Time To Render To Caesar

, , , , | Right | June 23, 2020

I have been working as a collector for a few months now. Sundays have been the worst. Everyone screams about it being rude to call on a Sunday. There is no law that states that we can’t.

I’ve gone through most of my day with angry people yelling at me when I get a lady on the phone.

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name]. May I speak to [Lady]?”

Lady: “Yes, speaking.”

Me: “I’m calling from [Company].” 

I fill her in with the legal stuff and information about recorded phone calls, etc.

Me: “I’m calling about a past due account.”

Lady: “You p***k! You have no right to call me on a Sunday! This is God’s day! No one should be working. We just got home from church. Can’t believe you are calling!”

Me: “I’m very sorry for the bother. If you like, I can call again tomorrow. What would be a good time to get a hold of you?”

Lady: “Listen! Don’t call me on Sunday! Ever!

Me: “All right, ma’am. Can I ask a question, please?”

Lady: “What?”

Me: “Did you and your family go out to eat after church?”

Lady: “Yeah, every Sunday. Why?”

Me: “And you don’t complain to the people serving you food that they shouldn’t be working on Sunday?”

Lady: “…” *Click*

The rest of my day went pretty well, but I got into a lot of trouble. Fully worth it, though.

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This Debt Collector Had Better Hope HE Has Insurance

, , , , , | Healthy | March 29, 2020

(I’m a broke college student supporting myself with student loans, whatever hours I can get at my work-study job, and the small amount of money my parents can spare. Luckily, I’m still on my parents’ insurance. When I get into a bad bike accident and have to get stitches and x-rays at the hospital, their insurance covers the bill. It’s been a couple of months since then when I answer a call from a number I don’t recognize.)

Caller: “Am I speaking to [My Name]?”

Me: “This is her.”

Caller: “My name is [Caller], and I’m calling on behalf of [Debt Collection Agency] about an unpaid medical bill.”

Me: “What? I didn’t think I had any unpaid bills.”

Caller: “The bill is [amount] for an ambulance ride on [date of the bike accident].”

Me: “But my insurance covered that!”

Caller: “Sometimes insurance doesn’t cover certain services, like ambulances, if they are seen as unnecessary.”

(The ambulance was definitely necessary since there was a suspicion at the time that I’d seriously injured my neck and I was bleeding profusely from my head.)

Caller: “The billing department attempted to contact you multiple times, but you’ve consistently ignored them. Now the bill has been sent to us, and it will negatively affect your credit. However, if you pay it right now, we can try to remove it from your credit report. How will you be paying today, [Card #1] or [Card #2]?”

Me: “Um, I won’t be paying today. I need to contact my insurance company to see what’s going on. This should have been covered, and I’ve never heard of it before today.”

Caller: “If you don’t pay today, your credit will be negatively affected. You will never be able to get a loan, a mortgage, or a credit card.”

Me: “I need to talk to my insurance company before I do anything.”

(He keeps trying to convince me, so I eventually just hang up. I contact my insurance company and find that no claim was ever submitted for the ambulance trip and that they would have covered it if it was. Then, I call the hospital billing department to figure this out. It takes a very long time to reach the right person, but I finally find out what happened.

In an amazing display of incompetence, someone had billed it to the wrong insurance company in the wrong state using the wrong contact details. Obviously, that claim was denied, so they sent the bill to whatever address they’d written on the claim. With this level of screwing up, I’m guessing they mixed up my file with someone else’s.

Luckily, the person I talk to is more helpful, and she gets all the information she needs to submit the claim to my real insurance. She also promises to take the whole incident off my credit report once everything’s done. However, it will take several weeks at the very least for the claim to go through. In the meantime, I get another call several days later from the same bill collector.)

Caller: *after making sure he’s speaking to me* “Our records indicate that you still haven’t paid your bill. What payment method–”

Me: *cutting him off before he can get too far into this* “I’ve contacted my insurance and the hospital’s billing department and gotten the whole thing sorted out. There was a billing mistake. Many, in fact. But the claim has been properly submitted to my insurance now. It just takes a while to go through.”

Caller: “Well, you still haven’t paid. It’s on your credit report. I can’t take it off at this point since you’ve refused to pay it once already, but paying today will make sure your credit doesn’t get even worse. How will you be paying today, [Card #1] or [Card #2]?”

Me: “As I said, my insurance is paying it. We just have to wait for the claim to go through.”

Caller: “But your credit–”

Me: “The billing department said they’d take it off my credit report completely, as they’re the ones who made the mistake.”

Caller: “I’m looking at your credit report right now, and it’s not looking good.”

Me: “The claim was only submitted a few days ago. It hasn’t gone through yet.”

Caller: “If you pay in full right now, this will go away immediately. No need to wait for the claim to go through.”

Me: “Hold on. You want me to pay for something that I never needed to pay for in the first place, just to speed things up? That’s ridiculous! And even if I was going to pay, it’s not like I have that kind of money just lying around.”

Caller: “Surely you have some jewelry or electronics you could sell. I can give you the address of a pawn shop nearby.”

Me: “What? No! I didn’t mean I intended to pay you. My insurance is paying it directly to the hospital. We all just have to be patient.”

(This went back and forth for a while. It became clear that he was working on commission and wouldn’t get any money if the bill was paid through the insurance company. Eventually, I just had to hang up on him again, since it was obvious he was not giving up. He continued to call me multiple times a day for weeks, sometimes during class. Finally, the claim went through, and the debt collector stopped calling.)

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Never Park In This Guy’s Lot

, , , , | Right | March 3, 2020

(I work for a very reputable collections agency that has strict policies in regards to collector threats and conduct. This guy sounds identical to the parking lot attendant in the “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer and George park their cars only to find prostitutes are turning tricks in them. This is an exact transcript of the recorded conversation:)

Me: “Just a followup. Did you manage to get your account paid? I never received a return call from you with your receipt number from the client.”

Guy: “Of course I paid it. I said I would. I am good for it.”

Me: “Great. What’s the receipt number?”

Guy: “What receipt number?”

Me: “The receipt number written on your receipt from the client. You paid at the client as instructed? I just need that number and will have that confirmed by them. They take a while to report payments to us, so I send them a spreadsheet to speed up the process.”

Guy: “I do a lot of things. Why do you need that? Just ask them.”

Me: “But I’ve got you on the phone now and I cannot contact the client for every inquiry without that information from you. What location and when did you pay it?”

Guy: “I told you I paid it, so I paid it. Are you threatening me?”

Me: “Sir, nothing I’ve said would be interpreted as a threat.”

Guy: “You are threatening that I’m a liar.”

Me: “That would be ‘accusing,’ and at this point, I’m not accusing you of anything, except withholding the information that you say that you have.”

Guy: “Don’t worry. I will pay it. I have to go.”

Me: “Excuse me? What do you mean, ‘I will pay it.’? You said you paid it.”

Guy: “I did pay it. I will take care of it tomorrow.”

Me: “So, you didn’t pay it, like you said, but you are paying it tomorrow?”

Guy: “What does it matter? When I say I will pay it, I will pay it. Why are you harassing me about it?”

Me: “Did you or did you not pay this bill?”

Guy: “Are you threatening that I’m a liar?”

Me: *repeated* “Did you or did you not pay this bill?”

Guy: “I might have. I don’t remember. I will take care of it. Don’t worry. If not tomorrow, next week. Call me in a couple of weeks.”

Me: “It doesn’t work like that.”

Guy: “I don’t buy it.”

Me: “When I spoke to you three days ago, you said you were going to pay your bill on that day and that you would call me back. You assured me you would.”

Guy: “Never. I never said that. You are the liar!”

Me: “I have the recorded call right here.”

Guy: “Sure, I said it, but people say things. I was busy. What do you want?”

Me: “I am calling you, actually, as a courtesy because this account will be affecting your credit in two days and I would hate to see your credit affected for such a small amount.”

Guy: “You think money is the problem? Let me tell you something; I make a lot of money. I make more money than you ever made. What do you think about that?”

Me: “That’s impressive. So, what’s the problem with paying this bill?”

Guy: “I just don’t have the cash. Not everyone has money all the time. How much money do you have on you right now? In your pockets?”

Me: “Nothing. I use—”

(He cuts me off; I was going to say that I use my debit card.)

Guy: “See? Why don’t you pay my bill, Mr. Rich?”

Me: “What?”

Guy: “You have all the money in the world and you bug me about it.”

Me: “I don’t understand. You just told me that you make more money than I’ve ever made.”

Guy: “You bet. But right now cash is a problem.” 

Me: “It’s under $200. Are you going to pay this bill or not?”

Guy: “I told you I paid it when I say I will pay it. Today, last week, or never. Take your pick.”

Me: “Okay, I’m done. Have a nice day.”

Guy: “You too, Mr. Rich Millionaire.”

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The Lannisters Always Pay Their Student Debts

, , , , | Working | June 25, 2019

(The spousal consolidation student loan I have with my wife has been sold to a new student loan company, as happens often with loans. I get the paperwork and immediately notice a mistake. Someone has swapped my father’s name for my wife’s name and listed him as cosigner. We all share the same last name, which is being used by both of us at every point in this conversation.)

Representative: “Hello, this is [Representative]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I noticed that, at some point when my student loan was transferred to your company, someone seems to have mistaken my father’s name, John [Same Last Name] for my spouse’s name, Mary [Same Last Name]. So, you are listing my father as my spouse and cosigner for this loan. As this is a spousal consolidation student loan, only my wife has ever been a cosigner this loan, and every other loan for that matter, so this is an error on your part.”

Representative: “So, what is your father’s name?”

Me: “John [Same Last Name].”

Representative: “No, I need your father’s name, not your spouse’s name.”

Me: “That is my father’s name. I am married to Mary [Same Last Name]. My father is John. That is the problem.”

Representative: “Okay, you’re not married to John?”

Me: “No, that is my father.”

Representative: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand. Are you divorced from John?”

Me: “No, again, that is my father. I am married to Mary.”

Representative: *with great confusion in her voice* “So, you’re married to both John… and Mary?” *insinuating a polygamist marriage*

(I’m getting frustrated, so I start to talk slowly and deliberately.)

Me: “No… again… John is my father. At no point have I ever been married to my own father. For the entire length of this loan, I have only been married to one person: Mary.”

Representative: “Okay, I think I understand now. However, in order to change your spouse’s name, I need documentation that you have never been married to John and only married to Mary.”

(I pause for a second while trying to figure out how in the world to do this.)

Me: “So, what kind of documentation do I need to send you to prove that I have never been part of a legally recognized incestuous homosexual polygamist marriage?”

(Long pause…)

Representative: “I’m not sure; I will have to call you back after I speak to the manager in the special issues department. Can I call you later today at [my phone number]?”

(After two months and numerous calls, I finally convinced them that I was not married to my own father and wife at the same time. It’s scary that I owe these people money.)

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You Debtor Leave Me Alone

, , , , , | Working | January 2, 2019

(I keep getting phone calls from a number I do not recognize, but they leave no messages. After researching the number, I find it is a debt collection agency. I’m pretty sure I don’t have any outstanding debts — at least not bad enough to merit a debt collector — so I call back to find out what is happening.)

Collector: “[Agency], this is [Collector]. May I have your account number, please?”

Me: “Uh, I’m sorry. I don’t have an account number to give. I just keep getting calls from this number.”

Collector: “I can look you up by your social security number.”

Me: “I’m not comfortable giving that out over the phone. Can you use my phone number?”

Collector: “No.”

(Awkward silence.)

Me: “Oh. Uh, okay, then. I guess… Thanks for your help?”

Collector: *hangs up*

(I wait for the number to call again and this time, I answer.)

Me: “Hello?”

Collector: “I need to speak with [Not Me].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s no one here by that name.”

Collector: “Is this [my phone number]?”

Me: “Yes.”

Collector: “I need to speak with [Not Me].”

Me: “You have the wrong number.”

Collector: *annoyed* “I need to speak with [Not Me]. It’s urgent.”

Me: “Well, you’re going to have to try another way because [Not Me] doesn’t own this number; I do.”

Collector: “How can I reach him?”

Me: “I don’t even know who that is, so I have no idea.”

Collector: “[Not Me] needs to call us back immediately.”

Me: “You need to stop calling me.”

Collector: *smugly* “We will stop calling once you pay off your debt.”

Me: “It’s not my debt!”

Collector: “Look. We can work out a payment plan or some kind of wage garnishment, but you need to pay or face legal action.”

Me: “I don’t have to do a thing. I want your supervisor.”

Collector: *hangs up*

Me: “Okay, then.”

(I blocked the number and reported them to the BBB. I doubt it actually did anything, but it made me feel a little better.)

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