On 6/8/2007 I received a call while I was at work, when the call was transferred to me I was advised by the operator that the gentleman would not accept my voicemail and was extremely rude. I finally had to take the call and he introduced himself as Winston Oliver Winslow of Allen & Lewis.
Long story short, due to not receiving bills we were behind on paying for a rented Oboe. Only that wasn't all, come to find out that I turned my son's Oboe in to be fixed at our local Instrument Rental company. We decided while it was at the shop that he wouldn't continue with his lessons so I called the company advising we weren't picking it up.
Well they never told the "Headquarters" and they hired this "company" to collect on what we owed for renting the instrument as well as what the Oboe was worth - $1554.00 - stating the instrument was STOLEN!! Winston advised that they'd like to set up a payment plan to repay the cost of the stolen instrument - I explained that it isn't stolen, but he wouldn't listen to what I had to say. He said he'd like to "help me out" by setting up a payment plan so "no futher legal action" would be taken.
When I baulked about this, he hesitated and said well we can set up a payment plan, how does that sound? But as soon as it came out of his mouth, he stopped and then asked me to hold.
Another gentleman came on the line introcing himself as Attorney J.W. Lomax, this guy was so over the top overbearing and rude I was quite alarmed. He asked questions so fast that I didn't have time to answer or comment. He said you need to pay $1554.00 immediately or you're going to jail for theft, do you have a credit card? I advised I don't have a credit card..."Do you have a checking account?"
I have a checking account, but not with that kind of money in it. "Well how much do you have?" - No where near that much money, "Well here is my number, you'd better have your attorney call me today as it's going to be a very long weekend for you in jail" and he hung up on me.
Checking the web I've found numerous complaints about this company. Under no circumstance should you give them your checking account number nor a credit card. If at all possible, try working directly through the company who hired this place. They are not registered with the Florida Better Business Bureau which makes it almost impossible to file a complaint on them.
Reading the Fair Debt Collection Agency Act issued through the Federal Trade Commission ~ just with my experience with them they have violated several statutes listed in this act. I fully intend on contacting the Florida Secretary of States Office, The Federal Trade Commission, and the Florida Department of Insurance as this company should not be allowed to harass anymore people the way they have been. They hold a Collection Agency License with the State of Florida, I wonder how many complaints they've received on this company if any. This is going to change starting now!
Good luck all you folks out there, as with my listing there are now 6 complaints listed on this website about this poorly run "collection agency". I find it funny though that the 2nd person I spoke to called himself J W Lomax. he of course is the name of the character who played the devil in the movie "The Devils Advocate". Whatever! I didn't think it was funny at the time as I was quite scared and paranoid. thank goodness I had the thought to check the web and found this website, it eased my mind immeadiately.
TO ALL OF YOU BEWARE OF ALLEN LEWIS & ASSOCIATES!
STEVENS POINT, Wisconsin