AT&T Charges $2,761.07 For A Broken Leg

SeanM402's picture
Formally the Appleton area, now living in the Wausau area

AT&T Charges $2,761.07 For A Broken Leg
AT&T tells us 'proper protocols were not followed.'

According to the Chicago Tribune, an AT&T technician installing phone service tripped and fell on the customers premises, breaking his leg. Now normally, a carrier technician should be fully insured and bonded, but in this instance AT&T -- for whatever reason -- decided to try to make the customer pay the bill -- and sent them a letter informing them they owed $2,761.07. The homeowner says the walks were clear, and it "hadn't snowed in days," so they called to complain. When the consumer asked why they received a letter, they were informed it was standard operating procedure:

"Our initial investigation indicates that you may be at fault for these damages," the letter said. "The current extent of these damages to our client is currently being determined but to date, we have paid $2,761.07 in disability payment on behalf of (the technician's) employer." Czerwien's wife called the number on the letter and was told it was a standard letter the company sends out.

Luckily the consumer called the local news media consumer watchdog, and got AT&T To back off. The Tribune talked to local legal experts who note that at least under Illinois law, homeowners are not liable from injuries incurred from "natural accumulation" of snow and ice. But the law says that should users decide to clear their walkway, Illinois law says they have to do it "reasonably," meaning the user in this instance might be legally (and strangely) better off not shoveling his walkway.

AT&T gave Broadband Reports (and the Tribune, apparently) duplicate statements saying that being charged for installer injury (as long as you don't attack them with say, a blender) is not normal. "AT&T has policies and procedures in place to address workers' compensation and disability matters, and we work with all parties involved to review individual claims," AT&T says "In this particular instance, proper protocols were not followed. AT&T provides benefit coverage for its employees who are injured while on the job."

Posted March 6, 2010 9:35am in

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