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 Post subject: Dealing with business when you're not a customer
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Rochester, MN
Ugh, I just got done dealing with yet another business that doesn't understand their information might be incorrect.

When I moved into my house (2 years ago), I had called Qwest to have them transfer the phone on Jan 30th. They said that would be fine. Closed on the house and moved in. Phone rang, I answered it, and they asked for the previous owners. The phone wasn't switched. I called Qwest. I explained that I owned the house, but they said that they couldn't do anything, because the old owner's line wasn't going to be transferred until Feb 26th. The previous owners said to "Transfer on the 26th" and they entered it as Feb 26th, not Jan 26th. I tried to explain that it was *MY* house, and I wanted to have *MY* phone number lead to it. But they couldn't do anything until the old number was transferred. Luckily, we had the cell phone number of the previous owner and was able to straighten it out quickly. They disconnected the old number, but didn't reconnect my number. So now I have no dial-tone and I have to called Qwest from other locations. Anyways, afterwards, I sent a letter to Qwest and explained that through no fault of my own, I didn't have my phone number for 3 days, no phone service whatsoever for one day. I asked if the PSC would be interested in learning how Qwest managed to pull that off. They credited my account $100.

Every three months I started getting a bank statement at my new house from Wells Fargo that wasn't for me or any of the previous owners. Everytime I got it, I called Wells Fargo. They asked what the account number was, so I gave it to them. They said it would be taken care of. Three months later, I'd get another statement. I finally took it into a Wells Fargo to get them to quit sending them. They said there wasn't anything they could do. I kept pressuring them and they finally said they would not send anymore. Then they told me that I should mark it as "No longer lives here" and put it back in the mailbox, because that's how it gets into the process of removing the address. Really? Why don't you tell that to the people who answer your 800 number?

So a few months ago, I get a recorded call that said I needed to call AT&T Wireless concerning the status of my account. I google'd the number and it was an AT&T number. I was confused because I have a prepaid phone. I called and they couldn't find anything wrong with my account. They said the call must have been a glitch. Then last week my wife gets a call and they said it was AT&T and they were sending a free cell phone. Well, since I only spend $10 every three months for my cell phone, I doubt we'd get a free one. My wife said we didn't want it. So I decided that there must be another account associated with my home phone. I call ATT and talk to a person. Every time you call, you have to enter you ATT wireless number. I used my prepaid just to get through the menus. When I say there's another number associated with my home phone, he asks for that, I give it to him. He says it's not an ATT Wireless number. I explain to him it's a landline that keeps getting calls about my ATT account. He then tells me there was an account associated with that number, but it was closed in November. He can't give me anymore information (no name, account number, phone number). He tells me I need to go to my local store with photo ID to straighten it out. I just call the local store to save a trip. The guy there explains they are just sales and I need to talk to billing. So I call Billing. Explain the situation. Then they ask for my AT&T Wireless number. So I replied, "OK. Let's just pretend I don't know what my number is. I'll just give you my home phone number, and then you tell me what my number is." So then she does a search, and it takes forever. She tells me there was account that was closed in November, but can't tell me anything else. She transfers me to another person. I explain the situation again. For the first time, someone says, "Hmm....this might be fraud." Hey! I found someone that actually seems to care. She finds the account, but can't give me any information regarding it because of privacy reasons. I asked her if she could tell me if the address was NOT my home address. She said she couldn't tell me. OK, I realize that they can't give out the information, but could you at least confirm that the address is not mine. Anyways, she checks the notes on the account and says, "Well, I see notes on the account going back to 2000. I probably shouldn't say that, but I don't think it matters." Really? Since I got my home phone number in 2002, that's actually quite nice to hear. I asked if she could remove the home phone. Nope. But she can transfer me to someone else who can try. They say they can't, but they can add a note saying that the home phone number is wrong and shouldn't be used. While I'm sure that won't work for their automated caller, it should prevent some problems.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2002 4:36 pm
Location: Long Island, New York
I can relate.

When I moved to my current house, I got a new phone number. Apparently the person who had that number before me, owes a lot of money to many companies. For the first three months I was getting collection calls every other day. Most calls were automated and I wasn't home to get them anyway. In the beginning I just ignored them but when I saw no decrease in rate, I decided to call the number they would leave in the message. Explaining I was not the person they were looking for, they would apologize and tell me a note will be made (yeah right). WHat works with these companies is threat of litigation. Once I threatened harassment suits they started to listen. The last call I got regarding the previous number owner was about eight months ago (a full 18 months after getting the number) and that was it. The funny thing is, I now have this name in my head and I just want to meet her once and tell that she should just pay her bills!!! But if those collection agencies can't find her, how am I gonna do it? I have visions of her walking into my office for an eye exam, that would be an interesting situation...

gabe


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:50 am
Location: chicago, IL area U.S.A
I saved a lot of head aches and $50 a month by simply dropping my landline. I know it isn't an option for everyone. But if you think you might be able to pull it off, you probably can. I just wish I hadn't waited so long.

-d


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