Friday, September 12, 2008

Guilty Until Proven Innocent---

This is not post about motorcycle riding or domestic violence. This is a post about being assumed guilty of something, whereby it is necessary to prove one's innocence. This is not the legal system. This has nothing to do with law enforcement. This is about bill collectors and the companies that use them.

--rant on--

Last year my ex-wife and I were threatened with legal action over a hospital bill. My ex had an emergency room visit. She is covered under not one, but TWO insurance policies. This is what I don't understand... part of the bill was paid for with not even a whisper of contempt. BUT, someone messed up and didn't send part of the bill to insurance. So, we are told that the liability for over $3,000 worth of charges is OURS. Why? Because the hospital didn't bill it correctly!!! AND, it is up to US to prove that we shouldn't pay!

Several weeks ago I receive a collection notice from a hospital visit my ex-wife had five or so years ago. She was even double covered then. Why am I NOW receiving notification that someone thinks I owe them money?

It isn't just hospitals. I signed up for a cell phone plan YEARS ago. The sales person promised roaming and LD was free. Great. I make a drive to Illinois and get a bill of over $1,300!!! The company told me that the plan I had didn't offer free LD or roaming. Further, they tell me that they don't offer that plan anywhere!

I pick up a Sunday Chicago Tribune and there... a 1/2 page add from the same company advertising free LD and roaming. I call them back and refuse to pay. I tell them I want to see a copy of the contract I signed. They say it is lost but I still owe the money. I tell them that they will not see a single cent from me until they proove I owe it. They tell me that I have to proove that I don't owe it. How the hell do I do that???

Ah, phone companies. I spent 30 minutes talking to a collection company this morning about a phone bill way back in 2003 when I lived in Illinois. We were at this house only a month, yet the phone company says we were there for nearly 5. No. They don't have to prove that I owe the money. Their word is gold and true. I am the one who must prove I don't owe it. Who the hell keeps recipts through 2 moves and 4 years?

--rant off--

On the brighter side, the proper size tool is at Cycle Gear... or at least that's what I am told. They will have to prove it.

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