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Multiple U-verse sending out bills

Updated: November 24, 2011 12:28AM



This was originally published in the SouthtownStar on Sept. 25, 2011.

Dear Fixer: I attempted to get AT&T U-verse at my home but couldn’t. However, I am still getting a bill every month for this service and it has now gone to a collection agency.

This can be proven very simply by doing a physical line check — they would find that I don’t have a coax cable from their box to my house. They could also find that I don’t have any of their equipment.

Here is what happened:

I had attempted to get U-verse, but after spending 2½ weeks on the phone with their second-tier support personnel for close to four hours on each of those days, I was informed they couldn’t get a good signal to my house. I live at the very tail end of the signal line, which also affected the quality and speed of the DSL line that I had at one time. The installation process was aborted.

The support guy put me on the line with one of the sales people, who basically said that U-verse was never offered in my area (though I was listed as being able to get the service in my area).

The first bill I got for $374 for installation blew me away. I was never informed of an installation fee and I don’t have any U-verse equipment.

I have been receiving payment notices since February. I have called their 800-number numerous times and have written letters.

Michael Junge, Bartlett

Dear Michael: Clearly, either there was a wrinkle in the space-time continuum and another Michael Junge from Bartlett was receiving U-verse service just fine and not paying for it ... or AT&T accidentally screwed up your bill.

Whatever the case, we’re happy to report that it’s now fixed. We brought it to the attention of AT&T’s public relations folks and soon after, you received a bill with a balance of zero.

No, thanks

The Fixer has written about unregulated natural gas providers who’ve locked consumers into plans that turned out to be far more expensive than ordinary gas bills.

If you’d like to stop solicitations from these companies, you can ask to be placed on your utility’s “Do Not Market List.” Here’s who to call, depending on which provider’s service area you are in:

Nicor Gas: (888) 642-6748

Peoples Gas: (866) 556-6001

North Shore Gas: (866) 556-6004

For more info on natural gas and other utility issues, check out citizensutility
board.org.

Costly lesson

You know that old saying about the grass being greener at the other insurance company? Well, that’s certainly on the mind of Rita of Chicago, who wrote to The Fixer with this Costly Lesson.

Rita was happy with her car insurance company, which she had used for 20 years.

But then she saw an ad for a different insurance company that marketed itself through a retiree organization and promised it could save her $300 if she switched providers. She made the switch in 2009 and she also decided to buy her renter’s insurance from them.

“True to their word, I saved $300,” Rita wrote The Fixer.

But the following year, her premium went up by $300. And this month, it went up again, by $417, not because Rita overuses her car or is a bad driver, but because of “operating costs in Illinois.”

“Basically, they suck you in and then screw you,” Rita wrote. “Now if I go back to my original company, my insurance will be higher because I left.”

Rita wishes she would have known more about the sharply rising premiums.

She asked The Fixer to caution other seniors to research everything before jumping for a better deal: “If I had been given full disclosure, I would have stayed put!”

- Contributing: Michael Sandler

Contact The Fixer

Are you being given the runaround over a consumer problem?

Tell it to The Fixer at www.southtownstar.com, where you’ll find a simple form to fill out.

If you don’t have a computer, you can mail a brief description of your problem, along with your name, address and telephone number, to: The Fixer, SouthtownStar, 6901 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, IL 60477.

Please don’t send original documents.

Because of the large volume of submissions, The Fixer cannot make personal replies.

Letters are edited for length and clarity.



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