To think thats Debt collection agencies are staffed by untrained monkeys

(29 Posts)
Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 19-Apr-13 08:00:00

First all the 'Debt' is only £26 and I don't actually owe it in the first place, but I have been phoned up to 15 times a day on my landline and mobile by one of these idiots. I had tried to explain at first I don't owe the money but they keep saying to pay them or they will send the boys round (doorstep visit)

I aint worried about it now in as much as I have taken advise and know not to speak to them on the phone and am waiting for the company I am supposed to owe the money to to get back to me.

But the stupidity of the DCA agents is breathtaking.

The guy who rings me is scottish, I recognise the number I know who it is.

I usually say put it in writing I am not talking to you over the phone and hang up and never answer his security questions but after he had phoned every 1/2 hour yesterday I lost my temper

When he asked to speak to Mrs Caruso i lammed into them I asked why he was constantly ringing for a debt of £26 from xxxx when the debt is in dispute and I have sent a letter telling his company this and have reported them for harassment .

He refused to answer until I had answered his security questions, now I understand data protection and the need to ensure they are not discussing someone else's debt with a stranger, but the fact that I knew about the so called debt who it's to and what letters I had written to his company should have told him he was speaking to me.

To make things worse he started to call me Mrs Caruso when I asked him why he was calling me Mrs Caruso when he was demanding that I answered questions to prove I AM Mrs Caruso he didn't reply only stating he needed me to answer his security questions for my own 'protection'.

I gave up in the end no doubt I will have endless phone calls from them today until the whole sorry mess is sorted out.

My God if they harrass me like this for £26 what they do to the poor devils who are in real financial trouble

CarpeVinum Fri 19-Apr-13 08:06:45

Do you have an ansaphone ? My sister screens all her calls, the ansaphone picks up and she listens to see who it is before she picks up.

I know it's an imperfect solution. I am being plagued by some person who is convinced I am a fax machine. Which is a lot less stressful than a debt collector in hyperdrive. But still driving me slightly bonkers cos for four months the phone ringing is like a signal for me to start snarling.

At least an ansaphone barrier should cut put the unwanted conversation and maybe dampen their ardour for dealing with this by phone.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Fri 19-Apr-13 08:07:10

tbh, I'd just tell them to take me to court, where I would prove to the court that I do not owe this money, and would then take them to court for compensation for the stress of their harassment.

I have done this and they went away. odd that...

If you are on BT get Choose to Refuse for a month (might even get a free trial!) then bar incoming calls from that number. You can bar up to ten so if they try from another line bar that and so forth.

It would give you a months breathing space to sort it out with the company.

Best of all HE would get an irritating message saying that the person at this number is not accepting his call hehehe.

Not sure if other providers do the same service but it's been around years and is popular so they more than likely will.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Fri 19-Apr-13 08:14:18

Report them to the police for harrassment.

NoWayPedro Fri 19-Apr-13 08:59:05

I had someone phone me once con artists and started getting shirty when I wouldn't answer security questions. Dude you phoned me!!!! I have no idea who you are and what you want so wtf would I tell you personal details??!!!

YANBU

JamNan Fri 19-Apr-13 09:33:58

Make sure to check your credit rating with a credit reference agency like Experian to make sure the debt collectors have not registered the debt against your name. You are not obliged to speak to them when they call and they are not allowed to harass you like this although I see that you have already reported it.

SarahBumBarer Fri 19-Apr-13 11:03:28

I love DCA's. They took me to court, didn't show up and the case was thrown out. I miss them - their phone calls were better than a night out at the cinema.

Just recently DH has had letters from a DCA demanding that he pay them an outstanding debt to Orange mobile because they can see from the elctoral roll that his name is John Smith and they are looking for John Smith so since his name is John Smith he should just pay them and if he does not they will send their bailiffs around. We're soooo pleased to have them back in our lives again, we love them. Hours of entertainment.

Seriously though - at least while they are harassing us they are leaving the poor sods alone who might not be able to deal with them as light-heartedly as we can because yanbu and you are right - they are arses! No point wasting money training staff properly or actually y'know following procedure or the OFT rules/CCL standards.

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 19-Apr-13 15:14:48

Had 3 more phone calls today the last 5 minutes ago on my landline

Same number and scottish voice asking for Mrs Caruso, the normal 'put it in writing I don't owe the money convo started, tried to make me answer security questions refused wont talk to me further unless I can prove I am Mrs Caruso.

So told the truth "I am a burglar who just happened to pick up the phone recognised the number and your voice and knows all about Mrs Caruso's financial problems" put phone down

Then mobile rings same number same voice so asking for Mrs Caruso - so told him I was the burglar he had just spoken to so could not answer security questions - now waiting for the old bill to turn up and arrest the burglar as I am sure such law abiding individuals such as a DCA monkey will be straight on the blower reporting the break in at my gaff wink

Mrsdavidcaruso Fri 19-Apr-13 15:16:03

Sorry thats 4 phone calls inc the mobile one

YoniMaroney Fri 19-Apr-13 15:37:38

I had one from BT, they wanted £250 off me, I offered to settle for £80, and they said 'please call us', I wanted to deal with it by letter, so didn't. Eventually they just stopped calling and they didn't get anything.

Runwayqueen Fri 19-Apr-13 15:46:13

My stbxh ran up a lot of debt and we had DCA constantly ringing. Dd was then a newborn and it really added to my pnd. I ended up taking the phone off the hook. The best piece of advice that I was given was from a debt management plan company. We were advised to write to the DCA asking them to remove our phone numbers from the system and to only correspond in the form of writing. It worked. I can't remember the act but I did quote it and it did the trick.

YANBU

ruledbyheart Fri 19-Apr-13 15:58:05

I used to work in debt collection (not gonna be popular here I know) they can only phone 3 times in one day so anymore than that you can report them for harassment.

If the debt is in dispute then they have to have this written on your notes and give adequate time to be resolved before phoning again (3 days I think).

You need to send any relevant paperwork proving you don't owe the money to them recorded delivery.
You can refuse to deal with this by phone and once you have stated this then it should be also written in a letter to them.

If they continue to harass you keep a note of the times/dates they called and report them.

bubblesinthesky Fri 19-Apr-13 15:58:56

Ah yes. Debt collectors.

I've had some who phoned me everyday for 6 weeks many days more than once about a debt that I knew was nothing to do with me. Like yours they kept asking me to answer security questions to prove who I was so they could discuss the matter with me. I had great fun with various tactics

- Deliberately giving them the wrong answers to their questions (this causes great consternation especially as I continued understandably to insist I was me)

- Made up my own security questions and said I refused to answer theirs until they'd answered mine as I wished to protect my privacy and ensure I wasn't giving details to scammers (this results in deadlock)

- Very politely asked them to take me to court as meeting them in teh flesh would be delightful after so long talking on the phone to them

- Asked them to send me a copy of the signed loan agreement (they never do especially when it does not in fact exist)

- Tried to engage them in conversation about a myriad of interesting issues such as the best nappies, breastfeeding, DD's reading scheme progress and other equally exciting issues

After 6 weeks they clearly got bored of me and moved on to some other poor sod. I was on maternity leave and bored so delighted to entertain them

Branleuse Fri 19-Apr-13 16:24:53

i think it takes a special kind of cunt to be a debt collector

badbride Fri 19-Apr-13 17:54:18

Sorry to contradict your otherwise good advice ruledbyheart, but the onus is NOT on the OP to prove that the debt is not hers. The person claiming to be the creditor must do so by sending a copy of the signed credit agreement. And quite right too--how can the OP prove a negative?

There is some excellent advice from the Motley Fool boards boards.fool.co.uk/fictitious-debt-10724765.aspx?sort=whole#10725396 and the Guardian www.guardian.co.uk/money/2005/sep/03/consumernews.jobsandmoney2 telling folk how to deal with this kind of situation.

noodleone Fri 19-Apr-13 19:24:50

That's a bit harsh branleuse. Should people not have to pay their debts then? Although op sounds like harassment

HollyBerryBush Fri 19-Apr-13 19:31:46

Out od curiosity, what about debts that are sold on?

A colleague defaulted on her mortgage and the Woolwich sold it to an agency - she'd already handed they keys back and the flat had been sold off - hounded day and night by an agency - we all had to pick up her calls at work (tho' this is 25 years back)

I know companies still debts to agencies - so how does the contract stand if that's the case?

MilgramsLittleHelper Fri 19-Apr-13 21:15:28

"The person claiming to be the creditor must do so by sending a copy of the signed credit agreement"

- Just a point to be aware of Mobile Phone company contracts aren't covered under the consumer credit act therefore the above doesn't apply.

In view of the fact that many people are defaulted for the smallest Mobile phone amounts (many under £100) you'd think they would be.

SarahBumBarer Sat 20-Apr-13 09:08:04

Holly - the contract has to be legally assigned to the DCA. If this is not done properly and by a particular point in the sequence of events leading up to court (often it is not) the case will be thrown out.

It is often not done properly because the DCA's in most cases rely upon people paying up because people generally do pay what they owe, they are scared of what the consequences will be (bailiffs/impact on credit rating etc) and because far too much harassment still goes on. This is how they make most of their money.

Yes Noodle people should pay their debts but too many companies are far too swift to pass debts to DCAs without dealing with substantive disputes/issues first regarding the existence of or quantum of the debt. The DCAs are generally inadequately trained, simply follow a script so cannot deal with anything which deviates from their script (essentially how much can you pay and how quickly) add too many/too high illegal charges and have lots of form for acting in a harassing and abusive manner both via telephone and in writing. They are so bad that the OFT/CCA have even had to set guidelnes for the fonts they use in their letters due to tactics like putting "we will send bailiffs to your house" in huge bold fonts and more rational wording in tiny little letters. The approach taken to my husband in typical. "We are looking for John Smith. You are called John Smith so pay us this debt or prove that you are not who we are looking for. If we do not hear from you we will assume that you acknowledge that you are who we are looking for and send bailiffs round". How is that NOT "a special kind of cunt"?

(sorry Ruledby - I know they have pretty high turnover of staff and people get into the "business" without really knowing what they are letting themselves in for and of course some DCA probably behave reasonably)

SarahBumBarer Sat 20-Apr-13 09:11:46

*Milgrams" true but in the case of agreements not covered by the CCA you can issue SARs and get copies of the agreement giving rise to the debt - eg a mobile phone contract. This would have to be produced in court anyway and the court would take a pretty dim view of a case going to court without the DCA having produced this to the debtor anyway.

Also just to note that even where the agreement in question is not a credit agreement, if the DCA has a CCL they will generally be held to certain enhanced standards of conduct even in pursuing non CCA debts.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 20-Apr-13 09:52:42

I have made a complaint to vodafone I paid the bill today (well before 23rd April.) 10 minutes later DCA rings me up yet again - told them to bugger off BUT and here is the funny part was told by the DCA guy I was being abusive ( I was and enjoyed it) and he could report me.

I asked him who he was going to report as unless I answered his security questions he had no way of knowing who he was speaking to.

Oh its such fun - BUT as I have said if I have to put up with this for a £26 bill that I didn't even owe, what happens to people who 'owe' hundreds they must go through hell.

BringOn2014 Sat 20-Apr-13 09:55:38

I was being harrassed by a DCA last year and ended up sending a Cease and Desist letter to the CEOs of the company citing all the times they had called me, when I had asked for proof and listed what regulations they were breaking. Not a peep since!

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 20-Apr-13 09:57:10

OG I am sorry I didn't mean to mention the company the £26 was on top of the normal bill which I paid today something to do with the last bill which I paid on time and which even VF confirmed today that I didn't owe

Hope I haven't broken forum rules

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 20-Apr-13 10:05:30

I have to say, that i agree with Branleuse - you really have to be some sort of hard hearted cunt to be a debt collector. Yes people should pay their debts and i am of the firm belief that MOST people only don't do so because they are unable. Having been in a situation where i have had to deal with multiple debt collectors they are without question, rude, incosiderate and down right horrible people. There is nothing on this earth that would make me do such a job. Phoning people up and trying to intimidate them into paying money they can't afford. Alluding to legal powers that they don't actually have. They are bottom-feeders of the lowest type.

OP you are right, it "is" fun when you know you don't owe the debt (i have had the pleasure of wraking a DCA across the coals for this) But when you DO owe and you have no idea of how you are going to pay it is hell, i had a breakdown because of these people and i cannot find any respect for anyone who does this job. The thing with DCAs is they have limited powers - so they try to throw their weight around to scare people into paying. They do this because they work on some sort of commision - many of them have bought the debt, the original creditors have been paid, the DCAs are trying to get the rest out of he debtors, adding their "costs" on top.

I have had to deal with bailiffs too, these are quite different, they do hve more powers than a DCA so I found them to be polite an helpful and looked for ways to HELP us with our debts, come to managable arrangements with some flexibility to them. I respect people like that, but these MONKEYS the OP describes, just vile.

I just could not do it - you don't know, one day that phone call could be the thing that pushes someone over the edge to suicide - i am sure it happens, i don't know how they live with themselves. Some sort of self righteous attitude of "well, you should pay your debts" yeah, right!

onemorebite Sat 20-Apr-13 10:21:35

They are scum. DP is in a DAS (so paying off debts and moratorium on all action). One bastard company kept phoning up and trying to get hold of him. When they got me about the 5th time that week (thankfully I am out a lot) I finally got all "legal" on them. We are in Scotland and DP has an approved scheme so they are not supposed to call us at all. Threatened to report them for harassment. They finally left us alone.

freddiefrog Sat 20-Apr-13 11:57:20

Oh, I had fun with one too hmm. Constantly calling me over a £36 debt that I didn't owe - a fee was applied to an account in error then wiped a few weeks later - 18 months later a DCA pops up chasing payment.

They were phoning every half an hour at one point. In the end I started screening calls if a number rang I didnt recognise and got some good advice from MSE, sent a letter recorded post, including a letter from the original company stating that the debt was an error, and quoted all sorts of acts and told them if they contacted me again I would be reporting them.

Never heard from them again

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 20-Apr-13 12:16:57

What these scummy cunts DCAs sometimes do, is buy outstanding debts. This happened to us - we had an outstanding balance with a mobile phone company, they asked if we wanted to settle at a reduced price - so we did. They said that would be it, but about three years later we were contacted by a second agency for the remaining amount - they had bought the debt from 02, which whilst they agreed to the reduced one off payment and closed the debt, the outstanding balance lays on their records. The debt agencies buy this at a reduced rate and then put more money on it and chase people who owe the money. This rather dubious company were told, no, we paid the amount off and we don't owe anything. They said that they would give us time to get a settlement letter from the original company but in the meantime sent a letter to DPs Mother!! saying they were solicitors looking for DP on an urgent matter - she was really worried and upset. So even though they had contact with us, we had co-operated in terms of contacting the original company who had agreed that the debt was paid they still thought they would try their arm and intimidate us, in the hope that we would just pay up to avoid further hassle, it was something like £70 so i can imagine that some people, no, many people just pay these bills.

Similarly, my mother recieved a bill for £150 for a catalogue loan that she had never taken out. REally intimidating language in the letter, quoting worse case scenario, threatening bailiffs etc etc. When i contacted them after researching their company on MSE to find lots of complaints they actually admitted to the fact that what they do is go through some sort of directory and send these letters out to people with the same surnames as the debtors if they cannot locate them at the original address, in the hope that they will locate them after move intimidate vulnerable people into paying My mum was ready to pay she was so scared!

So yes, they are UTTER CUNTS

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 20-Apr-13 21:46:54

Loads of dca's are registered with the office of fair trading whilst there conditions are guidelines rather than rules they do have to comply if they wish to remain registered.

They like to remain registered as it means more company's use them just like when you hire a builder you choose one who is registered with who ever builders register with.

They cannot phone if you have asked them not to,nor can they phone more than 3 times a day,or at any time you request them not to on top of this they cannot phone to early or to late.

Most importantly unless they take you to court and have a court order ( and the debt is personal and not road traffic related) they have no more powers than I do to force you to do anything.

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