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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 99981
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I was fraudulently billed by AT&T I never received. That

Customer Question

I was fraudulently billed by AT&T for services I never received. That company has turned it over to a collection agency. I want to resolve the fact that I owe them nothing. What should my next action be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this. Can you please tell me:

1) What do you mean "never received?" Meaning you signed up for services that were not delivered, or, you never signed up for anything at all, or, you signed up but the services were below par?

2) What state is this in?
3) What is the amount that they are demanding from you?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in Atlanta, GA. I changed residences on July 10th of this year. I had decided to switch from Comcast to AT&T U-verse and had the installation date scheduled for July 10th. I changed my mind, decided to keep Comcast, and cancelled with AT&T. I never signed anything with them. I received a bill due by August 2nd in the amount of $191.46. I spoke with a representative and told her it was a mistake. She said she'd take care of it. I received another bill with an adjusted amount to $149.96 due by August 31st. I received the letter from the collection agency last week.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that explanation.

Even if you spoke over the phone, it sounds like you may have entered into a contract with the company anyhow - and this is common. Now, you cancelled the contract without the right to do so (there is no 3 day window and AT&T does not give one), so they are billing you for the breach, I am guessing. The rep probably stated that they will take care of it as a one-time courtesy and meant it, but the file had already passed to a collection agency which acts as a third party.

So you are dealing with two entities - the collection agency and AT&T. Let us begin with the collection agency first. This may be best handled by sending a certified letter. An example is below.

To Whom It May Concern:

re: (name, account #, etc)

I have been receiving debt collection attempts from your company for the debt allegedly owed by me from (describe nature of debt). I dispute the nature of this debt and it is my understanding that the credit has agreed to void it, anyhow.

Demand is hereby made that you cease and desist - now.

If you continue on, then I will have no choice but to seek redress under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for the following violations:

15 U.S.C. § 1692f(1) (seeking unjustified amount)
15 U.S.C. § 1692e (threatening legal action without cause)
15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8) (threatening or publishing false debt on my credit history)

Every violation is $1,000 per incident, plus legal fees.

I now consider this matter concluded. Should you contact me again, I will seek counsel to file an FDCPA claim in federal court.

Yours,

Signature

Name


Now, FDCPA is created to have collection agencies not harass individuals. See HERE. What they have done here is not a violation of FDCPA per se, however, considering that the debtor will seem aggressive and may actually cause legal trouble, they are much more likely to simply bin the file and forget the matter.

As for AT&T, one may wish to call separately and confirm that the debt is indeed voided.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.