I received a letter in the mail today, 2/14/09, from Bay Area Credit Services LLC, out of Atlanta, Ga., dated 2/5/09. This letter is stating that they are trying to collect on a debt on an account that I had with SBC, now known as AT&T. That this account was purchased by AFS-HOV and now assigned to Bay Area Credit Service for collection. In this letter they are claiming that I owe $719.35 but will settle for $215.81, if I pay by 2/25/09.
So, I called them, told them that I dont owe any such bill and have no idea what this is about. The girl on the phone was extremely rude, wouldnt listen to what I had to say, kept talking over me and interupting me. I asked to talk with a supervisor, she hung up on me. I called back, asked for a supervisor, was told there wasnt one available at this time that they were on the phone with another customer, I told her I would wait, was told that I couldnt do that, that they could help me instead. I gave her their acct #, proceeded to explain to her that this bill is not possible and that I wanted info on this account as well as a contact number for SBC. She told me she couldnt give me that info nor could she give me a phone number or contact info for SBC. She proceeded to tell me I had left my previous address owing a phone bill to Southwestern Bell for $719.35. Again when I tried to explain to her it wasnt possible to have had a phone bill that high with them at the time I lived at that address, all she would tell me was I had to pay the $215.81 settlement by the 25th of Feb. or it would go back to the $719.35 and start drawing interest on it or I would have to dispute this with the credit bureau and that if I didnt have enough proof then I would still have to pay the $719.35 plus interest.
Let me say this, I am 47 years old, I have lived in Ca., Tx., Tn., Ar., and now Florida..at no time in my life have I ever had a phone bill amounting to this much money, ever! Let me also say, that at the time I lived at the address they are telling me this bill occured, I had a special phone package, called Complete Choice, which consisted of, free local calling and caller I.D., voice mail, call waiting, etc...I also had a long distance plan with them that was a flat rate of like $24.00 (?) per month, which gave me unlimited calling anywhere in the United States at anytime, day or night. So, my phone bill was never more than $70.00 a month. Now, to have had a bill get to over $700.00, I would have had not to pay it for over 10 months, no phone company would ever let you go 10 months, with service, and not pay it. So there is no way possible that this ever happened. Let me also say that, during the time I lived at the address in question, I went to work for the local cable company, 2yrs after starting there, they offered phone service thru the company to their employees. I stopped my services with SBC and went with Mediacom phone service and had it with them til I bought my house and moved to a new location. I was still employed with Mediacom but no longer in their service area, however, because I was an employee with them I could get a discounted rate with another cable company, Cox Cable, for their phone service, which I did and had up til about a year ago when I decided to go back to AT&T phone service. At that time, AT&T ran a credit check on me, found I had no outstanding bills with them and I got my phone service, who as of today, am still a customer.
Here is my problem, I cannot remember my old phone number from when I lived at the address they say the bill occured. Nor can I find my old phone bills, they are boxed up and in storage. How do I go about disputing this bill? I know in my heart and mind that this bill is totally false and if there was such a bill, why has it taken them over 4 years to try and collect on something they say I had back in 2005? I never, ever got anything from the phone company saying I owed them anything til today when I get this letter from a collection agency.