Time Warner Cable Complaint - Unethical contract and threats
I contact Time Warner Cable to connect a home-based business/personal internet service. My residence was zone both residential or commercial. I resided there and obviously requested residential service as it was almost half the cost of business service & that I would be using it for mostly personal. The percentage of business use in the residence was less than 30% of the total square footage.
Time Warner refused to provide residential service and claimed they would only offer business class service with a 3-year contract, and a difference of $82 (residential) vs $162 (business class) per month for internet.
After installation, the installer handed me a slip for me to sign agreeing that service was connected. I had no idea that the slip I was signing was for the 3-year contract. I had hoped to negotiate the contract on my account after connection. After connection, I tried to discuss this contract with a representative on the phone. He was quick, vague, told me the contract was my only option, they only offered 3-year contracts and mentioned NOTHING about termination fees.
After closing my account 9 months later and early, due to economic downfall of my industry and inability to cover my monthly personal and business expenses, I was informed that I owed them over $3000.00 for future service per my contract. I disputed this and informed the representative that I was unaware of an early termination fee and to please explain it to me. The representative said he would "settle my account" and I would be invoiced for a lesser amount. I waited for an invoice. One never came.
Twenty two months later, in early February 2011, I received a letter from CMI collection agency stating I owe "their client" $633.33. I contact CMI asking what this is for, and they stated Time Warner sent my old business account to collections. I asked CMI representative why Time Warner Cable did not make attempts to collect the outstanding balance they claim I owe FIRST, or send me an invoice, and the representative could not answer that question. I disputed and sent CMI a letter asking to settle, as I was told back in April 2009 that Time Warner would agree to settle my contract. I am not capable of paying this in full at this time.
I received a letter from CMI, simply stating Time Warner does not settle accounts. No additional documentation I asked for was provided (ie. final invoices or their attempts to collect). I disputed a second time and stated I would seek legal action and CMI threatened they would "purposely damage my credit" if I did not pay in full immediately.
I feel coerced into an unnecessary lengthy business contract and threatened by CMI's claim they will purposely damage my credit. I find sending a consumers account to collections, regardless if they owe or not WITHOUT their knowledge or offering an opportunity to be informed of status of their account, is unlawful. Why should Time Warner be allowed to dictate whatever settlement "amount" they want? Especially since their rates have reduced since 2009.
They will never receive a dime for this "early termination fee", and these contracts should be against the law.