My fiance and I moved from Charlotte, NC to Phoenix in February. We went through the usual process of cancelling service with cable, power, etc providers.
About a month after we had moved, I got a $30 e-bill from Time Warner for a billing period that occurred after we had moved. I called customer service, and they told me that my service cancellation order hadn't been processed correctly. The lady I spoke to said she fixed it, and that the bill was indeed an error. A week later I got another e-bill showing a final account balance of $0, so I figured it was over with.
Fast forward about a month. I get a collections notice about the $30 from TWC. I call the debt collection company and tell them that I had already called about this bill and was told it was an error and that I didn't have to pay it. The person said they'd file a dispute about my charge and notify TWC of what I had said.
About 3 weeks go by and I get another collections notice. I call again and this time speak to a lady who said that the bill isn't for service, but an equipment charge. TWC is saying I didn't return the modem I rented from them before we moved.
That was incorrect. In fact, we had returned the modem to them several months before we moved -- we were having trouble with the internet randomly losing signal, even when we were in the same room as the router, and thought a new modem might help. So we went to Best Buy and bought a new one, with our own money, and returned TWC's modem. (BTW, with the new modem, the issues we were having stopped.)
I told the lady at the collections agency this, and she said, again, that she would file a dispute.
Another 3 weeks or so, I get another notice, this time saying that they were going to start reporting the charge to the credit bureaus since I was refusing to pay. At this point I finally did what I should have done in the first place -- I called TWC directly.
I called their customer service line and got transferred no fewer than three times trying to get to someone who could help me. I was on hold for 10 minutes, then would reach someone and have to go through the whole process of giving my account number, former address, and phone number, then explain the situation, before the rep would say they weren't the correct person to deal with the issue, and then transfer me. And the entire hold, account information, explain situation cycle would start over.
I finally get to a woman named Leslie who said she could help. She looked at my account and confirmed that yes, they do have a note on my account that I had received a bill in error and that I had said I had returned my modem. At this point, she said she could have the warehouse checked (why wasn't this done with the first dispute I filed?) to see if they could find the modem. Leslie promised she would call me back in no more than two weeks. She even named the day. I got her name and her direct line, and we disconnected.
Two weeks later, no call back, but I was out of town and didn't have her information with me. By the time I got back and was able to call, it was almost a month after that last correspondence. I called what she had told me was her "direct line" only to discover it's actually a general customer service line.
I get to a rep, after being on hold for a good 12 minutes, and explain the situation. The lady told me that she was sorry I hadn't gotten a call, but a note on my account said they had searched the warehouse and had found the modem. Excellent! I asked her if there was something she could mail or e-mail me that showed that the problem had been resolved... and she said there's nothing she could send me. Yes, even though there was a note on my account, and it was MY ACCOUNT, they couldn't share it because it was internal communication. She said she could send me an updated account statement showing the $0 balance, and I said fine, that will work. Basically, I told her, I just wanted to make sure that in case I kept getting collection notices I had something I could send the collection agency showing that the matter had been resolved. She replied that they would send notice immediately to the collection agency letting them know the matter had been resolved, so I wouldn't be hearing from them again.
At this point I kind of wanted to say "well, yeah, but so far you haven't been on the mark for anything you've told me so pardon me if I'm hesitant to take you at your word," but I bit my tongue.
A few days after that call, I get my final account statement, as promised. Except the statement they sent me is still showing that damn $30 balance!
And today, I got another collection notice. I just called the collection agency, who said sometimes it takes time for them to get word from the company that the dispute has been resolved but put a hold on my account. If I'm still hearing from them in 3 weeks, heads are going to roll.
Man it feels good to get all of that out!