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CUB saves local group $1,600 after being charged for cancelled phone service

Ted Pearson cancelled his organization’s AT&T phone service in May. But recently he received a bill for more than $1,600. After being told by AT&T that the charges were still his responsibility, he decided to reach out to CUB.

Ted, co-chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), called CUB explaining that CAARPR had been a longtime AT&T customer, but then switched to another phone service.

Ted thought the AT&T service was discontinued, but two months later, he received a bill from the company charging him for three lines. He called AT&T. “They said, ‘Oh well, too bad,'” Ted recalled. “But we still weren’t going to pay that.”

Weeks later, Ted received another bill, this time with interest charges from not paying the previous one. He spoke with AT&T again. Although phone service had been cancelled, AT&T insisted the bill was still his responsibility.

In a final attempt to dispute all charges, Ted called CUB.

Consumer Advocacy Assistant Jantay Gray took Ted’s case and filed a complaint with AT&T’s office of the president. She told him he should get a response within 10 business days.

“You know when you hear ‘office of the president’, I didn’t have great hope on hearing back,” said Ted. “I thought I might as well write a letter to the pope.”

Two days later, AT&T got back to Jan saying the case was being investigated. AT&T contacted Ted a few weeks after, erasing the $1,600 bill.

CUB recently received a thank you email from Ted, and a generous donation.

“I’m a utility consumer. I have a soft spot in my heart for CUB,” said Ted, “CUB is a good group; you all do so well.”

Ted’s story is like so many consumers across Illinois–a big reason why CUB’s work is never done. (If you like CUB’s work, you can also donate here.)