Invoiced for several months after cancellation

Key Messages

  • Customers should report billing issues to their service provider as soon as they become aware of the problem.
  • Service providers should strive to resolve simple complaints raised by their customers before they escalate to the CCTS.

Summary of the Complaint

Mr. D cancelled TV and internet services with his provider. However, the service provider continued to bill him after cancellation, with the first two months’ charges being automatically billed to his credit card. Mr. D called his service provider to dispute the charges and the provider confirmed that the services had been cancelled. The provider stopped automatically billing the customer’s credit card, but continued to issue invoices for the cancelled services for the next four months. The service provider even threatened to send the customer’s account to a collection agency. Mr. D filed a complaint with the CCTS, seeking to have the two months’ charges refunded and all the other invoiced charges waived.

What did the CCTS do?

The CCTS contacted the service provider, which confirmed that Mr. D had indeed cancelled his services. The CCTS also confirmed that the service provider had continued to bill the customer for six months following the cancellation, including the two months automatically charged to his credit card. The provider explained that the invoices being issued was the result of a system error.

Outcome

The service provider offered Mr. D an explanation and apology, assuring him that his account would not go to a collection agency. Mr. D was refunded for the two months charged to his credit card, had the other four months’ charges cancelled and received an additional $50 credit as a goodwill gesture. Mr. D considered this a reasonable resolution and the matter was resolved.

Key Considerations: The CCTS accepts consumer complaints only after the consumer has given the provider a reasonable opportunity to resolve the complaint. The purpose of this rule is to give service providers the opportunity to address their customer’s concerns, and avoid the time and expense that they will incur when the customer files a complaint with the CCTS. We urge service providers to take advantage of this opportunity to avoid the need for customers to file complaints with the CCTS in situations where the provider has committed an obvious error, like this one.

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