I have a quandary that was hoping one of the credit gurus on here could help out with.
Last spring we had a cell phone plan with two phones and a child device. The child device is incapable of receiving data, messages, etc. and could only be programmed to accept four numbers by a phone that was on the network and had a particular app installed. The child device cost a $5/mo access fee, this comes into play later.
Last spring we decided to change carriers. We got a new plan and called the old carrier to have our phone numbers ported to the new carrier, the child device deactivated, and the account closed. They switched over the numbers and closed the account letting us know what the final billing would be and we went on our merry way. A few months later I found out that carrier #1 was still billing us nearly $50/mo. I called them to see what it was and they said:
1) It was for the child device that they did not deactivate correctly
2) Because the child device was an add-on they had to start a new line of service for ~$50/mo
3) They had sent text notices to the child device, but since it does not have messaging, there was no way we could have known or set up an account to view the charges since it requires text verification.
4) They could not credit back the charges since they had already posted
I asked what I could do to get the money back and they said to call the bank and do a chargeback. So I did.
A few weeks later, I got a bill for all of the money the bank recovered plus $20 for each chargeback (3) for a total of ~$210.00. I called the company and they said that it was a mistake and they would put in a ticket to get it cleared. A month later we got a notice that the $210 was sent to their in-house collections company and if we did not pay, it would go on our credit. I called again and they said that they were going to fix it and they would clearly note the file and they would send us a credit statement in the next ten days confirming that they had credited the account by the amount owed which would bring the balance to $0.
Two weeks later we got a collection notice from a third party collection company and it was reported to our credit as a delinquent account.
The question is, what can I do to get this cleared? The original cell provider says it's not their problem since they sold it and the collection company says they don't care because to them it's just an amount owed. Do I have to pay it even though it was the cell provider's mistake? Do I have any recourse?
Thanks for your time and knowledge!