Long and the short of it is that back in June of 2008, I spoke to a man named Thomas Whitman, who promised me over the phone that they could get my tax debt down to $1,000.00 or less. After about a 30 minute conversation, and me being hesitant, I was suckered into giving them a $1,700.00 immediate deposit to handle my case.
I was asked over the course of several months, to give just about every bit of information you'd give to a con artist, looking to steal your identity. As I was hesitant, I still wanted to have my case with the IRS settled in a timely manner, and in the fashion that I was promised by Mr. Whitman.
Incidentally, after trying to contact Mr. Whitman several times after the money was charged to my account for the services I never received, I finallay got a person on the phone that told me he no longer worked for the company, and that Grace Cheng was now handling my case.
Grace asked me for more information, and had modified information on previously sent in paperwork that made the information incorrect. I corrected the paperwork mistakes they had made at Progressive, and resent it in, along with a bunch of other paperwork, that I was given a time limit to have completed and sent in.
The deadlines for the paperwork were all submitted on time, and nothing was happening. I'd let some time go by, and hear nothing. I'd call, and always get Grace's voice mail. She'd always have a secretary call me back, instead of calling me directly. I made it clear, several times, that I didn't want to hear from a secretary, and that since she was handling my case, I'd expected to hear from her. I wanted updates on what was going on.
Finally get a call back from her, after calling Progressive to file a complaint against her. We talk for roughly 45 minutes about the situation, and I let her know that I expected her to be in contact with me more, and let me know what was happening with my case. Nothing changed after that. She went back to ignoring my calls and emails. I never pestered her. I'd email or call once or twice a month for updates, but never got a response. She was ignoring me.
Finally, I called the IRS to see if anything had been done about my case. This was now February of 2009. Remember, I hired them in June of 2008. A representative at the IRS informed me that there were only 2 phone calls from Progressive over that entire time frame, and no other correspondence in between. No email. No nothing.
In the meantime, I keep receiving letters from the IRS, regarding property liens, and I keep getting more and more interest tacked onto what they claim I owe them. My 2005 taxes never even got addressed by Progressive. The IRS claims I never filed, but I did, and have the proof. So did Progressive.
Finallay, I hired a tax attorney back on the East Coast, and fired Grace via email. This was in April of 2009 that I finally fired her, and removed her POA with the IRS. I requested all information that was sent to Progressive to be turned back over to me, and that any correspondence between Progressive and the IRS be sent as well, since my contract states clearly that I am entitled to that information.
Instead of receiving what I asked for, she informs me that she has no way to send me the correspondence, because it was done over the phone. She also informs me that back in January, they got me into a "non collectible status" with the IRS. That's now 3 and 1/2 months have gone by, and she decides to tell me this after I fired her. Not only that, but the IRS is still collecting, which means she's a complete fraud and a liar.
Here's the icing on the cake. She sent me a bill for more than $4,000.00. I then get a letter from the IRS, stating that on April 28th, 2009, that they received my request to have POA removed from Laura Mata.
Who is Laura Mata?? I never gave POA to anyone by that name, nor has anyone by that name ever contacted me from Progressive.
I do intend to pursue this matter, and file complaints with the BBB, and with the CA Bar Association. I won't be paying Progressive another dime, and have ignored the bill for the time being, which will be used as evidence against them later on.
If anyone else has issues with them, or there comes time for a class action suit, I'd like to be informed. I want to see these people behind bars. They are frauds and con artists!
Ripped off by progressive
West Chester, Pennsylvania