How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask socrateaser Your Own Question

socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34082
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
10097515
Type Your Legal Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a snowbird, and used AT&T as phone previder, In Jan 2013,

Customer Question

I am a snowbird, and used AT&T as phone previder, In Jan 2013, They cancelled my Canada Unlimited plan without my knowledge, I still used to call family in Canada, believing I was still on this plan, I did not ask to be disconnected, or did they inform me they had disconnected the plan, They sent a bill for over $800 and is now in the hands of a Collectors Agency in Atlanta. This seems like extortion to me, What are the implications please to me on this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

In general, if you did not receive notice of a change in your contract terms prior to the time when you used the service incurring additional charges, then you are not in breach of contract, because the modification was made unilaterally, without your express agreement, or your implied knowledge.

If you are sued, you can defend by simply denying that you are in breach of the agreement. Then you would testify to the fact that you never received notice, and if the court believes your testimony, and finds that no notice of cancellation was sent to you at your contract mailing address prior to the time the charges were incurred, then you would be found not liable for those charges.

If you would like to avoid the hassle, you can send letter to the debt collector denying the debt, but offering to settle the matter for $X [pick a number], in exchange for the debt collector acknowledging that your account was at all times current and paid in full, and that it will remove any negative credit report entries immediately upon successful negotiation of your settlement check.

Get the agreement in writing, because you may need it to prove to the credit reporting agencies that you were never delinquent. That proof will force the credit reporting agencies to remove the negative entries from your account, even if the debt collector fails to do so.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you very much, We have talked with as many as 10 AT&T agents who all agree AT&T were wrong to disconnect this plan, but they do not help, Its impossable to get to talk to someone in a responsable position to get a result. I didnt know if this Agency could put liens on homes, things of that nature. as my daughter is the inbetween contact, unfortunatley...........Please reassurance on this would be very appreciated.Once more, Thank You

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Once a debt is sold to a debt collector, the original creditor has no involvement. So, while testimony by AT&T representatives could work to your benefit, AT&T is without any power to cancel the debt.

Also, in my experience, what customer service reps say on the phone, and what they testify to in court are entirely different things. So, unless you have something in writing from AT&T showing that they admit their error, then all of the customer service comments are probably of no value.

That said, in order to lien any property of yours, the debt collector must sue you in court and obtain a judgment. Prior to that, the only negative thing that the debt collector can do is to place a negative entry on your credit report (which is bad enough).

Assuming you are sued, which is far from certain, you'll have to decide whether or not to defend. If you do, then you may win, and if you win, then that would end the dispute.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34082
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanking you very much. I'll have to waitfor the Agency to contact me now.


Much appreciated

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
FYI, The Collection Agency sent the bill back to AT@T under "dispute". Someone from there billing dept phoned me and said "this is our fault, I will correct it right now, and if the agency calls again, to tell them her name and contact number. And for them to call her.
That was about three weeks ago now, but she did say it could be upto two months billing cycle to me to see.

I did iterate very strongly, I did not receive notice of cancellation from AT@T however.

Once again, I really do appreciate your answers. Helped me enormously, in the confidence angle
Thanks
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Nice to read of a positive result. Most customers never tell me how things turned out, so I never know for certain.

Best wishes.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.