This question actually comes for the forums from a member that wants to know how a phone bill all of a sudden jumped dramatically in price when they threatened to switch phone companies:
My mom wanted to get a family plan for me and her at Cingular Wireless. Well my mom pays on the bill good for a while, then she stops paying on it and it was cut off in late march 2007. The phone was cut off in April 2007. We received a bill on April 15, 2007-it wasn’t opened until I opened it on May 13, 2007- saying the bill was $218.26 and said they going to send her to the collection agency and put it on her credit report (I forget the term they used, I think it was “default”) unless she paid the $218.26 by May 15 2007.
We called Cingular customer service to set up a payment arrangement on May 13, 2007 only to find out our account was cancelled so it cost $175 each for them to deactivate our phones making the bill $568.56. My mom got mad and told the customer service person for Cingular that she was going to switch her service and hung up. Cingular called my mother the next day and said the bill was actually $705 and not $568.56 and since she has good credit so far they wouldn’t put it on her credit report. She set up a payment arrangement the same day Cingular called her for them to take $235 from 3 paychecks to pay the total bill.
My mom wants to stay with Cingular, and put them on her BellSouth bundle service, I want her to leave them. Our phones have been cut off before, but that was less than $400.
Bundle 4 Services from Bellsouth
Less than $150 per month
* Local & Long Distance Calling
* High-Speed Internet
* DIRECTV service
* Cingular Wireless
The collection agency sent her the bill and said in the note if you don’t send a letter saying you don’t agree with this claim amount in 30 days, this claim is consider legit.
My questions are:
1. Is there something fishy about Cingular calling my mom the next day and changing the amount of the bill after she told them that she was going to another wireless service provider?
2. Is it better to find another wireless service provider or go with Bellsouth bundle service?
3. Should we dispute the claim?
If you were in a similar position, what steps would you take and what advice would you give to resolve this situation?