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Wronged by a company, What would you do?

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Old 07-27-2009, 01:23 PM   #1
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Default Wronged by a company, What would you do?

I need a little help and opinions on this.

My son returned from Iraq at the end of March. Prior to his return I had rented him a duplex, furnished it and had all his utilities turned on for him including cable TV using my power as his legal Power of Attorney. After 3 months home and a very poor job market in our area he decided to re-enlist and go back to the Army. His landlord was very nice and refunded his deposit with no problem. No problem also with his other utilities except the Cable TV. They jerked a $400.00 "early cancellation fee" out of my bank account without my knowledge. ( I was initially told that the only way I could set up his account was with a debit card and since his only debit card was in Iraq with him I had to set it up from my personal bank account).

When I first called to cancel his Cable TV , I was told that since it was due to him returning to the military that there would be no cancellation fee. I was thanked for his service to our country! I am very upset that I was lied to. Also very upset that someone would treat our military servicemen this way.

After learning what had happened I again called the cable company. This time I was given the run-around. Hung up on 3 times. After many attempts I was finally allowed to speak to a rude "management " specialist. I was then told that the reason that the cancellation fee was not waived was because the account was in my name instead of my son's name.

I really don't know how far I should take this matter. What would you do?

So far, I have sent a letter to the "Billing Disputes " department and enclosed a copy of his assignment orders in Iraq, my Power of Attorney papers, and his request to return to military service orders. I am still waiting for a reply.

Needless to say, I am one ticked off mother of an American Soldier!

I cried all day Friday when I had to call my son and tell him the news. I had no choice but to remove the $400 from his bank account and put it back in my account to keep my car payment that I had mailed off from bouncing. He also was understandably upset about this whole situation. (although I think he took it better than I did).

To make matters worse I have this same Cable company providing service in 4 rooms in my personal residence. My own contract isn't up til October!
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Last edited by lilybelle : 07-27-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #2
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I'd keep fighting it, mama. That is absolutely ridiculous.

I hope it all works out in your favor, and blessings to you and your son.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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Wow I'm really sorry- I guess there isn't anything you can do because the service indeed was in your name and not his. You'd think though a company like that which already makes a ton of money would be considerate and say they are going to waive the fee...
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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I would write an old fashioned letter to the manager of local office and send a copy to the president of the company (you can usually find out this information online) or someone high up like the head of customer service for the whole company. Real paper letters usually carry more weight than emails. I'd tell them exactly what happened, that you are a customer, how long you've been a customer, and what you plan to do when your contract runs out if they go back on their word. I'd be polite and try not to sound angry.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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Do you have Action Line in your newspaper ? Or on your TV Do you have a Community Customer Service Line? It may have a different name in your area. Sometimes these companies will have a change of heart when contacted by a community activist. They really do not want bad publicity. You might even write a letter to the editor of your local paper. I would make sure that this unjust decision gets a lot of publicity. I would even consider writhing to my congressman..
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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Hey Lilly -
I was going to say exactly what Bargoo said. This company won't want a lot of bad press. Unfortunately, with it being in your name you might not be able to get the money back, but I would make them regret taking it with every breath I had in my body.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Thanks ladies, these are some very good ideas. The letter I sent was hand-written and I hope it will do some good. To me it's more about principle than it is about the money. If this atrocity isn't reversed, come October I'll be using a different cable company for my own home!
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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OMG! I can not believe they could take from your checking account without notifying you first. Was it in the fine print when he signed up for the cable? If not, I would be going to court! How awful!
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:58 PM   #9
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I don't know where you are in Oklahoma, but if News9 is in your area, they have a journalist who does this sort of "on your side" expose. http://www.news9.com/Global/category...av=menu681_2_3

This is a pretty compelling story, especially since you were using your power of attorney (so it should have been in HIS name with your signature...meaning they screwed up the paperwork by putting it in your name instead of his in the first place) and active duty is involved (which makes for better news).
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:59 PM   #10
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Do you have a local TV station that has a consumer advocate? You could try calling them to see if they could intervene (or at least put your story out there). I'd also make a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau as well as continue to fight with the company for them having lied to you. Good luck.
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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Lots of good ideas already, but I just want to add the weight of, yeah, worth fighting over. It's ridiculous. I think key is getting it out of general customer service / billing and into upper management. I don't think it would be unreasonable to cc straight to the president of the company.
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:25 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your support. It really helped to convince me to "make some noise" instead of just bending over and taking this.

Mug, this is exactly how it happened. I was told when I called to cancel it that the "final bill" would be deducted from my checking account with the early cancellation fee waived. I was told it would be $31.55 and I didn't see a problem with that. Now the company is saying that the "billing specialist" who told me the fee was waived "Did not have the authority to make that decision".

But, um yeah, if they have your account number apparently they can do as they please!
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:19 PM   #13
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Sorry this has happened to you. This is absolutely insane! Wishing you the best on resolving the issue. Be sure to keep us posted.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:44 PM   #14
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Hey Lily, I'd keep fighting it! I don't have any suggestions of how to deal with it but I think there are some good ones here already. You were lied to repeatedly, the company handled the account incorrectly (by putting it in your name in the first place), and $400.00 is nothing to sneeze at! I'd try the written letter idea, and/or threatening or actually writing to your congressperson. Maybe make some official-looking stationary on your computer, make a copy for yourself, and get them both notarized before you send it. Most banks will notarize for free for their customers. Might help everything seem more official. Years ago my mom had a dispute with her college over her student loan payments, and she wrote to her congressperson who helped her get it resolved.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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Hey! First do everything you can to work it out with the company. Sending verification of his living there, your P/A, his orders, etc. is a good idea. Keep in mind that they may have people lying to them every day just to get out of the contract. Find out the name of a manager to whom you can send this information.

And then, if you have done everything you can to amicably work it out with them, go to the press with the story.

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