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Ryan & Reed, Inc. - Nasty, Rude, Illegal Tactics


AH-Tina
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Hi,

I've had a week of really nasty dealings with them and I've sort of made it my mission to get them in trouble. Problem is, I'm finding that because I'm labelled a "deadbeat" and they are the debt collectors, I'm having a hard time getting anyone to listen. It would appear that this is the reason they've been getting away with it for so long.

Does anyone have any advice? I've actually started a website listing their history of abuse and hoping Google will list it soon, so that others being harrassed might see it and complain as well.

It seems that the FTC and State's Attorney's office aren't really interested in it. The best I can get from them is a canned "Okay, thanks" kind of reply.

I might add, I actually have "Mr Black" from Ryan & Reed on tape yelling at me. ;)

--Tina

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What state are you in ?

How old is the debt they're trying to collect ?

Who was the original creditor ?

What are their violations ?

I'm in Michigan, the debt is less than 90 days old (its $212 on a septic sewer bill, from a local company that majorly screwed up the job).

Their violations are that they called me 4 times in one day...yelled at me...swore at me...insulted me....and threatened to have the police come to my house the next day and take all of my furniture if I didn't have payment in their office by then.

You can see my website on this here: http://www.ryanandreedabuse.com

My full story is on the "Complaints" page - scroll to the bottom.

My biggest problem is that no one actually seems to want to believe me, or care about it. When you owe money, you're kind of looked at as the bad guy.

--Tina

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The real "problem" is there is nothing the FTC or state Attorneys General are going to do for ONE consumer - especially when the FDCPA or FCRA come into play... so you've got the right idea by getting a group together - that way, they can act "on behalf of the consumer" as a whole... which is exactly how they work.

If you have them on tape, that $212 you owe them just turned into $1,000 they owe you. That just shows the stupidity of these kinds of CA's, and the pathetic individuals who would work for them.

Why would a business owner hire people that will actually lose them money? DUH....

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Tina,

I'm not so sure your web site through Enom is going to solve a problem for you. It's definately cutesy, however realize it could be seen as libilous thereby having the effect of mitigating your claims. Pending complaints to the BBB, AG and the White House are not the same as rendered judgments. While I don't doubt they are sleazy scumbags, they can claim in their defense that you received services that you neglected to pay for, refused to pay, provoked them over the telephone, called them names, used foul language, threatened them and finally, registered an anti-domain to tarnish their reputation. Is all of that really worth it for a $200 bill? BTW, if you hadn't had a conversation with Mr. Black over the phone in the first place, he wouldn't have been able to yell at you! As you can see it's futile to talk to bill collectors.

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If the FDCPA is a strict liability statute - there is no defense in that statute that would allow them to mitigate any claim because of the actions of the consumer, right? They would have to mitigate the claim by showing they did not in fact violate the Act.... :?:

Also, since the underlying debt is irrelevent under the FDCPA, it doesn't matter if the OP neglected to pay, refused to pay, or used any language over the phone.

The libel part would more likely come from the other links added to the OP's site that were taken from the internet, as they cannot be confirmed as fact. If the OP has a recorded message proving a violation, it is not libel, correct? What reputation is being tarnished? Everything I've read from the BBB indicates a bad reputation to begin with. Is that saying the BBB's information is unreliable? That they did not receive the complaints they claim they did?

If anything, this is based on principle. There is a right way and wrong way to collect. Any CA who feels the need to violate the FDCPA no matter the debt, should be held accountable - but it must be done in a way that doesn't lower the consumer to their level.

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Yes, you may be correct with respect to the FDCPA. However, the offender can make assertions that far exceed the remedies under the FDCPA. , i.e why risk being sued for $100K when the violations are potentially worth only $1 or $2K? Another problem here is the anti-domain could impeach the credibility of the claimant. I did not peruse the links, but I am not aware of proof this CA was sanctioned in the past for similar behavior. More than anything this appears to be a disgruntled debtor throwing stones! I suspect that is how the AG sees it also due to the lukewarm response the complainer has received. Another question is whether R/R is a collection agency and not a law firm doing less than three collections per year for the septic company and governed by the FTC. They probably are. The BBB lacks authority to do anything but to serve as a repository for complaints against businesses.

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R&R is a debt collector out of Houston, TX - they have MANY MANY complaints against them as well as a negative history with the BBB. Also, if you read the wording on my website, I am VERY careful in choosing how I present this information. I have not stated anything as fact except my personal experience and the law. Everything else is simply links to other complaints about them. They can sue me for whatever they wish - I actually welcome it. The tape recording I have of them yelling at me and not even allowing me to say anything...cutting me off and saying things like "grunt once for yes and twice for no" speaks VOLUMES for my credibility on this issue. The problem is, I can't get the FTC or the State's Attorney General to take more than a passing glance at this issue because...as your attitude also shows, I'm just a deadbeat customer and deserve whatever abusive tactics it takes to collect the debt.

--Tina

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I see your point on the libel issue. They'd not hesitate to come after an individual.

Now, if an consumer protection attorney was looking for people wronged by R&R, that would be different. Maybe that's something the OP should consider.

As far as throwing stones, that was the response I received when I filed a complaint for having a fake police badge shoved in my face. That's a poor attitude for any AG to take, since the FDCPA is a strict liability statute. Not to mention that moron violated State and Federal law. It is a Federal Offense now to display a fake police badge. Disgruntled? Hell Yes. I was disgruntled because a fake cop came to my door. What difference does it make that they were there to collect a debt? But it was a bloodless crime, so it got stuffed in the "Identity Theft Victims" folder in their file cabinets. I completely understand the OP's feeling regarding that.

Of course it goes without saying that any communication with the AG must be concise and to the point with no "fluff". That may be the larger issue here as far as the AG's response...

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Tina,

I'm not so sure your web site through Enom is going to solve a problem for you. It's definately cutesy, however realize it could be seen as libilous thereby having the effect of mitigating your claims. Pending complaints to the BBB, AG and the White House are not the same as rendered judgments. While I don't doubt they are sleazy scumbags, they can claim in their defense that you received services that you neglected to pay for, refused to pay, provoked them over the telephone, called them names, used foul language, threatened them and finally, registered an anti-domain to tarnish their reputation. Is all of that really worth it for a $200 bill? BTW, if you hadn't had a conversation with Mr. Black over the phone in the first place, he wouldn't have been able to yell at you! As you can see it's futile to talk to bill collectors.

What's the difference between this and Bud Hibbs?

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The underlying problem here is that a bill was not paid for because the work performed was substandard. That the work was performed is not in dispute. But as you all know, if the work performed was done in a shoddy or otherwise incomplete manner, the consumer is NOT obligated to pay for it.

AH-Tina, your first objective is to obtain proof that the work performed was below standards. Until you do that, you have no basis to refuse payment. You need either a written statement by a professional in the field to substantiate your claim the work was faulty, or a copy of a bill for repairs made by someone else to correct what was not done correctly the first time.

Septic systems are part of a person's home, so the repairs would fall under the standing home improvement fraud laws that nearly every State has. Septic systems technicians are also required to be licensed by every State because they deal with hazardous materials and human waste. Check their licensing and have a person from the City building inspectors come out and review the work done to make sure it was done to code. If any of that falls through in your favor, you will have your basis to refuse payment for the services rendered...and the collector will be in big trouble for continuing any activity on it once you have proof it is fraud.

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I'm really not interested in paying/not paying the bill or how to protect myself or even worried about what they will/won't/can/can't do to me. I know my rights and I know Ryan and Ryan are a big joke.

What I'm more concerned with is that they have a long history of doing this to people. The people they are doing this to are, for the most part, those that are probably not aware that they have rights under the FDCA. I guess I'm hoping that my little website will gain momentum and enough people would file an FTC complaint on these jerks.

If anyone has a website and would like to link to mine, let me know. I'd be more than happy to add a reciprocal link. This site is totally non-commercial and I'm paying out of pocket for the domain/hosting/etc. I'm not asking for any money or any other consideration. I just hope that it will get a decent listing with Google, so that if anyone ever Googles "Ryan and Reed"...they will see my site and be able to understand their rights and how to complain to the FTC.

I've actually been told by many sources that the FTC really doesn't take a complaint serious unless quite a few people complain about the same company, with similar stories. *argh*

Thank you to everyone who posted here.

PS: Who the heck is Bud Hibbs???

--Tina

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Ahhh. This is different because I'm not offering anything to anyone - except information and a link to the FTC so that they can file their complaints. I'm just a ticked off consumer - like about 100 other people I found on the 'net that had to deal with R&R's abuse.

--Tina

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Tina, we are all in agreement with you as to this "ADUB's" actions, and that all need to know of this. Yes, you may legally write, whatever, of your actual experiences with them. No lies or exaggerations. And, yes, as pointed out, they could argue this, and you would have to prove.

BUT, as you mentioned in that nobody will listen to you, you need to follow Methuss' advice and get someone who can prove the work was not performed as stated. Then, once proven, everyone will listen that should listen, incluidng the city, county, state, and all other necessary agencies.

In short, get the proof, then scream from the highest mountain. Until then, you are screaming to closed ears.

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Libel issues are all theory. You can pretty much say (write) whatever you want about a company as long it it reasonably true. There is nothing they can really do about it. Defamation suits are very hard to win. One reason is that you usually have to prove some material harm (you lost money or business) that was directly related to the defamation. That's a long chain of events to link together and quantify. Just look at the "KBhomessucks.com" website. KB Homes was never able to shut it down, as much as they wanted too! The least of anybodies worries should be a defamation suit.

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To prove libel, slander or defmation, the plaintiff has to prove 3 points:

1 That there was a false statement made

2 That the statement was made with malice

3 That the statement cause financial harm

Since your website is true, then point 1 cannot be proven. Saying "John is a criminal" could be libelous. Saying "I think John is a criminal" is not. Even something as as simple as putting a statement on your site that it is your opinion would cover you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the few weeks that my website has been up, I've received so many emails from people who have had awful dealings with R&R. I've also found out that they don't have actual physical offices, but use mail forwarding services...and they also go under at least one other DBA "Rawlins and Rivera".

These people are very shady and I've now made it my mission to make sure as many people as possible find out about them - so if anyone else has been harrassed, they know what to do about it. I know the FTC won't really do much unless they get alot of complaints. Well, I'm letting everyone who contacts me with horror stories know to contact the FTC and compalin!

--Tina

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