Turning The Tables On Collections

, , , , , , | Working | April 29, 2018

(We have a friend that has been a dear friend for decades. He has one major flaw: he doesn’t pay his bills, on time or sometimes at all. It wouldn’t affect us if it weren’t for one BIG problem: he always puts us down as a reference, so of course the bill collectors call us when they can’t get him. I have fussed at him numerous times, and he at last has stopped, but with some of the calls I have had to get rude and threaten them. I was once a collection agent, for a legitimate company, so I know the laws governing them and what agencies to report an agency to. I have one rude title-loan company call me and when I ask them to stop, the guy starts telling me he can call anytime he wants.)

Me: “Really? The 1977 Federal Fair Collections Department Act says otherwise.” *silence from him* “Yeah, I was once a collection agent. I know what laws you are breaking, I know what government agencies to report you to, and I know how to make your company hurt.”

(That company never calls back. But a hospital takes the cake. Like usual, I try to be nice at first and explain that the person they are trying to reach does not live here, has never lived here, and will never live here. No, I will not take a message, and do not call back. This one just won’t listen. So, after a month of getting several calls a day, I have had it.)

Me: “Okay, I will take the message.”

Agent: “Great, I am glad you have finally seen the light. Tell him—”

Me: “Now wait. If you are going to use me as a messaging service, you will pay me as such. I charge $200, payment due up front.”

Agent: “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN, I HAVE TO PAY YOU?!”

Me: “This is my phone. I pay the bill. You will pay me to take the messages to someone who doesn’t live here. Now, do you want to meet me with cash, or do you just want to mail me a cashier’s check?”

Agent: *very angry at this point* “What are you talking about?! I am not paying you!”

Me: “Then I won’t be delivering your message. Do not call here until you have the cash.”

(At this point a screaming match ensues. He is yelling that he will not pay, and how dare I demand money to deliver a message. I start yelling back.)

Me: “This is my phone! I pay the bill. Don’t call here. Don’t call here. Don’t call here. I pay my bills. I pay my bills. Don’t call here.”

(I could hear someone in the background telling the agent to hang up the phone over and over again. After about two or three minutes of us yelling, he finally hung up the phone. They got the message and never called me again. I have no problem if you are calling me about a bill I owe, but I will not be harassed over a bill that’s not even mine.)

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