HELP! Debt collectors are trying to make me pay for telephone service I never had!?

At the beginning of this year(2006), I was contacted by a debt collection agency, telling me that I owed them $92 for telephone service in 2003. I wrote to them and explained that I never have had a home phone in my name ever in my life. They sent me a copy of bill statements that had my name and address from that time. I guess the phone was set up on May 8th and I moved from that address on May 30. They sent bill statements from May to August. These statements showed no activity - no calls were ever made form this line. Also I think the first statement was sent out after I'd already moved from the apartment, so I never knew anything about this phone bill, never received any statements. I never signed up for this service, no one ever came by my house to set it up, they have no record of me ordering the service, yet the bill collectors refuse to work with me in any way to resolve this. They're also making negative marks on my credit. Please help if you have any idea how!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Collection agencies do not care. They have entered into a contract - one that allows them to make money. They will NOT go away unless one of 2 things happens:

    #1 - you pay the money

    #2 - you resolve the issue with the company you owe the money to -AND- that company calls the colleciton agent and tells them to get off your back. And even then, a lot of collection agents will try to "double dip" by intimidating you into paying them anyways!

    Your first step is to contact the phone company and work out the dispute with them. Unless and until THEY acknowledge that you do NOT owe them the money, then you will have no pry against the collection agent.

    Once the phone company accepts that you owe them nothing (IN WRITING) then you can point out to them that they made a MISTAKE in sicking a collection agant on you - and tell them to get the colleciton agent off your back.

    Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    MAKE SURE YOU WRITE DOWN EVERY NAME OF EVERYONE YOU TALK TO!! Use Yahoo to pull up the Fair Credit Reporting Act and review it. Even if the agency has a toll free number, call them on your cellphone or someone else's cellphone for future records in case they say you never called. Contact the collection agency directly and let them know you're contacting the Attorney General in your state and theirs. When you contact the collection agency, demand to see any and all signed contracts with your name on it requesting the service, approving the service and/or signed after the service was completed. Also demand to know the method they claimed you paid for the installation services. Since the installer would not accept cash, the phone company would have to have some form of record on how it was paid. Tell the collection company that you keep you records for 7 years (for audit purposes...the IRS can demand as far back as 7 years) so you need to know how this was paid for so you could look through your bank statements.

    Call your state Attorney General and theirs as well as write dispute letters to the credit bureaus. Explain that you never ordered the service, there is no record of your ordering service, no record of you paying for any service installation at the phone company and no one can produce any signed documents stating that you ordered or approved of any service after it was "installed".

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you had some type of service activated then you would have had to sign somewhere to get the service turned on. Ask them to show you where you signed stating that you wanted there service. If they can not show you any profe that you signed somewhere to active the phone service then you cannot be charged

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Contact the consumer affairs division of your local DA. This might be identity theft, or just a major screwup by the phone company.

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