I have been having a hard time writing since receiving a call from a collections company last Friday. I know I am not alone in losing my temper trying to be heard by a big company so I thought I’d share. Here is the heart of my letter. ( At least this way I have some proof of the date I disputed this.) Hopefully letting this out will help me get back on track with my blog. Thanks.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am so furious about this bill I can not trust myself to speak about it intelligibly on the phone. Each day since Credence collection agency called I have found it harder to carry on with my writing, knowing that I have to try to put into words how upset I am about AT&T’s treatment of my account. Yes! I dispute this bill. This whole incident has been the result of such repeated incompetence it boggles my mind how AT&T can have any hope of remaining in business with this kind of incompetent service.
First I never should have been signed up.
The sales lady never should have signed me up for this service in the first place. I told her right from the start that I did not want DSL. I’d had too many problems with it in the past. I told her I didn’t know what I wanted as long as it was not DSL. I tried to explain to her that the reason I didn’t want DSL was because we had not had properly working phone lines in our house in years, but she kept interrupting me saying I should have no problem setting it up. She did not work directly for AT&T so I can’t blame them for her mistake but . . .
Second the AT&T sales representative should have seen my problem ahead of time. Later while waiting for my internet to be hooked up, I called to cancel the bad phone service that I had been sick of paying for to keep our old DSL running, I did tell the AT&T representative all about our bad phone service and how if AT&T service had ever answered my calls and dealt with the problems two years ago instead of having me leave phone messages on their computer answering system that were never followed up on, I might be interested in other services with them. I thought for once I was being heard and listened to, but NO, not only did the man not warn me that AT&T internet was DSL and would need to use those phone lines that didn’t work, but he actually tried to sell me more services!!!!!
Thirdly the installer left without saying if it was or was not set up.
When the package arrived with my modem the night before installation I saw that it was DSL. I was very worried. We desperately needed our internet back so my daughter, the only wage-earner in my household could do her work online. She already had to take a week off while we waited for AT&T to schedule a hook-up. I spent the night praying the worker who arrived the next day would find a way to make things work. He did not. He arrived early that afternoon, and not wanting to waste his time anymore than necessary, I explained the problem. He assured me he would get it working, though he looked worried. He said he was working with someone else at the nearest large intersection to our house, because they couldn’t seem to get the phone line to work there yet, much less at our house. I explained to him how I had had to rig the line straight from the box since none of the internal phone jacks worked at all. He said it didn’t matter and got to work. If he ever got the phone lines to work at all I don’t know. After leaving and coming back several times, he disappeared at 4:30pm and never returned. He never said a word to me as to whether he had any success whatsoever. He did replace our box though, with one that lacked an opening so that even if he had gotten the lines to work there would be no way to rig the phone line as I had before. Still I was desperate, I tried to set up the modem outside (the weather was clear and warm.) It did not work, the phone line light never lit up. So far as could tell the phone line still did not work at all.
Fourth, you should have realized something was wrong when not only did I not set up any account online but I sent the modem back. I called a AT&T to cancel service the first thing the very next day and I boxed up the modem and returned it by UPS as instructed . AT&T never gave me any paperwork to describe their terms of service nor cancellation policy beyond the instructions for returning their modem so as far as I knew the account was closed.
After all any responsible business would have noticed that I never set up my internet account, used the service, nor did I sign any papers for the installation that failed.
Lastly, I called in early November to ask if there were any charges for the failed installation. I talked with a person who was surprised to learn that I had cancelled my account, but he assured me, after I had explained in detail all the problems, that since I had cancelled within the first 30 days, there was no charge.
Unfortunately, when I received this bill the end of November, I had broken my right shoulder and could not use my right hand even to type up an explanation like this and I really couldn’t see the point in calling. Calling hadn’t helped at all. I kept praying eventually some person at this company would take the time to notice that I never received any service. It was a ridiculous hope I admit, but I continue to chose to believe there are ethical people in this world who want to do a good job. Apparently none of them ever looked into my account.
When I saw the collection notice from Creedence, I felt sorry for them. I apologized on the phone to the operator. Unfortunately he seemed to think I would pay. It was tempting to do so, spending money I needed to pay for . . . trust me you don’t want to know. I am very poor, without the charitable kindness of others my family would not be able to stay together and care for my severely autistic son.
It is difficult enough to beg for money to take care of my family, but I will not beg to pay a company for wasting my time with their own incompetence. Besides what favor am I really doing you, by not speaking up to make you aware. YOU have a serious problem with communication in your customer service department. This account should never have gone to collections. I sincerely hope you fix not only my account but your own communications training for your employees. I should not have to call repeatedly to cancel a service I never received or used.