Advice on dealing with a collection agency?

#1

LouderVol

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#1
Got a letter from ERC saying I owe Comcast some money. I only have one account with them for internet, and the total is a little more than what 3 months would be, so maybe interest? I have copies of the checks I used to pay Comcast the last three months. I also recently got my next invoice from comcast and it only lists the regular amount.

I figured my first move was to call Comcast and see what was up and when supposedly I missed payments and then verify with my records.

Depending on how the call with Comcast goes I was going to reach out to ERC to either dispute or pay up.

I have the money to pay, so that isnt the issue, but I dont believe I am at fault and dont want to send money out to everyone who sends me a collection letter.

Anyone have any experience or advice here? I live in Georgia if it matters.
 
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#3

JCHateSteve

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#3
Got a letter from ERC saying I owe Comcast some money. I only have one account with them for internet, and the total is a little more than what 3 months would be, so maybe interest? I have copies of the checks I used to pay Comcast the last three months. I also recently got my next invoice from comcast and it only lists the regular amount.

I figured my first move was to call Comcast and see what was up and when supposedly I missed payments and then verify with my records.

Depending on how the call with Comcast goes I was going to reach out to ERC to either dispute or pay up.

I have the money to pay, so that isnt the issue, but I dont believe I am at fault and dont want to send money out to everyone who sends me a collection letter.

Anyone have any experience or advice here? I live in Georgia if it matters.
Check your credit report. See if they've dinged you yet then make sure it isn't a fraudulent account.
 
#5

InVOLuntary

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#5
Got a letter from ERC saying I owe Comcast some money. I only have one account with them for internet, and the total is a little more than what 3 months would be, so maybe interest? I have copies of the checks I used to pay Comcast the last three months. I also recently got my next invoice from comcast and it only lists the regular amount.

I figured my first move was to call Comcast and see what was up and when supposedly I missed payments and then verify with my records.

Depending on how the call with Comcast goes I was going to reach out to ERC to either dispute or pay up.

I have the money to pay, so that isnt the issue, but I dont believe I am at fault and dont want to send money out to everyone who sends me a collection letter.

Anyone have any experience or advice here? I live in Georgia if it matters.
I had a similar situation with my local phone company for my business. Their service was terrible especially on the internet side. I called them and asked them when i could cancel and they said i was finishing the first year of a two year contract. I asked them how much $ to get out of the contract and they said they were holding me to it and the amount owed was the remains year of the contract which was $2000. So I set a reminder in my phone so prior to the year being up I would cancel and move to Comcast, my only other option. Low and behold they contacted me wanting me to renew. I laughed and told them basically to go to heck.

So I went ahead and arranged for Comcast to take over. Being a business I didn't want my phones being down at all so it required some coordination, Comcast came and did the install and said I had to get the other company to release the numbers. I called the other company and asked them politely to release the numbers. They said the bill had to be 100% paid before they would release the numbers. I said let's just take care of that right now and I'll pay with a CC. She took the CC and settle up the remaining balance. She then transferred me to another person to handle the rest. The other person was trying to talk me out of it and I told them there was no way I was staying with them. She said she would handle it. So I called Comcast and told them it would take 24 hours but they would be available the next day.

Comcast calls the next day and says the numbers still are not available. Steaming mad now I called the company back and they were giving me all kinds of excuses. I finally asked for a supervisor and basically had to threaten her with a lawsuit. She finally said that it was a difficult process in order to protect me and that it would take a couple of more days. Finally everything ported.

About 2 weeks later I get a bill from the phone company claiming I owed $2000 for canceling the contract. I called them and told them I didn't agree to another year and to produce me the contract. She said it was a voice recording. I said it should be easy then for them to provide me with the recording. They never produced anything but turned it over to collection. So I called the agency and told them the story. They said I'd have to take it up with the phone company. I finally wrote the phone company a letter stating that I was going to pursue the matter in court. That I would be suing them for harassment. If they put one disparaging thing on my credit rating that I would be suing for punitive damages. After that everything stopped. No more anything from them.

Long story, I know to get me to where I can offer my thoughts.

Record your phone calls with both Comcast and the collection agency.
Document everything on paper as far as time of phone calls, how long you had to wait on hold, how long it took for call backs, what the person said they would do.
If you are truly in the right and don't owe them anything, write them a letter stating that you will seek legal assistance if necessary. Obviously, you don't want to spend a bunch of money to fight it but they don't either.

Finally if you are happy with them and don't want to change companies, appeal to their business side of not wanting to lose a customer over this. Tell them you've been a customer for x number of years but there are other options out there. If they bring up that you're under contract, tell them that may be true but do you want to 100% lose my business at the end of the contract?

Good luck. I hate all the telecommunications/internet/TV companies
 
#8

DinkinFlicka

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#8
I got the same call. If any agency is only contacting me my phone and not email or through any account medium I have, I ignore it as I do most phone calls from unsaved numbers.
 
#10

LouderVol

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#10
I got the same call. If any agency is only contacting me my phone and not email or through any account medium I have, I ignore it as I do most phone calls from unsaved numbers.
Not a call. A letter. They are legit and work for comcast but comcast has nothing on me.

And when I checked the letter more thoroughly I am pretty sure they contacted the wrong person. Account number is off slightly and name is incorrect by one letter. So hopefully just a case of mistaken identity.
 
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#11

DinkinFlicka

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#11
Not a call. A letter. They are legit and work for comcast but comcast has nothing on me.

And when I checked the letter more thoroughly I am pretty sure they contacted the wrong person. Account number is off slightly and name is incorrect by one letter. So hopefully just a case of mistaken identity.
Comcast never makes mistakes!
 
#12

bag12day

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#12
I think it had to be via mail and there are templates out there. Asking them for an address stopped at least one for me
Not only mail but in North Carolina it has to be registered letter over a certain amount... document, document, document every phone call, email, transfer from one dept to another, and send a letter disputing everything. Deal only with Comcast and (if applicable) notify etc to not contact you again re this “ debt” if they do you will sue them for violation of fair credit reporting act. Also ensure as someone else said they haven’t dinged your credit already.
 
#13

utvolpj

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#13
Not only mail but in North Carolina it has to be registered letter over a certain amount... document, document, document every phone call, email, transfer from one dept to another, and send a letter disputing everything. Deal only with Comcast and (if applicable) notify etc to not contact you again re this “ debt” if they do you will sue them for violation of fair credit reporting act. Also ensure as someone else said they haven’t dinged your credit already.
But you can't really deal with Comcast if they've sold the debt.
 
#14

bag12day

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#14
Not a call. A letter. They are legit and work for comcast but comcast has nothing on me.

And when I checked the letter more thoroughly I am pretty sure they contacted the wrong person. Account number is off slightly and name is incorrect by one letter. So hopefully just a case of mistaken identity.
Saw this after I posted the above and would be best case for you....
wait until you have been contacted by BATFE for a firearm purchase that we (atf) show was purchased by you (bag) and has been used in commission of a crime in Georgia. Idiots didn’t verify the serial number (wrong) the state purchased in (wrong) or the name ( right first and last but middle was not even the same beginning letter). That took several days to unravel with the feds after I told them they were wrong on several counts.
 
#15

bag12day

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#15
But you can't really deal with Comcast if they've sold the debt.
Cliff notes version and ymmv...They are responsible and culpable for any and all information and subsequent mistakes and litigation for those mistakes so yes you can and will. I had a similar circumstance with my HOUSE going to forclusure after a bank who I was customer of many years sold our mortgage to another company and they in turn turned it over to debt collection. We never received a notice of any of it. A lot of stress for me and my wife but eventually I filed notice to sue them for and got punitive damages for their negligence (never went to court cause they knew they f‘ed up) and lack of due diligence when we kept sending the payments to them and several months later someone knocked on our door with a foreclosure notice because they failed on many fronts.
 
#16
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#16
If they start calling and don't accept the facts, every time they call in the future... when they ask for the "debtor" say "just a minute", set down the phone and leave it alone for 5 or 10 minutes.
 
#17

McDad

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#17
Uh, Louder, I should have told you this sooner. Sorry in advance. Remember that weekend I stayed with you and you were real busy with work? Yeah...I went ahead a purchased a LOT of porn while you were working. I called Comcast pretending to be you and asked them to not include it on the bill. Something in this thread just reminded me about it. Good luck with your unrelated collection issue.
 
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#20

95 Vol Alum

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#20
Not a call. A letter. They are legit and work for comcast but comcast has nothing on me.

And when I checked the letter more thoroughly I am pretty sure they contacted the wrong person. Account number is off slightly and name is incorrect by one letter. So hopefully just a case of mistaken identity.
Don’t let them put something on your credit report. It is easy for them to give you a new alias (mis-spelled name) but a pain to get it removed. I have an alias on my credit report that is one letter wrong in my first name because a lender typed it in wrong once.
 
#23

itsme

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#23
Got a letter from ERC saying I owe Comcast some money. I only have one account with them for internet, and the total is a little more than what 3 months would be, so maybe interest? I have copies of the checks I used to pay Comcast the last three months. I also recently got my next invoice from comcast and it only lists the regular amount.

I figured my first move was to call Comcast and see what was up and when supposedly I missed payments and then verify with my records.

Depending on how the call with Comcast goes I was going to reach out to ERC to either dispute or pay up.

I have the money to pay, so that isnt the issue, but I dont believe I am at fault and dont want to send money out to everyone who sends me a collection letter.

Anyone have any experience or advice here? I live in Georgia if it matters.
I just went through this. I messed up because I let them hit me on my credit score. What I wish I would have done is got their address and sent them the full amount in pennies in a bag full of glitter via certified mail, just to piss those pricks off. It would have only cost me $89.00 to ship and would have been worth every cent. So that is my recommendation for you. Do everything to make them as mad as possible because they will do the same.
 
#24

HoleInTheRoof

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#24
My advice on dealing with collection agencies is to never deal with collection agencies. Especially if said debt is not showing on your credit report.

If it is showing on your credit report, then request written verification of the debt. If they fail to provide, contest the debt and have it removed from your credit report.

Note about credit agencies - they've purchased the debt for pennies on the dollar from the initial creditor. Which means if the debt is legit and you want it taken care of, offer them a low ball offer. Don't feel guilty about this as they've purchased the debt and the original debtor will likely charge the debt off, get tax breaks because of it, and eventually send you a 1099-c debt forgiveness form that you yourself will have to claim as income on your taxes years down the road.

If the collection agency agrees to a low ball offer, tell them to send you a letter stating that they agree to accept X amount and will consider the debt satisfied entirely.

But ultimately I wouldn't f with them at all.

ALso, look into the SOL on debt collection in your state. If the debt is > 3 years old it may be too late for anyone to try and collect on it. Might be more than that. PS - the debt age is considered the last time you acknowledged the debt via either payment or even in conversation. That is why creditors call so much, to keep the debt age fresh.

Please note I am not a lawyer. I am just a guy who worked a commission only sales job (realtor) during the market crash of 2008/9 followed by a divorce and had to rebuild my credit entirely. I was naive at first and having always had good credit, felt a moral obligation to pay my debts. But there comes a time you have to prioritize. Feeding kids was more important than paying Discover. Also, note that the creditors might act empathetic on the phone, but they don't gaf about you or your situation. THey'd call, I'd explain my situation and what I'm trying to do to pay, they'd act like they cared, only to have someone else from the same company call 2 weeks later and asking the same 'when we gonna get our money man?' questions.
 
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