CenturyLink® recently said that their special committee of independent board members concluded that there was no evidence to prove that the provider charged their users for services that the users did not order, as alleged by an old employee of CenturyLink®. This practice is known as cramming in the world of technology.
In the last six months, the special committee of CenturyLink® together with the independent counsel from O’Melveny & Myers LLP and forensic data analysts collected and analyzed more than 9.7 million documents together with 4.3 terabytes of billing data that consists of more than 32 billion billing records. The group also interviewed many current and former employees to know about the practices followed by CenturyLink® in sales and billing.
The committee found that management of CenturyLink® did not encourage cramming and the evidences did not prove that cramming was used. However, CenturyLink® admitted that their “investment in consumer sales monitoring was not sufficiently effective in proactively detecting and quantifying potential cramming.” The Telco maintains specific procedures and policies that are designed to prevent and prohibit cramming.
CenturyLink® executives said that one of the most important issues that might have led to the way users were handled could be the complex structure of their products, promotions, and pricing, which may have resulted in confusion. Due to this, bills may not meet the expectations of customers. They added that the limitations in their ordering and billing software made it made it hard to offer users with estimates of their bills and letters confirming services that offered details of all taxes, prorated charges, discounts, and fees.
Human errors resulted in some users not getting an offered point of sale discount. CenturyLink® did not address this in a timely manner. “The investigation confirmed my long-held belief that there was no fraud or wrongdoing at the Company and that cramming was neither widespread nor condoned,” said Glen Post, who is the CEO and chairman of CenturyLink®. “However, we know there have been times when we haven’t provided our customers the experience they deserve. We have identified a number of areas where we can improve the customer experience and have already made significant progress in addressing those areas.”
CenturyLink® started a “Price for Life” guarantee for users of three of their commonly offered best internet service speed tiers to rectify future issues. The “Price for Life” guarantee was initially introduced in Nevada, which was then expanded to their complete network footprint.