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In Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Montana

BBB Accredited Business since

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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that LocalTel Communications meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for LocalTel Communications include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

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Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on LocalTel Communications
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: July 19, 2007 Business started: 11/05/1999 in WA Business started locally: 11/05/1982
Licensing

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Department of Revenue Washington State
Department of Revenue ( Public Records Division), PO Box 47478, Olympia WA 98504-7477
http://dor.wa.gov/content/Home/Default.aspx
Phone Number: 800-647-7706

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW , Olympia WA 98501
http://www.lni.wa.gov/
Phone Number: 800-647-0982

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Dimitri Mandelis, Owner/Web Tech Mr. John Seabeck, Owner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Dimitri Mandelis, Owner/Web Tech
Customer Contact: Mr. John Seabeck, Owner
Business Category

Telephone Communications Telephone Communications Telephone Service - Long Distance Television - Cable, CATV & Satellite Cable TV, Internet & Telephone Installation Service Internet Access Provider Telephone & Television Cable Contractors Telephone Equipment & Systems Dealers

Alternate Business Names
Computer 5, Inc

Additional Locations

  • 341 Grant Rd

    E Wenatchee, WA 98802 (509) 888-8888 (509) 888-5700 (800) 922-2112 (509) 888-9111

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  • Guarantee or Warranty

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (509) 888-5700(Phone)
  • (509) 888-9111(Phone)
  • (800) 922-2112(Phone)
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Additional Email Addresses

  • - Communication/Mass Email
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Complaint Detail(s)

7/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I am contracted with LocalTel to provide 25 mbps Internet speed. Found it was 9.5 mbps based on LocalTel's Speed Test. Called tech support on 4/22/13 and they return it to 25 mbps. I called their sales department and contracted for 100 mbps. On 4/23/13, speed was 9.5 mbps. Called tech support no answer why this happened. Order to increase to 100 mbps not done, so that was initiated. Not told my Internet connection would be out from 10 am - 6pm. Lost time and money due to inability to do business activity. I wrote to LocalTel asking why Internet speed was not at contracted speed, why Internet speed had returned to 9.5 mbps, and what was going to be done. 4/29/13, **** *******, VP stated, "LocalTel does not monitor all the speeds for all customers on a 24X7 basis. It is up to our customers to monitor and report issues to our tech support department." In records going back to 2004, I found no documentation of this stipulation (nor on their website) that quality control for LocalTel's services lay with the consumer. To not state this openly is a deceptive business practice. Not receiving the contracted Internet speed not addressed - instead, Mr. ******* attempted to upsell me an additional service, "Our new SKYFI internet (sic) does not touch the PUB fiber and our backhaul is routed through Spokane and Portland versus Seattle." Instead of addressing why my Internet speed returned to the realm of 9.5 mpbs, Mr. ******* preferred to create a straw man argument: "But we will never guarantee your internet (sic) will be up 24X7 365 days a year." I never asked LocalTel for this. I asked why I had not received the services I contracted for. LocalTel apparently has no reliable way to ensure it can provide contracted services. Not providing a customer the contracted services a company agrees to provide, particularly after they are informed of this problem, constituted consumer fraud as I understand it. As of this writing, my Internet speed is approximately 9.6 mbps, ten days after the problem was report

Desired Settlement: 1. Return to 100 mbps contracted speed2. Assurance that LocalTel can actually deliver 100mbps Internet speed in a sustainable fashion.3. One month's free service to make up for the loss of contracted Internet speed documented above. 4. One month's free service every time my Internet speed drops below the contracted speed of 100mbps for more than one day (24 hours) as documented by LocalTel's SpeedTest.

Consumer Response: [To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID 9528967, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Regards,

**** *******

Dear Mr. ****,
At this point, I have no further interests in pursuing restitution this case. However, I would request that you post my response below as part of the public record so other consumers can make an informed decision about doing business with this company.
 
Thanks,
**** *******

Complaint #9528967.
Resolution Moderator: ****** ****
 
Dear BBB,
As a small business owner myself, I read Mr. *******’s reply with disappointment. I believe the key phrase that crystalizes LocalTel’s customer service philosophy is: “for whatever reason.” Instead of uncovering what the reason was that my service was not provided at the contracted speed, or why it took 10 plus days to resolve the problem, LocalTel is content to merely dismiss this issue with a wave of their proprietary hand. Rather, Mr. ******** prefers to use innuendo (I never said LocalTel was unethical) and the burnishing of LocalTel’s past glory as the way of dealing with this matter rather than taking seriously the feedback from their business clients. Given that LocalTel has a functional monopoly in our marketplace, the attribution of “Best Internet Provider” rings somewhat hollow. In terms of being “Best Business of the Year”, no doubt I, too, would be more causal about LocalTel’s shortcomings if I only used my Internet access to watch ******* videos, check my ******** page, and download pictures of cute household pets.
 
In medicine, there was a “disease” called puerperal fever that killed thousands of women in childbirth from the 1600s through to the late 1800s. When Dr. ***** ********** noticed that women giving birth at home had a much lower incidence of puerperal fever and ultimately discovered that this “disease” was caused by doctors not washing their hands, his findings were not only not embraced, they were actively resisted. As Wikipedia notes, “The scorn and ridicule of doctors was so extreme that ********** moved from Vienna and was eventually committed to a mental asylum where he died.” It took a prolonged effort in order to effect this simple but important change in medical procedure.
 
Likewise, it appears it will take a groundswell of public support in order for lazy providers like LocalTel to set the bar for customer service a bit higher. Despite Mr. *******’s protestations, there was nothing pro-active about LocalTel’s response to this issue. It took sustain, consistent, aggressive action on my part for the problem to be addressed and resolved. While Mr. ******* is happy to lay the blame on their customers’ equipment or the plethora of issues that cause service interruptions, my feeling is that given the monthly fee that is charged, LocalTel can certainly do better than simply washing their hands of this affair.
 
Hopefully, the information I have provided here will allow consumers, particularly small business owners, to make an informed choice when considering entering into a contractual relationship with this vendor.

Business Response:

Attached is our response to the Washington State Attorney General office as Mr ******* also filed a complaint with the state. I believe it adequately explains our response and our actions in resolving Mr. *******'s technical issues. To my knowledge his services have been working correctly since we made our last corrections.

In response to his desired Settlements, Issues 1 & 2 are taken care of as his services have been working.

Issues 3 & 4 are not available options and will not be provided. We do not offer that type of credit for Mr. ******* or for any of our customers.

_____________________________________________________

We are sorry that this issue got to this point. LocalTel takes great pride in our level of service. And we believe most of our customers strongly support us. We have been chosen as “Business of the Year” three times in the last 20 years and have been voted “Best Internet Provider” ten years running. We would never consider doing anything unfair or unethical as many of our customers are friends and business
associates.

Mr. ******* has subscribed for a 25x2 internet service. However, for whatever reason, on 4/22 when he tested his speed to our speed test, he was only receiving a 9.5MB download. We were able to get his speed back to 25MB that same day. Generally issues like this point to the router, but we also have to check provisioning, speed at the D-mark, Speed at the router, and speed at the device doing the speed test.

Mr. ******* also wanted to upgrade to a 100Mb download. As this is a *** fiber connection, this requires the local *** to reprovision the circuit to a 100MB circuit. This is normally a 10 minute process that takes effect immediately. In this case the *** provisioned the circuit incorrectly and Mr. ******* was without service for part of that day. After working with him we were able to restore his services and provide him with the requested 100MB service. But it took some time.

There is no way to know when a customer’s subscribed speed is less than they subscribed for. We cannot monitor 15,000 connections. The list of possible variants that could cause disruption to a customer’s speed is too long to list herein. But we do log every trouble ticket and respond within 2 hours of receiving the reported problem. Generally our customers are back on track when they call but we will roll a truck if it is warranted.

Lots of items can cause an internet connection to lose its speed. Router failure, software updates, Wireless devices (I-pad and phones) competition for bandwidth.

In Mr. *******’s most recent service call on May 8th, we removed his cat 5 cabling from his in-line surge protector. This returned his Internet speed to the subscribed speed. I have attached a copy of our recorded speed tests.

I understand Mr. *******’s level of frustration, but LocalTel, nor any service provider, can be held responsible for what happens past the point of D-mark. We have no control over how our customers set up their services behind the D-mark. We always however make our best effort to resolve their problems.

In Mr. *******’s complaint, he also asked what LocalTel would do about his lost time and income due to his service being down, due to his request to increase the speed. His loss of time and income were unfortunate and unexpected, but beyond our control and we maintain no liability for this time period of reprovisioning of his service.

Mr. ******* also asked in his letter “what were we going to do to ensure this would never happen again”. We cannot guarantee that nor have we ever stated that we could. We do offer a redundant connection for those businesses and professional that simply can’t be without their internet. We did not try to up sell Mr. *******, but merely inform him that that is an option.


Sincerely:

 

**** *. *******

Vice President

LocalTel Communications

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a partial (less than 100%) settlement which the consumer accepted

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