A few years ago, I interviewed with a real estate company. Aced the interview, the boss loved me to death, as well as the office staff. They offered me an opening salary, but I managed to get her to raise it to something I wanted. Yay me!
This was the week before Christmas, and this company was giving away Blackberry devices with free phone service for all office staff, but the offer expired at the end of the year. The boss lady told me to sign up for the plan since I easily had the job. Got the forms, filled 'em out, then a week later I got the phone. Woo! Free phone!
Then Boss Lady calls me back and says I can’t be hired at the dollar amount she agreed to. Her counter offer was less than I was making previously, so I declined. I asked the Office Manager how do I return the phone and cancel the service. She told me how and I did it. I didn’t like the Blackberry anyway.
Two months later, I get a bill from Sprint saying I owed them money. I called them and explained the situation and they put me in touch with the regional representative who had the account with the real estate company. Nice lady, very pleasant, told me she understood the situation and would take care of it. She said she could view my account on her puter and saw I had cancelled the service and returned the phone.
Get another bill the next month. Call the Regional Rep back and explain again. She apologizes and is confused about why this didn’t get taken care of and promises she will take care of it.
Get another bill the next month. Call the rep back and we do the tango again.
This goes on for six months. The last bill I received included the little pink letter saying "pay up or this will affect your credit record, cancel your service, etc. Now the Regional rep no longer takes my calls. All I get is voicemail.
Now, I didn’t have the best credit rating then, but I had been working to fix it and raise my score. I didn’t need some BS like this to hurt me. So I went to the BBB website, told my story and asked for nothing in return, just to take this account off my history since I never used it in the first place.
Within 2 days, I received an email from BBB confirming they were on the case. The day after that, I got a call from the phone rep apologizing for the error and she would fix it.
Never heard anything after that. The debt hasn’t shown up on my credit report, and I never had to pay the bill. So, IME, the BBB did it’s job. Protect the consumer against fraudulent business practice (or in this case, accounting errors, I guess).