My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: CA
I own a small business and hired a personal friend as an independent contractor for marketing calls. He legally falls into the independent contractor classification. When he started working, he rented his own office and then signed up for Comcast internet service. When filling out the Comcast service contact; he listed our business as the business he works for. He is telling me that they required him to use a business name because it was a commercial office suit and they would not set him up for personal internet service, only their business class internet.
We no longer use his services, and he defaulted on the payments to Comcast. Now Comcast is calling me and saying we are responsible for the balance owed ($1,200.00). I explained the situation to the Comcast Rep. and they said the only way to remove our company from the account is to contact the police, file criminal fraud charges, and then submit a report back to Comcast.
I don’t really want to file fraud charges, because I know the guy personally, and I don’t think he committed fraud, he only put the wrong info down by mistake. I talked to him this morning and he says he contacted Comcast, told them he is willing to pay the balance and take responsibility for the account, but they refuse to remove my business without first filing fraud charges.
I only became aware of this situation earlier this week when I received the first call from Comcast, and then two days later I am already receiving calls from collection agencies.
So my questions:
1. Is there a way to have Comcast remove my company from the account without filing fraud charges?
2. The account was closed and sent to collections before I ever received notice. Is Comcast required to contact me about an account in my business name that is delinquent before sending to collections? If so, how long do they have to give me to make good after first contact?
3. If I file fraud charges, given the circumstances, what are the consequences for my friend legally?