I hope this helps at least one person. No one should get slapped with a bill or collections notice that is not their responsibility then get told to “just pay it.”
My loving husband came with a very nasty ex-wife. They were AT&T users and after they split, he did a transfer of billing responsibility(TBR) to split their account so she would be responsible for her line and phone and he for his. He got a new account for his line and phone payment. After we got together, we paid off his phone, closed his account (“Thank you, Mr. X for your service all these years. You have a zero balance. Have a nice life” or whatever they say when you leave them) and he was added to my Verizon account. All was well, right?
A few months later, we got another collections letter. (We already paid off all his other collections and credit card balance from her.) Of course, I was pissed because this one was $800 and I thought we were done paying off his past. So he called AT&T to ask about the bill. “Mr.X, your account is showing a zero balance. Disregard the letter, we’ll take care of it.” Ok, cool. Keep in mind, I have no idea how collections work because I’ve never made a late payment in my life.
I can’t remember the exact timing, but we received another collections notice. Now we have a mortgage and a baby, I was on unpaid maternity leave, and what we don’t have is an extra $800.00 laying around for this bill. Again, I’m pissed. My husband was/is working from home (Thank you, COVID) and when he came out for break I had him call AT&T again. The call lasted TWO hours. (His amazing boss put him on PTO to deal with it.) I won’t go into the details but the just of it was that the TBR was not done properly so when Ex-Wife decided not to pay her bill, it got kicked back to my husband. They said it looked like someone just copied his old account and threw the bill onto there, so it would be classified as fraud because the account was open without his knowledge. Ok, cool. We’re done.
Nope. Two weeks later, the fraud department sends us a letter stating there was no fraud and he was responsible for the bill. WTF. Then I got on the phone. I had finally gotten someone on the phone who could see the failed TBR, how the line and phone was supposed to be transferred to Ex-Wife’s mom, and that my husband was not responsible. Woo-hoo.
Nope. And then I got transferred again and again and again. I end up on the phone (finally) with a manager. This B tells me “Mrs.X, I don’t see any history of a TBR or your husband calling in during the time you’re stating.” WTF. I thought we were finally getting somewhere. She told me, “ The same thing happened to me when I split with my ex and I had to pay his bill.” She told me to just pay the bill. HELL NO.
I spent FOUR hours on the phone with AT&T that day. So now the total hours wasted on the phone with AT&T totals around 6.5 hours. I was furious. I hung up the phone dumbfounded and questioned my husband again about everything. He assured me he did it on the phone in Sept the previous year. It just didn’t make sense- how could that one person get it right and then everyone else give me the runaround?
So my husband went to the actual AT&T store. Sat down with the manger who saw EVERYTHING on his account and it was taken care of in 30 minutes with two more 10-15 minute visits to the store to finish it up and verify. AT&T messed up the TBR and it was, in fact, NOT my husband’s responsibility to take care of it. When he went back the final time to make sure everything was taken care of, his entire history with AT&T was wiped clean, like he never even had an account there. I had also really hoped the bill would get kicked back to Ex-Wife, unfortunately it didn’t.
Larissa, the manager over the phone at AT&T who told me to “just pay it,” you’re a crap employee.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post.