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How should I deal with this recent collection on my report?


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I signed up for Uverse and it was installed the around the first week in February of 2013.  
The service sucked.  We signed up for 10mbs and was doing good to get 3!

After back and forth with the technician that installed it and him finally stating that the 10mbs is only with hard wired, but with wireless I wouldn't get anywhere near that (I know that is BS), I called and cancelled my service. I was extremely upset about the speed I had been billed for and the speed I was actually getting and the person said they would see if they could get credit applied since they could see I wasn't getting the speed promised.  I was also told that I would receive instructions on how to return the leased gateway (pre paid address label & box, etc), or a technician would set up a time to pick it up.  Neither happen.


In the mean time, I did without internet until April 7th when I had comcast installed, which is also when I moved into a different apartment.  


(I moved literally 20 feet away to another apartment)


I just saw on my credit report a collection for AT&T uVerse for almost $450!!  I now know they kept billing me even though I cancelled (and at least for 4 months after I had comcast installed) and I would imagine the equipment was billed to me in that also.


I do not have a problem paying the first month that I had the service (up until I called and cancelled), but I will be dang if I want to pay for equipment that I never received information on where to send it or had anyone contact me to pick it up)!


I have thought of contacting AT&T uVerse directly to dispute the bill (I don't know if sending them my install receipt from comcast would help show that I at least switched by that date) will help, or to let them know the equipment is still sitting in the box pristine without use and they could/can have it back if they'd just told me where to send it as agreed.   I don't want to pay for their service all of those months that I've been with another provider!


I would like to think that if I pay this, directly to AT&T, that the CA will then have to remove it. Is this the best way to proceed?  No way I want to offer a PFD on that much money that I don't owe?

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