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Account sent to collections because Verizon didn't send me the bill

Posted Thu May 15, 2008 7:23 pm, by Amanda M. written to Verizon Internetworking (DSL)

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I had landline phone service and DSL service through Verizon, which I canceled after a year (due to poor service and an overall bad experience, but that is another topic in itself). Afterwards, I received a billing statement that said "final bill" on it, and showed a credit to my account, for which I received a check. That was the last communication, billing statement or otherwise, that I received from Verizon.

About 2 months later, I received a letter from a collections agency called AFNI, claiming that I owed Verizon about $50 and that my account had now been sent to collections. I called Verizon and discovered that there was a charge placed on the DSL portion of my account after it was closed, and was told that Verizon had sent a bill for this. It was not in the "final bill" that I received, and I did not receive a separate bill for it. This did not surprise me as much as it should have, considering that Verizon had a rather bad track record of actually sending me bills (I was never sent the very first bill, just a notice stating that if I didn't pay this bill that I didn't have, I would have my service cut off, but again that could be the subject of a whole new letter).

After explaining my situation and talking to several people at Verizon, my account was credited for the amount in question, and I was told that Verizon would inform AFNI that my account was sent to them in error, and that references to it would be removed from my credit report.

I checked my credit report several months later, and found that it was NOT in fact removed, but merely changed to a "paid collection". I then sent Verizon a letter via certified mail/return receipt regarding this situation, as a reminder of what I had been told would happen, and also as a request for written confirmation of the situation and the fact that this should not appear on my credit report from Verizon that I could send to AFNI myself if needed. The letter was delivered, but there was no response, and I did not receive the return receipt card in the mail. This leads me to wonder whether or not Verizon ever even read it to begin with.

I have a very good track record of paying bills on time with every company I have ever done business with, and I have paid every bill I actually RECEIVED from Verizon on time. The only reason I ever had for not paying the bill in question was that I didn't know it even existed - as far as I knew, my final account balance was $0 as shown in the last bill that was marked "final bill" that I had. Even a "final warning" notification that my account will be placed in collections shortly if I do not pay would have been helpful in this case, but it appears that is too much to hope for.

In light of the above complaint, I would like Verizon to remove from my credit report any references to the account being in collections, "paid" or otherwise, and I would also like Verizon to remove references to this account ever having been late.


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by Saoirse Posted Wed October 8, 2008 @ 12:58 PM

Check out the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g
809 on the Internet. This law was designed to prevent creditors from
abusing their customers; and it certainly sounds as if Verizon is
violating the Federal law by its practices. If my recollection is
correct, I believe this law provides for fines and damages (real and
punitive) against creditors who are in violation of the law's
provisions. You might want to look into this; and then write a letter
to Verizon and their collection agency pointing out how and where
they're in violation of this Federal Law; and threatening to bring
suit for damages against them under this law. That should get them to
sit up and take notice that you're serious.

by Saoirse Posted Wed October 8, 2008 @ 12:53 PM

Check out the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g
809. It's purpose is to protect creditors from the very type of
practices that Verizon and their collection agencies are pursuing. If
I remember this law correctly, it provides for damages, both punitive
and real, against violators of the law -- and it certainly sounds like
Verizon is violating the law. If I were you, I would look up this law
on the Internet, then write a letter to Verizon and its collector(s)
pointing out to them that they're in violation of Federal Law; and
threatening to bring action against them under the provisions of the

by dottiejean28 Posted Sat May 17, 2008 @ 1:57 AM


oops forgot my post by dottiejean28 Sat May 17, 2008 @ 1:59 AM

by dottiejean28 Posted Sat May 17, 2008 @ 1:52 AM

I had dsl and landline phone with them...cancelled the dsl because
they constantly over billed or never billed me and I would'nt know
anything til I got a final notice pending shut off...so I chose just
to keep short distance local phone...9 dollars a month...I kept
getting charges for 34.95...I would pay a minimum due of say 20
dollars...the next month...get a bill with a 35 dollar credit! so I
would call and ask the deal, they would tell me I got switched to the
9 dollar a month plan, but yet I again would get another bill for 35
after the one with the 35 credit!

so last month I said the hell with it and just paid the frikkin 35
hoping they would wise up and see I was caught up for 4
months...NOPE...got a bill for 60 this time...I called and they said I
was in collections!!!

after I paid my bill in full the previous month!

last week I get another bill from them with a 47.68 credit...I'm
ignoring them til at least october, if i get another collection notice
or bill...i got my proof


Verizon's big problem.. by Harleycat (aka Usual Suspect #2) Sat May 17, 2008 @ 9:11 AM
by Final Score: Boys-3, Girls-1 Posted Fri May 16, 2008 @ 9:43 AM

I'm wondering if there is an issue with this AFNI place.

See, here's what my husband and I are going through right now.

In 2005, we had phones with Cingular Wireless. A bill came one month
with some charges on it that were incorrect. My husband called
Cingular and spoke to someone (he can't remember if her name was Ruth
or Rita), who told him that he could pay the rest of the bill, and the
charges would be taken off the next month. He did.

Then our phones got shut off. We called Cingular and they said they
can't take off charges, even if it's their error, because the FCC
won't allow it. They also said no one named Ruth or Rita works there.
We told them to cancel the service, we would rather pay the Early
Termination Fee and be done with them, than pay the Reactivation Fee
and possibly go through this again. We received a final bill with the
ETF and the RF on it! While we were arguing this with the, they sent
it to a collection agency called BCR. We explained to the collectors
about the two fees, and they agreed to take the payment less the RF.
End of story, right?

Nope. Two days ago my husband and I pulled our free credit reports.
AFNI is on there as having the debt from Cingular as of June 2006.
SEVEN MONTHS after we paid it off with BCR. Here I am thinking that
Cingular is doing something shady, but to be honest with you, when I
called AFNI, I got a bad vibe from them. Luckily, BCR was able to pull
the old receipt, and we faxed it over to AFNI. We are still waiting
for them to confirm that it was taken off our credit report, though.
What bugs me is we never would have even known this, had we not run
the report. Sounds like the same thing for you. AFNI doesn't really do
anything to collect these debts, just sticks a bad mark on your credit

Things that make you go hmmmm.


OMG, you NEED to see this by Final Score: Boys-3, Girls-1 Fri May 16, 2008 @ 10:19 AM

Great info! by RedheadwGlasses Fri May 16, 2008 @ 4:35 PM

Hey, I'm glad I saw this letter!!! by Final Score: Boys-3, Girls-1 Fri May 16, 2008 @ 9:29 PM

That's quite disturbing... by Amanda M. Fri May 16, 2008 @ 10:24 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Thu May 15, 2008 @ 7:42 PM

Great letter. I agree with your demands/requests of Verizon. May the
force be with you.


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