Letter to the Editor

No contract, no signature, no service?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

To the Editor:

My mother, Brenda Gaskill, has had Internet service for many years with Joink.

After closing her office, she had the service moved across the street to her home.

She signed no contract. They don't have her signature.

Immediately after transferring, she was unable to access Internet nor send/receive e-mails. She was told by Joink to be patient and they would get the problem fixed. This went on for a few weeks. She finally decided to switch Internet service providers. She called and canceled her service with Joink.

Joink's voice mail stated they were having continued issues with DSL and didn't know when the service would be up again. Once she canceled the service, Joink informed her that they would remove $149 from her account due to early cancellation.

She had service with them for more than five years but since she transferred across the street, they said it was new service. My mother called and left them a voice mail (you had no other option as they would not answer calls) telling them that they did not have permission to deduct money from her account and that if deductions were made, it would be unauthorized.

She notified Harris Bank, where she had banked for years, that Joink did not have permission to withdraw money from her account. Harris told her that they needed three days advance notice to stop payment on a check/deduction. It seems to me the purpose of a stop payment is generally an emergency issue where one does not have three days advance warning.

Joink took the money anyway, Harris allowed it.

When a person notifies a company that they no longer have permission to remove money from their account and they also inform their bank of this issue, their money should not be removed.

One should be able to inform their bank that permission for that company has been revoked.

Joink was informed and they stole her money anyway. Joink has not had reliable service recently and they are aware of this. If not, they would not have a recording on their voice mail stating such.

To Harris Bank, who allowed the theft after my mother informed them of the status with Joink, I find it disturbing that a person can't go to their bank and revoke another company's withdrawal permission without three days advance notice. Harris Bank allowed Joink to commit theft.

This letter is a word of caution to anyone who deals with Joink or Harris Bank. Joink feels that it is acceptable to provide non-working service for whatever amount of time they choose and you can't cancel your service with them in turn.

If you do, they will steal your money after you inform them not to do so. If you bank with Harris, you had better not have to have a stop payment issued unless you know three working days in advance that you will need a stop payment.

A three day advance notice for an unforeseen event is ridiculous.

Shelli Jones,