In January 2000, I recieved a bill from American Agencies in Torrence California, for a Pacific Bell account. When I saw the ballance I was blown away! "1890.00 dollars"
I admit that I did have a phone in my name in 1999, that was not paid before I was sent to prison. At that time the total bill was $1182.85.
Under my circumstances at the time making sure my children and our belongings were secure was my first priority! The bill was one of the things that I would take care of when I got back from prison.
In january 2000 I came home and started getting my life back. When I recieved the bill from American Agency I called immediatly.
I spoke with a representative, I asked why the bill had over 800.00 dollars in interest.
He explained to me that each month there is a 40.00 dollar interest pmt added to my bill untill it is paid off.
I Dont agree with this policy at all, I used to collect on Pac Bell phone bills for a small collection agency years ago in VAn Nuys California. They did not charge an interest charge.
I told him that I would only pay the original bill, (1182.85) and asked how I can make payments.
I was told that if I did not pay the bill in full including interest charges, it would not be removed from my credit report.
I asked about a payment plan, he said to hang on he needed to talk to his supervisor, a few minutes later her came back on the line and tole me in order for a pmt plan to be considered I would have to pay 900.00 (1/2 the ballance).
Well I told him I am sorry to inform you but what your asking me to pay is impossible, I continued to explain to him that I just got out of prison and my two children and I are recieving state aid.
I only get 545.00 a month and I told him that I could only afford to pay 40.00 a month untill I got back on my feet and back to work. I told him that after I get work then I could make higher payments.
He asked me to hold again and when he came back he told me his supervisor would not accept anything lower then the 900.00.
I aked to speak to him and the supervisor came on the line and very rudely said . Miss Barling this bill is almost two years old and 40 a month is not acceptible, I dont have time for your excuses Miss Barling, I have other customers on other lines who want to pay their bills and repair their credit, not get a free ride.
Before I could say anything, He handed the phone back to the other guy, who asked me how I would like to make the pmt .. check or money order?
I was very angry but tried to keep my cool ... took a breath and said you cant get blod out of a turnip and i dont have 900 dollars to give him. I also told him that I used to be a collector and know my rights as a consumer.
He was sympathetic, but he isnt the one who makes the dessisions and he was only doing his job. Well since that day I have tried to work arrangements out with American Agencies with no solution in site.
I get collection letters monthly from them + the 40 interest. The last one said " WE advise you to call an attorney, we are sending this account to our attorneys we incourage you to pay in full, in order to avoid and siezure of assets or garnishment of payroll."
Also I get phone calls from the rep, whom I have come to know by name checking on me. I tell him the same answer. nothing has changed.
I feel that this company is taking advantage of customers and that the way they handle buisness is ruthless!
The latest letter states and I quoote :
" We have been informed you are applying for credit, the balance is on your credit file as an unpaid account, remit payment in full today to clear your credit record.
You know it has now been 3 years since the first time I called this company my bill is now totalling 1997.17 This bill will continue to increase and there is nothing I can do about it,
I refuse to pay 1000 dollars in interest to this ripoff company that makes it impossible for anyone to work with, a company that ridicules its customers with statements like the one I described above.
I am a responsible person I cant change the past mistakes in my life or situations but When I am trying to better it .. What right does American Agencies have to prevent me from fixing it?
I also called pacific bell directly unlike other companies like the gas company , cable, electric that work with you with a payplan added to your new bill monthy.
American Agentcies wont except any pmt because they are not handleing the account anymore so the closed that door.
This is an outrage! I was surprised when I saw i am not the only one who has had a problem with this company!
I read another ripoff submision reguarding American Agencies!
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Pacific Bell