Same story, but longer, different town.
last summer I received a phone call from a "collection agency" representing Enterprise Who's Who. This was the first time I had even heard the name. I had not yet received an invoice from them at this point, not by mail or otherwise.
I was told that my business had an outstanding balance with the company for $359.40 (apparently, I negotiated a twenty-cent discount compared to previous reports here). But, like everyone else, I couldn't even recall having ever spoken to anyone at Enterprise. And that, I learned later, is because I hadn't. I ended this particular phone call by telling the "collection agency" representative that I was not going to pay the bill, that I thought it was fraudulent.
Turns out that one of my employees (who has zero purchasing authority) was the one who answered the phone that day. I asked that employee if he remembered the phone call. He said yes. I asked what the phone call was about. He replied, "They just wanted to verify our address". Sound familiar?
It was about ten days after the first phone call that I received the first invoice. It listed a Gold Package for $359.40.
I called Enterprise to dispute the invoice and immediately got a representative on the phone. I was told that the purchase was placed by an authorized person. I asked who that person was and he replied with the name of my employee. I informed him that my employee does not have that authority. He said that my employee claimed otherwise. The representative went to say that they had recorded the phone call. I asked to hear the call. End of phone conversation number two.
They called back when the recording was prompted. The recording was played back and I listened intently. The conversation went much the same as described in previous reports. The Enterprise representative asked my employee to verify our business address, which he did. Then, she read something from a script so fast, that the Starship Enterprises' universal translator would have had difficulty understanding what was said. I had to ask for it to be played again. Then again. Once more please? Three playbacks later, at the tail end of her script, I finally heard what sounded like, "are you authorized". My employee, who was very busy at the time, said, "OK". That was the end of the recording.
I continued to claim fraudulence and refused to pay the invoice. They threatened to ruin our credit. I said, "Knock yourself out, you don't have a legitimate claim".
Needless to say, they continued to send me invoices. So I decided to take a proactive stance. I contacted my lawyer and told him the story. He said, "Don't pay it". The next day my lawyer sent me the Florida statute that prevents businesses like Enterprise from doing what they do. He instructed me to write a letter to Enterprise referencing the statute (I have included the letter below for your perusal). My lawyer also instructed me to send a copy to Office of Attorney General and to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services. I did as he instructed.
Three weeks later, Enterprise Who's Who dropped their claim. End of story.
THE LETTER (some names have been deleted to protect the privacy of those involved, except you know Who's Who)
October 27, 2006
Enterprise Who's Who.com
4320 Winfield Road, #200
Warrenville, IL 60555
Re: my business name, account #xxxxxx
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter has been sent to inform you that you are unrightfully pursuing collections from . Your products/services were neither solicited nor purchased by the authorized personnel of this business. Furthermore, no record can be found of any product or service having ever been provided.
The person (xxxxx) you list as authorized purchaser on your invoice is not, nor has ever been, authorized to purchase any products/services for xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx, without my prior consent. No consent was given in this matter.
Further, your actions in soliciting the sale by telephone violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Fla. Stat. 501.201 501.213 and the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 41 et seq. Finally, the recording of your telephone conversation with my employee without his consent, violated Fla. Stat. 934.03 which prohibits the recording of electronic communications without the consent of the recorded party.
Any further attempt toward collections on your part will leave me no choice but to pursue legal action of my own.
In addition, I am notifying you that a complaint regarding your business practices and tactics has been filed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Brady x. xxxxxx
ccxxxxx x. xxxxxx, Jr
Fowler White Boggs Banker P.A.
50 North Laura Street, Suite 2200
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Division of Consumer Services
2005 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32399-6500
Office of Attorney General Charlie Crist
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
St. Augustine, Florida