PLA Issue #17: Letters From The Phone Company

Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on February 2, 1995

Over the years I've gotten a lot of nasty letters from various phone companies,
most of which I've kept for sovineers. So here are a selected few for you to
laugh at or turn me in or whatever.


The following is a letter that I received after allowing everyone in the world
that I knew to start third number billing all their long distance calls to my
home phone that I wasn't going to pay. Keep in mind, people were billing calls
all over the WORLD from about ten different states and a couple of friends
from Australia were doing the same. About a week after I got this letter, a
representative from GTE Security North called me and said that since my social
security number was invalid, she was shutting my phone off and the next morning
it was dead forever.

February 25, 1994

RedBoxChiliPepper
xxx W. Fayette Street
Celina, OH 45822

RE: (419) 586-xxxx

Dear Mr. ChiliPepper

AT&T has identified a pattern of suspected fraudulent third party calls being
billing to your telephone number, which raises the suspicion that fraud may be
occurring. Accordingly, in order to protect both you and AT&T from potential
fraud, AT&T (reserves the right to set restrictions as outlined in FCC Tariff
No. 1 pg 43.1, section 2.9.4) has restricted the ability to have AT&T third
party calls billed to your number until this matter can be resolved.

If these calls are determined to be fraudulent, every effort will be made to
attempt to identify the responsible parties. Cases meeting the requirements of
either State or Federal statutes may be referred to law enforcement officials.

If you wish to discuss this restriction, you may do so in writing to AT&T
Corporate Security Control Center, P.O.Box 6735, Department 18, Bridgewater,
N.J. 08807-9998 or call 1-800-922-0479.

(A REAL hand signature!)
Ellie Tunis, AT&T Security Associate


November 23, 1992

Dear Customer,

Our records as of Nevember 22, 1992 indicate that you have made no payments on
your Sprint long-distance account. Your account has an outstanding balance of
$1,195.41.

Unless we receive your full payment by December 8, 1992, we will disconnect
your Sprint long-distance service. Do not delay. Mail payment of $1,195.41
today in the envelope provided. Representatives are available at 1-800-877-4646
to take your credit card payment or answer any questions.

Please disregard this notice if payment has been sent.

Sincerely,
Sprint Collection Department

[After adding this letter to my collection, I used the enclosed envelope to
mail a letter to my friend in Chicago.]


The following letter was also included in PLA006. I received this letter after
collecting several hundred dollars of AT&T refunds in the mail.

Mr. RedBoxChiliPepper
P.O.Box 44xxxx                                                  10/01/93
Indianapolis, IN 46244

Dear RedBoxChiliPepper:

Our records indicate a large number of coin refund requests. In light of this
history, we cannot provide a refund until AT&T investigates and verifies this
claim. As part of this investigation, please provide us with the written
detail of the call and circumstances in which you lost your money. Please mail
your explanation to:

Coin Refund Investigation Unit
P.O.Box 561615
Charlotte, NC 28256-1615

[I swear, those AT&T guys must just make up those huge department names as
they go along because they have nothing better to do. Coin Refund Investigation
Unit? Sheesh.]


The was this guy who we ordered a calling card for and we were also receiving
all of his phone bills and stuff. Here's a letter we got for his one day.

RE: Calling Card Number: 504-xxx-xxxx-xxxx

Unusually high attempted usage has been detected on your BellSouth calling
card. As a precautionary measure to protect your account, BellSouth has taken
steps to prevent further use of your card.

From a Southern Bell number our office can be reached by dialing our toll free
780-2792 number. If you are calling from a South Central Bell number, we can
be reached at the 557-6492 toll free number. You also may reach us by dialing
1-800-831-4323 from any location.

Our office is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We apologize for any
inconvenience this may have caused you.

Account representative


This one isn't from the phone company, but from the collection agency that the
phone company uses to collect unpaid debts.

5/30/94
RedBoxChiliPepper                               Owed to: General Telephone Co.
xxx W Fayette St. #3                            Account#: 419586xxxx 90385135
Celina, Ohio 45822                              Amount Due: $15,599.29

Dear RedBoxChiliPepper;

We have been advised by General Telephone Company that your account has not
been paid. They have asked us to contact you and urge you to meet your
obligation. You past due account has been placed for collection and is
immediately due. Direct all questions, information and payments to this
office. Prompt payment means good credit.

Sincerely,
Account Representative

This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be
used for that purpose.

                        Detach and Enclose with Payment
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RedBoxChiliPepper                               Owed to: General Telephone Co.
xxx W Fayette St. #3                            Account#: 419586xxxx 90385135
Celina, Ohio 45822                              Amount Due: $15,599.29

[Yeah, right, like I have $15,000 here in my pocket to send away. The collection
agency decided to call Zak periodically because he was the person that I
called "The Most!" but Zak just insulted the poor lady all the time.]


Dear Mr. ChiliPepper 1/2/95

After several corporate meetings we've determined that during the last five
years we've lost an average of $400,000 a year as a result of your calling
card fraud, international refund checks, 900 abuse, theft of Alliance
Teleconferencing services, red boxing, physical damage to our public phones,
manipulation of other people's phone service, etc, etc, etc.

In light of this history we've come to the decision to pay you just to leave
us the hell alone. Please accept the enclosed check for $350 and the enclosed
calling card that has unlimited use on the condition that you stop all
illigitimate activities against us. You will recieve a check every month for
this amount for as long as you can stop fucking with us.

Sincerely,
Robert Allen (You can call me Bob)
Chairman & CEO of AT&T

[Well, okay, that didn't happen but a guy can dream, can't he?]


RE: AT&T Calling Card Account: P0554592482532

Dear RedBoxChiliPepper

According to our records, payment for final charges on your former AT&T
Calling Card account has not been received. We are writing to remind you that
payment of $217.78 is presently required to avoid further collection action.

Please mail your payment today to:
AT&T
P.O.Box 8209
Fox Valley, IL 60572

Be sure to include your AT&T account number on your check or money order to
assure proper handling. If for any reason you are unable to make this payment
or if you need to discuss your account further, please call one of our
representatives at 1-800-634-8078.

If you have already mailed your payment, please disregard this notice.

Charles E. Moore
AT&T


If you have any interesting letters from phone company related sources, mail
them to me and maybe they'll become a part of this file.

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