SACRAMENTO (CBS 5) – A Sacramento mother who received monthly bills from AT&T after closing her account was told by the company it wasn’t sending a bill, even as they kept on coming.

Naomi DeFazio cancelled her service with AT&T in November. But, for months, AT&T continued billing her. Bills AT&T claimed didn’t exist.

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

Since February, AT&T has billed her $4.84 or $4.83 each month for long distance 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.”

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

When consumers close an account, they should ask for a letter or statement showing their account is closed and they don’t owe anything, according to Gary Almond, President of the Better Business Bureau of Northeastern California.

“The more specific your communication, the better,” said Almond.

And if a company later claims you still owe it money?

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

AT&T, a communications company, eventually 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.


(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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