Four years ago I sent a check for a small amount to buy some movies from an ad Columbia House sent me. The price was cheaper than Wal Mart and it said you would be in a club to buy other movies unless you cancel. I figured rather than spend the time writing in to cancel, a lack of sending money to buy more movies would give them the same idea as sending the cancel letter. All of a sudden I have difficulty getting credit for car, credit cards, etc so I check my credit report and 2 of the 3 show a $195 charge off from Columbia House showing a 650 score compared to a 720 on the report that didn't show the charge off reported. I tryed to call, oh wait, a big company that run scams like Columbia House doesn't have a phone, so I emailed them and they said to contact Capital Assistance Group at a # Columbia House provided. I called CAG and the phone just rang and rang until an answering machine picked up. I left a message with my acct. # from the credit report, my name, and phone #. They never called back so I called daily for 10 days and either left a message or they hung up before they even said hello. I was going to file a dispute with Experian and thats where I found both the names Columbia House and National Credit Solution and another phone #. ( Not sure why my monthly Citi credit report didn't show that info.) I called National Credit Solution and they said CAG just buys the debt and partners with NCS to collect it. She explained I never didn't pay my bill, but rather I didn't fullfill my commitment and that since it was turned over to collections I won;t get my other movies even if I pay. So pretty much my 2 movies cost me $195 plus the $10 bucks or so I paid for them in the 1st place. NCS said the only way to have it removed would be to pay in full or I could settle for 75% but the credit report would say settled for less than full amount which I know from working in banking doesn't help your score much at all. At the time I signed up I didn't know companies can report debt with out a SSN # but if they have a name and an address, even if its your old one they can access your credit and report bad stuff. Best Idea is to avoid Columbia House, BMG, and Book Clubs in the 1st place.
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