Hayward family sent to collections for AT&T phone they returned

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A Hayward couple says they followed the return instructions from a major wireless carrier to the T, but somehow they ended up in collections. The apparent mix up happened at the most inopportune time and disrupted the couple's life. (KGO-TV)

A Hayward couple says they followed the return instructions from a major wireless carrier to the T, but somehow they ended up in collections. The apparent mix up happened at the most inopportune time and disrupted the couple's life.

Tammy Whitmore-Coleman and her husband Joseph packed up their belongings.

Their landlord is selling the unit and they need to find a new place to live. But Tammy says no one will rent to them due to a dispute with AT&T.

"One of the places ran my credit and there was collections coming up on there," she said.

The mix up goes back to 2016 when Tammy switched carriers and bought a new smartphone from AT&T for her parents.

She also signed up for the company's family plan. But within a week, she knew the plan wasn't right for them.

"We were getting messages that we were close to our limit and I didn't have that when I was at T-Mobile."

She decided to go back to T-Mobile. So she returned the new phone under AT&T's 14 day full refund return policy, minus a restocking fee.

Tammy received this receipt acknowledging her return.

Everything was fine until three months later. "I started getting bills from AT&T stating that I still owed them $928 for the iPhone that I had returned."

She went back to the AT&T store to show them their return receipt.

Each time she says she was told the problem would be taken care of and not to worry. But the bills kept coming, despite repeated visits to AT&T. Then the company sent her to collections.

"I was very upset. I could not believe it," Tammy said.

She went back to AT&T once again. This time the company said it would launch an investigation, but told her it would take up to two weeks.

That's when she contacted 7 On Your Side.

We called AT&T and within hours Tammy received a call from AT&T.

"When she said she was calling from the President's office at AT&T, I was like Hallelujah."

Tammy's account has since been zeroed out and she's no longer in collections.

AT&T told us "We value our customers. We apologize for the inconvenience."

"Thank you just doesn't seem enough. I wish I could give all you guys a hug," said Tammy.

If you need help with a consumer problem, get in touch with us.

Produced by Randall Yip

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.
Related Topics:
businessAT&Tdebtsmartphones7 On Your Sideconsumerconsumer concernsHayward
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