I've been having problems with this outfit for sometime now. I won't go into that for now. My problem right now is theft pure and simple.
I gave them two bank accounts to use for over the phone checks. Bank "A" and Bank "B". I finally had enough of this company so I got the money to pay them off. I had my wife call because I was at my wits end with them, but I was standing next to her to answer any questions. She asked what the payoff amount was and was told $6,106.46. She gave them the authoization to take the money from Bank "A" check number XXXX. I thought we were through.
Nine days later I received a notice from Bank "B" that I had a $15.00 returned item fee for check number XXXX in the amount of $6,106.46. I thought that they had taken the money from Bank "A" and then tried to take it from Bank "B"! I called right away and was told that I was wrong and that the account had been paid in full. I told the lady that I was holding a notice in my hand that said I was charged the fee. She told me to fax it to them and she gave me a fax number that turned out to be bogus. She also told me that they would send me a check for $89.69 for overpayment.
After we found out that the fax number was bogus I wrote them a letter regarding the returned item fees and explaining that the account that they attempted to withdraw the money from was not authorized that the only account that was authorized was Bank "A". I also advised them that they were not to use either account until this was resolved. I wasn't going to pay check fees to them also. They did not reply.
Six days later I received a check in the amount of $89.69 for overpayment refund. Also an invoice charging me $31.00 for finance charge. Then, nine days later I received another notice from Bank "B" of a returned item fee of $15.00 for check number XXXX in the amount of $6106.46. This time I checked my account at Bank "A" and all of the money was still there. I called Direct Merchants and told them that they were attempting to withdraw the money from the wrong account. I asked for reimbursement of fees and was told I had to write and request to have it decided. Their fault, but I was to be the one jumping through hoops.
I was also told that I now owed them over $6300.00. At this point I had an attorney write them a letter but received no response. I had another letter sent to them by my attorney a little latter which also went without a response.
Direct Merchants contacted a collection attorney in my hometown and they are asking $6,736.48. Due to their mistake I felt that I only owed the original amount less the $89.69 (the check they sent me, which I didn't cash and intended to send it back), and I added the $31.00 finance charge which I offered to pay which came to $6,018.75. They accepted this through their attorney as a settlement and will credit me for the balance.
I don't owe the balance. It was their incompetence that got it this far. They will claim that $717.73 as a loss and probably get a tax credit, I will probably have to pay tax on it as taxable income. And what is worse? I have no recourse. My attorney pretty much told me there's nothing I can do.
I would advise against any dealing with this company unless you want a lot of grief.
Thanks for the opportunity to vent.
St. Louis, Missouri