• Report: #284856

Complaint Review: Certegy Payment Recovery Services, Inc.

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  • Submitted: Wed, November 14, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, March 24, 2008

  • Reported By:Prairie Farm Wisconsin
Certegy Payment Recovery Services, Inc.
11601 Roosevelt Boulevard St. Petersburg, Florida U.S.A.

Certegy Payment Recovery Services, Inc. Formerly Accu Check Representatives are very rude and unproffessional. My check was returned due to a typing error made by either the original merchant (K Mart) or by the federal reserve, they keyed in the wrong account # and therefor the check was returned because my bank was unable to locate the account St. Petersburg Florida

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Sorry you're experiencing such a difficult time....

*Consumer Suggestion: Some advice for you

*Author of original report: Hold on license...

*Author of original report: Hold on license...

*Author of original report: Hold on license...

*Author of original report: Hold on license...

*Author of original report: Called the store...

*Consumer Comment: Hold on your driver's license?

*Consumer Comment: Hold on your driver's license?

*Consumer Comment: Hold on your driver's license?

*Consumer Comment: Go to the store

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I received a phone call by a representitive of Certegy Payment Recovery Services on a Friday morning. She told me that she was calling about a check that I had written that had been returned. I was confused because I have a bank account that has been in good standing for years and I knew that there wasn't a chance of a check that I had written had been returned.
I explained to her that it did not make any sense and asked her for more information about the check, whom it was written to and etc... She told me that it was a check that I had written to K Mart on October 11, 2007 in the amount of $36.53 and the check number. The reason it was returned was because my bank was "unable to locate the account."
I did recall writing the specific check and told her that I had never received word from my bank that there had been a problem, so I took down her contact information and told her that I would contact my bank and find out the specifics.
I did this promptly and my bank looked at thier records and found that there was an amount with that check number that was attempted to be collected electronically but that the account number was from a prior account that had been closed. My account number ends in a 330 and they tried to collect from an account ending in 300. My bank explained that it was either the original merchant (K Mart) or the Federal Reserve that had keyed in the wrong account number.
My Bank stated that they would have no problem sending this collection agency proof of the error and I gave them my consent to also fax a copy of my bank statement the day the check would have been put through my account to prove that the check would have cleared with no problems. Which they did that very same day.
I called Certegy back and let them know they should be expecting a fax shortly. I proceeded to give them permission to make a 1 time debit from my account in the original face amount of the check. ($36.53)
I waited over the weekend and called them back on the following Monday to find out if they had received the fax and taken my name off of thier collections list.
Well, they were completely rude and told me that they were absolutely NOT going to take my name off thier list because I had only paid the face amount of the check and that there was still a matter of the returned check fee's. I explained to them what had happened and they treated me like a liar and told me that I was absolutely not going to be able to write a check to any merchant without it being declined because I have a bad check out there.
They were telling me that it would take 10 days for them to receive the faxed proof of someone else's mistake and that there was a hold put on my driver's license, etc.
Almost a month later I still have no proof of anything. I have tried to contact them several times and have only gotten the "run around" from them and never even an apology for treating my like a common criminal.
In this day and age where all they have to do is press a few buttons and ruin someones credit in an instant, why does it take so long to clear a matter that was honestly not my fault? They are liars and too quick to make judgements and not willing to listen and clear matters up quickly. This could have all been taken care of within 48 hours I am sure, instead they choose to brow beat me with a mistake that someone else made and there is nothing I can do about it but sit and take it.
I am afraid to write a check to any merchant because I don't know if it will be declined and I don't want to go through the embarrassment of it. They are certainly quick to put your name in the accu-check system so that any other check you write will be declined... quick to put a hold on my license... quick to contact me and demand payment in full. But, when they are wrong and a mistake was made on thier side of the court... they fail to take quick action to get the matter cleared up as quickly as possible so an innocent consumer does not have to suffer the consequences of someone else's error.
I wish I could make them all suffer the same fate they decided for me.
I hope they see this posting and I hope they take it to heart and maybe put themselves in my shoes for a minute and get this matter cleared up ASAP.

Christine
Prairie Farm, Wisconsin
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/14/2007 03:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Certegy-Payment-Recovery-Services-Inc/St-Petersburg-Florida-33716/Certegy-Payment-Recovery-Services-Inc-Formerly-Accu-Check-Representatives-are-very-rude-284856. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 11Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sorry you're experiencing such a difficult time....

AUTHOR: Treva - (U.S.A.)

I'm a former employee at the Northport/Tuscaloosa location of Certegy, before it was merged with Fidelity in late 2005.

Unfortunately there are several problems with large collection agencies, the first one being that more than one employee (account manager) may be phoning you. If someone fails to make proper annotations to the account (the information that someone collecting against a debt will be viewed & recorded electronicaly).

Just a generic version of what goes down when a check returns from a Merchant, the Merchant can do any number or combination of things. Try running the check again (if I recall 3 times is the maximum?) or turn it over immediately or at any point thereafter to a third party collection agency. The laws for FIRST party and THIRD party collections are not totally the same, so keep this in mind! The bank and the merchant my each charge the returned check fee. So, in your case at some point, it went on to third party collections.

So you have the $ amount of the original check and the total $ amount the merchant has requested be charged to recover the fee they incurred for the check returning. Most third party collection agents have NO direct contact with their clients (asides from the shipping/receiving of debts). The third party collection managers are NOT allowed to speak with these merchants. They are only allowed to speak to the person who cashed the check and their spouse, or a TTD assistant.

The automated voice dialer or a live agent may phone you from 7am until 9pm (I believe its 9pm) in accordance to the time zone based on the address of the person who presented the check. They may call several times a day during these times. They may only leave a voice message I believe 1 a day. If they speak to a third party (ie your niece answers the phone), law prevents them from disclosing much information. They cannot relate the matter to which they are calling to this third party. The collection account managers can simply say "CPRS" (to say Certegy Payment Recovery Services when not speaking to the presenter of the check would violate FCRA) in regards to an important/business matter". By saying that, some third party did not receive any information about who is calling and why. This is to help protect people from embarassment, and to help prevent your information being discussed with whomever that person was that answered the phone (obviously not you).

In your case, the party responsible for the misrepresentation of your account number (your bank, the merchant, etc, the company that printed your check) should, morally, have reimbursed you for the cost of these fees, however, as the presenter of the check, you signed responsibility for the validity of any and all information printed on the check.

As far as faxes are concerned (mind you this is how it was when I worked there in 2005) were NOT handled directly by the account managers (the ones calling you/taking your incoming calls).

The faxes were usually received by one or two different peope, who sent them to the corresponding department for verification and entry into the collection system. The account should have been annotated when the appropriate office received verification of that fax. But somewhere, someone has to pay that fee in the end, whether it be the merchant, bank, or yourself. And if the fax is received and someone failed to annotate it in the account notes that are available for that account manager on the phone to see and the amount remains unpaid, they are entitled to still contact you in attempt to collect against the debt.

These matters are rarely cleared in 48 hours or less, though it would be NICE if they were! The good news is that most of the time, if only a check fee remains, many agencies will "release" the account so that merchants who run through Certegy will once again be accepting your checks! And as silly as it is - you can STILL use a debit card generally while your paper checks are rejected. Dumb, but it happens a lot.

Certegy will NOT send to you proof that your account has been paid. As for the professionalism of some account managers, they *are* getting paid to collect the debt, not make friends. They should not swear to you, tell you "you will go to jail". These accounts are entered within a few days of being received from being the merchant - some merchants are quick to ship off the debts, others are slower than my deceased grandmother at getting stuff done.

If every debt was erased from existence every time that someone said that it was another entity's fault (you WOULD be suprised at what people say to get out of paying debts that are NOT true statements), no one anywhere would accept any type of payment but cold hard cash.

Sorry that this post is so long and if it seems as if Im condescending. I just want everyone to be aware of how the collection process works with them (at least as of 05..lol). Chances are you should be able to write a paper check again. You should call certegy (and wait through all the annoying automated crap), answer the questions that the live agent answering the phone asks you for (they ask for this information so that they can find your account), and ask them if it has been annotated to CONFIRM that this fax was received. If theres no annotation, they'll probably badger you about paying it - simply hang up.

At best, since they spoke to you, it'll put them off another 7 days before they call you again. At some point in time, the merchant will notify (or in accordance to their procdures in the contract with Certegy) for the account to be sent on for further collection or returned back to the merchant. Having a paper copy of everything IS nice, but seriously considering using a debit card and saving the receipts. Hope this helps.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Some advice for you

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

I wouldn't be so quick to take K-Mart's word for it when they say that it is "out of their hands."

There are actually a number of legal theories under which K-Mart could be liable for this matter. Certegy may legally qualify as K-Mart's "agent" for collections, which would make K-Mart responsible for their actions, or they maybe they could be termed "independent contractors" who, again, could make K-Mart responsible for their actions, etc.

Here's the deal. Certegy is basically a collection agency. As such, they are bound by the FDCPA. When you presented them with a verifiable and viable dispute as to the validity of the extra charges, they had a duty to investigate into whether such dispute was legitimate. The end result of such an investigation should have been that the dispute was correct and that you didn't owe this extra money.

But they apparrently failed to perform such an investigation, and that's an FDCPA violation. Further, they continued collection activities prior to completing an investigation into the dispute, and that's an FDCPA violation. Further, they continued collection activities with, at least, constructive knowledge that the amount claimed was illegitimate, which is also an FDCPA violation.

Send them a nice little letter explaining that 1) their company has violated the FDCPA repeatedly, in the manners outlined above; 2) any further collection activity will be deemed a further FDCPA violation; 3) their company has committed defamation against you by informing merchants that you are a check- bouncer when they had or should have had knowledge that such was not the truth; 4) that any further reporting to any merchant, bank, or other entity that you are a check bouncer will be considered a further act of dematation; and 5) that any reporting of this debt to any consumer credit reporting agency will be considered an act of libel and a violation of the FCRA.

Then you need to make a nice little threat about litigation and how they an avoid it, if you get my drift.

Best of luck!
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#3 Author of original report

Hold on license...

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

I did not know how else to put it... they did not suspend my license, somehow it is in the system that if a merchant were to ask me for my license and put my license # into thier computer system it would flag it letting them know that I have a bad check out there. Just another way aside from thier telecheck system to keep me from using my checking account.
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#4 Author of original report

Hold on license...

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

I did not know how else to put it... they did not suspend my license, somehow it is in the system that if a merchant were to ask me for my license and put my license # into thier computer system it would flag it letting them know that I have a bad check out there. Just another way aside from thier telecheck system to keep me from using my checking account.
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#5 Author of original report

Hold on license...

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

I did not know how else to put it... they did not suspend my license, somehow it is in the system that if a merchant were to ask me for my license and put my license # into thier computer system it would flag it letting them know that I have a bad check out there. Just another way aside from thier telecheck system to keep me from using my checking account.
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#6 Author of original report

Hold on license...

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

I did not know how else to put it... they did not suspend my license, somehow it is in the system that if a merchant were to ask me for my license and put my license # into thier computer system it would flag it letting them know that I have a bad check out there. Just another way aside from thier telecheck system to keep me from using my checking account.
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#7 Author of original report

Called the store...

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

I called K Mart and they told me that the check had been sold to this Certegy place and that it was out of thier hands at this point. So, no luck there.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Hold on your driver's license?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

""They were telling me that it would take 10 days for them to receive the faxed proof of someone else's mistake and that there was a hold put on my driver's license, etc.""

""quick to put a hold on my license""

What the heck is a hold on your driver's license? I've never heard of such a thing. Are you saying that they somehow suspended your driver's license?
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#9 Consumer Comment

Hold on your driver's license?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

""They were telling me that it would take 10 days for them to receive the faxed proof of someone else's mistake and that there was a hold put on my driver's license, etc.""

""quick to put a hold on my license""

What the heck is a hold on your driver's license? I've never heard of such a thing. Are you saying that they somehow suspended your driver's license?
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#10 Consumer Comment

Hold on your driver's license?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

""They were telling me that it would take 10 days for them to receive the faxed proof of someone else's mistake and that there was a hold put on my driver's license, etc.""

""quick to put a hold on my license""

What the heck is a hold on your driver's license? I've never heard of such a thing. Are you saying that they somehow suspended your driver's license?
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#11 Consumer Comment

Go to the store

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Go to the store and show them that they may have messed up and see what they say. Also tell them about the harassment that this collection company is giving you. I, personally, wouldn't have given them a dime.
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