Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Earmuffs, Please

One of the hidden joys of moving is switching over all of the utilities. They never seem to have any difficulty finding you when they think your bill is past due but they haven't quite figured out how to apply the payments to the new account rather than the account tied to the previous address. So what does this mean? Fun stuff with AT&T today--it almost rivals Thomas's Comcastic experience.

On Sept 15 I paid AT&T $113.74 for the August statement. Nothing weird there.

On Sept 19, they sent me a new statement with a credit of $113.74 PLUS a check for $113.74. Ok, that was a little weird. So I decided not to deposit the check.

Good thing.

Today, I received a disconnection notice because of an unpaid balance of--you'll never guess--$113.74. WTF?? I thought. Well, to be honest, I thought it out loud. Out very loud. Hannah was listening, so it ended up sounding more like "WHAT THE FUfffffffffohforchristssake!"

I spent the next 30 minutes trapped in the not-so-helpful AT&T customer holding pen. Er, system. And then another 10 minutes after I hung up and called back.

"Thanks for calling AT&T! I see that you have an outstanding balance of $151.26! May I take payment on that today?"

Um, no my cheery little man. You may not.

With a few keystrokes and apologies for the system being so slow, he said, "Huh," apologized again--yes, it was their mistake--and said that, since they had already sent the check, I would still need to pay the $113.74 AGAIN. You know, just so there would not be an interruption of the phone and Internet services.

Mindful of the problems Thomas has had with Comcast reps incorrectly telling him (much nicer than saying "lying to him to get him off the phone") that the situation had been resolved, I made sure I got my guy's phone number, address, social security number and underwear size. Not really. It's not like he was applying for a loan. But I did get his employee ID number, just in case.

I would like to say that this was an isolated incident, but Thomas had the problem with Comcast (of course, they not only said that we owed them money but that we had swiped their modem when we moved). And PG&E didn't combine our accounts as I had been told. The PG&E rep was great about just moving the money from one account to another, but he did tell me that they would not have caught the error; the payments would have just continued to accumulate in the old account while I kept getting notices of non-payment on the current account.

And he knew this because?

They did it to his mother. Ah, more good times!

So if you have moved recently, be sure to check, check and double check that your kids are out of earshot before you open the bills.

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