Just when you you have surmounted some hurdles in life and find you are in the right position to take care of past obligations that fell along the wayside, there comes a company like Alliance One.
Please note that I CALLED THIS AGENCY. They did not have my contact information. I called my original creditor (Capital One) because I wanted to settle an account with an old outstanidng balance and they said my account had been turned over to Alliance One. They provided me their number and connected me.
I spoke with a representative there who (after me telling him I was calling to pay my bill) said, "I need to tell you that the purpose of this call is to collect a debt. Any information obtained during this call will be used for that purpose." OK rocket scientist, didn't I just call you to tell YOU I wanted to pay this bill. You didn't call me. We made arrangements for me to pay about 90% of the debt and it would be settled. I provided my checking account over the phone and asked if they could fax me a confirmation of this settlement. He said I could call back in three days (after the check clears) to receive this fax (a zero balance letter that would state my settlement).
I called back when I was told to and the person I spoke with said they could not "find my account". I asked for a supervisor. This person said I needed to call tomorrow for the letter because the person who does that had already left for the day.
I called the next day. They could not find my account again! This time, I was given a manager who said that once we pay the bill it is no longer in their system. How then did the person the day before see my information? I asked about receiving a letter confirming the zero balance and he said that they would not send this to me by fax and I would have to wait until it came to me in the mail. I asked why I was told that it could be faxed to me. He said he did not know. I continued to ask why they would not simply fax this to me, he said he did not have to answer my questions anymore and hung up on me!
I called again to ask for this letter. Reiterated my story and was transferred back to the person who hung up on me. He again, rudely said that he would not answer anymore questions because that simply was their policy. "Their policy"!!!! Their policy is to take a payment over the phone right away and NOT have the business courtesy to send you a faxed confirmation (or even email) that this was just paid by you. So what is to say that you "settled"? What prevents them from coming back for more?
I began to worry! Now frantic that I had given bank access and a payment to ruthless people, I called Capital One. I explained what was happening and how shocked I was that they turned over these accounts to such rude, unscrupulous people. This was certainly a dark mark on their judgement as well. The person in customer care I spoke with was equally concerned and kept me on the line while she called to Alliance One to find out what was happening and why they couldn't fax a confirmation to me that I was settled with this account.
She finally got a person on the phone who took my information again. Guess what!!! It was the very same creep who hung up on me that took this request, found my information(imagine that) and faxed me the letter within 20 minutes.
BEWARE OF DEALINGS WITH ALLIANCE ONE. IF YOU REACH A SETTLEMENT HAVE THEM FAX THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT TO YOU BEFORE YOU GIVE THEM PAYMENT. SUBMIT PAYMENT VIA A MONEY ORDER OR CASHIER'S CHECK! IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS, CALL YOUR ORIGINAL CREDITOR.
Poughkeepsie, New York