Gabrielle Black (satinesatire) wrote in bad_service,
Gabrielle Black
satinesatire
bad_service

Advice for Bad Service

Hello, I'm usually a lurker but these past few days something has happened and I would like advice on how to proceed. This is actually not bad service directed towards me, but at my father. When I got home from work on Saturday, he told me that he had received a strange phone call. A woman called and said that he had neglected to pay a telephone bill in 1986 (yes, you read that correctly - as in 20 years ago) and he owed $90. However, she would be willing to take a $50 payment over the phone to settle the account. My father refused and asked her to send him the bill through the mail because he wanted it in writing. She replied that she didn't have to send anything, and proceeded to get aggressive and rude, demanding that he make this payment. He hung up on her. Later, when he looked on the Caller ID in the living room, he saw that the name listed wasn't even from ATT - our phone company, which has been the same since my parents bought this house in 84, even as the company name changes every so often - but from a company called Bay Area Credit, which looks like some sort of collections agency. By the way, I live in the US - North Texas, actually, and this company looks like it's from California in the San Jose area.

I thought it was some sort of scam where the payment she'd so happily take over the phone would go right into her pocket. He thought the same and called ATT to find out what was going on. The offices were closed so he called back yesterday. The CSR he spoke to had no idea what Bay Area Credit was and why they would be calling him. According to her and the invoice he received recently, his account is current.

Where is the bad service? Well, after I got home from work this morning, I glanced at the Caller ID and saw the same damn number for Bay Area Credit. I asked him what happened and he said they called again demanding payment. When my father told them he didn't have to speak to them because his account was current with the phone company, the man replied that they're going to keep calling every day. This makes me angry because they're being such rude jerks about it - and over a bill that according to our phone company doesn't even exist!

The thought of these idiots calling every single day infuriates me, even more so after my father has told them to not call, and to send the supposed bill in the mail - which they claim they do not have to do. We also find it strange that for 20 years we've received no notice of this supposed bill and then suddenly they call demanding payment. I see that a lot of good advice is given here, and so could someone suggest to me some things I could tell my father to do?

EDIT: You all have been very helpful, and I will pass along anything I get over to my dad. He has net access but isn't so skilled. Thank you so much for helping me with this and giving me advice. :)
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