On Your Side: $8,000 Phone Bill

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News 12 at 6, March 21, 2008

AUGUSTA -- How much is your phone bill each month? 20, 30 maybe even 100 dollars?

What if you got one for $8,000?

To say the least, the Landini’s were a bit surprised when they got a letter from a debt collection agency that says they owed 8 grand to Verizon. But it only got stranger from there.

Pete Landini isn't surprised too often these days, but something in his mailbox really took him for a loop recently. "It looked official from a lawyer's office," he said.

It looked like an official notice from a debt collecting law firm called Wolpoff and Abramson out of Atlanta.

And it was for, get this, a more than $8000 dollar phone bill.

"They said it was from 2002," he said.

But here's where things got weird. Pete then called Verizon and found out the bill was about $8,000 more than it should have been, "117 dollars, that's all," he said.

That's all he really owed to the cell phone company. And Wolpoff and Abramson weren't the collection agency Verizon sent the bill to.

So, Pete called the law firm back and the story quickly changed.

"That's not the number we have. He gave me this totally different phone number and said now we owe $990," he said.

A quick internet search turns up a number of complaints on the law firm. So 12 On Your Side put in a call to ask for an explanation. Messages were left, but no one called us back.

Interestingly enough, Pete says if the bill wasn't so high, he might have ended up paying it. “I probably would have fallen for it," he said.

A representative for Wolpoff and Abramson said the company is no longer handling this case. No other information was available.

For more information on Fair Debt Collection, visit the links below.

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