Topic: How can I keep my bully of a former phone company from continuing to push me around?
June 16, 2019 / By Dandrane Question:
Recently, I changed phone companies. My old phone company (Embarq, now CenturyLink) was nothing but a pain in the behind, hitting us with supprises on our bills, poor quality phone service, constant calls in the middle of dinner trying to sell you more services, and of course many supprise fees that they don't tell you about up front. I ditched them for a Straight Talk no contract cell phone.
So, I called Embarq some time ago to cancel my service. Seemed simple enought. I thought I would have to pay one more bill and then be done with them. The supprisingly nice customer service representative informed me that, unless I made any long-distance calls in the time remaining until my phone was deactivated, my balance with them was zero and I would not be billed for any more money. I thought that was pretty sweet.
Then, quite some time later, a bill showed up from Embarq for the standard monthly amount. We made no long distance calls. Worse yet, the bill showed up right at the begining of the busy holiday season. I had intended to call Embarq and question them on the matter, but in the rush I didn't get the matter in a timely fasion, which was my own fault.
So, a letter shows up, not a month after the bill came, saying that Embarq had refered the matter to a collection agency. That was irritating. Not half as irritating as receiving ANOTHER bill from them, ANOTHER service period, within 24 hours of receiving the collection agency notice. This bill was, peculiarly, for much less than the average monthly bill. It also has long distance calls that I know I didn't make, and my wife claims she didn't make either. At least one number she doesn't recognize, and there isn't anyone else in our household. Even if she had, part of our package with Embarq had given us 30 minutes of free long distance per month.
While I'm not overly concerned over a matter of under $50, I have a big problem with being pushed around by corperate bullies. What are my options of stopping this? I don't have enough money to afford a lawyer, but I have considered writing a letter or making a call to my state's attorney general (Missouri), or perhaps some buisiness regulatory agency or watchdog group. But, I honestly don't have the foggiest of how to go about that, or how effective that would be. Perhaps if I tried several options?
I have a big problem with bullies of any kind, and I hope someone out there will have some ideas/suggestions/advice on what to do and how effective it will likely be against this Goliath. I don't have any ill will or desire to do harm to Embarq or CenturyLink, I just want them to get off my back, preferably by choice.
Thanks for any info beforehand, and God bless!
Edit- I would also like to find a way to undo any damage to my credit done by being refered to a bill collector. I am less concerned about this, however, as it was somewhat my fault for not having dealt with this matter right away as I should have.
Bobbie | 1 day ago
I had similar experiences in the past and I've found a path that almost always gets me to where I want to go. 1) Report the situation to the BBB (www.bbb.org). 2) Report the situation to your state attorney general's office. 3) Write a letter explaining your situation to the phone company which tactfully communicates your anger with them and lets them know that you've reported them to the AG and the BBB. Have the letter notarized; If you have a decent bank, they will normally do this for free. For some reason, businesses seem to think that if you made the effort to get something notarized, you're serious.
Put a formal complain at the "Federal Trade Commission" for illegal business practices, the Federal Communications Commission. And the you're right about contacting the state's attorney general.
I in UK had a similar problem, I tried time after time to cancel, but they kept sending me those awful machine generated calls saying I owed them money.
In the end had to tell them the practice was becoming injurious to my health and that I had informed Trading Standards and the communications regulator, in UK OFCOM.
They finally gave up, but oh what a hassle.
Find out who your equivalent body is and complain.
1. contact embarq
2. tell any collection agency that calls that you do not owe any money to the company. Typically when you refute a claim the case goes right back to the original company.