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Dave Ramsey says: Keep hammering away on disputed bill

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Dear Dave,

My wife and I put her two adult kids on our cellphone plan a few years ago. We thought there would be no problem, since they were both paying their own bills.

After my wife and I split up a couple of years later, we made sure everything was current, canceled service with that company, and we all went to different providers.

A debt collector called me last week saying I owed $4,000 on 19 different devices. When I called our old provider, they said I owed $4,000 on nine devices.

I asked for a current, itemized statement of the devices that were still out and the bill. So far, I haven’t heard anything back.

What do you think I should do?

— Bob

Dear Bob,

Just keep on tearing into them.

This thing won’t go away until you get everything completely rooted out. If you ignore it, chances are it’ll bite you on things like your credit bureau report. You might even find yourself the subject of some vague lawsuit years from now.

Considering the numbers you gave me, and what you know happened with the account and the devices, it sounds like someone on their end made a clerical error.

More than likely, this is a case of typical incompetence on the part of a cellphone company.

You may have an uphill battle ahead of you, but I’d keep on shoveling until the barn gets clean.

Stay on top of it, and don’t let them push you into giving them money if they can’t prove they’re right. You may have to hire an attorney at some point to sue them and clear your name, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

— Dave

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