I am submitting this report as a Big Rip-Off. I was contacted by Nationwide Collections stating that I owed a debt to them of $83.76. Stated in the letter form Nationwide Collections, they informed me that they recently purchased the debt collections of Columbia House. I was informed that I had 30 days to dispute the debt collection or else they would consider legal proceedings in the county court.
They stated that I might also have to pay additional legal costs and also such judgment could make it difficult for me to obtain future credit. They urged me in my own interest to make payment in good time. They quoted me a record number and gave me several options on how I could pay off the debt.
Upon receiving this letter, I gave myself a day or two to cool down. I know that I haven't delt with Columbia House in more than 4-5 years. I proceeded to call the company with the numbers that were listed. Numerous times I was placed on hold for atleast 20-25 minutes. Finally, I called one day, was placed on hold, and immediately put my phone on speaker phone. I must have waited an eternity and was finally connected to a woman named Janice.
Janice was pleasant and courteous and told me that if she recieved the Record No. placed at the top of the letter she would check out the data that she had. Upon checking out the number I gave her, she told me that yes, I did indeed owe Columbia House a total of $83.79. It was supposedly an unfulfilled debt owed to them for not fullfilling my contract obligation to Columbia House (by the way - this stems way back to either 2003-2004). I informed her that I did fulfill the committment and she said do you have the confirming document. Of course, I didn't keep it. She told me she would extend my 30 day period another 3-4 weeks, if I wanted to go back and check my check stubs from that year to see if I had any verification of any checks written to Columbia House.
Please note for the record that I recently have moved to a new home after living at that residence for many years and after 35 years of marriage we did quite a bit of down sizing while making this move. I'm usually the pack rat and save everything but I'm not sure I saved my cancelled checks from 4-5 years ago.
I am literally sick over the situation that after all those years, I am hearing from a collection agency trying to recover a debt such as this. If this obligation to Columbia House was not met, as they are stating, why wasn't I contacted by Columbia House indicating so. Hmmm, most interesting.
Also, when purchasing my new residence, nothing was disclosed on the credit check indicating such a transaction. Hmmmm, again.
The letter that was sent to me by Nationwide Collections Inc. was also not on proper letterhead. It was a xerox copied sheet of paper with black/gray lines running through it like it was multi-produced to thousands.
Any suggestions on how to proceed?
Hagaman, New York