Jeff Sexton

Friday, September 09, 2011

Qwest is Now CenturyLink

This is a follow up to my post about Qwest failing to apply an electronic payment...

To sum up, I received a bill showing the prior month's bill as unpaid.  I was told (by Qwest) that this was because I paid with my bank's (US Bank) bill pay service and Qwest can not always process these payment in a timely manner.  At the time, I was told to just pay the new month's bill (by check or via Qwest's website) and the "unpaid" amount would surely be applied in the next cycle.

So what happened?

Well, on that next cycle, the amount I paid by check was credited, but no other payments were.  I still "owed" a month's bill, plus the late payment.

Not feeling much like calling Qwest, which was also well into the process of transforming to CenturyLink, I just wrote a check for the full amount and sent it in.  About this time I also received a disconnect warning from Qwest.  I knew I didn't have to worry about being cut off, but it was disturbing just the same.

I have just received a new bill this week.  This one is the first that is actually from CenturyLink.  Oddly, this statement shows I owe nothing.  In fact it shows a balance of 4 cents in my favor.  So did that original payment get credited finally?  No, not as such.  This statement credits my previous "double" payment, and thus I owe nothing this month.  However there is no mention of the previous "owed" amount, nor the originally missed payment, nor even the late payment fee.  It has all simply vanished.

So to sum up:

Month 0: Bill received and paid electronically via US Bank.

Month 1: Month 0's amount shows unpaid plus a penalty.  I then pay for month 1 alone, by check, as advised by Qwest.

Month 2: The invoice shows the check payment, but still has the old unpaid amount.  I send in a check for the full amount of the invoice, essentially two months' service plus the late fee.

Month 3: The new statement is from Century Link.  It shows the amount owed from month 2, the amount owed for the current month, and the large payment from the last month.  The large payment is applied to both months 2 and 3 leaving a 4 cent credit.  There is no mention of either the original missing payment, the amount owed from month 0, nor the late fee.  They've all just vanished in a puff of billing system migration.

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