I got a call a few months ago (August 2009) from the National Recovery Agency. They wanted 90-some-odd-dollars for an alleged "debt" I'd supposedly incurred in 2004 from Columbia House DVD.
Interesting fact: The address they had on file for me was an overseas military address, which was not my place of residence in 2004, nor had it been for two years.
I inform the man on the phone that I had not ordered any DVDs from Columbia House in 2004, at which point I was informed it was a "negative option" deal. You know what that is? It is a scam wherein they send you either a letter which states that if you DON'T tell them to keep their crap, that you agree to their contract. Lovely. How many of these things are unopened and tossed in the recycle bin? Who knew that throwing away an unsolicited piece of paper is the same as signing on the dotted line.
Whatever. Told the fool I wasn't paying, and hung up.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, I get a call from them again. I missed the call, but returned it. I calmly explained to the woman who answered that I knew what this "debt" was all about, and that they would not see a single penny from me. She began interrupting me, asking if she could speak. Things got a little heated. (I'll admit, these people make my blood boil.) When I asked to speak to her superviser, she hung up on me.
Just last week, I got another call. Before I answered, I took several deep, calming breaths. I answered and allowed the woman to go through her spiel, which went along the lines of, "I am calling about a debt from Columbia House DVD in the amount of $104 (it went up!). How would you like to pay that today?"
To which I replied, "I am aware of this supposed debt. I didn't sign up for anything, which you are well aware of because this was a negative option scam. Therefore, I am not paying anything. Go ahead and put this on my credit report if you haven't already, because I am not paying."
And.. she hung up on me.
People, no legitimate collection agency hangs up on you. I know. My mother was a collector for her county. This NRA.. they buy debt that other companies (like Columbia House) have written off.
I'll gladly take the hit on my credit than give one penny of my money to these low lifes.
Btw, if you are having these problems, look up "unsolicited merchandise gifts" in your state, and "state statute of limitations." Be enlightened.