Local News

Five On Your Side Helps Straighten Cable Billing Mixup

Posted November 12, 2003

— Some people think if they do not get a bill, they do not owe money. Of course, it does not work that way, but not getting a bill when you should be can make things a lot more difficult.

In Denise Biccum's case, convincing a company that she was not getting a bill was a challenge.

Two addresses just one digit apart was the beginning of a billing mess for the Cary resident.

"It was just very frustrating," Biccum said.

Biccum lives at 201, her daughter Melissa used to live at 202. Biccum paid to have cable service installed in both homes.

"At some point they had got our accounts intertwined," Biccum said.

The problem surfaced in December when Melissa moved and canceled her service.

"That's when I stopped getting my bill [altogether]," Biccum said.

During the cancellation process, Time Warner dropped service to Melissa's house, and in February, stopped sending a bill to Biccum.

Instead, the company sent Biccum's monthly bill to Melissa online. When Biccum tried to straighten out the billing with Time Warner, she got nowhere.

After months of repeated calls, Biccum said a supervisor promised to resolve the problem and told her not to pay her bill until she got one in the mail.

Biccum did not receive a bill. Instead, she got a late notice with a $5 charge threatening disconnection.

Saying she was "angry", Biccum called Five on Your Side.

Spokesman Brad Phillips blamed the mixup on several things, including the same name and similar addresses. He said the case simply fell through the cracks.

A couple of weeks later, Biccum got her bill.

"All I wanted was customer service and a bill," she said with a laugh.

Once Biccum was sure everything was straightened out, she switched to satellite service.

The lesson here is maybe it is not a good idea to have someone else's service in your name. Although it should work out fine, it could lead to confusion that is difficult to fix.

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