aol billing, advice needed

  bta1 10:02 27 Sep 2004

I started to get letters from aol saying i hadn't paid them. I found this very odd rang them up and found out i hadn't paid them. So i paid them.
After this i started to get letters from a debt company asking for the outstadning amount. Each time i got a letter i rang aol and told them, they told me not to worry about it they would deal with it. Six weeks on, several letters from the debt company and several phone calls to aol with guarentees that this would be sorted i have received a solicitors letter. Does anyone know of any special words i can start using, or where i stand as far as compaining to aol goes. The staff them selves are quite friendly, despite the fact nothing has been done so i don't want to loose my temper with them.

  plsndrs3 15:35 27 Sep 2004

I had a similar problem in that British Gas sent my'debt' on to a collection agency, even though they had my forwarding address. The bill related to a property that I had sold 13 months before and, as far as I knew, paid all bills. The Agency took all the detail, spoke to a person at British Gas whose name I supplied, realised it was a misunderstanding & I never heard anything more [not even an apology, but that is a different matter].

If you have everything written down [dates, times, names of who you spoke to] I would immediately call the solicitors and give them this detail - together with the date and amount paid. The trouble is, solicitors charge for their letters and this is usually added to the debt - so you need to stop it all now. If you do not have everything, the date payment was made and the amount would suffice and solicitors like to see this on a Bank Statement.

As I said, you MUST do something now. I know that the people at AOL are nice, but they won't pay any fees that you may incurr and I bet that the responsibility will be made to be yours to call to correct their mistake. Remember though that AOL 'sold' the debt to the Collection Agency, who then employed the services of the solicitor. I also bt my last $ that AOL do not have a procedure to call the Agency to advise that they have now been paid, so they carry on regardless.



  spuds 19:14 28 Sep 2004

You will find that many major companies like AOL seem to have poor procedures for dealing with peoples accounts, with the end result that a debt collecting firm is instructed to press for payments before the dispute is resolved. There always seems to be a lack of communication between customer services and account departments.

I would suggest that you contact your local trading standards plus Ofcom click here and ISPA click here They will all give advice and help with your problem, including perhaps contacting AOL on your behalf. Remember though, that it is wise to have copies of all correspondence-emails etc available covering this issue.

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