Scary Things In The Basement

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(My wife and I have just bought our first house. It is relevant to the story that it is a detached home, with a fully furnished basement. Although the basement is set up so that it can potentially be rented out as an apartment, it was not used this way by us or the previous owner. As is common after a move, we get a bit of mail meant for a previous owner. There is one piece of mail from a TV and telephone company addressed to “Resident” at “[Our Address] Bsmnt Apt.” A new envelope comes monthly. I call the company to correct the issue.)

Employee: “How can I help you?” 

Me: “Hi. I’m calling about some mail that is being sent to me in error.”

Employee: “I can help with that. Can I get your phone number or account number to pull up your info?” 

Me: “Actually, I don’t have any services with [Company]. That’s why I’m calling. I’m getting someone else’s info sent to my home.” 

Employee: “I see. Can I have the name on the envelope?” 

Me: “No, it’s just sent to ‘Resident.'” 

Employee: “Well, I can’t change the mailing information on your account if you don’t give me a name or a phone number.” 

Me: “It’s not my account. I just bought the house. It’s not even addressed to a real apartment. It says, ‘Bsmnt apt,’ but there is no basement apartment.” 

Employee: “Can you give me the address? I may be able to get your account from that.” 

Me: *provides my address*

Employee: “Please hold for a moment.” *brief hold music* “Okay, sir, I have the account pulled up now. It looks like you have an outstanding balance of [over $100].” 

Me: “What? No. You’re not understanding me. You have the wrong address on file. Whoever owes that balance doesn’t live here anymore. I just want you to stop sending his mail here.” 

Employee: “Sir, you still have to pay your bill, even if you moved.” 

Me: “But it’s not my bill.” 

Employee: “You live at [address], correct? Then this is your bill.” 

Me: “But I just moved here and have never had any services with you. Just stop sending any correspondence here. There isn’t even a basement apartment! No one lives there separately. You’re records are clearly wrong.” 

Employee: “If you own the house, then you own the basement apartment. You are the ‘Resident’ at [Address]. This is your bill. You have to pay it.” 

Me: “I’m going to make this clear. I do not have any business with your company. You are sending someone else’s bill to my address by mistake. I will not pay a penny. You have no name on file. You have an address that doesn’t exist. If you send me any more mail to this address I will consider it harassment.”

Employee: *long silence* “But this is your bill.” 

Me: “Transfer me to a manager.” 

(I spoke to a manager. She understood what I was saying and corrected the issue in minutes. I now record my calls with an app.)

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