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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 12/01/1999

Rainier Connect

Phone: (253) 683-4200Fax: (253) 683-4215

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Customer Complaints Summary

3 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Billing / Collection Issues2
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints3

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (3)BBB Closure Definitions
10/02/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
I had internet service with rainier connect for 10 months. In July 2014, i called rainier connect because i was moving and wanted to transfer my service to my new place. I was told they did not offer service at my new place, so i had no choice but to disconnect. In August i received a final bill with a $50 charge-because i terminated my 12 month contract early, i had to pay back the $5 discount i received every month. I believe this practice is unfair. Every company i have been with, if i moved and they did not offer service at my new place, i was allowed to disconnect with no extra charges. I am asking for this $50 charge to be removed from my final bill.

Desired Settlement
I would like the $50 charge removed from my final bill.

Business Response
Although we can confidently say we do not feel that we misled Ms. ***** in any way, Rainier Connect is willing to work with her and fully cooperate to reverse the $50.00 contract default fee as a courtesy to the customer. We have completed the credit with service order #XXXXXX. Ms. ***** can either manually adjust the amount of her final bill when she sends that in, or wait for an adjusted billing in October, whichever she prefers.
Rainier Connect would like to offer a further explanation for the $50.00 charge. Upon attaining service with Rainier Connect Ms. ***** had opted for a promotion that specifically offered a free install valued at $50.00 with the agreement from her that she would keep the services with us for a minimum of 12 months. At Rainier Connect we believe that we are very careful to go over the rules of the contract and the results of defaulting with all new customers. The other option that would have been available to Ms. ***** upon signing up would have been to decline the promotion offer and pay the regular charge of the $50.00 install fee up front, and therefore have a month to month service that she had the freedom to cancel at any time without penalty.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)


09/23/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
n May, 2014 a process server delivered a collection notice from ******* ***********. In reading the document to find out what this was for it took some to find the one teeny, tiny one line statement (several pages back at the bottom of a page) on the notice to see this statement was for a balance due to Rainier Connect from 2012. The statement claims $453 is due to Rainier Connect plus filing fees (filed in October 2013 according to the document which is also barely readable) in the same amount for a total of $974.85. It does not show what court the notice was filed in October 2013 or why there was an approx. 6 month delay to May, 2014 when the notice was delivered. I did cancel service with Rainier Connect in May, 2012 due to medical reasons (cancer treatments) because I was unable to afford the service any longer. (At no time after the service was cancelled service and May, 2014 Rainier Connect did not attempt to mail a statement to my home or call about the account to settle any balance due). A certified letter mailed May 27, 2014 from ******* *********** to my place of employment contained an application for writ of garnishment as if filed in Pierce County Court, does not contain a Pierce County Court stamp, has the original signature of the attorney working for ******* ***********, and again does not disclose who the attempt to collect the debt is for, just amounts. Another letter dated July 3, 2014 and mailed to my place of employment requests information for wage garnishment and again does not disclose who the collection amount is for. I am requesting assistance to settle the account directly with Rainier Connect. The information on the documents from ******* *********** cannot be verified or trusted.
Product_Or_Service: Internet Service

Desired Settlement
I request that I be able to settle the final bill amount with Rainier Connect personally if Rainier Connect can prove the amount of $453 is the actual final amount due on the account and to make payment arrangements directly with Rainier Connect office in Tacoma whether in whole or part until the account is settled.Thank you,******* *******

Business Response
In response to Ms. *******,

Please see the attached billing statements that cover the time period of April 2012 through July 2012, respectively. Each of these statements will show the mailing address in which Ms. ******** Rainier Connect bills were mailed. Each months' totals are also accompanied by details outlining how the totals were determined. Due to their age, these documents were pulled from old record files, therefore they are shown in plain text and not our usual stationary. This is the reason you will see some hand written notes labeling each total on the first page of each of the statements.

At Rainier Connect we are compassionate and empathetic to customers unique payment situations and attempt to make appropriate accommodations whenever able, within reason. Our billing system does note each time this takes place, as well as any notes that accompanied discussions with Ms. *******. Our standard practice ( as was in 2012 )is to allow for 1 payment extension within a calendar year.

An example of this would have been a case in which Ms. ******* was billed $229.92 on December 1, 2012. The bill was due upon receipt and marked to please remit payment by no later than 12/20/12. The date of 12/20/12 passed *** we mailed Ms. ******* a reminder in addition to the bill from 12/1/12. She responded to the reminder that was mailed to the same address, and we agreed to give her an extension to 1/21/12, equaling over 1 month extra time to pay.

On April 9,2012 Ms. ******* was again carrying a past due balance of $225.80 and called our business office asking for an additional payment extension. We informed her at that time that unfortunately we were unable to make another extension on the billing so close to the recent extension in January. The notes on her account state as follows: ******* CALLED TO GET Payment Arrangement - SHE ALREADY USED 1 THIS YEAR, LET HER KNOW SHE CAN GET ANOTHER ONE IN JAN13 / QTD RECON FEES IF ACCT IS SUSPENDED - SHE WILL SEE WHAT SHE CAN DO - AWARE SHE HAS UNTIL 5PM TOMORROW 4.10.12 TO AVOID DISRUPTION

The following day, 4/10/12 we received a payment of $225.80 from Ms. ******* service for the months of February and March 2012. Ms. ******* services were not interrupted, but that was the last payment we received from her. There was no customer initiated correspondence marked in our system from that date forward from Ms. *******. Further services were extended from the dates 4/1/12 through 6/25/12 and statements for these services were sent to the same address
(attached). Eventually to our dismay Ms. ******* services were disconnected by a service order initiated by Rainier Connect on the date of 6/25/12 due to lack of payment. At that time Ms. ******* was also billed a total of $109.39 to cover the cost of equipment that she was leasing that had been unreturned to Rainier Connect. This equipment charge is included in the $453.55 total mentioned.

We are aware that people do have difficult life situations, therefore our standard practice is that even after we have had to send multiple bills, reminders, and eventually are left no choice but to terminate services for lack of payment we do also give customers an additional chance to settle accounts with us on their own before sending to collections. In this case we did not send Ms. ******* account to ******* *********** until 7/25/12, giving her a full extra month to make contact with us.

Rainier Connect feels that we have made every effort to settle the account with Ms. ******* within a reasonable amount of time. It is now over 2 years later and in this timeframe according to our records Ms. ******* has not attempted to make contact with us to discuss the billing or make payments. If Ms. ******* has now decided to take care of the past balance with Rainier Connect under a payment plan we feel that at this point she should attempt to work with our contracted collections company, ******* *********** to see if that is an option for her. They can e reached at ***************

As for the amount of $974.85 listed on Ms. ******* garnishment it is possible that there may be items included from other parties not affiliated with Rainier Connect included in this dollar amount, as that would normally exceed the fee associated with a collections amount of $453.55. I would encourage Ms. ******* to inquire with ******* *********** regarding further details on this matter. Thank you.

Sincerely,

****** ********
Rainier Connect
Customer Care Supervisor

***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Rainier Connect states they only give customers one payment extension request per year and in times of hardship are not willing to make adjustments to their guidelines. How is that being compassionate and empathetic to what people are going through in today's world? As they state, I requested two payment arrangements. Only two. To make the payment they were not willing to extend I borrowed the money from family. Rainier Connect sent my file to collections on July 25, 2012. ******* *********** made no attempts to contact me at my residence, or by phone for two years. Now in July, 2014 they request immediate payment of an amount (not verified still) including garnishment of wages. ******* *********** was sent a letter on July 23, 2014 from my boss that a complaint had been filed with the BBB disputing the amount and until such time as a resolution is made with Rainier Connect they would be notified. They have called my place of employment twice since receiving the letter.
Solution: Rainier Connect is more than welcome to pick up the equipment they claim is worth $109.39. That would reduce the amount due to them (again not verified) $344.16. I would be willing to pay Rainier Connect this amount ($344.16) to settle the account in full. Rainier Connect is requested to cancel the collection account with ******* *********** and cancel filings with the Pierce County Court.

Final Business Response
As a business referring customers to ******* *********** it is important for us to know that they are practicing in sound business ethics that mirror Rainier Connects'. Therefore, we did extensive research with ******* to make sure there were adequate attempts made to make a reasonable and fair effort to allow Ms. ******* to make payments and/or clear the debt.

Rainier Connect believes that the charges Ms. ******* owes are valid. Although the equipment Ms. ******* was using at the time of her service was of initial cost to us and was of the latest technology at the time, things do change quickly in the communications arena and we are no longer purchasing or offering the equipment Ms. ******* is now asking to return for a refund. Therefore we are not interested in accepting it back to discount her debt.

Between the months of Sept 2012-January 2014, Fairway attempted multiple phone calls placed to 8 different contact numbers associated with the customer with partial success, at least one of the phone calls resulted in Ms. ******* ending the call once she learned who was calling for her (with no words exchanged). Another documented successful contact call ended in Ms. ******* stating she would have to call ******* back at a later time regarding the debt, which she failed to do. Multiple written notices and requests were also mailed to 2 different Tacoma mailing addresses associated with the customer with no response.

In September 2013 after 1 year of attempts with no response or effort from Ms. *******, ********** next course of action was to file for paperwork to get permission to serve her with a court order to take care of the debt. This court order was awarded to ******** and in January 2014 Ms. ******* was personally served papers at her place of employment requesting to appear in court within 20 days to tell her side of the story and again given a chance to take care of the debt before a garnishment might take place. Ms. ******* did not appear in court as was offered to her and she waived her right to dispute the proposed garnishment. ******* was then granted a judgment to start the process of garnishment.

As a result, ******* has either assessed the following interest charges and/or incurred the following costs in their extension collections efforts with Ms. *******.
Assessed by ********
$86.79 Interest
Non-Refundable Incurred Costs that ******* has paid regarding Ms. ******* :
$200.00 Attorney fees
$132.97 Court costs
$153.00 Filing fees

These are no longer negotiable as they would not be refunded by the court system to either company ******** or Rainier Connect). Even in the event that we decided to now meet in the middle, because of these legal charges, the time for that solution has been surpassed ***** many missed opportunities on Ms. ******* part. At this point Rainier Connect would suggest that Ms. ******* cooperates with the court system regarding her garnishment.

05/14/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Complaint
We are not getting a constant connection. This has been going on over a year. We have taken days off for someone to come to house to look at situation. My husband took the last time and a full day. The Service works for a while then cuts out, especially near 9:00 pm almost every night.We are only home in the evening and expect a working internet for the cost we are paying for. I feel we are not taken seriously. The problem is either a non qualified workers,or just plain bad connection to our house. We want it fix!

Desired Settlement
We want the internet to be working. We plan to sell and move on, but we want to say this Service is fixed and person who buys this place can count on Rainier Connect. If not solved we will suggest "not to acquire this service".

Business Response

March 21, 2014

RE: BBB Complaint Case# ********

Better Business Bureau,
I am writing on behalf of Rainier Connect in response to the BBB Complaint, Case ********, submitted by *********** regarding their ongoing Internet service troubles.

After reviewing the history of ****** and ******* ******* Internet service account and trouble history I do see where they have been reporting for over a year's time intermittent slow speed troubles. It is unfortunate that we have not made the ****** feel that their trouble is important to us as Customer Service is a high priority to us. The feedback they have provided is helpful and we always have room to improve.

While our support teams have made extensive efforts to resolve their service experience we have yet to determine just why the service is networking properly and consistently. We have checked the lines providing services to their home multiple times and as best we can tell they are in great shape. We have moved them to a different line card in the cabinet they are serviced out of to eliminate the possibility that another user on the same card as they're on might be impinging on their speed.

We have replaced the modem twice as well. After each of our efforts we performed a successful speed test and the service continued to work for varying periods of time but we have yet to identify the cause of the problem. After having had multiple technicians check the facilities in the field and review connectivity from our Centralia Office (where all services connect back to our network) we became suspicious that something inside the ******* home might possibly be contributing the poor service. Most recently we lent the customer a**** to plug their modern/ router into to eliminate the possibility of a power fluctuation issue, but that has not remedied their trouble either.

We have looked at the account history of other customers served out of the same cabinet as the ****** but there have been no similar complaints of slow speeds. We are continuing to work with the ****** to get to the bottom of the problem, but so far have not identified the cause of this ongoing trouble.

******* ***** will be stopping by our office this afternoon to return the**** and speak with our Customer Care Supervisor. At that time, if Mr. ***** is agreeable, we will coordinate for our Outside Plant Supervisor to go to their home during a time in which the service is not working. Troubleshooting while the trouble is actually occurring may help us to identify the root cause of the problem.

We are committed to seeing this trouble through to the end and identifying what is causing the service issues so that we can permanently resolve the problem.

Again, I regret that we left the ****** feeling as though we did not take their trouble seriously. After receiving this complaint and. reaching out to trouble shoot further we appreciate that they are giving us the opportunity to make it right.

****************
Customer Care Manager
Rainier Connect
****************@RainierConnect.net
************

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Rainer Connect has been in contact and working on solving the issue. It is now a issue of weather or not it gets solved. Rainier has figured out the problem and is currently working on it,we still have partial internet due to others hogging the bandwidth with heavy large downloads.The system is very unstable at this time.

Final Business Response

April 24, 2014

RE: BBB Complaint Case#*********

Better Business Bureau,

When we last spoke with the ****** on April 1st they had reported to us that the DSL Internet service improvement had been consistent. We had, most recently, made adjustments to our equipment providing DSL service to the ****** on March 24th. We had supplied them with the cell phone numbers to both our Customer Care & Outside Plant Supervisors to report any further trouble, even outside of normal business hours. Until we received the most recent update from the BBB we were unaware that the ****** were experiencing any further trouble with their DSL Internet service. We reached out to ********** on April 16th but she suggested it was best we spoke with *********. Unfortunately ********* is out of town on business and while we have left him a message on his cell phone he has not been home to trouble shoot with us further.

The neighborhood the ****** live in currently has the capability of 1.5Mbps DSL Internet connection on our network. The last update through the BBB from the ****** indicates their heating system and radio both experienced trouble as a result of their internet connectivity. Without further details I am unable to respond to these items, other than to assume that they are possibly using remote access to their heating system and likely streaming audio (i.e Pandora, iHeart Radio, etc). Below is an image of their bandwidth consumption for a period of time on 4/27/14 which shows that for approximately 2 hours they were consuming the maximum bandwidth available on a 1.5M Internet connection. Depending on the number of devices connected, and activities each device is performing, this could result in a saturation of bandwidth available on the DSL connection which may cause the user to experience lag or delay in service (loading a webpage, buffering on video, etc).

We are more than happy to trouble shoot further with the ****** if they choose. At this time, after reviewing the physical plant servicing their home and monitoring the DSL graphs the service appears to working properly delivery consistent speeds above 1Mbps.

We regret the ****** are unhappy with the DSL Internet speeds we currently have available in their neighborhood. We strive to give the best experience we can to our customers and care a great deal about their satisfaction with our service.
*****************
Customer Care Manager
Rainier Connect
****************@RainierConnect.net
************

***SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REDACTED BY BBB***

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Well it took 15 min to get to this page first off.
My heating system last night was off line for 6 hours and my radio just disappeared just now. No the is issue is basically the same. It was showing improvement but it still is not working for the money we are paying each month. Rainier connect needs to update and run a cable out here to handle what small community we have and whom ever is taking all the broadband at 6:00 am, 6pm thru the night.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Internet Access Provider, Internet-Based Telephone Service, Television - Cable, CATV & Satellite, Telephone Service - Long Distance, Telephone Communications, Advertising - Television

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