I took advantage of an offer from a company called "White Overnight" which is a whitening producct for teeth. It was VERY CLEAR (I read ALL the "small print" in the Agreement) that I was only to pay for Shipping and Handling for $3.95 and that if I cancelled my "subscription" to the auto-re-order process within a 5 day period, I would carry NO further financial obligation.
One year, eight months later....I received a "collection call" from "Access Capital Credit" claiming that I owe them..."the collection agency" $164.62!! This is the FIRST I've heard of any of this. Additionally, the inexperienced "collector" (I have 7 years of experience) made a threat "we'll ruin your credit".......this is technically illegal.......a third part collection agency (which this is) can "refer this back to our client to be reported to a credit reporting agency." I collected all information from the "collector" and then told her that I was exercising my right under the Fair Debt Collection Act and giving notice to "Access Capital Credit" to cease and desist all contact with me. To this, I got the "pat" answer that un-trained collectors use "you have to put it in writing." I told her she was not familiar enough with the Fair Debt Collection Act and that I did not have to put it in writing - then I asked to speak with a supervisor. I explained that he needed to train his collectors better because his "collector" had broken two laws; 1 with the threat of "ruining" my credit (the collection agency is NOT a credit reporting agency) and 2 that it is NOT required that the recipient of a phone call from a third party collection agency put a cease and desist notice in writing......flat out verbally stating to a third party collection agency that you are giving notice to cease and desist all contact is legally sufficient. IF that collection agency makes any further contact other than ONE FINAL piece of mail, they have broken the laws outlined in the Fair Debt Collection Act.
This is a prime example of a scam company teaming up with a scam "collection agency." Complaints can be filed with the ACA (American Collector's Association) but better is the Better Business Bureau as the BBB WILL contact the collection agency and force them to fill out paperwork on the matter.
The "bet" in all of this is that the victim of the scam will simply PAY the money to make the problem "go away." It's also VERY time consuming to dispute this kind of situation as the original "vendor" (White Overnight) purposefully allows time to pass so that collections are more difficult to challenge...through Experian, etc.
"White Overnight" is a fly-by-night company that is NOT valid. What's really bad is that "Access Capital Credit" is acting as a "collection agency"...I don't know if they're licensed, but I'm guessing they are because as soon as I got an EDUCATED collector on the phone and gave the verbal cease and desist, calls stopped.
When making a collection agency stop calling, 1. make sure you have a supervisor or manager on the line, 2. state that you are aware that verbal notice is legal and that you are exercising your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Act and giving notice to the company as a third party collection agency to cease and desist all contact. Then simply HANG UP.........collectors don't make their commissions if they GIVE UP....as long as they can "engage" you in conversation, that means you CARE about what they have to say and they STILL have a chance to get you to pay them money.
Salt Lake City, Utah