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Strange account/dispute


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So, I pulled my credit report from Experian and there is an account listed in collections. It says the original creditor is Comcast. The "date opened" is 07/2013 and "reported since" is 02/2014.

It also says under "Your Statement:"

"Account information disputed by consumer (Meets requirement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act).

Well, I didn't open an account with Comcast in 2013 and I've never disputed it. I may have had an account with Comcast about 4 or 5 years ago (I don't remember if it was in my name) but this must be somebody else's account?

I went to the collection company's website and entered my Social Security #, and sure enough there it was.

So I have two questions:

1) Is it possible this is from that old account?

2) What would be the best way to go about correcting this? I'm thinking I should contact Experian and ask them when/who/how it was disputed and then contact the collections agency and ask them what this is about?

I'm also pretty sure I've never received any mail or phone calls from the collection agency.

Any ideas or advice would be very appreciated.


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Its possible. I lived with and without a roommate during the period when I had Comcast. If I recall though, the time with a roommate was in school sponsored housing and I think the school provided the service. This was in Boston by the way, and the collections agency website does say "Comcast - Warehouse - Greater Boston."


If it was an old debt though it wouldn't just all of a sudden pop up on the credit report would it? It says it will be on record until 2020! And I have no idea how it could have been disputed.

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The rooom mate could have used your personal info at a later date. Anyone with access to your personal info could have used it to get cable. It happens a lot - I think people don't realize that it will be reported on your credit. We've had roommates, girl/boyfriends, parents, siblings, you name it.


If it says disputed and you didn't dispute, that is another aspect of it entirely. Someone else has access to your reports. Could it be someone who shares a computer with you? This part is baffling.


Just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't enter my SSN on any website like that. These collectors are not just unethical, they're downright dishonest.


You need to go over all your reports with a fine-toothed comb looking for discrepancies. Also, when you try to get info from anyone, do it without giving out info, especially if you're on the phone. Our advice is not to talk to collectors on the phone.

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Thanks a lot for your advice. I will follow your recommendations. I don't know who else could have access to my reports. This is the first time I've pulled one although I guess somebody could have pieced together the information needed to get one.


On Experian's website it says "If you believe that information appears on your report as a result of fraud or if you think another person’s information may have merged with your information, then it is important that you call us for assistance with your disputes." Do you think this would be the best way to address this? I've read a lot about various types of written communications also.


Aside from this the Experian report looked fairly accurate (my year of birth was one year off, and it says my home has pertained to a business in engineering-management service, which I don't believe it ever has, unless it was 25+ years ago.) I think I'll get the other two credit reports and see what they say.


Hypothetically, if this was from a debt 4-5 years ago, there would be some kind of record of that on the report right? Even if the current collections agency acquired the debt on the "date opened" and made a reporting error, they would have had to acquire it from a different collector, who would have reported it? I don't think Comcast would keep this on their books for 5 years and then turn it over to collections?


Thanks again for all of your help. This is concerning and quite new to me.

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Yes, I believe Comcast would have reported it prior to the collection agency reporting it. I agree with your plan to get your other reports. If you are getting your free annual reports, you get more detail in a paper report.


If you call Experian's fraud department, you will have a fraud alert on all your reports. That has it's drawbacks - but it is good if there really has been a fraudulent account taken out in your name. Use the google search box at the top of the page and search for "fraud alert" and skim through relevant posts to get an idea what actually happens. If you're planning to apply for some kind of credit in the near future, wait, and definitely wait until you're reasonably sure it's fraud and not a mistake, like you mentioned, although the SSN makes that theory less likely.


You do need to send a dispute/validation letter to the collection agency. There is another forum with copies of different letters you can use as a guideline. I'd keep it short and sweet. :)

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It's also possible some one with the same name owes Comcast money and the CA thinks your that person. But with the dispute in there that really throws things off unless it's just a mistake within Experian and it's really not being disputed.

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Comcast has never listed an acct separate from any CA that they turned an acct over to (in my experience).


Every time I have cancelled Comcast, there is always a battle over the final bill - most especially, the alleged "failed to turn in equipment"...bogus charge. This is why it is imperative to save all receipts!


What I see here is something I have dealt with...is that the CA didn't get the acct until 2013. They didn't get (or simply didn't report) the original DOFD which is why the CRA has it potentially staying on your CR until 2020.


IMHO, Comcast created a closeout bill for you that it believes you never paid. For whatever reason, this is the first you have seen about it. You need to DV the CA to determine whether the acct was yours to begin with. Once you have that information, you can better determine how to dispute.

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