Telecom giant AT&T is taking the unusual step of hiring a collection agency not to go after individuals with unpaid cell phone bills, but to go after former employees who allegedly received extra pension payments, according to a published report.
In one case, a former AT&T employee received $58,500 more than she should have in her pension payments, but when she approached the company about it, she was told the amount was accurate. Now, AT&T wants its money back.
Nearly two dozen individuals who have been contacted by AT&T have reached out to a consumer rights organization to try and fight the reclamation efforts. The employees say that the money went to cover living expenses and they are unable to repay the money.
AT&T has notified some of the former employees that collection efforts “have been put on hold,” but the company said it reserves the right to resume them in the future.
There are some discrepancies over whether the hiring of a collection agency to try and recover the overpayments is common in this kind of situation. To its credit, AT&T has said it does not need all the money back in a lump sum; it’s completely happy to take the money back in installments.