Get Gephardt: Accidental bill pay leaves woman fighting two years for a $1,387 refund

Oct 6, 2022, 8:04 AM | Updated: Oct 13, 2022, 12:34 pm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — Way back in November 2020, Claudia Ross made a mistake when paying bills online.

“I accidentally sent CenturyLink a payment that should have gone to someone else,” she said.

Ross doesn’t even have a CenturyLink account anymore, but by checking the wrong box she sent away $1,387.35 to her former home phone provider.

Naturally, she asked for her money back – and she says she’s been asking, over and over, for nearly two years.

“We didn’t get anywhere,” Ross said. “I’ve been really frustrated.”

No matter how many times Ross calls, she can’t seem to get anyone to send her a refund. So she decided it was time to Get Gephardt.

“[Get Gephardt] helps people when they can’t get through to other people,” Ross said. “I would like to have my money back.”

Our investigation found that, by law, she is entitled to it.

According to the Utah Office of the State Treasurer, overpayments must be returned to the rightful owner or sent to the state treasurer — the company doesn’t get to just keep it.

Get Gephardt reached out to CenturyLink on Ross’ behalf, not to customer service but to the global issues director for CenturyLink’s parent company, Lumen.

By email he wrote, “We’re pulling the account information out of archives and actively working to create a check.”

Ross’ refund should be coming shortly. In the meantime, she says she now triple checks when she’s paying any bills online.

Triple checking is a good idea. Getting refunds isn’t always a quick process. While it is required by law, most companies don’t have to send it to the state until it’s considered “abandoned,” which usually means it sat untouched for three years, under state law.

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Get Gephardt: Accidental bill pay leaves woman fighting two years for a $1,387 refund