Evaluating Qwest's "Price for Life" Program (hint: It Sucks)

I've noticed a few random web surfers coming by looking for information on Qwest's heavily-advertised "Price for Life" program for DSL and thought I should let them know what exactly they're getting into. On the surface, it seems like a great idea: you guarantee that your price won't increase for as long as you have DSL service. The reality, however, is filled with more loopholes than the US tax code, all designed to keep your price inflated and gouge you for additional fees.

So how much will you save? That all depends on how long you keep the service. Qwest offers the same price for the first year regardless of if you go for the "Price for Life" or not. What's the difference thereafter? A meager $6 a month or $72 until you can escape the $200 early termination fee.

And what exactly triggers this early termination fee? Aside from obvious things like disconnecting service, you'll also break the contract for altering service including changing your speed tier, changing your ISP or even moving. Considering that Qwest plans to roll out 20Mbps service within the year, it seems like a terrible idea to lock yourself into a speed for two years that will be obsolete before you complete the term of the contract. And why would Qwest charge you an ETF when you keep the line and only change the ISP, even if the ISP wasn't them to begin with? It's almost like Qwest wants to lock a bunch of their users into lower speeds to throttle bandwidth. Hmmm.

All in all, the program is a bunch of clever marketing with a whole lot of consumer-unfriendly gotchas. Do not want!

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13 Responses to Evaluating Qwest's "Price for Life" Program (hint: It Sucks)

  1. Tom says:

    Jesse. I do not see any problem signing up for 2 year service. Why? Because we all know Qwest will not meet the stated goals. Or they will roll it out but not in my town (Springville).

    I wonder if they will focus on UTOPIA cities for the rollout? To keep people from leaving. Because if UTOPIA gets off their asses and builds out those phase 2 cities, I can see many, many people leaving their Qwest behind. So their goal has to be to build out there before UTOPIA fixes their problems.

  2. Pete Ashdown says:

    Qwest isn’t telling consumers is that bandwidth prices have always gone down over history. So if you want to sign on for the same price forever while your neighbors pay less over time for more, then Qwest is more than happy to do that for you.

  3. Chuck says:

    So what is a Price For Life when we received a letter yesterday that the bundles are changing and our prices will change????? going up, of course

  4. Tom in MN says:

    Price for Life does not mean Price for Life
    They tacked on $2.00 per month after 2 years.

    I called and they say it’s a 2 year contract. What? I thought Price for Life means till the day I die.

    There repetitive response is “Price for Life” is a 2 year contract. Meaning it’s not for life only 2 years. I smell a class action law suite.

  5. keisha says:

    I also was a victim of the price for life scam. the aholes jacked up my plan after nearly 3 years stating that the price for life is really a ‘price for two years” the word “life” was just a carrot to get us to sign on. These aholes also will charge you to take services off (ex: long distance) you call to terminate you long dist. and they will charge you for it. qwest sucks1!!

  6. luminous says:

    dialtone is provided by the long distance provider with qwest lines is my understanding.

  7. Never Tried It says:

    When I first signed up with Qwest, I was paying $36/month for 1.5MBps/896k (no phone service, just DSL). It’s not really that great of a connection considering my buddy in another city is paying $30/month for 25Mbps/10Mbps (different ISP.

    After a year, I was moving so I called to close my Qwest account. Qwest wanted to know why I was closing my account — umm because I’m moving and after the first year of service you are going to jack the price up to $50/month for the same crappy connection.

    Qwest: “Oh sir, you are moving to a new address so we can offer you the promotional pricing for another year. It is all based on address. PLUS you can just take the modem you already have and we will have the Internet working on the day you move into your apartment”

    I agreed — if the price wasn’t going to increase and the Internet would be working the day I moved in, then fine — I’ll keep Qwest.

    I move to my new apartment, plug in my modem — no signal. I checked all 3 jacks in my apartment. No connection.

    I call Qwest. “Oh sir, yes I see that we have kept the account active and it is transferred, but the connection is not active. We need to schedule a technician to turn it on — next Friday. WTF! It was supposed to be turned on *THE DAY I MOVED IN* — that was the main selling point. Of course i was not impressed.

    The first bill comes. Now I’m being billed $50/month and there is an $80 fee for the modem. WTF x 2!! I call Qwest to find out what happened to the promotional pricing… “Sorry sir, our promotional pricing is not by address it is by individual.”

    What about this 80 dollar fee for the modem I’ve been using for the past year? I already paid for my modem!! “Sir, we sent you a new modem.”

    I didn’t receive a modem. Why would you send me one anyways — the whole point of transferring the account was so I WOULDN’T HAVE TO WAIT TO START USING THE INTERNET ONCE I MOVED IN!!!!

    Well it turns out, the incompetent Qwest rep that “transferred” my account sent a new modem to the wrong address (a different apartment number in the complex) but thankfully he made a text comment to the effect that I didn’t need a new modem and would be just transferring with my existing one. Fine, so take the $80 charge off my bill.

    “Sir, we are sorry. We have not received the modem back, yet”

    Umm..that is not really my problem. You are the ones that sent the modem I didn’t order to a wrong address.

    “Sir, we must wait until we receive the modem. We have sent a letter to the address of the person we sent it to”

    Can I have the address to go talk to them?

    “Sir, they are a customer of ours. We cannot disclose that information”

    I called back probably 10 times and was fed the same nonsense. FINALLY after 3 months, a representative was finally able to remove the charge for the modem I neither ordered nor received.

    This entire experience really soured my view of Qwest and the competencies of their employees.

    Anyways, I’m still using them but refuse to make any changes to my account for fear of another incompetent representative. I would have ditched them for a competitor, but the only other choice I have is Comcast and they suck even more than Qwest.

    One of these days I’ll have access to a decent ISP at a fair price.

  8. Never Tried It says:

    I forgot the entire point of my post — the price for life. After I complained about being scammed on the promotional offer for the new service address, the representative told me I could sign up for “price for life” and get a GREAT rate! I asked, what happens if I move tomorrow and have to close my account?

    “Sir, if the location you move to has Qwest, you must continue subscribing.”

    But what if the location I move to does not have Qwest? Is there an early termination fee?

    “No sir. If you cannot subscribe to Qwest, you will not be penalized”

    Something about that didn’t smell right and based on my recent experience of Qwest reps lying to me, I aggressively refused the offer.

    After reading your article, its good to know I made the right choice.

  9. Haakon says:

    Qwest are scam artists and blatant cheats who will lie right to your face! I’ve been a land line phone customer since 1992. In 2008 after nine years of Choice TV and Online (“cable” and broadband) they notified it would no longer be available and I would have to switch over to Direct TV and Qwest DSL. I passed on the TV but purchased 7mbps DSL for a $32/mo “price for life” if I maintained the service for two years. A year later it showed up as $38/mo as a $6 “promotional discount” had expired. Six months later, June 2010, there appears a $9.99 fee for “dsl.net” they explain was “accidentally left off” the $32 billing from the beginning – back in 2008!! But they weren’t going to back charge me. How nice. Even though I have the date and time and the name of the Qwest person and his ID# and the confirmation number of the $32/mo “price for life” deal I bought in 2008, these lying sacks of crap aren’t going to stop charging me $48 a month. That’s $192 a year all because I acted in good faith. And according to this class action lawsuit, I’m not alone: http://blogs.denverpost.com/coverthespread/2009/12/lawsuit-alleges-qwest-reneged-on-price-for-life/ The lawyer is at dyerberens.com.

  10. Brian says:

    I was scammed by Qwest on their price for life. I bought the bundle of internet and phone at Best Buy in August of 2009. The sales rep assured me (after several queries to make sure I understood) that the price would never go up as long as I stayed with Qwest. In Sept of 2010, Qwest raised my monthly bill by about $30. They have refused to back up the word of the rep and said their “price for life” is really only “price for 12 months”. Then it goes up. This is pure bait and switch.

    Have others experienced this? If so, someone should file a class action suit.

  11. Tom says:

    They just redid everything on their end and now just a plain-jane business line with 1.5 DSL went from $98 a month to $130 for the same service.

    I refuse to sign up for their 3 year service, $600 early termination fee for the telephone AND $600 early term for the DSL!!!

    And 1.5 is the best we can get, can’t get cable where I live.

    Qwest, you suck!

  12. Jim says:

    I signed up for Qwest for life in 2005 for $24.99, I figured I could not beat this price. Now Century link owns the account I had bundled my services and never saw the increases now I am paying $39.99 never got notified of the cost changes. I do not understand why is the consumer not protected from companies taking advantage of customers.

  13. nick werle says:

    qwest century link staffed by liars and morons

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