Obsessive Debt Collectors Mixed My Roommate Up With Some Other Guy

Curt says his roommate can’t shake a pushy debt collector who won’t get it through his head that he mixed up his identity with some guy who owes AT&T for DSL service. He contacted AT&T but the company seems unwilling/unable to call off the dogs.

He writes:

My name is Curt and I have (or rather, my roommate has) a rather curious and serious issue. First, the back story. A long while back, he got a call from a collection agency acting on behalf of AT&T for an amount that he DEFINITELY did not owe. He decided to contact AT&T directly, and found that the charges were related to DSL service in Pittsburgh. We do not, and have never lived in or had AT&T service in any way in Pittsburgh.

After probing AT&T a bit, he found a bit more interesting information. The person who actually owes the money has the same last 4 digits in their SSN, and shares a first name with his father. This could clearly be an accounting error, at best. For what it’s worth, AT&T was as helpful as they could be, and were sympathetic and polite, but there was a lot of inter-departmental referrals going on because the AT&T side of AT&T and the SBC side of AT&T only barely have their books together (at least at that point). After talking to people on both sides for days straight, my roommate was informed by an AT&T rep who he had been working with from the beginning that the error had been fixed, and the money was no longer his debt. And the collections calls stopped. Happy ending?

Not so. The collections calls have begun again, and the collectors are VERY aggressive. How can my roommate get rid of this false debt? Does he contact AT&T or the collector? And what does he say? He fears that if he goes through the same arduous process again, it will just start back up for a third time. We want this debt gone, free and clear and legally. We do not owe it. And we are at a loss.

If you’re being phone-stalked by a debt collector — even for debt that’s your own — be sure to brush up on your rights. If a debt collector contacts you, you can ask for proof of the debt: an application for the debt with your signature on it.