Beware of paying for more than a monthly subscription.

in Feedback Posts: 3
It now seems that I rather stupidly paid for 12 months service in advance.  The service had always worked well in France giving me a UK IP address.  On 26 October I arrived in France and PIA would not work so I requested support.  The auto-reply said "Our customer support is undergoing an unexpected support load so our response times will be longer than usual".  Two days later still no reply to my support request until this arrived "We'd love to hear what you think of our customer service. Please take a moment to answer one simple question by clicking either link below" !!!!!!  I'm being asked to rate PIA's failure to supply support and am given an option to say "Good.  I'm satisfied".  Obviously I didn't but replied saying I'd not received a response to my request for support and would have to seek another provider if none came.  Still no more from PIA so I subscribed to an alternative provider which immediately worked as PIA had in the past.

The problem came when I then raised a new ticket requesting a pro-rata refund on the the remainder of the year I'd paid for.  This time the response came within hours!  But saying that refunds could only be given within 7 days of purchase.  So, be warned that paying for 12 months in advance gives you no rights after 7 days however much PIA fail to provide what you've paid for.

Comments

  • edited November 6 Posts: 84
    @loades I'm sorry to hear you're having a bad experience. I can't speak on behalf of whomever handled your ticket, but that doesn't sound quite right so I've asked support to look into it again. Thank you for mentioning this!
    Post edited by sn0wmonster on
  • edited November 6 Posts: 455
    @loades I am starting to see you spamming older threads. I understand your delima but this does not give you the right to spam threads. I have deleted you other comments in older threads. Again, I understand your issue but please refrain from posting the same comments in multiple threads.

    Thank you

    @Support @PIAColleen @PIAAustin @PIAKaneesha @Max-P
    Post edited by Omnibus_IV on
  • Posts: 3
    I didn't think responding to two threads under another category but complaining of similar PIA failings to those I'm experiencing could be defined as spamming.  Those posts had not had a single response so I advised that reposting here may get a response.  I made no mention in my responses of my my problems and post here - I simply wrote that their problems may be responded to here since they got no response where they are.  How in the name of a deity can that be defined as spamming? If PIA feel the need to be so controlling lets just forget it all;  I'm quite likely banging my head on a brick wall.  It's too late to do anything about the unanswered support request outstanding now for 10 days.  I was not asking for the whole year's subscription to be refunded, just pro-rata for the remaining days.  I'll write it off as a bad experience and leave you well alone.
  • edited November 6 Posts: 572
    I can't speak on behalf of whomever handled your ticket, but that doesn't sound quite right...
    Those of us who have been PIA customers for a long time know this is entirely right and the OP's experience is completely consistent with what many of us have experienced; and not just in recent weeks, but over a period of many months. The perpetual "backlog" issue seems to never end. But it's amazing the quick response that a demand for refund often garners. Oh, wait. Even those often get ignored by support until the customer posts a request for refund in these forums. Those posts seemingly always manage to get a blindingly fast response.

    I too have experienced much the same. Adding to the frustration is the pattern of creating a ticket, having that ticket not responded to in any manner (other than a scripted email reply of PIA support receiving my request for support), and then several days later having PIA support close out the ticket claiming they did so because I didn't respond to them in the allotted time! Yet they never took any action on the tickets I created whatsoever. What exactly was I suppose to respond to when they never took any action on the tickets? This wasn't just a one-time fluke either. I had the same thing happen over a dozen times. Eventually I just gave up on PIA support altogether and posted my problems on this forum where other PIA customers were often helpful.

    PIA long ago had chat support, which was great for fixing fairly simple/routine problems. I used it myself on several occasions. It was fast and left me with some measure of confidence that PIA was putting forth some effort to support me. They really need to bring that back, but it would require hiring a few more support people to man it, but PIA seems unwilling to financially commit to doing so, even though it would mean cutting down support wait times from days (and in some cases never) to minutes. We were all much happier in the good old chat support days.

    I've already been threatened by the support manager with "This is your last warning before you are permanently banned" for voicing my concerns about PIA's support (or rather, from the perspective of many PIA customers, the seeming lack of it). So I won't be the least bit surprised to get banned now for this comment.
    Post edited by tomeworm on
  • edited November 6 Posts: 455
    @loades because in both those threads the issues were resolved. It so stated in the title of the thread. Again, I understand your dilemma.

    tomeworm said:

    I've already been threatened by the support manager with "This is your last warning before you are permanently banned" for voicing my concerns about PIA's support (or rather, from the perspective of many PIA customers, the seeming lack of it). So I won't be the least bit surprised to get banned now for this comment.
    @tomeworm Actually, you were not threatened for voicing your concerns, you were threatened because you were rude and insulted the PIA Staff. Just in case you for forgot, I can post a link to the thread. However, we will leave it at that.
    Post edited by Omnibus_IV on
  • edited November 6 Posts: 84
    @tomeworm I hear you loud and clear. I've been reading a lot of horror stories and I've been personally channeling each and every one to quality control where they've been well received. I'm not happy when I see people unhappy with their service. loades seemed to be having a bad time with PIA and I figured this was one thing I might be able to help on.

    When I said "doesn't sound right", I didn't mean that his experience wasn't as described, I actually believed that part! I was referring to his claim, but in fact I was misreading his claim entirely and misunderstood to be that he has 11 months left and couldn't refund. That would be pretty shady in my book.

    After re-reading I realized the actual situation is not that at all and he by all rights is probably not due a refund per the published PIA refund policy as it wasn't 7 days after purchasing but many months after most likely. I felt that it was probably the right thing to do anyway though and pushed the issue because I don't think PIA's intentions are to take people's money and not provide a service.

    As for why management warned you personally, your comments have to be constructive if you want to criticize. You hadn't been constructive in the past as much as you had been abusive, even I can see that. You are being more constructive recently (and to no coincience, things are changing for the better recently too!) and I support you in that. If you ever see a thread you think is in dire need of attention, tag me! I will commit to resolving it any way I can.

    @loades Thank you again for bringing this up and it brings me pleasure to be able to set things right anyway I can. I don't work PIA support, but I was able to have the issue escalated over the past hour and I believe the refund has already been approved, probably just need to wait for support to contact you to have it arranged (refunds can't always be done automatically as CC# change, Paypal accounts have time limits on ability to refund,, etc).

    @Omnibus_IV was not aware of me doing this so his comments are completely unrelated to mine (not that they're wrong, just he is commenting on a different issue specifically about forum guidelines unrelated to your original complaint).


    Post edited by sn0wmonster on
  • Posts: 572
    @tomeworm Actually, you were not threatened for voicing your concerns, you were threatened because you were rude and insulted the PIA Staff. Just in case you for forgot, I can post a link to the thread. However, we will leave it at that.
    Being treated rudely is usually a matter of perspective. Seldom is it as objective as we may think it is. But I will at least own that I have at times in recent history resorted to rudeness. When all other attempts at diplomacy consistently fall on deaf ears rudeness may become a necessary last resort. Any such rudeness on my part did not come until after I had been habitually ignored by PIA support, reflexively shouted down in these forums by PIA fanboys (as have many other PIA customers), and all of this over a period of many months. I have reacted as any normal human being does after they've been crapped on month after month.

    From my perspective PIA's support has been much worse than merely rude to me. The difference between us is that our relationship has, from all appearances, been turned without my consent into one in which I've been paying to be treated rudely.
  • Posts: 38
    loades said:
    It now seems that I rather stupidly paid for 12 months service in advance.  The service had always worked well in France giving me a UK IP address.  On 26 October I arrived in France and PIA would not work so I requested support.  The auto-reply said "Our customer support is undergoing an unexpected support load so our response times will be longer than usual".  Two days later still no reply to my support request until this arrived "We'd love to hear what you think of our customer service. Please take a moment to answer one simple question by clicking either link below" !!!!!!  I'm being asked to rate PIA's failure to supply support and am given an option to say "Good.  I'm satisfied".  Obviously I didn't but replied saying I'd not received a response to my request for support and would have to seek another provider if none came.  Still no more from PIA so I subscribed to an alternative provider which immediately worked as PIA had in the past.

    The problem came when I then raised a new ticket requesting a pro-rata refund on the the remainder of the year I'd paid for.  This time the response came within hours!  But saying that refunds could only be given within 7 days of purchase.  So, be warned that paying for 12 months in advance gives you no rights after 7 days however much PIA fail to provide what you've paid for.
    Hi @loades,

    Thanks for the feedback. I was able to locate the cause of why you received a satisfaction survey without a solved ticket and have made changes so this will not happen again.

    I have also responded to your ticket.

    Regards

    Jayson Q.
    Head of Customer Support
  • edited November 7 Posts: 218
    I'd just like to take a moment to clarify why our refund policy is 7 days only, which (rightfully) many honest users find confusing. 

    Unfortunately, we see a lot of cases where users will buy the VPN, use it for however long they need it, and subsequently request a refund — then rinse and repeat whenever they need to use a VPN. We don't keep any logs, so we can't tell whether the service has been used or not. It's not ideal, but the policy is the only way we can protect ourselves against rampant abuse. 

    We expedite refunds when we're backlogged since they're very important and easy to do quickly. @loades, I'm sure you received a quick response when you mentioned a refund because Zendesk hooked into that keyword and sorted your request into one of the expedited queues. We'll always honor refund requests made within 7 days of purchase, regardless of if it takes us a little longer to get to it. 

    I can also confirm that your refund has indeed been issued :smile:
    Post edited by PIAColleen on
  • Posts: 3
    Thank you PIAColleen for a detailed response.  Also thank you PIAJayson for arranging the refund which has arrived and snow0monster for initially getting Support onto the case.  You have all acted professionally and decently to the point of me feeling a little guilty at being so blunt in my response to Omnibus_IV :-(

  • edited November 12 Posts: 173


    tomeworm said:

    I've already been threatened by the support manager with "This is your last warning before you are permanently banned" for voicing my concerns about PIA's support (or rather, from the perspective of many PIA customers, the seeming lack of it). So I won't be the least bit surprised to get banned now for this comment.
    @tomeworm Actually, you were not threatened for voicing your concerns, you were threatened because you were rude and insulted the PIA Staff. Just in case you for forgot, I can post a link to the thread. However, we will leave it at that.
    Customers should never be "threatened". Not even tomeworm as tempting as it may be :). You've just posted, as a PIA company representative and thus PIA its self, that PIA threatened a customer. It does not matter what the threat was, a threat is a threat. Not only is it rude and disrespectful and unprofessional no matter what the customer says, in the U.S. its illegal (civilly) for a company or a company representative to 'threaten' a customer in any manner for any reason. A company's only options for customer treatment are outlined in any contract that may exist (in this case the PIA TOS, in which aside from the product its self the forum is included as 'websites') and treatment of the customer by the company outside that permitted in the contract represents a breech of contract. I'm pretty sure that PIA being allowed 'threatening' a customer is not included in the TOS.

    PIA is already known for using threats and intimidation and bullying tactics on customers. This is the first time PIA has outright admitted it publicly. I guess you will either threaten to ban me now or just outright do it. Or maybe you will remove this post as PIA has done to so many others that contained things PIA did not like being exposed, that's OK I got a screen shot of it. Maybe PIA will simply lock this thread using one of the many disingenuous reasons they use to lock threads that contain things they do not like being exposed.
    Post edited by bgxsec on
  • edited November 12 Posts: 84
    Hi Bgxsec. Ominbus_IV is not employed by PIA nor does he represent PIA in any official manner, but lets assume for a moment you consider his voluntary contributions to help out as arguable as "official representation". While not necessarily something that could be argued in court, from a personal and down-to-earth perspective, that seems a logical assumption at least from my personal point of view.

    So I'd like to address what your claims are exactly.

    > Customers should never be "threatened".

    I have yet to see any case where PIA or members of this forum have threatened anyone. I do see customer support management warning repeated abusive members from not attacking others on the forum. That kind of "threat" (if you can call it that) is acceptable moderation."Do X and you will be banned". Of course, that is neither illegal nor unacceptable behavior, but you could always argue it to be heavy handed and I'd tend to agree in most cases.

    > You've just posted, as a PIA company representative and thus PIA its self, that PIA threatened a customer.

    He isn't PIA, nor is he officially representing PIA. What would be an interesting legal challenge would be if an official PIA customer support staff actually threatened a user and that support staff were fired for it, would PIA be liable for suit. I'd let the courts decide on that one, but it would appear that it'd be in PIA's best interest to be picky who they allow publicly represent them for this reason. Thanks for bringing that up as it's a pet peeve of mine as well coming from the FOSS community, a community known for shooting from the hip wth dismal PR and airing laundry publicly. :)

    > Not only is it rude and disrespectful and unprofessional no matter what the customer says

    It was a warning to stop being abusive. Hyperbole isn't welcome in the discussions and I won't respond to it. As for Omnibus_IV, I think he just chose to use words that the poster would relate to. I don't see anyone providing evidence of any actual threats though so for the meantime I'll personally chalk this up to hyperbole.

    > PIA is already known for using threats and intimidation and bullying tactics on customers.

    Citation needed (seriously, if this is true I need to know about it so I can put a stop to it).

    > Or maybe you will remove this post as PIA has done to so many others they did not 'personally' like, that's OK I got a screen shot of it.

    The more transparency the better! In fact, I'd ask that whenever you respond to issues you find alarming or concerning, that you quote the entire post chain inside of it for this purpose (so that users can't change their responses later). I don't bother because I can see the changelogs myself.

    Good to meet you, I was actually intending on messaging you next week as I had heard from tomeworm you had some greivences in the past and was wanting to put together a panel on unsatisfied ex-customers who could give some insight on where they felt PIA had failed (not just connectivity issues or app bugs, I mean like major obvious failures that came before my time) so I could make sure the root of those issues is properly addressed. My purpose at PIA is to bring total transparency, support privacy even outside if PIA's profitability model, and to shine light on any imperfections so that they can be routed out properly and effectively.

    Glad to see you active!

    sn0w
    Post edited by sn0wmonster on
  • edited November 12 Posts: 173

    Hi Bgxsec. Ominbus_IV is not employed by PIA nor does he represent PIA in any official manner, but lets assume for a moment you consider his voluntary contributions to help out as arguable as "official representation". While not necessarily something that could be argued in court, from a personal and down-to-earth perspective, that seems a logical assumption at least from my personal point of view.

    So I'd like to address what your claims are exactly.

    > Customers should never be "threatened".

    I have yet to see any case where PIA or members of this forum have threatened anyone. I do see customer support management warning repeated abusive members from not attacking others on the forum. That kind of "threat" (if you can call it that) is acceptable moderation."Do X and you will be banned". Of course, that is neither illegal nor unacceptable behavior, but you could always argue it to be heavy handed and I'd tend to agree in most cases.

    > You've just posted, as a PIA company representative and thus PIA its self, that PIA threatened a customer.

    He isn't PIA, nor is he officially representing PIA. What would be an interesting legal challenge would be if an official PIA customer support staff actually threatened a user and that support staff were fired for it, would PIA be liable for suit. I'd let the courts decide on that one, but it would appear that it'd be in PIA's best interest to be picky who they allow publicly represent them for this reason. Thanks for bringing that up as it's a pet peeve of mine as well coming from the FOSS community, a community known for shooting from the hip wth dismal PR and airing laundry publicly. :)

    > Not only is it rude and disrespectful and unprofessional no matter what the customer says

    It was a warning to stop being abusive. Hyperbole isn't welcome in the discussions and I won't respond to it. As for Omnibus_IV, I think he just chose to use words that the poster would relate to. I don't see anyone providing evidence of any actual threats though so for the meantime I'll personally chalk this up to hyperbole.

    > PIA is already known for using threats and intimidation and bullying tactics on customers.

    Citation needed (seriously, if this is true I need to know about it so I can put a stop to it).

    > Or maybe you will remove this post as PIA has done to so many others they did not 'personally' like, that's OK I got a screen shot of it.

    The more transparency the better! In fact, I'd ask that whenever you respond to issues you find alarming or concerning, that you quote the entire post chain inside of it for this purpose (so that users can't change their responses later). I don't bother because I can see the changelogs myself.

    Good to meet you, I was actually intending on messaging you next week as I had heard from tomeworm you had some greivences in the past and was wanting to put together a panel on unsatisfied ex-customers who could give some insight on where they felt PIA had failed (not just connectivity issues or app bugs, I mean like major obvious failures that came before my time) so I could make sure the root of those issues is properly addressed. My purpose at PIA is to bring total transparency, support privacy even outside if PIA's profitability model, and to shine light on any imperfections so that they can be routed out properly and effectively.

    Glad to see you active!

    sn0w





    Hello sn0wmonster;

    That's a screen shot from this very thread. In that OmniBus_IV post it states "I have deleted you other comments in older threads." - if "OmniBus_IV" has the authority to remove others comments then he is acting as and representing PIA officially as a PIA representative. OmniBus_IV, acting as a PIA company representative has stated that tomeworm was threatened, thus PIA has threatened a customer and admitted it publicly.

    If that "OmniBus_IV" name is not a real person but rather a forum account used by PIA support (@Support @PIAColleen @PIAAustin @PIAKaneesha @Max-P) then it still represents a PIA representative.

    Even if OmniBus_IV were not a PIA representative, tomeworm says he was "threatened by the support manager", and even a "warning" something detrimental pending (e.g. banning) for a paying customer is still a "threat" - in the legalities, even the implication of a threat (e.g. warning) is a threat for a paying customer (due to contract).

    Under US law, any person which speaks for or acts for, or on behalf of, a company officially represents the company. That person does not need to be an employee, they can be a volunteer, but if they undertake an action which is a right of company ownership (e.g. "I have deleted you other comments in older threads") they are representing the company and acting as a company representative.

    OmniBus_IV acted as a PIA representative and that representative publicly verified that tomeworm was threatened.  

    The wording of a threat does not matter, if its conveyed as a threat or manner to remove something from a customer and such treatment is not permitted via contract, then its a threat period no matter how much the company wants to call it a "warning". If tomeworm was not a customer then it would not be a threat. But tomeworm is a customer and has a contract (the TOS) with PIA that is binding upon him and PIA in a customer-company relationship for which funds are paid, this legally entitles him to be threat free in his dealings with the company and to be free from rude and/or unprofessional treatment by the company. So one can play semantics all day long with the term "threat" and call it what they want, but in the end it is a threat under these conditions.

    I spent 10 years as the manager of the customer support section of a very large international company. I've had all the training and experience which included the legalities training and experience of customer service. In that job, if customer support is not professional and correct and responsive it means that large corporations customers lose lots of money which means legal repercussions. PIA just grabs the customers money then customer support acts like they can talk to customers anyway they choose and if the customer doesn't like it then too bad. Although I now do network compliance testing for the same company internationally, i've never forgotten what its like to do customer service and can spot a deficient customer service section every time and PIA's customer service is among the worse i've ever seen. PIA has disrespected, ignored, belittled, lied to, been disingenuous with, insulted, and used threats, intimidation, and bullying tactics on, paying customers (which is a matter of public and private record already). And for what? Because dissatisfied customers voice their dissatisfaction with things that customer support should have addressed suitably in the first place so it would not reach that point. Then PIA threatens a customer because they expressed that dissatisfaction for something which was not handled properly by PIA customer support in the first place when it should have been. No, PIA customer support is not doing its job, they are too busy running around the forums trying to shut down people exposing these customer relationship detrimental things PIA is doing and causing. PIA customer support is creating its own problem then taking it out on customers by even more shoddy customer support and the way they address customers.   

    As for this:

    "Good to meet you, I was actually intending on messaging you next week as I had heard you had some greivences in the past and was wanting to put together a panel on unsatisfied ex-customers who could give some insight on where they felt PIA had failed (not just connectivity issues or app bugs, I mean like major obvious failures that came before my time) so I could make sure the root of those issues is properly addressed."


    unsatisfied ex-customers are unsatisfied ex-customers largely because PIA customer and product support makes them unsatisfied ex-customers. Its not a big mystery, there are no "insights" to be searched for there.

    There is literally another forum (private by invite only, hosted in my company web domain) that has hundreds of dissatisfied ex and present (soon to be ex - you guys and your recurring subscriptions and shoddy refunds system lock a lot of them in when they don't want to be a PIA customer any longer) PIA customers who got fed up with PIA customer support and the way they were treated. We even have a few ex-PIA employees, and even they are ashamed of PIA customer support. One look at this screwed up forum PIA has going on and they don't want to even post here for some type of support, one trip through the unstable and unreliable PIA trouble ticket system and they never want to ask for support again. There are thousands of posts from thousands of people, all over the internet about PIA's shoddy customer support. Even VPN review sites outline PIA's shoddy customer support. There have been over 100 different companies that I know of personally (because I did their network compliance testing) that have dumped PIA as their VPN service in the last few years because of the shoddy PIA customer support. In reality PIA is literally loosing customers because of the worse-than-poor customer support. PIA claims in advertising "professionalism" but screams "don't even know what the word professionalism means" with their customer support.

    So how are you going to "address"  the "root of those issues" ? Are you going to issue a straight forward honest public apology for the mistreatment of customers? Is PIA suddenly going to become honestly 'transparent' with customers? Are you going to remove the disingenuous statements and lies that PIA customer support has made publicly? Are you going to unban those which have been persecuted by PIA customer support? The list goes on and on for the questions as to what you would or could or might do, but I can save you a little time - you want to "address" the "root of those issues" then address PIA customer support because that is the root of the issue. 

    It is not apparent from the many complaints about your customer support and the way your customer support responds to customers when they voice dissatisfaction as tomeworm has that they have had any training or experience at all, so my suggestion to you would be to get PIA customer service people who have actually been trained and have experience in customer service instead of using their itty bitty hurt personal feelings to respond to customers like your present customer support does. So you want to get to the "root" of the issues, want to "fix" things, you have no further to look than your own PIA customer support and you do not need a "panel" to do that.

    Reply as you wish, i'm out.  






    Post edited by bgxsec on
  • edited November 12 Posts: 84
    bgxsec, thank you, I see what you're referring to (he highlights actual staff whenever he believes there is an issue that needs official representation) and I suppose since Omnibus_IV is given moderator powers (primarily to clean spam up) that it could be argued he represents PIA in some form, at least for the forums. IANAL. I'm not aware of any instances where he has threatened anyone though, and the comment in question regarding tomeworm was actually by the CS Manager, Jayson, not Omnibus_IV anyway, so I don't know if there's much more to this story besides the CS Manager warning a user not to be abusive to staff.

    @Omnibus_IV In the future, if you see a forum poster who seems to be misbehaving, it's alright to warn them, but I would refrain from mentioning or defending that warning from you or other mods as it will likely just be used to draw you into a debate you can't technically resolve as non-staff. I personally appreciate you contributing your valuable time to help keeping the forums managed and functional and look forward to continuing to work with you.

    @bgxsec I hope that helps clear up on this particular issue, even though I am well aware that there is much work to be done on bringing better transparency in general around here. I hope you will tag me into any threads you find to be an issue in the future. I have been monitoring them closely but I honestly haven't had a chance to go through pre-October threads just yet and I may have missed a lot. Anything you can call to my attention would be greatly helpful!

    sn0w

    Post edited by sn0wmonster on
  • edited November 12 Posts: 84
    @bgxsec
    My suggestion to you would be to get PIA customer service people who have actually been trained and have experience in customer service

    Thank you, it's actually what PIA had been focused on the past few months and I have personally seen great improvements from that objective. It was one of the reasons I was hired too!

    I'll get to the pre-October threads this month but thought you having been here longer than I might have a few hot issues you remember specifically (as you mentioned them before but didn't give any citation for). I'm sure if they're legitimate, I will get to them and resolve them if they've not already been resolved.

    Hope to see more of you around!
    Post edited by sn0wmonster on
  • edited November 12 Posts: 173
    bgxsec, thank you, I see what you're referring to (he highlights actual staff whenever he believes there is an issue that needs official representation) and I suppose since Omnibus_IV is given moderator powers (primarily to clean spam up) that it could be argued he represents PIA in some form, at least for the forums. IANAL. I'm not aware of any instances where he has threatened anyone though, and the comment in question regarding tomeworm was actually by the CS Manager, Jayson, not Omnibus_IV anyway, so I don't know if there's much more to this story besides the CS Manager warning a user not to be abusive to staff.

    @Omnibus_IV In the future, if you see a forum poster who seems to be misbehaving, it's alright to warn them, but I would refrain from mentioning or defending that warning from you or other mods as it will likely just be used to draw you into a debate you can't technically resolve as non-staff. I personally appreciate you contributing your valuable time to help keeping the forums managed and functional and look forward to continuing to work with you.

    @bgxsec I hope that helps clear up on this particular issue, even though I am well aware that there is much work to be done on bringing better transparency in general around here. I hope you will tag me into any threads you find to be an issue in the future. I have been monitoring them closely but I honestly haven't had a chance to go through pre-October threads just yet and I may have missed a lot. Anything you can call to my attention would be greatly helpful!

    sn0w

    I did not say that  Omnibus_IV himself threatened (sorry if that was not clear), I was conveying that PIA customer support threatened which you verify now as CS Manager Jayson.  "warning" a paying customer for anything is just another way of threatening to do something to a customer. If you warn someone against something, you are saying in effect "if you do <whatever> again this is <what ever will happen>" - its a threat of what will happen if the conditions are met for the warning. It was a threat, period.

    Under US law; A company can not threaten (or warn against) or take any action against a paying customer for anything, company forum activity included, if the customer is expressing dissatisfaction with or discussion of the company, its products, its policies, procedures, statements, or company provided material or media or any company actions or activity. A paying customer has a legal right to express such dissatisfaction or discussion by virtue of purchasing the company product and a legal right to do so by any communication method or medium to which the company will respond (e.g. forum - and obviously PIA company responds in this forum via its representatives). That's exactly what tomeworm was doing, expressing his dissatisfaction over these types of things and discussing them. It doesn't matter how rudely he did it the company can not attempt to or actually supress or change or prevent that by, or give threat (or warning if you wish) against doing it which was, according to you and tomeworm, conveyed by CS Manager Jayson. tomeworm deserves an official public apology from PIA and should be free to continue expressing his dissatisfaction or discussion free of such threats and intimidation of threat (as does at least one other customer recently wrongly banned and threatened for expressing his dissatisfaction with certain company statements, but that's another issue so I will not go into it here.)

    (seriously, do they not teach this kind of stuff in customer support training any longer? The legalities are a staple of large corporation customer support manager training and policy.)


    Post edited by bgxsec on
  • edited November 12 Posts: 84
    @bgxsec

    Hi, thank you for responding. Obligatory "I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice", but as far as laws in the US go, I believe private companies do not have a Bill of Rights. For private property (including websites, blogs, forums, IRC servers, etc) speech is a privilege, not a right and I'm not aware of precedence for claiming otherwise.

    I did find that 18 U.S.C. § 875 ( interstate communication of threat to injure) adequately squashes any attempts to portray moderators on a private forum, warning users of their abusive language as being grounds for banning as "a threat", to prove patently false. By your logic, Walmart has no rights to warn a customer that if they don't put on a shirt they'll be escorted out, so long as that customer were there for the express purpose of lodging a complaint. Thankfully, that's not how rights work, and both individuals and companies have them precisely so that kind of chaos can't prevail.

    Lastly, and most importantly, I failed to find any specific legal citations in your post to back up any claims so I will have to assume it was based on a flawed understanding just drop the discussion entirely.

    As I believe the original poster's issue has been resolved amicably and that tomeworm has not file any complaint himself for any so called threats, I'll ask you to go ahead and make a new thread if you'd like to continue this discussion. It won't be censored, I just don't want this channel veering off-topic more than it already has. Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention and I look forward to your contributions in the future too.

    edit: I just noticed you had edited your comment to include very good criticisms that I wanted to address. Can you please make a new thread with the same contents so I can address them there? Thanks!


    edit again: as you mentioned in PM, you won't be making another thread so I will just try to take the spirit of your message and continue working to make PIA a better service. I do appreciate taking the time to share your opinions!
    Post edited by sn0wmonster on
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