On September 15, 2008, at 7:20pm, I answered a call from RPM Collections, phone number 571-261-0021. The agent calling was Michelle or Melissa. It was in regards to a Sprint bill that I am currently disputing. When the agent first identified herself and explained the reason for the call, I informed her that I had already spoken to someone on Saturday from her agency and that I had explained I was disputing this bill with Sprint. She then said to me that she was calling to tell me my dispute had been denied and that I needed to pay the outstanding amount of $164 and some cents (I did not catch how many cents).
I explained to her that the reason I was disputing the bill was because the service I had signed on for (mobile broadband) did not work and so I had to cancel the contract. And that I would not pay for a month of service that I could not use. I did not go into the details of the dispute; those are laid out in the certified letter that I sent to Sprint on September 11, 2008. I told her how I had spoken to various customer service representatives and after receiving the bill of August 18, 2008 that still did not have the correct amount that I believed I owed (a $36 activation fee), I called again and was given confusing information.
The Sprint CSR (whose name and employee ID I documented in my letter of dispute) kept giving me a different amount of money that I owed and when I pressed for an explanation as to how they came up with those charges (which, I might add, differed from the printed bill I received in the mail), she kept giving me different explanations. I told the collections agent that I was waiting to receive something in writing explaining to me why my dispute was denied, as she claimed, and a line-item accounting of what I owed.
After explaining that to her, she then back tracked and told me that I owed an early termination fee. When I cut her off and told her I had cancelled prior to the 30-days grace period I am given, she asked if I had proof, which I said I did. She told me I had to fax it, but did not tell me to whom or give me a number. I questioned the amount I was being charged versus what an early termination fee would be.
She stated that an early termination fee could be anywhere from $150-$200. She then said that based on what I owe, I was looking at a $150 early termination fee and about $14 and change in late fees. Which made no sense. I then inquired as to why an early termination fee was not noted on the bill I received, to which she then changed her story again and said that she never said I was being charged an early termination fee (but she just had). She then said it could be for not returning the equipment, but I had done that and received a refund on it.
I asked if her company had ever sent something to me in writing, as I was uncomfortable dealing over the phone since stories can change and there is not a written record of communication. She said that something had been mailed to me September 11, 2008. As of this call, I had not received it. I told her that I would wait to get something in writing before proceeding further.
It was at this point that she became very hostile and her story changed. She told me that she didn't know how the Sprint CSR could have told me anything about my account as it was at collections. She then said that I had two options, to refuse to pay or to make a payment right then. I told her that I wanted something in writing.
She claimed that if I paid the full amount I could then dispute it with Sprint and recoup my costs if my dispute was approved, to which I replied that I didn't trust Sprint to return my money once they had it. She then tried to tell me that she sees that happen all the time, that the companies do return the money. I repeated my assertion that I wanted something in writing first. She said that something was mailed on September 11 and that if I didn't pay now, my account would go to permanent collections and be reported to my credit report, and that I would face additional fees. She asked if I was refusing to pay.
I stressed no less than a dozen times that I was not refusing to pay, but that I would not pay tonight because I wanted something in writing so I could see exactly what the charges are. She told me I was not entitled to that because it was more than 60 days that my account was past due. However, I told her that I was disputing my bill of August 18, 2008 because that was supposed to be my final bill with all my charges laid out for me after cancelling the contract. Therefore, it had been less than thirty days and that I had filed my dispute in time.
She stammered for a moment and then came back at me about my refusal to pay. I again stressed that I was not refusing to pay, I was waiting for something in writing. She argued with me that by not paying anything tonight I was refusing to pay. I said that I knew this call was being recorded and that I will say again for the record, I am NOT refusing to pay, I will pay what I legitimately owe when I am informed in writing of that. She said, in a very antagonistic manner, You are refusing to pay. I said they would hear from my attorney. She then hung up on me.