Many of us have over-paid a bill. When that happens, the company usually credits the over payment to our account. That's what happened to a Rogers County woman.
News on Six consumer reporter Rick Wells says the credit was a whopper, and so has been the effort to get it straightened out.
Mercedes Lackey, Writer: "When I looked at my AT&T Wireless bill, I went, wait a minute, a $14,000 credit!"
Mercedes Lackey is a best selling science fiction writer. Back in October of 2002, she had just received her semi-annual royalty check from her publisher. So when she paid her $147.53 cell phone bill with $14,753 - the payment went right through.
Lackey: "I think I put a comma instead of a decimal pointâ€
She called the accounting department of AT&T Wireless. She acknowledged she had made an error and asked for some help. "Can I please have my money back?"
That's when things got a little sticky. They asked for and she sent a copy of her bank statement showing the transaction. They responded they'd take care of it from there. Mercedes recalls that they said something like, "It'll probably take six weeks - but by the time Christmas is over, around the first week in January, there'll be a check in your mail box." That made her happy.
January rolled around, but there was no check; and that made her angry.
Lackey: "I got on Google, and I mailed five reporters at the New York Times. 7 at the Washington Post. 2 at the Wall Street Journal. 5 at Fox Network."
She also e-mailed a couple of dozen consumer advocates around the country, and the News on Six.
Fortunately, we were able to call the bank and confirm the original error.
The District Manager of AT&T Wireless in Tulsa was able to get her problem solved, and AT&T Wireless has agreed to refund the entire original payment of $14,753. As a bonus, they will credit her account with almost $400 worth of cell phone service.