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1 Message

Mon, Nov 2, 2020 11:56 PM

Collection for equipment return during pandemic

I moved in December of last year and managed to cancel my account around Mid January.  Before I was able to return my equipment, my state began to enforce a stay at home order.  I spoke with a few representatives in ATT collections and they all stated that I would have to drop my equipment off at UPS and there was no other way to return my equipment.  Well, I received a notice recently that I have a new collections account from yup, you guessed it, ATT.  I'm beyond (Edited per community guidelines).  I called the ATT collections team and informed them of my previous conversations and they stated there was nothing they could do because the account is  now in collections.  I asked about the record of previous calls and they stated again, there is nothing they can do.  Well, apparently even though we were in a stay at home order from the government, they still wanted me to walk into a UPS and return their gear even though during the conversations with their team they stated the usual corporate (Edited per community guidelines).  Well work with you, we understand the current environment, etc....Any suggestions?

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ACE - Expert

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268 Messages

1 y ago

You cancelled "mid-January".  At that time, you had 21 days to return equipment.  That brings us to early Feb...let's say Feb. 10.  NOTHING was locked down until March 19 (California was first with that date).

Sorry but the time line doesn't compute in your favor.

In April, AT&T changed the 21 days to 60 days.   I replaced a DVR in May.  I live in a "hotspot" and I'm a senior citizen to boot but I put on my mask, went to UPS and socially distanced.

Unfortunately the window for getting credit for un-returned equipment is 90 days and that window has closed.

(edited)

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Juniper

ACE - Expert

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14K Messages

1 y ago

@mfaulk57158 

Unfortunately the issue is the timeline. Canceled in January with 21 days to return equipment. The temporary change to return time frame did not back date. So non-return fee charged correctly. Now it is November, way past any possible return to get the NRF removed, especially since it is sold off to a collection agency.

Bottom line, it has been too long for return and credit. Settling with collection agency is now your option.

New Member

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1 Message

1 y ago

I live in a "hotspot" and I'm a senior citizen to boot but I put on my mask, went to UPS and socially distanced.

I spoke with several representatives and they stated that my concerns wouldn't be an issue.  I applaud your bravery.  As a father, I wouldn't dare risk my 2yr at-risk daughters safety to return equipment that I was told could be returned when the pandemic ended.  In conclusion,, according to you i didn't get 60 or 90 days, but the timeline doesn't work in my favor?

ACE - Expert

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268 Messages

1 y ago

The return window in YOUR situation was before any lockdowns so you can't blame the pandemic.

No, you DIDN'T get 60 days because you cancelled pre-lockdown.  The policy was changed in April....post lockdown.  You cancelled in JANUARY.

You failed to return the equipment when you should have (pre-lockdown). 

Your only option now is to contact the collection agency that the debt was sold to and try to negotiate a pay off.  FYI:  The debt will still show on your credit report as a "slow pay" but a $0 balance.

You choose the behavior, you choose the consequences.

Edit:  @davemize  Am I NOT explaining this clearly?

(edited)

New Member

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1 Message

1 y ago

You may not have noticed, but private industry moved far faster than the government.  I would hope that a large company such as AT&T has leadership that that knows the “responsible” people in the US didn’t wait until the Government FORCED them to stay home before they chose it to be wise to do so. Maybe you’re right, they wanted everyone to “bravely” go into a local at&t store during a pandemic so that they could later preach responsibility on a message board.  Which is not ironic at all…


FYI:  The debt will still show on your credit report as a "slow pay" but a $0 balance.

Im not surprised you would state something incorrect.  its called a Pay for delete and is common practice in the debt collection industry.  FYI:  You can request a debt collector to delete an item from your report for the full payment amount.  I’d rather just return my unused equipment.

New Member

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1 Message

1 y ago

For anyone experiencing the same issue, know that you're not alone.  This has apparently been a huge issue during the pandemic.  The UPS/Fed Ex partnership was not created to accomodate a pandemic and there hasn't been an attempt by ATT to rectify this situation.  

 

https://forums.att.com/conversations/uverse-tv-installation/how-can-i-return-a-device-during-the-coronavirus-covid19-pandemic/5e7511f3fd08355e354c2490?page=2

ACE - Expert

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268 Messages

1 y ago

FYI:  You can request a debt collector to delete an item from your report for the full payment amount.  I’d rather just return my unused equipment.
 

Returning equipment that you've had for 10 months is not an option*.  Your only option is to pay the full amount and ask for removal.

Edit:  * You can return the equipment but it will not erase the debt.

(edited)

New Member

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1 Message

4 m ago

Update, equipment returned, and the collection report on my credit report is gone.  Don't listen to the shills here who were telling people to go into a 300 sqft store during the early stages of the spread of an airborne illness.  Write, and continue to call AT&T and you'll eventually get someone sensible.  I went through the helpdesk first who were incredibly unhelpful and stated they had to come into work, so why wouldn't I go and drop off equipment.  According to the AT&T helpdesk, life was ongoing and a national pandemic shouldn't have stopped anyone from taking care of their responsibilities.  I then asked about the delay in home tech support and the call got awkward :).  I eventually reached someone with the leverage to tell their employer they won't be coming in during the height of the pandemic and they understood completely.  Long story short, there are reasonable people at AT&T, don't give up, just don't expect them here or on the AT&T helpdesk.

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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14K Messages

4 m ago

Glad you are resolved with the collection agency. However be aware that we are not shills. This is a public forum and everyone may discuss and share their experience, opinion, and perspective as they see fit. Those employeed by AT&T are tagged as such, though only the logoed "help" team is operating in any official capacity. Those with the "employee" tag are on their personal (off-the-clock) time. Rest of us are just customers in general.

Return process is the same for everyone. You take to participating return location, or if over 10 miles from one you call and get a prepaid return kit shipped to you (which is the old process). The pandemic did not change how you may return as much as you would have liked. They did for a time extend the return timeline to accommodate everyone, but that was temporary. Yes the pandemic has resulted in delays with the short staffing. But that still doesn't change what the process is to begin with. You may not like it, but that is the reality.

In any case glad you are taken care of and hope you have easier days ahead.


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