Thursday, June 10, 2010


Within the last week I have dealt with 3 different companies all of which have made me want to tear my hair out, scream, reach through the telephone to strangle someone or, a much safer bet, boycott them.

Company No. 1: Time Warner Cable
My Dad passed away in January of this year. Shortly thereafter, I phoned Time Warner, advised them my father had passed away and discontinued the service, asking for a final bill which was forwarded to me. Near the end of March, I was officially appointed executrix of my father's estate, opened an estate account and began paying bills in the first week of April. Within a week of paying the Time Warner bill, I rec'd a second statement. I called the company and they assured me that the payment and bill had crossed in the mail and the account was paid in full.

Last week, I rec'd a bill from a collection agency for my father's Time Warner account. I phoned the collection agency and explained that my father was deceased and the bill had been paid. I was advised by the representative that she could not speak to me without my father's permission. I once again advised her that my father was deceased, I had been appointed executrix and therefor had legal capacity to discuss this account. She once again asked me to put my father on the phone so she could get his permission to speak to me. When I told her he had died, she expressed sympathy and asked if there was anything else she could help me with, as she could not discuss the account with me.

Company No. 2 - Snyder Propane located in Fort Plain, NY
Once again, this was my father's account. My sister had called the company and asked that they remove the propane tank and reimburse us for the propane in the tank (which was full). Although my father was charged rent on the tank, there was a $70.00 fee charged for its removal, a $25.00 travel fee (which they waived), and sales tax in the sum of $5.60 charged for the labor to remove the tank. Bottom line - $120.43 worth of propane was in the tank, the company is located less than 10 miles from the house and rec'd a $44.83 credit to his account. To add insult to injury, I now have to phone them to turn the credit into a check payable to the estate.

Company No. 3 - Frontier Communications
I recently turned on the telephone at our summer place. I do this each year, turning it on in May and off in October. I am always billed at my residence address. Approximately one month after turning on the phone this year, I rec'd a letter stating that I had not paid any of the bills for 2009 for the summer phone and unless I paid within 10 days, both of my phones would be disconnected. I checked my records and they were correct. I could find no payments for the summer phone last year.

I was provided with a return envelope for forwarding the payment, but it had a window where the address would show. However, I hadn't received a bill, but a letter, with no address for payment of the bill. I called Frontier to ascertain how it was that I had not received any bills and where payment should be sent. After approx. 15 minutes of canned music, I was told that the bills were sent to the physical location of my summer residence, which has no mail box nor an address on file at the local post office. Additionally, although I have another phone which is active year round, I was never notified that the bills were unpaid.

I ended up locating a local office to pay the bill, rather than to mail it and rely on the company to actually apply the funds to the correct account. Bottom line is although I immediately recognized the mistake and attempted to rectify it, Frontier took no responsibility for their error, nor lack of follow through. It appears that if I hadn't turned on the summer phone this year, they would never have rec'd payment for the year 2009.

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