Couple receives bills despite canceling TV, internet service

News 6 gets results for former CenturyLink customers

OCALA, Fla. – Months after a Central Florida couple canceled their television, internet and phone service through CenturyLink, the company continued to send them new bills totaling hundreds of dollars.

So the customers contacted News 6 for help.  

Within weeks, a CenturyLink representative said the company had corrected the couple's billing issues and sent them a refund.

"If it hadn't been for News 6, this situation we're in would have never been resolved," Toni Matis said.

Matis and her husband, James, said that quality issues with their TV signal along with an increased monthly bill prompted them to call CenturyLink customer service in March to cancel their services.

"The lady I was speaking to said, 'We'll take care of everything,'" James Matis recalled.

Days later, the couple received a box and shipping label from CenturyLink to send their TV tuner, remotes, modem, wires and other equipment back to the company.

According to the UPS package tracking website, the box was delivered to CenturyLink's warehouse in Leesburg the day after the Matises shipped it.

"We saw they received it," Toni Matis told News 6.  "I said, 'OK, everything is done. They got the equipment.'"

That is why the Matises said they were surprised to receive a $168 bill in the mail the following month for CenturyLink services reportedly used in April.

"How could this be?  They got the box and we canceled the service," said Matis, who refused to pay the balance. "I couldn't understand why were getting another bill."

Despite several phone calls the couple said they made to CenturyLink customer service reporting the error, another bill for May arrived at the Matises home totaling nearly $384.

"Now I'm getting concerned because I'm two months behind in payments that I really don't owe," Toni Matis said.

Her husband said he once again tried calling CenturyLink but claims the company did not address the billing issue.

"I talked to one person. She said, ‘I'll be right back.'  All of a sudden, I get a dial tone and disconnection.  I called back," James Matis said.  "That happened five times within two hours."

Last month, another CenturyLink bill for June arrived at the couple's home with a balance now exceeding $600.

"I was livid. I went ballistic," Toni Matis said.  "I said, 'Give me that phone. I'm calling Channel 6 and we are going to get this handled somehow.'"

When a News 6 reporter contacted CenturyLink to inquire about the billing issue, a representative said the company would research the matter.

"After thorough research of Mr. Mattis’s complaint, CenturyLink recently applied a credit to his account and also mailed him a refund check on July 23," Michael Baker, the senior communications manager, said in an email to News 6.

However, the CenturyLink representative indicated the company found no indication that the Matises had ever requested to close their account.

"Our Customer Advocacy team could find no records of the customer requesting that their service be canceled in March 2018, and our equipment archive system doesn't indicate that the customer returned any of their equipment to CenturyLink," Baker said.

"What do you mean the equipment hasn't been received?" Toni Matis asked.  "I did everything I was supposed to do. I have copies of everything. Nobody is looking at anything."

Besides a photograph taken by the couple showing the equipment boxed up prior to them reportedly shipping it to CenturyLink via UPS, the Matises received an email from CenturyLink on March 29 stating, "We received your request to cancel CenturyLink services."

"One department doesn't know what the other department is doing," Toni Matis said.

The CenturyLink spokesperson did not immediately explain why the company still had no record of the couple cancelling their account or what happened to the box that arrived at the company's Leesburg warehouse.

Regardless, the Matises are happy that the billing issues now appear to be over.

"I just want to thank Channel 6 for getting us through this mess," Matis said. "News 6 gets the results."

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