Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jul 27, 2008
I’ve been battling a collection agency for a couple of months now. The name of the company is Weltman, Weinberg, & Reis; I’m not afraid to give their name. I’m not afraid to give their name because I don’t owe anyone anything, and their own processes need to be brought out into the open. It’s been a long time since I talked about anything financial; it’s now time.
Many years ago, when I was just getting my business off the ground, I ran into some financial difficulties. Hey, it happens to many people, and I wasn’t alone. I soon fell way behind a lot of people, and of course the phone calls start. I got a lucky break, things started to happen, and I made deals with, and paid off, pretty much everyone. Some companies I got letters from, some I didn’t, but most of them showed up on my credit report as being satisfied, and I didn’t think of it again.
Until last October, when I was contacted by a collection agency about a balance that I knew I’d paid. I told them so, and within a week they sent me a letter saying they weren’t going to bother me again. I thought I was done with it all; I was wrong.
Over the next few months, I was contacted by three other companies looking for this same balance; the last one was Weitman, and they were different because they told me they were going to sue me. I started going through all my papers, looking for something, and of course I couldn’t find it. I was at my wit’s end; I knew I had paid it. I checked my credit report, and sure enough, that balance was still showing as open. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, other than possibly having to start making payments.
Talk about being lucky. I finally came across something which was my agreement letter that I’d made with the company at the time to pay them back. Sure enough, I had paid the balance in 2004. I had a name and number; I had some proof, thank goodness. I called that company, and they told me that they usually only kept records of paid accounts for 18 months, but that they would check their fiche for my records. They also showed that I didn’t have an open balance with them, which was in my favor because it meant I hadn’t reneged on any agreements with them. I asked them if they could fax me a letter to this effect, and they said they’d see what they could do.
It took two weeks. In between that time, I got another call from Weitman, and I told them what was going on. They said they’d give me 10 days. I finally got my fax, looked up a fax number online for Weitman, since they didn’t give me a fax number on their letter, which they finally did send, sent the fax, and figured everything was fine.
Nope; life just doesn’t work like that. I got another call while I was out of town saying they never got the fax. I told them I’d send it again when I got home, and I did. Their office was closed, but they said they’d contact me the next morning telling me it was received. I never received that call, but I wasn’t worried about it since I’d sent it to the number they told me it was supposed to go to.
Then Friday, once again, I get another call, and now I’m livid. I’ve sent it twice, and they’re telling me they didn’t get it. I told the guy I was going to send it immediately to whichever number he gave me, then I’d call him and tell him I’d sent it, and he could go get it. This started the next round of things that really got me irritated, and tells us all some things about how life works.
I sent the fax, called back, and they couldn’t get me to the guy. Matter of fact, they wanted me to leave my number and said someone would call me back. I said I didn’t trust them now, because of everything that had been going, and I got the runaround. I got transferred twice to someone else; I hung up and called back. The last woman I got I just didn’t want to get off the phone. We went back and forth for about 5 minutes, then I decided I’d just keep calling back every 2 minutes until I got the guy I wanted. i did just that; they got irritated, but I didn’t care; after all, that’s how they treat us, right?
I finally got him, and he said he went to look for the fax and they hadn’t gotten it; what the hey? I got a confirmation back and they didn’t get it? It’s a good thing I’m me, otherwise I’d have started yelling and cursing. Instead, I asked for a second fax number, said I was going to fax it to both of them, and I was also going to fax it to myself just to prove that it would come through.
I did fax it to myself, then I sent the same fax to both letters. I got my copy; the original letter sent from the other company might come through a bit dark, but it came through. I called the office and now the guy I wanted was at lunch; ugh. I wanted someone to go look for the fax, but they wouldn’t budge. Figures, because I was taking money out of their pocket. The lady told me the reason was they had thousands of people making calls and that they didn’t have anyone who could go pull the fax; if they had thousands of people and no one could go pull a fax then this company isn’t worth anything to me because their processes are garbage.
They don’t care about any of the people they call because none of us are their clients, and, truth be told, their clients don’t really care one way or the other because the open amounts have already been charged off; check out this previous post on outstanding debt. Of course, the reason I was home was because I had a dental appointment, and I had to leave, but I did wait 30 minutes for someone to call me. I got home later, had a phone call from the guy asking me to call back, but of course he’d gone home, but the woman I talked to said his notes showed he got a fax. I hope that’s it, and that it’s all finally over, but I have my doubts. I didn’t mention this one earlier; they have “thousands” of employees, but not a single one of them has an email address, not even the supervisors; yup, you read this one correctly, because I asked, and if they truly tape their conversations, they’ll hear their representative telling me that. Come on, does Weitman really think we’re all fools?
At this point, I’m going to give them a week to see what happens. I asked for a letter saying they got it, but I’d been told before that’s not their policy. Yup, I have to prove to them that I don’t owe any money, but they don’t owe me a thing for trying to ruin my life and threatening to sue me for a balance I don’t owe. Frankly, I think the whole thing stinks, and that none of us can trust any of these people, especially Weitman. It’s not slander; it’s truth.
I’ll be leaving town again this coming week, so I can only hope they’ll send me something, or contact me with the confirmation that they’ll be leaving me alone. I’ll be protecting myself some more by sending copies of the letter from the other agency to Experian and the other credit agencies, though I only know for sure that Experian will do something about it since I do subscribe to their service. And I’ve learned it really is important to have a credit checking service on some sort of basis; people, check your credit yearly, because it’s free.
Learn your rights; protect yourself.