Asterisk Vs Telemarketers.
Today made me long for the day that I install Asterisk in my home. I want to have any calls that do not have Caller ID to hear a recording "If you are a telemarketer or a bill collector, your calls may be recorded, and reviewed by your future customers researching your company on the internet"
Basically the story goes I bought some Cell phones from a local company Car Toys. They indicated that I could try them out for a few days, and If I was not satisifed I could take them back and be refunded my money. I tried them for a few days, and figured that the 2 year contract was too much for my budget. I returned the phones, and Car Toys refunded my money.
I shortly after I returned these I recieved a bill from Cingular. It was a few days after my cancelation, so I figured that the cancelation and the bill had just crossed in the mail.
A month later I recieved another bill from cingular for 52 bucks for the hookup on the two phones. I was pretty flush at the time, so I paid the bill even though it was a rip off in my mind. Chances are Car Toys just mis-represented the return policy. Cingular did hook up the phones, and I don't think they shouldn't get paid for work they did.
4 month later I start getting calls from CCA, A collection agency. I advise them that I have no debt with Cingular and I have no debt with them, and that they would not be getting any money. They pretended that they have no way of knowing whether the debt is valid or not, and they insist that they will continue to harrass me until they get the 52 bucks that they are not owed or I get Cingular to follow up with them.
I make the sweat it for a few days, and basically tell them the same thing each time they call and hang up.
Finally my wife gets grumpy about it, so I call Cingular, Cingular assures me that my account is paid in full, and that their recovery dept is emailing the collector to make them stop harrassing me.
They called again earlier this week, after about a month off. I told them that Cingular had sent them notification that this was paid in full and that they should stop. The agent was friendly and said she would note the account.
They called again today. Now was the time to have some fun. I explained the situation to the non-attentive collector. I asked for his fax number. after some resistance he finally gave it to me. I advised him that I intend to send him a cease and desist letter. He tried to scare me about my credit rating.
I asked him for his name, I asked for the name of his company. I asked for his phone number. I asked for his address. I asked the date of the first time he called me. I asked for the date of the last time he called me. I adked for the Date of the letters that they recieved indicating that I had a debt to be collected. I repeated every item back to them to verify I had written it down correctly. I asked to speak to his supervisor. He refused and indicated she listened to the whole convesation.
Finally, I turned on my Phone Pro voice and asked about the weather. He was quite defensive about the question. I politely repeated it for him. He told me it was a beutiful day in Colorado. I thanked him for not calling me in the future and let him know that it was a pleasure wasting his time today. I probably got 15 or 20 minutes out of him. I wonder if he is hourly or commission. Either way, I am hurting their bottom line..
I immediately called Cingular. I asked them to look up my previous contact. I verified the content of my previous call. I let them know that it was not resolved. The lady was quite polite, and put me on hold for a few minutes and let me know that the Cingular collection department is calling off the dogs. I let her know I was not satisfied with that answer, as that is exactly what they told me last time, and that I would like CCed on any correpondence and I would like documentation that the account is paid off so that when the collectors call again I will be able to give the concrete evidence that this was taken care of. The agent at Cingular affirmed my fears. She said that she had indeed done exactly what the previous agent had done. She voluntarily gave me her name, and the name of the woman in collections who would be following up with the collector. She said she would send me a statement indicating that I was paid in full. She attempted to contact the collector to verify the info that they needed to be satisfied that the account was paid off. She came back on the phone and said they wouldn't talk to me and they where quite rude.
Later this eveing I called CCA back at one of the several contact points that the collector had given me when I was annoying him. I asked to speak to him.
Of course it is 6 hours later, and he is gone. The operator was kind enough to put me through to his supervisor. Somehow this supervisor had fogotten the entertaining convesation she had listened into earlier. She tried to be kind.
I advised her that Cingular was sending the second notification to them that the account was paid in full and that they should stop calling me. I asked her for confirmation that they had recieved that notice. I let her know that I had told them the same information each time that they had called me. (using the dates that the collector had given me) I advised them that Cingular had contacted them and asked that it stop, but they failed to follow Cingular's instructions.
She attempted to tell me that if I understood the procedure I would understand. I work in a call center, so this didn't scare me. I probed her with direct questions about their procedure. She immediately folded. Cingular talks to somebody upstairs. She doesn't know what happens upstairs. They are not allowed to talk to Cingular. I advised her that obviously "Upstairs" failed to do their job. They are wasting quite a bit of time collecting non-existant debts. They are not allowed to talk to "Upstairs" and they are not allowed to talk to Cingular, so really they have no idea what they are doing.
She kindly put the collection flag off for 30 days, and said that hopefully this will be cleared up by then.
Anyway. I doubt I will be doing business with Cingular again. I believe it is unproffesional to outsource your collection to ultra rude agencies when you have never even spoken to the customer yourselves.