America Online Complaint - unauthorized billing
LAKE ALMANOR, CALIFORNIA -- My name is Gudrun Sullivan and I am 77 years old. I cancelled my subscription to AOL by phone in March of 2003 when I needed to move into my daughter's home because of increasing disability after several operations. After numerous months I saw that my Chase VISA card was again billed by AOL in the summer of 2003. I called Chase and they removed the charges. In December of 2003 AOL again billed me for service I neither was subscribed to nor did I receive. I contested the charge to AOL and Chase through certified mail. The charge was temporarily removed by Chase but appeared again in April of 2004. I never received any correspondence from AOL although I have signatures from 2 of it's representatives that my certified letters were received. In addition to sending certified letters to AOL I've tried to call their customer representatives. The hold time on the phone would be 45-60 minutes plus then the phone would go dead after apparently hanging up on me. After several tries I realized that I had no other recourse than clear my name and credit through the courts. I honestly believe that AOL is simply making the cancellation process so difficult that a consumer has to pay the bill for them to go away even if the bill was never incurred.
I researched the law and found that the applicable law was the Fair Credit Billing Act. After a many hours of research I filed against both AOL and Chase in Federal Court; United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 'Fair Credit Billing Act Part D Section 1666'. After filing my complaint (2) attorney's for AOL called and apologized profusely for the billing mistake, however, then filed their Answer to the Complaint denying any wrongdoing. I also have a third party credit report stating that I am overdue paying this bill although the date is clearly within the legal dispute date (the law prohibits any creditor from notifying any third party credit agencies of disputed charges within the 60 day dispute period - the AOL charges were the only fees on my Chase card since I had paid the card off 100% long before this billing fiasco began).