Dear Sonya

Dear Jon Udell,

That's all there is to it. Online billing saves you time and gives you more options. And when you enroll by November 15, 2003, as an added benefit, you'll receive a $20 Certificate.

Sonya Bigby-McCloud
Director, AT&T Online Marketing

Dear Sonya,

Thanks very much for the offer. As it happens, I already have an online bill presentment system. I would like very much to use it to pay AT&T, rather than create yet another online identity. My own system, which is hosted for my bank by S1, and through which I already pay AT&T's paper bills electronically, says it can also present AT&T bills electronically, and it invites me to sign up for that feature. But when I try, the system reports:

"The account number you typed does not match the typical account number format for this payee."

It's puzzling. The account number evidently means something to someone, because my payments are being debited from my account, and my long-distance service keeps working.

When I try to call AT&T to sort this out, I end up having surreal adventures like the one I reported in June. Maybe you, S1, and CheckFree can put your heads together and fix this? As a token of my gratitude if you do, please use my $20 Amazon Certificate to buy yourself a Christmas present.


Jon Udell

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