Sanford Customer Billed By Two Different Cable Companies
Posted July 31, 2002 3:08 a.m. EDT
SANFORD, N.C. — Cable TV offers a lot of viewing choices, but one cable subscriber does not want to pay two cable companies to see them.
For the past eight years, Tina Strickland has paid Time-Warner Cable for cable service. Last December, she received a second cable bill for $31 from Sanford-based Charter Cable. Strickland said she has not been a Charter customer since 1994, so she called Charter.
The company said it was a mistake it would fix, but in February, Strickland got another bill with added late fees. She called Charter again and the company told her to disregard it.
"It was just extremely frustrating," she said.
Then, in March, April and May, Strickland received letters from a collection company. The last letter claimed Strickland had refused to pay the bill and repeatedly disregarded past notices. It warned that her credit rating could be in jeopardy.
She said a collection agent even showed up at her front door.
"He actually came to our home and wanted to collect the debt," Strickland said.
After six months and a dozen phone calls, Strickland called Five On Your Side.
"I have spent more time and energy -- it probably would have been simpler to pay the $31-- but I refuse to pay for something that is not my debt," she said.
When Five On Your Side called Charter, a spokeswoman could not explain the confusion, but agreed to clear it up both in their system and with the collection company.
Charter sent Strickland a letter of apology. The collection company sent her a letter stating her account number was removed from their files.
Strickland said she is relieved that the situation is finally resolved, but just cannot believe what she and Charter went through over $31.
"I am sure they have spent more time and effort in just phone calls with me, in paying the credit collection agency and in having to reverse it off the account, than that $31 will ever amount to," she said.
Strickland said she will not be completely relieved until another couple of months goes by without getting a bill or a threatening letter.