Have you missed me? I have not been around very much lately. Life has a way of interfering with the best of intentions. I have kept up with my e-mail and replies to the comments on my post and read some of your good posts, but I have not had time to reply to all of them. I make no promises for the near future, but will try to do better soon.
I'll bet that most of you have had a billing problem or some other problem with a big corporation recently. That seems to be very common occurrence these days. Is it because we are turning out a generation of office workers that can't spell, add, or use sound judgment? I don't ever remember having trouble with billing when I was young. Or am I guilty of selective memory?
One of the things that has taken my time and concentration was a business situation that has my blood pressure soaring through the roof. It involves Dish Network and Capital One Visa card. That scream you heard a few days ago was me.
Sometime near the end of last year I changed my TV service from Dish Network to a bundle with Cox cable. I tried to make the transition with the least cost to me. It didn't work out that way. I tried canceling Dish on the day that Cox was to be installed only to find out that I only had a 3 day window to cancel Dish before paying for another month. I had gone beyond that window. When Dish installed my system a local man brought the box and remotes to my house, but when I canceled they told me I had to ship the equipment back to the company headquarters at my expense. There was to be no RMA number or shipping box provided. It cost me $26 + to return the equipment.
Fast forward to September of this year. A mysterious charge from Dish for $40 appeared on my credit card statement. I called Dish customer service and was told to protest the charge to my credit card company. The Rep didn't even know what the charge was for. I immediately wrote the letter protesting this charge. It was reversed on my statement and on the same statement a charge of $425 was debited to my account by Dish. I wrote another letter of protest and that charge was reversed. Fine; all is well.
Last week I received a telephone call from my Chase Visa customer care person. Dish had sent a bunch of papers proving I owed the $425. I told him this was not true and he said he would send the papers to me. On Wednesday I received a Fed Ex letter with the papers inside. There was also a cover letter from Visa saying that if they didn't hear from me by the 10th of this month (giving me 4 days to return proof )
the case would be considered closed.
By the time I read the letter I was shaking and in such turmoil I couldn't think straight. (Isn't that a peachy keen excuse?). My BP must have been nearing the top level. I do not handle stress well and, as noted on other blogs, I avoid it whenever possible.
I spent hours searching for documentation to prove my innocence. I was unable to find the UPS receipt and decided that I had thrown it away after they reversed the charge the first time. I decided to scan my copies of my credit card statements proving when I stopped using Dish and started using Cox. Then I couldn't get my scanner to work. In desperation I wrote a letter of explanation as to why this charge could not logically be mine after 9 or 10 months. I gathered up my papers and only then did I notice that in my frantic state I neglected to see the name on the papers that Dish had sent. The name and address from the accounting dept. was not mine, nor was it my address. Dish had charged me for another woman's bill.
I then called my Visa rep telling him of the mix up and was told to Fax the papers to them immediately to avoid closing the case on the 10th. In the event that you have not faxed something recently the charge is $2 per page. I had 6 pages to fax. Thank goodness for good friends. My savior arrived that afternoon and took my papers home and faxed them for me.
Two days passed without hearing from my credit card company. I just called them as tomorrow is the deadline for closing the case. They had not even looked at the papers yet and the case has now been reopened. I spent 30 minutes with the representative; most of it listening to Musak. What a fun way to spend the morning.
I will get more papers in the mail I am told. Stay tuned.
I had never thought about what happens to your credit card number after you close an account. Apparently, the card number is kept on file forever. Do we have to cancel our credit cards every time we close an account that we have been using to avoid this kind of hassle? I asked my credit card representative about this and he said they couldn't come between the merchant and the customer.
Many things about the 'good old days' weren't really good, but I wish we could restore trust when a handshake was as good as your word. Do we have to start building an extra room on our houses to store every scrap of paper we use that my be needed in a dispute? Gotta stop; I feel my blood pressure rising again.