about internally, and this is totally up to her, (we want to) make sure she feels like she's been taken care of. The right thing is we would cut a check, at least for the last 3 to 4 years," Goad said.

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Mary's friend declined to be on TV, but Mary was happy to hear this: "That is fabulous, that is, that's really great."

EarthLink did not have to do that. I really appreciate all they are doing.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

7OYS's consumer hotline is a free consumer mediation service for those in the San Francisco Bay Area. We assist individuals with consumer-related issues; we cannot assist on cases between businesses, or cases involving family law, criminal matters, landlord/tenant disputes, labor issues, or medical issues. Please review our FAQ here. As a part of our process in assisting you, it is necessary that we contact the company / agency you are writing about. If you do not wish us to contact them, please let us know right away, as it will affect our ability to work on your case. Due to the high volume of emails we receive, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.



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