Does a cable provider have the right to charge me for “lost equipment” when I returned it exactly how they instructed me to?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2011

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Does a cable provider have the right to charge me for “lost equipment” when I returned it exactly how they instructed me to?

I was instructed to leave at the apartment. When doing final walk-through with a property manager she told me that is how they normally handle the cable box – the renter leaves it in the apartment and then someone from the property manager team takes it to the front office to have a tech to pick it up. So I left the cable box in apartment. Then I received a voice mail from the cable company stating that they have not received it. I called them back and was told that they did have it (my roommate witnessed the call). Now it’s a couple weeks later and I am receiving calls stating that they did not receive the box and want to charge me. I have contacted my old apartment complex and they said that it was turned in.

Asked on December 3, 2011 under General Practice, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You probably do have to pay. The problem is, from what you write, you did *not* contact the cable company to find out what to do--you spoke with the property manger, who does not have the right to speak for the cable company. If the cable company had told you to leave it in the apartment and you followed their instructions, that would be one thing, and in that circumstance, you should not be liable; however, you instead followed the instructions, from what you write, of someone who had no authority to tell you what to do.

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