A Confederacy of Douchebags

I work for The Levy Pants Co.

Today, the phone company turned off the DSL service at one of the facilities that the company I work for owns because of non-payment of the bill. The phone company never sent a bill to our office and I can’t find out where the bills have been going until I get access to the account. We have never seen a bill and I didn’t even know that there was DSL service at this facility until they turned it off and all these devices in the warehouse suddenly do not work. In order to get the service turned back on, I need to get someone to pay the bill. The woman in the accounts payable department of my company can’t pay a bill she does not have (which makes sense to me). The phone company will not let me request a copy of the bill unless I know the account number and the super-secret PIN number which is printed on the bill. In other words, in order to get a copy of the bill I need to know information which is printed on the bill.


7 Comments on “A Confederacy of Douchebags”

  1. Greg says:

    Easy solution: Have the woman in your accounts payable dept. pull out a copy of a previously paid bill to get the account number. That should also have the special PIN number on it (assuming it doesn't change from bll to bill) and the customer service phone number. I've had my share of dealing with the stupidity of billing companies who treat everything like they were safeguarding nuclear launch codes.

  2. I'd just go home early.

  3. Stephan Poag says:

    Yes, that would be a good solution IF we had EVER gotten a copy of the bill. That is the nut of the problem. We never saw the bill. There is a new (3+ months old) warehouse. The IT guys set up a DSL for the warehouse and, it turns out (after dealing with this for 1/2 the day) that the account rep from the phone company put some random address in Wisconsin on the bill (we are not in Wisconsin and no one knows why he did that). Our Accounts payable people see a bill for DSL service for an address in Wisconsin and disputed it since we don't have a facility in Wisconsin. Well, it turns out that the bill for Wisconsin was really a bill for the warehouse which is 400+ miles away from that site in Wisconsin —- oooops — now the phone people are arguing that we didn't pay our bill and we are arguing that we never got a correct bill since what the bill said that it was for (DSL service in another state) isn't what it was for (DSL service in our warehouse).
    Did I mention that the commercial phone bills are so obtuse and so mistake filled that we use a billing negotration company to pay them? They comb through the bills and find mistakes/overcharges/misbillings that the phone company imposes and dispute them; when they win they get a percentage… and they seem to be doing a great business. I suspect that routinely gouging customers is a new profit center for corporate entities and 'billing disputes' is probably a growth industry.

  4. Stephan Poag says:

    Bliss: I can't go home early, so I did the next best thing: I started drinking at lunch and haven't stopped.

  5. Greg says:

    Well, I say nuke the site from orbit, only way to be sure. 🙂

    Jeez, what a clusterfuck this situation is. Good luck on getting this mess straightened out. It wouldn't surprise me that most phone bills have overbillings in them. Like who really has the time to go over each phone call and charge line by line? I certainly don't.

  6. That does sound like the best solution!

  7. Stephan Poag says:

    Greg said, Well, I say nuke the site from orbit, only way to be sure.

    I'm starting to think that may be the solution. I believe it's been six days and as of this morning, DSL service hasn't been restored and no one from the service provider can tell me why.

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