Bellsouth payment center has long lines - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bellsouth payment center has long lines

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December 6, 2002

Albany -- Bellsouth customers are mad at changes in the company's payment policy. The Albany customers not only are standing in long lines, but they have to pay an extra one dollar service fee.

Changes in the company Bellsouth uses to collect walk up payments has left their customers few options.

The lines are long at the Albany Check Casher, the only authorized Bellsouth payment agent in Albany for the last 5 years. Bellsouth customers standing in line to pay their monthly phone bills. And they get madder when they find out they have to pay another dollar service charge on top of their bill.

 Bellsouth customer Raymond Goff said "Why pay a dollar to pay a bill, by George, when it's for 34 dollars and something." Bellsouth changed it's payment policy, I take it you are not happy? "I'm not."

In November Bellsouth contracted its billing with American Payment System. Albany Check Casher signed up with the new group to continue collecting Bellsouth bills. Two weeks ago American Payment cut off the Albany store along with several other payment centers around Georgia.

Albany Check Casher owner Quinton Butler said "We tried to get a reason and a rhyme why, they said because we were considered a high risk because of our exposure with all our businesses out there. The way we look at it, these are our customers. We've tried to service them. They come in and did business with us for 5 years. So we're trying to give them an alternative."

Now Albany Check Casher is working with In Person Payments, taking the bills and paying them two days later. Their fee is one dollar.

 Bellsouth Spokesperson Scott Bryan says they are looking to set up another office in Albany, but for now Bellsouth customers have to wait in line and pay a buck if they want to pay in person.

Bellsouth customer Larry Shedd said "You make 5 trips over here, and you can't pay your bill. Then when you get here there is a line a mile long. It's real unconvenient."

 BellSouth's Scott Bryan said their customer's can still pay their bills by mail, by Internet, or over the phone with a credit card, by calling their customer service representatives.

posted at 3:29 by jimw@walb.com