Lots of good advice from Pat, but I have some additional info ...
Donna Eakins wrote:
> I just recently found out my husband's cell phone which was AT&T here
> in TX Collin County area was switched over to Alltel without
> We have contacted Alltel; the account number is not valid with
> Alltel. They show no records of my husband being an AllTel customer
> and have stated the charges are excessive.
Well, the good thing about *that* is if they have no record of you,
they won't try to collect the bill from you. Get that in writing! In
reality, I suspect that might be rather difficult to do.
> AT&T or Cingular is unwilling stating it is an Alltel problem.
It'd be Cingular now -- AT&T Wireless no longer exists. And probably
won't be resurrected per AT&T's original plans either.
> If you have any contact info of someone we can contact would
> appreciate it. Otherwise we just will not pay the bill. It will go to
> We would rather not hurt our credit. But if that is what it takes we
Well, don't just ignore it. Pursue the issue with Alltel. Most of
ATTWS went to Cingular, but large chunks of the Texas network, in
particular, ended up bought by Alltel, probably due to anti-trust
concerns. Alltel's headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas - I'd
Building 4 Fifth Floor
One Allied Drive
Little Rock, AR 72202-2099
I'd address it to the Legal Department, and perhaps give your attorney
a copy. If you don't get any satisfaction from Alltel, try the
Attorneys General in AR and TX. But don't let it sit.
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: What you describe is a typical thing
> since AT&T Wireless went out of business. Much of it went to Cingular
> (for example, my AT&T Free to Go prepaid wound up with Cingular) but
> I understand other accounts went wherever. I do not know what the
> logic was behind that.
Sure wasn't the FCC spectrum cap, which was eliminated a few years
ago. I'm sure it was due to anti-trust concerns, since Cingular is
owned in part by SBC and SBC has a huge presence in their home state
> Can AT&T tell you _why_ the account was sold to Alltel, and _why_ no
> advance notice was given?
No, because AT&T Wireless no longer exists.
> Cingular Wireless/AT&T Free2Go
> Attention: Management person
> Post Office Box 68056
> Anaheim Hills, CA 92807
> They have no phones there; no email nor fax, or so they claimed when
> the India 'customer care' people refused to give me any number to
I think going after Alltel will be a better idea. Especially since the
$1100 bill was from Alltel. Cingular has no control over the bills
Contacting the FCC if necessary might help, but try bugging Alltel
first. But do make sure they know you'll escalate to the state
Attorneys General and the FCC if necessary. Also, wireless phone
service isn't regulated in MOST states, but is regulated in at least a
few. Find out if the Texas Public Utilities Commission, Public Service
Commission or equivalent regulates wireless phone service, and if so,
they may be able to help you.
> In your case my suggestion would be _make copies of all paperwork
> Alltel sent you (the invoice for $1100 I assume) showing whatever
> account number was assigned to you -- the number Alltel now claims
> they do not recognize as an account of theirs -- and ask what is the
> meaning of the thing. Send it registered mail.
Registered mail with return receipt, so you know when they signed for
it. Also be aware that mail sent first class with return receipt will
cause the return receipt to be sent back in usually about a week or
so, but if you use Express Mail you will get the receipt back a day or
two after it's signed.
(I say one or two because although Express Mail is normally guaranteed
to arrive next day, there are some rural and semi-rural locations,
like ZIP code 92307 -- my ZIP code -- where Express Mail is only
guaranteed to arrive in two days.)
> for whatever your usual bill should be. And _do not worry_ about the
> very unlikely event your credit will be harmed any. Frankly put, that
> just sounds like a collection bluff.
But when all is said and done, and resolved, pull a credit report
anyhow. You are now entitled to one free report per year - that was a
law in certain states before, but it is now a *federal* law, with all
US citizens being entitled to the free report.
If everything is fixed and they're still reporting stuff incorrectly
to the credit bureau, you'll need to go after them to correct the
And remember -- as a debtor, you DO HAVE RIGHTS.
Hope this helps. Let us know how everything works out.
Steve Sobol, Professional Geek 888-480-4638 PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
Company website: http://JustThe.net/
Personal blog, resume, portfolio: http://SteveSobol.com/
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