In 2001, I was either living on campus, or else was living with my best friend in her apartment with no lease. Since 2001, I have lived in Elmhurst for 2 years, in Roger's Park for 1 year, and in the grey area between Humboldt Park and Bucktown and Logan Square for a year. I have never had cable in my entire life.
In October, I moved to a new place. I have never lived here before. I have never lived in this area before.
I have never had cable in my name before ever in my entire life, let alone at this address, which I just moved to.
I called Comcast to get cable TV and internet. Dude came out but, due to a lack of communication, we weren't ready for him and he left without hooking anything up. He left a receipt behind.
On it was a past due bill for over $100, dating back to 2001.
I called about this.
I was on the phone for almost an hour, and was told I needed to prove that the account from 2001 wasn't really mine. I was asked repeatedly if someone had opened the account in my name. I should note that Comcast uses Social Security Numbers as account information, and the SSN on the account is different than my SSN. Despite this difference in SSNs, the onus is apparently on ME to prove that I didn't live here in 2001, stop paying my cable bill, change my SSN, and then try to reconnect cable five years later. In order to prove this, I was asked to supply comcast with the following:
1) my lease from 2001
2) a current W2 form (what the heck would that prove?)
3) a current copy of my credit report (again, what would that prove, and why don't they get that themselves?)
I told the woman I spoke to that these demands were unreasonable, and that if the matter wasn't cleared up, I would return my internet business to SBC's DSL division.
Two days later, I got a phone call from a cable installer saying he was running early and was I home.
I figured the matter had been cleared up, left work early, and cable TV and internet were installed. The receipt he left with me was clean and pink and had no past-due charges on it. I assumed (ha! ass u me!) that the matter had been cleared up.
Then I got my bill from comcast.
Stamped across the top of it is, of course, "Past Due Notice." It's got the unpaid balance from "my" account.
I called Comcast AGAIN and spent another forty minutes on the phone, where I was told that comcast never makes mistakes ever and it's totally impossible that anyone could have opened up an old account by mistake and changed the name on it to mine while leaving the SSN alone because it's impossible to change the name field (which makes me wonder how they deal with people who get married or legally change their names for other reasons), and therefore the account must be mine. IT MUST.
I informed the woman that the SSN was different than mine. She responded that no, it wasn't. I asked her for the SSN associated with the account and she... refused to give it to me. Crazy, huh? I rattled off the last four numbers of my SSN and she got all confused because... get this... THE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS WERE DIFFERENT!!! Obviously I was Up To Something. Once again, she asked if someone had opened an account in my name. Ok, even if someone had, how would I know? In addition, my name is NOT an uncommon one, ESPECIALLY FOR CHICAGO.
I got further with the issue this time than last time, actually getting a ticket number and a promise of a phone call within 48 hours. (UPDATE: I have yet to receive a phone call, well over 48 hours later)
This is such incredible bull.
I realize they are a company that needs to make money to stay in business, but charging a new client for an old account that has a different social security number associated with it? Accusing that new client of theft and delinquency? Being jerks? How is this a good business model?
On the other hand, if my SSN isn't associated with the account at all, I guess I can just not pay the bill and let it pile up on the old account, escaping scot free? *rolls eyes*