Why did the phone company...

…send me a check for fifty cents?

It doesn’t say what it’s for. I know I haven’t overpaid a bill. (In fact, it’s due in a couple of days.)

Has this ever happened to anyone else, and do you know why?

Are you sure it isn’t one of those “incentive to switch” checks for just a laughably small amount of money? Are there any terms on the back that if you endorse and cash the check they’ll change your LD provider or something?

When I used to get checks trying to convince me to change my LD provider they were usually for $25-$75… but maybe they are trying to trick you for a smaller amount?

Did some sort of tax law change in your state, or even at the federal level?

Did they recently change plan charges, maybe mid-cycle in your billing?

See if you can go online and view your account. There may be messages on statements that you missed about this. You should be able to view you rold statements online.

Those sort of things would be dealt with by a billing credit. A check might be from some class action lawsuit that the phone company lost and they had to pay the customers 50 cents. If so, enjoy your windfall.

Before cell phones, I used payphones a lot. If I lost money in a pay phone I would call the operator and arrange for a credit. They would then send me a check, typically for small amount like that. Sometimes it would be a month, or more, by the time I received the check and I’d often forgotten about it by then.

Is the telephone company holding a deposit from you?

I work for a telephone company and at least in some states, the company must pay annual interest on any deposits held over six months.

And, I believe in some states, it cannot be applied to the bill, it has to be a check.

No, nothing like that.

Come to think of it, I did use a pay phone once and got no answer, but it kept my money. I believe I called the operator, and asked to have the coins released at the phone (I thought they could do that.) And I supposed they just asked for my address, I guess, and sent the check. It probably cost more to process the the whole thing than fifty cents.

With cell phones these days, payphones in general have gotten pretty shoddy, and much less ubiqutous. They can range in price from 20 cents to 50 cents, and half of them don’t even work. And they limit you to 10 or 15 minutes. I’ve got to get an extra battery for my cell.


I know they just ended the phone tax that was being charged to fund the Spanish American war, but I didn’t think they were sending out refunds yet.

The tax expires July 31, I believe.

Well, I was too young to fight in the Spanish American war.

Who won that war, anyway?

The last time somebody gave me $0.50 it was accompanied by, “Call someone who gives a shit.”

As attested by a Nichols and May comedy sketch, at one the phone company would send you postage stamps to reimburse small amounts lost in a pay phone.

“at one time the phone company”


You have to make a claim in a class action lawsuit, do you not?

Sometimes a phone company will start charging a higher rate at the same time they ask the regulatory body for that increase. However if the increase is not granted, or not granted in full, then a refund is required.
Just a thought, call to find out.

Spain. That’s why the majority language in the USA is Spanish. :smiley:

Chevere! Bacano!