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Problem with Qwest!

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OK here is my problem. Sorry it is soo long.

Oct. 1998 moved a house then US West had to move their overhead phone lines to allow the house moving. Originally quoted $600-$800 for the work. Got the bill was $1500.01. Called and questioned the bill. Person delt with said they would look into the matter. Several months go by and keep getting bill for $1500.01. Then get a threatening letter saying you need to pay or else. Call them ask to speak to original person. She no longer works there but "new lady" will help you. Explain my problem. She says she will look into the matter and get back to me. Several months go by and no call, then get same letter saying pay "or else". Call back as for the second lady who handled my account. SHE no longer works there but "3rd new person" will help you. Go through SAME story with this person. They will get back with me. BY this time several YEARS have gone by US West is now Qwest and no one seems to know what the heck is going on. FINALLY fast forward to 2 months ago. Get same letter saying "pay or else". CALL Qwest get 5th person to handle my account. I tell them willing to pay the $600 I was originally quoted but now don't have the full amount but would make payments to them. She says she will get back to me. Calls back and says that it is fine they have reduced my bill from $1500.01 to $600.00 but that I need to pay them 6 payments of $100.00. I said I will try to make $100 every month but some months may be $75.00. SHE gets really testy and says they will turn it over to collection if I don't pay the $100 a month. I said OK all I can do is to try. SHE says send me the first $100 right away. I send it within a couple of weeks. Then they send a statement saying I now owe $500. GREAT they got the payment and the bill has been lowered. Wait a couple of weeks and send a $75 payment. BUT within days of me mailing the payment (they couldn't have recieved it yet) I get a letter from a collection agency saying they have turned me over, and that I owe them $550 + $60.88 for interest for a total of $610.88. First I paid them $100 so I should only owe them $500 not $550 then through all these 4 years they have never charged interest on the $1500.01 BUT now they want $60.88 in interest.

What REALLY burns me is that I agreed over the phone to pay Qwest directly and had actually sent them the payments as I said I would. THEY then turn me over to the colletion agency.

I would bet they don't have any contracts or papers signed by me for the work performed or anything stating I would pay them. PLUS it is now a new company and they probably don't have all of the old records.

It really upsets me that I tried to do the right thing by paying my debt and then the go and stab me in the back by turning it over to collections. To me it makes no sense that they would do this after waiting 4 YEARS to collect this account. Then when I start paying they turn me over. CRAZY!

I have delt with collection agencies before and know how they can be. I would just as soon deal with Qwest on this matter and pay them the money.

What should I do? Send the letter wanting proof of the debt? Sue them in small claims due to the fact that they are the ones who screwed up my account and never straightened it out. Then when I started paying they turned me over to collection?

Will this go on my credit report right away? I am working on getting a loan as we speak and have pretty good credit high 600 fico score.

Sorry for such a long post hope someone can give me some advice.


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Thank you for the replies. I have made a validation letter and plan to send it to them first thing Monday morning via certified letter.

What should I do about the $75 I just sent them? Should I cancel the check (being they don't want to work with me)?

What do I do now after I have sent the letter? DO I contact the collection agency or Qwest of just wait things out unit I hear from them?



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