Call Kurtis: When Your “Final Bill” Isn’t the Final Bill

Tired and confused, Naomi DeFazio was fed up.

“I just want them to stop billing us,” she said, bills piling up in front of her on the kitchen table.

The DeFazios cancelled their service with AT&T in November.

But, for months, AT&T has continued billing them. Bills AT&T claims don’t exist.

“I’m holding the bill in my hand,” DeFazio said.

Since February, AT&T has billed her $4.84 or $4.83 each month for “Long Distance” — a service the DeFazios don’t use anymore.

When she asked AT&T about the bills, the company sent her an email saying “You have not received any charge for $4.84.”

Huh?

“I think they’re just expecting me to pay it just to get them off my back,” she said. “Nobody wants to take responsibility for looking into this.”

“The more specific your communication, the better,” said Gary Almond, President of the Better Business Bureau of Northeastern California.

When close close an account, Almond said, they should ask for a letter or statement showing their account is closed and they don’t owe anything.

And if they later claim you do?

“Ask them to prove, to verify the debt,” Almond said. “What’s the source of it? … Where did I sign for this?”

Only after we got involved AT&T, a communication company, admitted it had a communication problem.

“We inadvertently billed a monthly minimum charge and the taxes and surcharges which should not have applied,” said company spokesman John Britton. “We have corrected it.”

AT&T apologized, wiping out her balance.

“It would have been a lot nicer to have an explanation a lot earlier in this process,” DeFazio said.

If customers can’t get results with customer service reps, customers can call 1-800-791-6661 to reach AT&T’s Office of the President — a number not published on AT&T’s customer service website.

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