I moved out of my Dallas, Texas apartment on April 24, 2010. My cable services with AT&T were disconnected on April 23, 2010. My apartment gave me prelabeled boxes to send my equipment from a UPS store to the AT&T warehouse in Carrollton, Texas. The boxes were shipped via UPS on April 26, 2010. I received the tracking number from UPS.
On June 14, 2010, I began to receive phone calls from the Credit Management collection agency stating that I owed $880.00 for unreturned equipment to AT&T. Not once I had received any type of notification from AT&T stating they had not received my equipment. The collection agency wanted me to pay the full amount right then on the phone. I told them that I would not pay them without talking with AT&T first.
I immediately called AT&T. I asked why was I not notified about the missing equipment and was first told that they did not have to notify me and then later told a letter was sent to me, which I never received. I was then transferred to the warehouse. The guy I talked to immediately asked my for the tracking number from UPS. I told him that I did not have the tracking number because I had returned the equipment nearly 2 months prior and had never heard anything about it. He said that there was a "chance" that my equipment was sitting in the warehouse somewhere and had been overlooked when it was returned. I told him how irresponsible it was of his company to be sending collection agencies after people when their equipment might just be sitting in the warehouse. He said, "Yes, I know". He told me that they would look for it and it could take 5-7 days.
After talking with him and the collection agency, I spent time trying to hunt down this tracking number to prove to AT&T that I had returned the equipment. On June 16, 2010, I received another phone call from the collection agency. I called AT&T after speaking with them. I spoke with someone in the warehouse and was told that my equipment had been located and was sitting in the warehouse this entire time. I was told that the collection agency would stop calling within 24-48 hours.
After reading many similar reports, this is definitely a company problem and not an isolated incident. With the high pressure payment request from the Collection Agency and the pompous attitude of AT&T, there is no question this does not happen by accident. It is a corporate problem and I will continue to report this to as many public agencies as I can.