AT&T Thinks You Should Pay Their Disability Claims

Not only does AT&T give you service you can’t use and then continue to bill for it, they also apparently want you to pay the disability claim when one of their employees injures himself on your property.

A few weeks ago, an AT&T tech arrived at a customer’s Chicago-area home to hook up his new phone service. And in spite of the fact that it hadn’t snowed in several days and the owner hires a snow-removal service for the property, the tech slipped and broke his leg while walking down a paved path.

Two weeks later, the owner gets a letter from Sedgwick Claims Management Services, which administers AT&T’s workers’ compensation program.

“Our initial investigation indicates that you may be at fault for these damages,” read the letter. “The current extent of these damages to our client is currently being determined but to date, we have paid $2,761.07 in disability.”

Not surprisingly, the building’s owner was less than pleased.

“I never heard of such a thing where they would sue a customer,” He said. “You do everything you’re supposed to do and this still happened.”

The owner decided to contact WGN Radio’s Problem Solver program, who then attempted to contact a rep for AT&T.

Lo and behold, a few days later he gets another letter from Sedgwick. This one is much different in tone.

“After further investigation… we will discontinue our pursuit with regards to subrogation of this claim… Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Responding to the radio show, a rep for AT&T had this to say:
“AT&T has policies and procedures in place to address workers’ compensation and disability matters, and we work with all parties involved to review individual claims. In this particular instance, proper protocols were not followed.”

What do you think? Is the homeowner financially responsible for any injuries the tech might have suffered? If not, at what point — what kind of incident would have to occur — for you to hold the homeowner liable?

Snow shoveling rules confuse homeowner after AT&T threat [Chicago Tribune]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.