• Report: #1073983
Complaint Review:

True Accord

  • Submitted: Wed, August 07, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, August 07, 2013

  • Reported By: jackjilljlc — Silver Spring Maryland
True Accord
400 Page st #108 San Francisco, California USA

True Accord Hurt a Client By Violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act San Francisco California

*Author of original report: True Accord, LLC is in "Pending Cancel" status with the State of California

*Author of original report: True Accord Also Guilty of Debt Collection E-Mail Spamming

*UPDATE Employee: The content of this report could not be verified

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This is a complaint about True Accord, a California-based debt collection agency, run by people who do not understand the law pertaining to collecting debts, that's #1 client appears to be Odesk, Inc., the well-known free-lance network service. Their unprofessional and possibly illegal conduct made a long-term client's life miserable which undermined my credibility as a project manager.

Odesk has now acknowleged that they made a mistake and accidentally sent the client's name to True Accord Debt Collection Services in error, but here's what they put her through. Rather than sending a debt collection notice through the mail, as any reputable debt collection firm would do so someone could respond to it professionally, True Accord sent the client an unprofessional-looking e-mail saying she owed Odesk the hefty sum of $40 and needed to pay the debt to them rather than Odesk, Inc.

She forwarded the e-mail to me and I assumed it was a phishing attempt as most 8th-graders could create a better e-mail template than what True Accord was shooting out. However, the e-mails continued even after the client blocked the weird e-mail/IP address address they were coming from so she sent a message to Odesk inquiring about the matter.  After being an Odesk client for more than 4 years, she received a rude reponse from a rep. saying that True Accord was a legitimate collection agency and she would have to resolve this issue with them not Odesk.

The client's attorney was able to resolve the issue with True Accord and Odesk but this story reflects poorly on both companies even though this complaint is about True Accord. Odesk should hire a repubable debt collection company and take seriously a complaint from a solid long-term customer instead of blowing her off.

Per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, True Accord was required to validate the debt after my client e-mailed them back saying she didn't owe Odesk money. Instead of doing that they sent repeated e-mails demanding the $40 and simply claimed that Odesk was insisting that the client had a legitimate debt. 

That's not validating a debt, True Accord and I'm encouraging the client to sue you for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if you pull that stunt with anyone else.

In addition, trying to collect debts by e-mail is impossible to do professionally and ethically even if it's not outright forbidden by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was written in the 1970s before we had fax machines, much less e-mail. 

In my opinion, True Accord should not be a licensed debt collection agency and I urge anyone who gets an e-mail from them to immediately file a complaint with the Attorney General of your state and California, where True Accord is supposedly located.

There will be no reply to any rebuttal from True Accord. They have taken up enough of my time.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/07/2013 05:48 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/true-accord/san-francisco-california-94102/true-accord-hurt-a-client-by-violating-the-fair-debt-collection-practices-act-san-francis-1073983. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

True Accord, LLC is in "Pending Cancel" status with the State of California

AUTHOR: jackjilljlc - ()

Okay, I'll bite and respond to the employee of True Accord or whomever made the PR statement above.

True Accord Cost Me Time and Money as a Project Manager

First of all, I don't know what a "side to this issue" is but I am a stakeholder in it. I'm a professional project manager. Because I recommended Odesk I had  to help this client deal with the mess True Accord, its debt collector made. Plus I can no longer recommend Odesk to clients as Odesk had the poor judgment to think that cutting costs on debt collection, to this degree, was a good idea. Fortunately, the client  who ended up with the $40 erroneous bill from Hades, knows me well and was understanding about the situation. True Accord's silliness probably would have cost me the business of a new client, by contrast.

True Accord, LLC is Not in Good Standing According to the State of California

I just looked up True Accord, LLC, located in California. There's only one True Accord, LLC, listed, and according to the California Secretary of State's website its status is "Pending Canceled." Thus it does not appear to be a solid entity in good standing with hundreds of satisifed customers as the supposed anonymous employee of True Accord claimed above.

By all means, visit True Accord's website. It's interesting that the anonymous rebuttal writer above claimed my story couldn't be verified when True Accord doesn't list a single person's name on its website. The mailing address is also different from the address of the registered agent (person responsible for accepting legal correspondence) on file with the State of California. Thus this supposed collection agency is probably just two guys getting mail forwarded from a virtual office to whatever parent's basement they're working out of.

Calling a Debt Collection Agency is Never a Good Idea

In contrast to what the person above suggested, calling even a legitimate debt collection agency is never a good idea. Communicate with them in writing if you have to communicate at all so there's a paper trail of what was said and who said it. Debt collectors often use fake names and job hop so they're hard to track down.

It doesn't look like California requires debt collection agencies to be licensed, but you can still file a complaint with the California Attorney General's Office about faulty debt validation and e-mail harrassment and/or forward a spamming complaint to the FTC. 

And also, True Accord is not spamming people instead of calling or writing them about debts to make the world a better place, as they claim. They're doing that because it's much cheaper than putting a 47 cent stamp on a letter, paying a phone bill, or doing the other things professional debt collectors have to do to avoid having their company be in "pending canceled" status. 

Unfortunately for the debt collection industry, harrassing people with unwanted commercial e-mails is not acceptable. If it was okay, they'd all be doing it. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out, True Accord.

Please Do Not Interact Directly With These Guys

If you hear from True Accord, whether you think the debt is owed or not, plesae report them to the appropriate authorities if they're spamming and/or not validating debts correctly and threaten to sue Odesk or whatever client they're supposedly representing. Suing them probably won't get you far as they appear to be financially defunct, playing around with multiple addresses, and doing other goofy things.


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#2 Author of original report

True Accord Also Guilty of Debt Collection E-Mail Spamming

AUTHOR: jackjilljlc - ()

This is not a response to any statement from True Accord. 

I just wanted to clarify two things for anyone else who has the pleasure of running into this bizarre supposed debt collection company.

True Accord Doesn't Know What Validating a Debt Consists Of

A 3rd-party debt collection service is required to validate a debt according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law governing all debt collection companies. 

That means that if you ask the debt collection company to validate a debt, they must send you a signed contract or some other form of written proof that a debt is owed. They should ideally also stop hassling you until they've done that.

I was with the client when she clicked the "I do not owe this debt button" on the e-mail form she got from True Accord, and saw the slew of e-mails she got after doing so. Arguably each one of those e-mails was a violation of the law that, if brought to court, could cost True Accord $1000 per violation, I believe.

According to the client, True Accord never validated the debt in any way. They didn't even appear  to understand the schema for doing so. They just claimed that Odesk said $40 was owed and Odesk's statement to that effect qualified as validating a debt. The harassment from True Accord doesn't seem to have truly stopped until Odesk acknowledged that the debt was not owed and  told True Accord to knock-it-off.

The scary thing is that if Odesk hadn't finally acknowledged that the debt wasn't owed, because the client's lawyer was after them, she'd probably still be getting harrassed mericilessly by True Accord over a  $40 debt that genuinely was not owed.

True Accord is Likely Guilty of Spamming Per the Can-Spam Act

Even if attempting to collect a debt by e-mail doesn't violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it violates the Can-Spam Act, likely. 

Even after my client blocked the True Accord e-mails, after asking them to send her a letter by mail instead of harrassing her online, True Accord kept finding ways to get around the block and sent repeated form debt collection e-mails gradually making bigger and bigger threats. I saw these e-mails with my own eyes and was shocked that supposedly licensed debt collection agency  would set themselves up for a lawsuit by spamming someone after they requested that a debt be validated.

That's not Kosher, True Accord. If someone says they don't want commercial e-mails from you, you need to honor that request, not spam them.

If True Accord spams you, I suggest reporting them to your web host. 

My Advice: Don't Ignore True Accord - Just Sue Them

It's tempting to ignore an off-the-wall business like True Accord but unforutnately they may try to ruin your credit if you do so.

Engaging them is a waste of time, in my opinion. I suggest beating True Accord at their own game by e-mailing them asking them to validate the debt they're claiming is owed, and then suing them when they violate the law by not validating it.  There are lots of books and internet resources that tell you how to do this and the penalities for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act include attorney's fees so you can see is a lawyer will take your case, too.









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#3 UPDATE Employee

The content of this report could not be verified

AUTHOR: ta_ta_ta - ()

Our company takes customer concerns very seriously. Unfortunately, in this case we were not able to find the discussed case since the reporter, who is not a side to this case, has neglected to mention relevant details.

We have no record of communication with a customer's lawyer, but we do have record of hundreds of satisfied customers who've been helped by us, opting to be communicated online rather than via letters and stressful phone calls. They have also been provided with validation and dispute services above and beyond what's required by law, as we are working to reinvent the way this practice is viewed and handled.

Any concerned customers is urged to email us directly or use our website to voice their concern. We want to hear from you!

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