After many years of loyalty to AT&T, despite the extremely poor quality cell service and sorely lacking customer service, we finally cancelled our business cell service, moving to another company. The cancellation took place a few days (not weeks or months but days) before the contract ended in February, 2011.
Knowing there would be a balance, we immediately made arrangements with AT&T to pay off the account with small monthly payments, the final payment will be made the first of June. Despite the fact that this arrangement was agreed upon by AT&T and payments have been made every month, AT&T has chosen to submit this 'delinquent bill' to a collection agency.
When the call from the collection agency came in we immediately called AT&T to get them to call off the dogs and make any necessary corrections to credit reporting agencies. AT&T acknowledged than an agreement had been made but said we would have to talk to the collection agency to get them to back off. The collection agency was called back, told that AT&T referred us back to them to cease and desist, they said we have to get AT&T to withdraw the complaint. We immediately called AT&T back and, got them to acknowledge once again that a payment arrangement had been made and that we had not breached that agreement. Their response was "after so long an account with an outstanding balance automatically goes to collection". After so long??? Since February?!?!?!!?!?
According to AT&T, despite the acknowledged fact that a payment plan was agreed upon and that we have held up our end of the bargain, the only way to keep our credit good and get the collection agency off our back is to immediately pay the balance. So much for agreements with AT&T.