3OYS: Missing modem lands Glendale woman in collections

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- If there's one thing Julie O'Dell and her family can't live without, it's their Internet service.

"I use it for personal use, my husband uses it for school, and my kids use it for school," O'Dell says.

And while having Internet service is a priority, saving money is even more important. That's why O'Dell says she decided to drop her current Internet provider and go with CenturyLink.

O'Dell says when she called and ordered the service, CenturyLink said all they had to do was send someone out to "flip on the switch," and she would be set.

But there was one small problem.

"I received a call saying THAT the technician wasn't able to 'flip on the switch' and that he would have to do a full install," she said.

The full install came with a price tag, one that O'Dell didn't want to pay. So, she immediately backed out of the deal, boxed up her CenturyLink modem and mailed it back to CenturyLink as instructed.

"They sent me a return label to return the modem, which I did, and I sent it to a UPS location," O'Dell says.

That was months ago, but now, O'Dell says she's getting letters from a collection agency demanding $109. That's the cost of the modem she mailed back.

But CenturyLink says they never received it, meaning O'Dell is responsible for the amount.

She tells 3 On Your Side, "The equipment was returned to them. It's sitting somewhere in somebody's warehouse or, I don't know. I'm sure they have some way of actually locating it."

O'Dell says she tried telling CenturyLink that she mailed the modem back but says she got nowhere. She says CenturyLink kept telling her there was no record they received it and she was on the hook for paying for it.

So, she got 3 On Your Side involved and we asked CenturyLink to look into the matter.

They did, and a spokesman sent 3 On Your Side an email saying, "They found the modem was received. We have credited her account and have asked the account be removed from collections."

O'Dell says it's a relief because paying $109 for something she doesn't owe just isn't right.

"I think you got a solution very quickly and it's been resolved, and I very much appreciate channel 3," she said.

A big thank you to CenturyLink for looking into the matter and resolving as quickly as they did for 3 On Your Side.