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I have to agree that this company does not seem like an honest outfit. In a call today, for someone I don't know and who has not had this phone number for at least several years, if ever, they seemed very shady and unprofessional.

Two representatives were on the phone in succession, and they did not want to provide their names, the name of the company, the address, or any other information. They did eventually say that it was a call to collect a debt with AT&T Wireless, even though I am not the person they are trying to reach. (Isn't that illegal? I did nothing to suggest or imply I was the person they were supposedly calling.) They kept demanding my name (as if it's any of their business) and I have little doubt they would have asked more intrusive questions, and added me to their fake-billing schemes, had I given them any personal information. They were incredibly rude also, apparently believing they have a right to call complete strangers and demand their names. Sorry, if you call me, you don't get to quiz me. Apparently these people were brought up in a barn and never learned proper phone manners.

Sub: #41 posted on Wed, 01/25/2006 - 12:38

Unregistered


InnocentBystander,

The same story is being repeated again. I'm really very sorry to know your problem. How can they do this type of mistakes? Moreover they neglect what people say to them.

Send them a C&D letter, CMRRR. State clearly that you are not the person they are looking for, so they stop all kind of communication with you.

They should honor your request. If you find any breach of this, you can report against them with FTC, BBB and so on.

Go through this entire thread. Read what Ex BCR Collector has said here. It might help you also.

Sub: #42 posted on Wed, 01/25/2006 - 13:31

stanley stanley

(Posts: 1640 | Credits: )

Stanley,

"How can they do this type of mistakes? Moreover they neglect what people say to them." You've got me. If they were really trying to reach people about debts they thought were legitimate, surely they wouldn't want to spend time and money bothering unrelated strangers. This isn't the first time I've gotten a wrong-number call from a debt collector, but it is the first time I've found their behavior so odd and downright suspicious that I was moved to look up and post about the company in question.

I did read ex BCR bill collector's post. Unfortunately his suggestions mostly seem based on an assumption that the caller has the right number, and/or that the person reached is the right person and owes the money. I can see how a person from that industry would get jaded, and might need such assumptions to get through the day, but the resulting suggestions are not really applicable for me. Probably useful to others though.

In my case, I don't even know the person BCR was trying to reach. I had already told them there was no one by that name here, and that they had a wrong number, and asked them nicely to please not call again since I can't help them. They called again anyway. At this point, it was clear that being polite and giving them what information I had did no good. So I took a different approach with their last call.

It used to be that when I got these, I would politely state that there was no "Bob Smith" here, and they had called the wrong number. I got endless repeat calls from the same companies. Finally one evening I decided to stay on the phone with one of the worst offenders and return some of the irritation they'd given me -- with faultless politeness of course. That worked better than being "nice" ever did -- they were furious by the time they hung up, and abruptly stopped calling, after weeks of daily calls. I've concluded that, after the first call, briefly telling these people it's a wrong number only encourages them. I now try to keep repeat offenders on the phone as long as possible, and of course I never give them any information about myself. Most resist giving out even their company's name and address -- you'd be surprised how many minutes that question alone can use up. The ones who stay on the phone the longest invariably start huffing and puffing that I'm "rude" for not giving out my personal information to whatever strangers happen to call and demand it. Lemons to lemonade: I get entertained, and they don't call back.

I did this with BCR, and I doubt I'll hear from them again.

So, to the bill collectors who are convinced that any person who won't identify themselves is secretly the person you're looking for, or is covering for them -- nope, sorry, but keep that delusion if you like. You'll get one polite statement from me that there is no Bob Smith here, then I won't help you anymore. If you call again, knowing you're calling an innocent bystander, well... given what I've read about your industry I figure I'm doing a good deed by wasting as much of your time as possible. If you're raging at me for not following your script, that's at least a few innocent victims of identity theft, billing errors, or name mixups you're not bothering. And I've got another great story for my friends. Thanks!

Sub: #43 posted on Thu, 01/26/2006 - 16:43

Unregistered


Ok, I know that I owe an old bill with Cingular. Problem is, Cingular gave me 30 days to decide if I wanted a cell phone I was interested in. After two weeks it was quite clear that I could not us this phone in my rural area. I contacted them to cancel the order (after 30 days I would be responsible for thier contract fees of over 200.00). I thought this was completely cancelled and sent the phone back. Next thing you know they say they didn't get the phone until 33 days from the date the service started. They stick me with the bill.Next thing I know this BCR is calling my home multiple times a week sometimes two times a day. I send them a letter and also send the same one with detail on the debt they are attemtping to collect to Cingular. No one bothered to look into this as it clearly was an error from Cingulars receiving department. They obviously didn't report receiveing the phone back in a timely manner. No one has even tried to help me to resolve this. They are RIGHT and that's it. BCR just gets these debts and harrasses until someone changes their number of finally pays. I have begged both of these companies to look into this. Nothing has been done. Obviously they sees dollar signs in thier future and can care less what they do to hard working people who are honest and debt free. I have never had a collections issue in my 41 years! I have 4 teenagers who I have to support and these people just want money and don't seem to care that it isn't even owed!
I may have been off cue but I had to vent about this. BEWARE! When you think you are doing right in life, and you are responsible, you can still be scammed.

Sub: #44 posted on Sat, 02/11/2006 - 06:09

Unregistered


This issue should be brought under attention of Attorney General at this stage. This company does not seem to be cooperative to consumers. What if someone wish to cancel the contract on the 30th day? It is quite sure that the papers will not be returned within 30 days. In that case the consumer pays for the service that he/she never received! This cannot be allowed.

Please contact Consumer Protection Office or FTC and see what they recommend at this stage. Keep us posted.

Sub: #45 posted on Mon, 02/13/2006 - 10:42

stanley stanley

(Posts: 1640 | Credits: )

I'm an attorney in Virginia, and got one of those bogus AT&T Wireless bills for a cellphone I never had. I complained about it, but eventually decided I'd go ahead and send AT&T the $49 - easier than a letter writing campaign.

The long and short of it is BCR began calling, and sent a demand letter. I sent them a denial of claim and demand for verification pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which BCR ignored. I logged the calls and did "call trace" (*57 or 1157) on most of the calls.

After a few months of that, I filed suit against BCR in a Va. Circuit Court for around $275,000.00 - the statutory damages is up to $1,000 per violation of the fdcpa (15 U.S.C. section 1692 et seq.). Even though the FDCPA is a federal statute, you can file suit in any "court of competent jurisdiction".

I'd like to find out more from people familiar with BCR and their affiliates, about their business practices, officers, etc., particularly from former employees willing to sign an affidavit or be deposed (wherever you live, of course). I can't force anyone outside of Va. to testify, but I'd like to get as much information as I can.

As a general BTW, note that for legal purposes, calling someone on the telephone is just words in the air unless the call is recorded under specially controlled circumstances with the consent of all concerned (and that's too hard for most folks). Recording a call without the other person's consent is a felony in a half a dozen or more states (remember Linda Tripp in Maryland?). So write letters. You have 30 days to tell the debt collector you deny the debt and demand verification. I'll send anyone a free copy of my standard letter by email. If you send a demand for verification letter, they're supposed to stop calling (BCR obviously ignores this law), and to take no further action to collect unless and until they send you the documentation that verifies (1) that there is a valid debt and (2) that you're the debtor.

Email deleted as per forum rules-Vikas

Sub: #46 posted on Wed, 02/15/2006 - 15:37

Unregistered


virginia, as an attorney woud you be interested in spearheading class action suits against bad collectiona gencies and payday lenders if so reply here or pm me

Sub: #47 posted on Thu, 02/16/2006 - 09:18

jj jj
Moderators
(Posts: 1057 | Credits: )

Wow, and here I thought I was the only one in this boat. AT&T improperly billed me after they failed to set up my account correctly, giving me only half of the monthly "anytime" minutes I signed up for. I disputed this with AT&T, but they refused to acknowledge or correct their error, a fact that cost me overage charges, which I refused to pay. I wrote two different multi-page letters, explaining in painful detail and timelines my position in this matter. In both instances, I never got a response. Believing I had been wrongly treated, I filed a complaint with the BBB in the state of Washington and I *finally* got a response from them. But again, they failed to correct their error. This issue continued through the Cingular aquisition of AT&T wireless for well over a year, after which I refused to pay them any more and switched phone companies. My argument then -- as well as now -- is that I give them plenty of time and opportunity to correct this situation and my attempts were met with nothing but failure on their part.

Now I'm getting numerous calls with forged caller ID ranging from 952-674-4770 through 952-674-4780, which I finally tracked down to BCR. When I try to dial these numbers, I get a recording stating that the number has been disconnected or is no longer in service. I'm relatively sure that providing false caller ID is against FCC rules, but in reading the prior posts in this thread, I'm guessing that following the rules in the least of their concerns.

I'm no attorney, but I plan to explore more of what "Virginia Legal Defense" had to say and find out what my rights are.

Sub: #48 posted on Thu, 02/16/2006 - 17:39

Unregistered


First, let me point out that I'm licensed only in Virginia and admitted to practice in the Federal Courts in Va. I haven't ever done class action suits, although this is certainly a good opportunity for one, but they're highly technical and I generally represent defendants, not plaintiffs. If anyone is sued in a court in Virginia over one of these things, I could certainly represent you there or find someone who will.

I see that my email address has been deleted from the msg I sent earlier, so I'll post the text of the demand for verification letter here, with some loss of formatting (highlight the entire thing, press CTRL-C to copy, open Windows Notepad, Wordpad or your word processor with a new document window and press Shift-Insert to paste the text. Edit appropriately to meet your needs.)
=====
____Quote:
___________________________________
Date of this Letter
Addressee:
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
Re: Your demand for payment letter purportedly mailed on ____________________. (copy attached.)
I deny the indebtedness you claim, and demand written verification of the debt. The verification shall include copies of any and all contracts, acknowledgments of indebtedness, writings or other instruments upon which you will rely or which you claim form the basis for your attempts at enforcement of the purported debt or which you claim demonstrate either legal damages or my liability therefor. You will also provide a complete statement of account and all information required under 15 U.S.C. ?? 1692(g) including the true and correct name of the purported creditor. In addition, and to the extent the claimed indebtedness represents sums allegedly due by reason of the provision of products or services, documentation supplying the five additional items of information is demanded:
the date and time the service was performed or materials delivered;
the identity of the person or persons who performed the service or provided the materials;
a complete description of the service performed or the materials delivered;
the amount of time expended or other quantifiable basis for billing; and
the hourly rate or other measure of the amount purported to be due.
A failure to provide me with the documents upon which you will rely to demonstrate both liability and legal damages will be taken as a failure to provide the verification demanded. Any further attempt to contact me or to collect on this purported debt will be treated as a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as well as any other applicable legislation. This demand for verification is made without prejudice and is neither an attempt to settle any claims, nor is it a waiver or release of any rights or claims I may have or causes of action which have already accrued against either you or your principal.

__________________________________________
(signature)
Name and address of purported debtor:
________________________________________________________________________ _______
________________________________________________________________________ _______
________________________________________________________________________ _______

Suggestions for use of this form letter:

First and most important: you have thirty days in which to send the debt collector a letter in which you deny the debt and demand verification after your first receipt of a notice conforming to the fdcpa, usually contained in the demand letter. The notice usually says you have thirty days in which to contest the debt after which the debt collector is entitled to consider the debt valid.

You have to be able to prove you mailed the demand for verification within the thirty days. By the way, there is no advantage to waiting until the last minute to send the letter; you're much better off sending it promptly, so that issues like "what constitutes 'receipt' or 'mailing" won't matter (e.g., should the letter be mailed on the thirtieth day, is it too late because the debt collector won't have received it within the thirty days, and does the first of the thirty days count as "one" or "zero"?).

The debt collector has five days from the date of his first contact to you, regardless of what form that contact takes, in which to send you a written notice of your rights under the FDCPA. Make a copy of the demand letter and attach it to the letter you send so they can't complain that they didn't know your account number or name as it appears in their computer.

Have a reliable friend with you, someone competent to appear in court if necessary as a witness, to read the demand for verification, and initial it at the bottom in a corner (for later identification in court). Have the witness watch you fold the copy (keep the original for your records - don't send a debt collector originals of anything) and place it in an envelope. Have the witness read the "address for other correspondence" on the debt collector's demand for payment letter to you, and compare that name and address with that on your envelope.

Note that there is always a different address for payments and "other correspondence" - that's so they can safely ignore anything that comes in the P.O.Box designated for payments other than a payment. You must send the demand for verification to the "other correspondence" address.

After the witness compares the name and address to be sure it's right, have the witness go to the post office with you and watch you mail it. The witness has to be able to testify that the same letter you put in the envelope is that which was in the envelope that went into the mail, so after you fold and seal the envelope, give it to the witness who will hold it for you until you mail it.

At the post office, either send the letter by (1) registered mail, return receipt requested or (2) first class priority mail with delivery confirmation. Regardless of which method you choose (all you really have to do is prove you mailed it, so it doesn't matter whether the green card actually comes back) get a "certificate of mailing" for an extra buck or so and a cash receipt.

I prefer priority mail, since registered mail can be rejected or ignored, and that way I can get an email that tells me when the letter was actually delivered by date and time (so I can measure violations of the FDCPA from and after that date and time). The certificate of mailing, along with your witness' testimony and the original letter will be necessary to prove when and what you mailed. Then keep a log of each and every letter and phone call from the debt collector.

Each one made in violation of the FDCPA is worth a thousand dollars or more plus attorneys' fees when you sue the debt collector. If they send you documentation purporting to verify the debt, look through it carefully and see if you can find information that they could use to prove (1) that there is a valid debt of the amount claimed and (2) you're the person who owes the money. If you're not sure, take it to a lawyer and pay the lawyer to look through it.

Don't count on this information being up-to-date; see 15 U.S.C. ?? 1692 et seq. for the full scoop on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. It is believed to be useful as of February 16, 2006. This form is provided as a suggestion based on actual usage in a law practice since about 1997. You are acting as your own lawyer in using this form, and you are expected to adapt it to your specific purposes based on your own knowledge and legal research. The use of this letter assumes that you can, in good faith, deny that you owe the amount of money that is claimed.

You can use it if you believe you do owe money, but that the amount you owe is materially different from that claimed. If you do owe the money as claimed, you can create more problems than you can solve by using this letter - if you don't want to pay them, wait until they file suit and see what kind of proof they can offer the court. If you simply want to make the debt collector stop, just send them the money.

If you're not willing to do what's necessary to protect your rights, just give up now and save yourself the effort. If you use this letter effectively, even if you owe some part of the debt, the debt collector may end up owing you more than you owe the creditor.

Post edited for cleaner view-Vikas

Sub: #49 posted on Fri, 02/17/2006 - 13:29

Unregistered


Virginia Legal Defense,

Thanks for the help. Why don't you signup this forum? You can have direct interaction with members through PM service then. We need your suggestion and support in future too. Thanks once again :D

Sub: #50 posted on Fri, 02/17/2006 - 13:44

stanley stanley

(Posts: 1640 | Credits: )

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