WHEN Rod Gribble received a Telstra phone bill for a business he hadn't owned for eight years, he thought he'd seen it all.
But little did he know his ordeal had only just begun.
In March this year, the Yenda farmer opened his letterbox to find a bill for $334.53 for a pizza shop in the town he had sold in 2004.
After calling Telstra and "listening to Beethoven for half a day", he was told to disregard the bill.
Weeks later, another bill arrived, and on July 13, he received a tersely worded notice from the phone carrier's debt recovery section, ordering him to pay up.
Again, Mr Gribble called Telstra and after a lengthy conversation with an overseas-based manager of the section, he was told it was "all fixed up" and a confirmation email would be sent within 24 hours.
Five weeks later, with no sign of the email, Mr Gribble received a final notice from the debt recovery section ordering he pay the bill within 48 hours or legal action would be launched.
"I cannot for the life of me fathom how it's got to this point," Mr Gribble said.
"The new owners of the pizza shop have been paying the bill for the past eight years.
"Whenever I speak to somebody in Australia, my Telstra issues seem to be fixed straight away, but when I'm forced to speak to someone overseas, it's a shambles.
"I'm going public with this because it seems to be the only way Telstra takes notice."
Telstra CountryWide general manager for ACT/southern NSW Chris Taylor said the matter had been referred to Telstra's complex billing team.
"It's an error on our behalf and we are endeavouring to establish why the bill was issued in his name," Mr Taylor said.
"My office has spoken with Rod and we are confident it will be resolved promptly."