Covad has been sucking my balls for two months now. Ever since we canceled our DSL account with them at the end of January, they have been playing Wacky Party Games with my money. Every time I call, they're like "Oh, I don't know why we haven't paid you back yet! Here, I'll escalate it to Level 2 for you!"

"That's what they said they did last time."

"Well, I'm doing it now! It should take three to five business days!"

What?! No.

I just called again and was told that the finance department got it March 11th, and that the finance department told them yesterday that it would take "at least a month (from when they got it)" so "it should only be another week" (that's two weeks, assholes. "at least" two weeks.) so I told them that if I didn't get the money by Friday, on Monday I would begin legal action. My roommate, who works retail and knows how to do these things, called them back and kicked several levels of ass. He talked to the supervisor of the supervisor I spoke to, who said he would "send it up through his channels" tomorrow and that that would still take four or five business days.

Here's the letter I'm going to send them if I haven't gotten paid by next Wednesday.

Dear Covad,

Since we canceled our account with you at the end of January, you have:

  • neglected to refund the pro-rated fee for our last month of service, instead crediting it to our canceled account;
  • charged us for another month of service after the cancellation, deducting it directly from my bank account, which caused other transactions I made to bounce;
  • repeatedly failed to send these charges to the finance department, despite telling me that you had done so;
  • repeatedly failed to put the refund through to my bank account;
  • given me different and ever-lengthening estimates as to when I would receive this refund every time I called.
There is no excuse for any of this. I should have been refunded the pro-rated fees for January immediately. Instead, I did not even know that I was due those fees until the second time I called, when I was finally told the total amount that had been "credited to my (Covad) account" and asked where the extra money came from.

I should never have been charged the extra month of service. Because your company only offers one form of billing, automatic deduction, that illegal charge was taken directly from my bank account. I did not even know about it until I discovered that my checks had bounced. When I discussed this with a Covad representative, I was told that my bounced check fees were not Covad's legal responsibility but that they would "go half-and-half with me" and pay $25 of them. At this point, this argument seems patently ridiculous, since none of Covad's behavior with my bank account reeks of legality.

Furthermore, every time estimate I have been given on this refund has expired, one after another, often apparently because no one sent the refund order to the finance department. When I spoke with Dana last week, she told me that the finance department did not have a phone number and does not speak to clients, and that the finance department was currently very behind and saying it would take "at least a month" to refund me this money. That's "at least a month" from the date that it was finally actually escalated to finance, which is "at least a month" after Covad began owing me money. And there is still no guarantee that I will get my money at that point.

Therefore, I am giving Covad until the end of this week - Friday, April 9th - to refund my money. That's a total of $75.60 for pro-rated January fees, illegally charged February fees, and subsequent bounced check fees. If by the close of business on Friday my bank has not received this refund, I will refer this matter to my lawyer.

Sincerely yours....