Cable Company Sends Refund Check That Bounces, Bills Customer Twice For Service He Doesn’t Have

Image courtesy of (Lyman Green)

When Consumerist reader Andy canceled his Time Warner Cable service back in November he expected to get a small refund. But he got more than he bargained for: a bounced check fee, followed several months later by bills for service he no longer had.

Andy tells Consumerist that the ordeal began when he called Time Warner Cable — now owned by Charter — to cancel service on Nov. 9.

TWC’s billing system — like most cable companies — charges customers in advance for their service. Since Andy was canceling before the end of the month, he was due a refund of $21.66.

He was told the check would be mailed, but two weeks later it still hadn’t landed in his mailbox.

At the end of December, Andy says he spoke with two additional TWC reps who assured him the check was on the way.

When the refund came in January, Andy says he took it to the bank. Thinking the situation was resolved, Andy went on with his life.

Until he found out the check had bounced and his bank had assessed a $12 fee to his account.

Andy tells Consumerist that he immediately contacted TWC and spoke with a rep about the issue. He was told the company would resend the check, including the $12 bounced check fee, for a total refund of $33.66.

The first incorrect bill Andy received, two months after canceling service.

While waiting for the new check, Andy received a bill from TWC. The bill, for service from Feb. 4 to March 3, was for $49.99.

In the meantime, Andy says his credit card was credited with a payment of $21.66 — the original anticipated refund amount. Still missing, however, was the $12 bounced check charge the TWC rep said the company would cover.

Andy once again contacted TWC support on Twitter on Jan. 30. In screenshots provided to Consumerist, Andy explained the situation and asked the company to refund the erroneous bill.

That seems to have happened. However, two weeks ago Andy received another bill for service from March 4 to April 4. Instead of asking for $49.99, this bill had a balance of $6.66, showing the account had recevied a credit of $43.33.

The second incorrect bill Andy received, three months after canceling service.

None of this made sense to Andy.

“I want someone to call me right now and explain why a month after the last discussion on this subject, I get billed again…” Andy wrote in the message. “I canceled service in November!”

In response, the TWC rep explained that the account was owed a balance of $21.66. However, there was then a payment reversal of $49.99 and the refund check was voided. This appears to suggest that when Andy first canceled his service, the rep refunded his entire prepaid amount. It would also explain the bounced check, but not why he wasn’t notified the check was being voided.

At this point, the rep’s explanation would mean that Andy’s account had an amount due of $28.33.

The rep continued by stating because the payment of $21.66 was reversed when the check was voided, Andy was once again left with a new balance of $49.99.

“Then a courtesy credit was added of $43.33 so the remaining balance due is $6.66,” the rep says.

Andy says the company didn’t give him a reason why the courtesy charge — for a bill he should never have received — didn’t cover the entire $49.99.

Consumerist contacted Charter about Andy’s predicament. The company said it would reach out to Andy to handle the situation, but has thus far declined to provide an explanation for the bounced check, missing fee refund, and erroneous bills.

Andy, however, tells Consumerist his account was credited the $6.66, zeroing out his balance. He still hasn’t received the $12 fee refund or an explanation for the additional bills.