Submission Number: 00005
Received: 3/29/2011 5:10:06 PM
Commenter: R. Groves
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: FTC Workshop: Debt Collection 2.0: Protecting Consumers As Technology Changes; Project No. P114802
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Please note I tried to submit a few moments ago, but the site wouldn't accept "withheld" in any field, & dumped my comments.
To be more concise, w/technology advancing as it is, many debt collectors are obfuscating their information, I have three calls today from a CID of 000000000, which is of course illegal now that Pres. Obama signed into law 111th Congress's Bill S30 Caller ID Act of 2009. Some do not hide the phone number, but don't put a legitimate name into the name field. Many feel that consumers are lying, ignoring, etc their calls & attempts to collect. As it turns out now, I am actively blocking calls from debt collectors that refuse to adhere to basic honest principles ... call once every other week to see if any status changes have occured, beyond that no calls.
MANY of the debt collectors also fall into the "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" column. One debt collector A.R.M. (Accounts Receivable Management) has TWO of my accounts in their office. As soon as I talk to one of their people, 5 or 10 minutes later I get another call for the OTHER debt ... like magically in that 10 minutes I've inherited loads of cash, never mind find out someone died, when can I get them that money... This SAME COMPANY (A.R.M.) had a "phone glitch" one day which resulted in THIRTY THREE PHONE CALLS in ONE HOUR. Why? Because their automated system wasn't properly tracking the phone number, & getting disco'd once, surely must mean to try it again & again (see the attached screen shot for proof of incoming calls from A.R.M.)... & god forbid I don't pick up & get a "human" on the other side, because it means I'll be called again later, sometimes two or three more times until *THEIR* phone system realizes each pickup was a human on my side.
And these companies are using this technology to ramp up their volume of calls by placing FAR MORE calls than they have representatives for .. so that maybe 1 in 10 calls is able to get a live person on the phone within a minute ... & again that's IF the phone system recognizes a human on this side of the line, otherwise it drops the call & puts the number back in the queue.
AND ANOTHER technology they are abusing, is Caller ID in keeping track of people's phone numbers when the call in. I have nother family member that is on hard times as I am (unemployeed) the other day they were in my house, borrowed the phone & called back a debt collection company ... now that company keeps calling *MY* number expecting to reach the other family member who doesn't live here!
These companies need to start evaluating customers & setting up realistic goals to achieve. Namely people who are verified as unemployeed, stop harassing them .... stop insisting that they go to distant relatives or find friends to help them out with a 3000 dollar pay off ... especially if they would look into the specifics of some conumers debts.. I'm over 40000 in the hole (not to mention another 2000 for federal & state taxes that will be due shortly), what is 3000 for one debt going to do, except get another debt collector calling thinking I should be able to push someone else for another 5 or 6 thousand.
Maybe I'm that one odd person out of the millions .. maybe everyone else is a deadbeat, & should be treated like scum .. I guess since debt collection doesn't go through the court system, I'm guilty until proven innocent, nor am I given a case worker or tracking, nor do these debt collectors read their own notes when they get through to me...again like today is going tobe any different from the call of yesterday...which oddly enough wasn't any different from the call the day before that.. Even if I had a new job today ... I would *NOT* begin working a payment plan with these companies for at least 4 weeks, so that I'd have some stability back in my life. & these debt collectors don't realize all they do is give themselves a bad name, & cause people to hate & avoid them. They only defeat themselves!