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Better Business Bureau validates complaints from Okanagan residents about internet service company

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When Charles Oliver tried to cancel his internet service with Xplornet just over a year ago, he said it was nearly impossible.

“They gave me an 800 number to call. I phoned, never got an answer, never got a response back,” Oliver told Global News.

He was cancelling his service with Xplornet, a Canadian company with headquarters in the Maritimes because he was moving from Keremeos to Kelowna.

But when he called the 1-800 line to cancel, he only got a recording. In fact, he said he stayed on the line for an entire hour listening to a recording with no one ever picking up the call.

Oliver said he then followed up with emails to cancel the service.

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When that didn’t work either, Oliver said he ended up cancelling the automatic debit payments through his bank, but not before losing more than $300 for a service he never used.

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“I’m very disappointed because you know … I can’t afford to put that kind of money out,” Oliver told Global News.

The B.C. resident not alone.

Last week, Enderby residents Sheila Van Leeuwen and Don Arnell shared their experiences regarding Xplornet.

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The couple told Global News that when they wanted to cancel their service just over a year ago, they say an Xplornet agent encouraged them to instead suspend the account for six months.

Following that six-month period, they said the company began re-debiting their account.

They said they racked up a large bill before they noticed the charges.

They immediately called Xplornet, but said the company refused to reimburse the nearly $800 they paid for a service they never used.

Since the couple went public with their story — they also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) — they said Xplornet reached out and said they’ll be reimbursed the nearly $800 they were charged.

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The Better Business Bureau said it’s familiar with Xplornet.

“Depending on where you are in the country, you might know the company as Xplornet Internet Services or Xplornet Communications Inc.,” said Karla Laird, BBB’s manager of community and public relations for B.C.

Laird said the company currently has a C-minus rating on its website.

“The C-minus rating is largely because of the fact that they have a concerning number of complaints,” said Laird.

Laird said many of the complaints surround billing and fees.

“So either they’re being over-charged or what they thought they were supposed to be paying is not what they’re paying, or if they’re entitled to a refund, they’re not getting details as to when this refund will be produced or even being able to contact someone to find out how this process can take place,” Laird said.

“So that is a large part of what the complaints are about for this company.”

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Laird said the BBB follows up on every legitimate complaint and tries to facilitate a resolution between the company and the consumer. Ultimately, though, she said it comes down to the organization itself.

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“What do you want for your business? What kind of reputation do you want to have in the marketplace?” she asked.

“We have all the services, we have all the ways to help you grow and develop, but it’s whether or not you want it.”

Laird said a rating of C-minus indicates there is room for improvement.

“At the end of the day, it’s how you’re going to be able to improve. And so for us, when businesses choose not to respond or close the doors or try not to communicate, it does send a negative message to the public,” she said.

“And that is what we are always trying to facilitate in the exchange in communication, because communicating, especially in a pandemic world, is crucial.”

Global News has been reached out multiple times to Xplornet for the past week and a half for comment but has not heard back.

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