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Never sent any bills


Guest VoodooDali
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Guest VoodooDali

I recently received a letter from a collection agency to collect a debt for late fees on video rentals. The amount was a convenient $100.

I wrote to them and asked them for proof of the debt, since I never received any bills from the video store. I also called them, but they hung up on me every time I brought this up.

I received a handwritten reply: "we do not have the actual bill is on computer. If you want bill contact [video store]. Unpaid late fees 3 DVD's [DVD's are listed].

I called the store and asked the owner why I was never sent a bill. He said that they never send any bills to customers, just turn it over to the collection agency.

What is wrong with this picture?

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A lot!!

Get a tape recorder from Radio Shack. Or open an account at www.tel-biz.com. Make sure you are in a 1 party state. Then make those phone calls again, get each person to identify themselves and where they work.

Hope the CA sends you another letter. Or calls you. In the letter you got, does it say to pay/call teh video store directly? If so, bingo!

Check your CR to see if they have reported. Then get ready to sue. Sounds like you have the makings of an action.

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RA,

Using collection agencies to routinely collect small obligations is becoming a trend according to a recent WSJ article. Libraries, video stores, magazines, parking tickets, etc. They do not always report to credit bureaus. Businesses get a package deal for all of their accounts receivable and this could be one of those sitations.

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Whether or not they ever sent a bill or whether they ever send bills to anyone is not really the issue; at least not as long as they treat all their customers equally. And I suspect the rental agreement you signed when you opened your account at the store has some mentioned of those terms.

That said, the OC (and/or the CA on their behalf) are still responsible for substantiating that the amount they claim is owed is a correct amont...personally, I would never pay anyone based simply on a demand (by phone or by letter) that I do so.

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You have the right to DV the CA. It is not your problem if the CA is unable to obtain the information they LEGALLY need to provide to you from the OC. The CA should have taken that into account when they contracted with those people.

If you DV them timely and they continue collection activity, they are in violation. It is not your fault the CA screwed themselves.

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Did you have late fees? Did you keep some DVD's? Do you have a feel for the TRUE amount owed if any?

Yes, the CA may be weak, but if you owe, go to store and settle up. Otherwise DV the CA and make 'em earn it... or eat it as the case may be.

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