(WWBT) - Vernon Dawson, of Glen Allen, says the biggest mistake he and his wife could have made was bundling their cellular and TV service back in 2015 once Direct TV and AT&T merged.
"We were offered a package deal that was supposed to save us money," Dawson said. "After we merged the package together, the Direct TV bill we noticed went up. So when we kept receiving the increase on the bill, we decided we wanted to unbundle the package."
They also decided to cancel their Direct TV altogether. To do that, the family had to pay an outstanding balance to zero out their account, which they did. An invoice reflects the zero balance.
Some weeks later, they received bill saying they still had an outstanding balance of $179.16. Dawson called customer service, where a rep insisted he owed the money.
"I said, 'But sir, I have the invoice I can fax to you to show you the invoice is showing $0 balance,' " Dawson said. "We paid the account up."
The rep said the company would take a look at it and get back to him.
"For two weeks, we didn't hear from anyone. The next thing we know we received a collection notice," Dawson said. That's when he reached out to 12 on Your Side.
"This is affecting our credit now," Dawson said.
On Your Side Investigator Eric Philips called the company's corporate office with Dawson several times. During one conversation, a representative could not clearly explain where the outstanding balance stemmed from. The AT&T side of the company said the charge came from Direct TV and vice-versa. Philips explained that the company's inability to communicate should not cost the customer. They said they'd once again look into it.
Dawson got a call the next day saying his account had been credited for the amount they were saying he owed.
"This is done as a courtesy given the confusion around the bill, so just wanted you to be advised of that. We have resolved your case and your issue," a representative said in a voicemail.
"I believe 90 percent of what took place really helped by them hearing your voice knowing we did conference calls, and it probably sent up a red flag that we don't need any red tape," Dawson said.
Though Dawson is relieved, he's also cautiously optimistic.
"I won't be totally satisfied until we get some correspondence from her and then actually hearing from the collection agency that the slate has been wiped clean," Dawson said.
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