I have a simple belief that, when dealing with people on the phone, regardless of the situation, you treat them with the minimum of dignity and respect. You don't yell, you don't cut them off, you don't hang up on them.
Portfolio Recovery Associates does all three on a consistent basis.
I think a large number of folks with debt, especially after the recent recession, are happy to arrange payments or understand their debt if the company making collections is reasonably kind, patient, and mostly, explains all the options available. At the very least, the employees/associates should be communicating before transferring people around and around and around.
Again, there seems to be little communication at Portfolio Recovery Associates.
-I was hung up on twice.
-I was yelled at (but never cursed at)
-I was asked to please stop calling them "debt collectors" as it is "a completely derogatory statement towards my [the person with whom I was speaking] profession." (Um, don't care, you picked the job, research the company.) Oh yeah, and they're debt collectors
-I was not presented with all options to clear my debt
Additionally, I was offered a debt-reduction plan, if I provided my routing and checking account number, but only if I did it "right now. If you hang up, the offer is off the table." I politely ended the call anyway. I called back 3 hours later, talked to someone else, and was given the same offer...she had no record of me being offered this before.
The best part was when I suggested to the collector, who lost her cool at the drop of a hat, that I just send them 10 bucks a week for however long it takes to pay off my debt, she begrudgingly admitted that while it wouldn't stop the mail correspondence related to the debt, they are required to apply those payments to my debt. Luckily, it's not too large of a debt.
My ultimate point is that it's all about kindness. I ran into a similar situation a few years ago when times were tough on my end. The company I dealt with at that point, was kind, patient, didn't scream at me, and didn't hang up on me. And guess what? I paid them! Why? Because it's all about kindness.
I know there's little that can be done in a situation like this. But before you deal with Portfolio Recovery Associates, I suggest readying yourself for a large amount of rude.