Jump to content

Son scammed by door to door


digger
 Share

Recommended Posts

My son bought some cleaning products from a door to door salesman. The check was altered by the salesperson and cashed by the company. My son's bank said he had to file a police report to stop payment which he did. The police made contact with the company and the company refunded the forged amount. In the meant time my sons bank sent the check back to the company and then credited his acct with the full amount.

Despite the fact that the company had my son's name,address and phone number on his check and the police report they never made any effort to contact him for payment and now he has received a collection letter. It says NOTICE OF COLLECTION AGENCY PLACEMENT on the letter. The collection company is E-Check INC.

The collection company says they will drop the fees attached if he sends them a check for the amount of the altered check which he does owe to the company. The purchase date was about November 12th. The collection letter is dated December 21. e have 30 days to respond.

What should we do/say in written communication to make sure that this all is handled so it won't be an issue again? I would rather deal with the company direct but they have no phone number. Can I demand that info from this E-Check company?

This is his first lesson in unscrupulous door to door sales. He felt sorry for the guy at Thanksgiving and bought the product though he is a working college student with no money. I felt awful as a parent for not warning him but proud that he is a compassionate person. This an opportunity for him to learn how to protect himself in the future and be an informed consumer.

Thanks for any advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No - don't send them a check!!

You are disputing the amount owed since the original check was illegally altered. Your son, technically was the victim of a crime - and you want to pay a collection agency for that?

I'd also send a copy of everything to the original company as well and inform them of their unethical business practices...you may even want to call a local consumer reporter and get them involved - nothing changes their minds like a camera crew showing up...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just an FYI: The police said they could no charge anyone as the check had passed through 3 people before being deposited and so they could not charge anyone specifically. That is when the representative for this a area (state) called and made restitution for the amount over the actual purchase price.

So my son got ALL his money back from the his bank for the check and money from the company. Yes, he was a victim and my feeling is the company should just call it even but their billing dept apparently did not know what happened and sent the check to collections as a bad check when it was returned from their bank.

The company has no phone number so I can't call them. But, the fact that they did not attempt to contact him prior to sending/selling for collections is my beef.

Is there not a procedure that is suppose to be followed or can a company just sell off a bad check immediately?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

E-Check did not buy the check. They are a collection agency. They are probably collecting on behalf of the company's bank or the company.

Look for the company's information and send them a copy of the police report, the collection letter and your dispute letter to E-Check.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just want to make sure that I don't leave any opening for this to go bad for him down the road.

Is there anything I need to say specifically in the letter?

I will search the posts for info on this or maybe a template.

The usual deny, deny, deny doesn't seem appropriate in this case.

Thanks so much for your advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a huge fan of not using affirmative defenses, but this one has "unclean hands" defense written all over it.

They altered the check, caused your son to get the police involved, have caused your son and it seems you stress and aggravation? Yeah, they can take the original amount of the check and shove it.

You can't take the original check, alter it for more, and then cry and say you want at least the original amount back after you are caught. That's acting with unclean hands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Coltfan. I agree. Sending it to collections after fraud was committed just victimized him further. But, as I said earlier, the police could not move forward, they said, because three people handled the check. No way to prove who actually altered the check. I think a check of the sales records would reveal when it was altered but that seems a moot point now.

The only wrinkle is that the regional rep did refund the difference of the cost of the product from the amount of the altered check after they were contacted by the police. So they are now out the cost of the product plus the refund.

Should I make a case for them writing it off as a gesture of customer goodwill?

It is not a lot of money but for a starving student a $100 buys a lot of ramen.

Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll make up some numbers to with with for illustrative purposes.

Salesman meets Victim at Victim's door. Salesman offers goods for $100. Victim accepts the offer and tenders a check for $100. The check is handled by various people and arrives at Company accounting forged (but not yet known to them) for $1000 and that is cashed through Company's bank. Company is contacted and Bank is contacted. Company issues refund for $900 and Victim's bank returns check for $1000 and restores $1000 to Victim's account. Victim cashes $900 refund check (did this really happen?).

Victim is now ahead by $900 and Company is out $900. Victim admits he owes this. Was Victim in the process of communicating with Company to clear this up?

I'm assuming Victim (the son) received the $900 refund first, and cashed it, before being aware that his bank decided to return the check. One question I have is what did he do when he found out that he was $900 ahead, and what is the date of this discovery?

To avoid confusion, I suggest sticking with these amounts unless something needs to involve the actual correct amount (such as limits involved to file a lawsuit), and then state "the real amount". That, or go ahead and state the real amounts and let's switch to that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually not just unclean hands but FRAUD. I would write them a cease and desist letter. I f they decide to sue you have all the proof you need.

If they file suit you can counter sue for fraud.

I would go as far as to say pay your local prosecuting attorney a visit and see what he or she has to say, your prosecutor may want to pick this up and file fraud charges also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To completely relieve himself from any liability to anyone here, your son needs to (1) return the merchandise, or (2) pay the agreed-upon amount for what he purchased.

Nothwithstanding the funny business with the check, your son is not entitled to unjustly enrich himself by keeping the merchandise without paying for it.

Once he cleans this up from his end, he'll be in a much better position to defend against the other claims.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Suffice it to say that a sequence of miscommunications has him caught in the middle. His bank moved forward with actions they stated they could not do without a police report.

In the meantime the sales rep was contacted by the police and he refunded the amount over the cost of the product. The bank told my son that he would be covered by their fraud insurance. He assumed the refund was the insurance. Having not dealt with these matters before he assumed insurance meant just that. The collection letter arrived within days of the refund to his acct by his bank. He realized the check had been returned by the bank though they did not tell him they would do that (remember they said they could not stop payment without the police report)That is when he brought me the letter and we went to the bank to find out what they had done.

So many details and, really, I just want to make sure that I can get clarity out of this confusion and keep this from escalating. He is fine with returning the refunded money to the company and even paying for the product. It would be nice if the company acknowledged their part in the fraud and considered the refund as restitution. It is, after all, one of their employees that altered the check. But, barring that they should at least give him the stupid cleaning product for free for all the inconvenience this has caused him and others (tax payer money) to investigate their crappy company.

This fly-by-night company has no contact number. You can't find them at all. These are the guys who drop their "sales" people in your town for a quick sweep and then out. I will know more when I get a look at the police report.

Thanks to all of you for your comments.

I can at least say that my son will not be buying any more products from door to door sales people. His generous and compassionate nature took a good swift slap of reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.