AT&T Wouldn't Let Me Pay Final Bill, Then Sent Collections After Me

Ryan’s life is an Alanis Morissette song: “It’s like being told your AT&T account is paid off, and then meeting his beautiful collections agent coming after you for the money you were told you didn’t owe.”

Ryan speaks about finding 10,000 spoons when all he needed was a reasonable CSR:

I recently moved into a new house from an apartment, and I canceled my AT&T DSL. My service was canceled around November 11, 2009. When I canceled I gave them my new address, which they started using immediately. I called AT&T a week or so later and spoke with a customer service representative. I asked to pay my final bill, and I made the payment over the phone. I asked to pay my final bill several times during the conversation with customer service, and was assured that my account was paid in full. After that I received nothing from AT&T other than a post card that said I was getting a free month of service during my move. Touched, I heard nothing more from them until today. Sitting in the mail was a collections notice saying that I’d ignored their previous attempts to collect payment, and that if I didn’t pay immediately they would refer my account to a collections agency. I have not received so much as a single piece of mail from AT&T other than that post card, and before you ask I forwarded my mail a month before I moved.

I feel betrayed on two counts. First, I’d already asked to pay my final bill the month before, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with this. Second, their collection notice was issued to my new address (which I’d given them over the phone). Even if the post office somehow messed up forwarding my mail, everything should have been sent directly to my new address.

I’ve already called and paid their bill, but I don’t want this to destroy my credit rating. I’m a recent college grad, and I don’t need this on my record, when I think this is clearly their fault.

What should I do?

Any suggestions for Ryan?