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Report: #422934

Complaint Review: Ripoff Report | Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. - Ft. Lauderdale Florida

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Los Angeles California
  • Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. 5701 W. Sunrise Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida U.S.A.

Consolidated Credit REVIEW: Customer Satisfaction Commitment: Consolidated Credit, one of largest credit counseling agencies in the country. Consolidated Credit employs certified credit counselors who assist clients to gain financial freedom. Consolidated Credit is an ISO 9001:2000 Registered Organization, member of Association of Credit Counseling Professionals, United States Chamber of Commerce, & Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. Many other credit counseling services don’t have the credentials, Consolidated Credit does & has clients' best interests in mind.


*UPDATE: Recognized by Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Program as a safe business service. Consolidated Credit pledges to always resolve any issues: feel safe, confident & secure when doing business with Consolidated Credit, recognized by Ripoff Report Verifiedâ„¢ as a safe business service.

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REVIEW UPDATE: December 7, 2018: Consolidated Credit remains committed to increased customer satisfaction and has improved their business practices over the years to better serve their customers. Consolidated Credit is truly dedicated to making sure their customers are satisfied and that any complaints which do arise are addressed promptly and fairly.

To date, Consolidated Credit has made good faith efforts to resolve all complaints reported on Ripoff Report. Based on our experience, the member business has proven to be among the top members of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program as a Verified Safe Business™.

Over time and since becoming a member, Consolidated Credit has remained actively engaged and improving the way they address customer service complaints. As an active and current member of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program we are happy to report that now more than ever Consolidated Credit remains committed to improving customer satisfaction.

Remember, no company or individual can ever satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time. There are no products or services that will always be perfect for everyone and even the best companies will receive complaints from time to time. However, by participating in the Corporate Advocacy Program, the member business has made a commitment to working with its customers to resolve complaints quickly and fairly whenever possible.

Please keep in mind that as a consumer you have some responsibilities as well. Success has many definitions that based on your past experiences, current situation and your perceived expectations. Success with any product or service is always based on the proper application and understanding. The fastest car will not run if you never turn the engine on. Look at how you used the product or service that was provided in relation with the instructions that you received. The Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program will help you get your voice heard but please be prepared with documentation and fair representation of your concern, also have an idea of how the company can fix your concern. Can they offer additional services, extend warranties, offer a fair refund or just get you talking with someone that can help. ..let them know and let us know!

*Any consumer not receiving satisfaction from a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program should email us at editor@ripoffreport.com.

Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW

EDitor's UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Consolidated Credit for its full commitment to quality customer service.

Ripoff Report's discussions with Consolidated Credit have uncovered an ongoing dedication by the company to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect that the company will work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any concerns. Consolidated Credit listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company in the services offered and the support for those services.

Consolidated Credit's Director of Eduction April Lewis-Parks stated, "We are dedicated to helping Americans with personal finance education and debt issues. Our utmost priority is our client success of getting out of debt and becoming better money managers.”


Consolidated Credit is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

The information provided in this report below is based on comments made by April Lewis-Parks during an onsite inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Consolidated Credit Counseling.

Consolidated Credit Counseling is a nonprofit organization that does community outreach, PSA, and looks for consumers who are looking for help with credit card debt, budgeting, and finances. April Lewis-Parks the Director of Corporate Communications explained the business model further by stating, "we counsel people on how to better manage their money, live within their means, wise uses of credit, credit scores, and how to ready credit reports.”

Consolidated Credit Counseling uses several different mediums in order to obtain leads, "we have TV and radio commercials. So people will see those and call. We have community outreach. We do a lot of seminars, and workshops... we have over 235 community partners. Then we have other credit unions and banks that we deal with. We do seminars and write booklets on their behalf. So people that belong to the banks or the credit unions need they will typically come to us because of the bank and the credit union handing out our materials." Ms. Lewis-Parks went on to describe the typical experience that a client would experience with Consolidated Credit Counseling, "when a person is looking for help we’re primarily a call center, however we do business online and in person as well... If they fill out the form online then a counselor will call them. Nothing can be done; no one can enter into an appropriate program or get counseled without interaction with a certified credit counselor. So once the counselor determines what the main issues are with the consumer then they will counsel them accordingly... [if] it’s a good option for them, those are the people that we end up counseling and they end up on the program for 3-5 years as a long term client. So they come in and go through the budget analysis, and they work with the counselor. Then all of the credit card issuers would receive a budget a negotiation proposal... they agreed to go on the debt management program if you concede interest, wave any late penalties that they have already been receiving. So if the credit card companies accepts that term, that amount every month, will give you a lower interest rate and lower fees. So once all of the creditors are contacted and they all agreed to the negotiation proposal then that information would be sent to the consumer. The consumer would sign a debt management program, and agree not to use the credit cards. Agree not to open any new credit cards while in the program and state that they adhere to pay the monthly payment on time every month. Then a copy of that would be sent to all the credit card issuers, and then they would be on the program. Every month they would pay whatever the set amount is on the date and we do most everything auto draft.”



CUSTOMER CARE & COMPLAINT RESOLUTION FROM CONSOLIDATED CREDIT

During the onsite interview Ms. Lewis-Parks was asked to describe a situation where a client was not satisfied with the level of service they received. She stated, "we have 60,000 clients so it’s a lot of people. Were not perfect. We don't make everyone happy all the time. It’s just the way it is. People call and join the program and they’re a good fit, and their on it and they feel relieved and so happy to get on it because now they feel there in control. Their interest rate is reduced and on a plan. Then the negotiation process with the credit card issuers is sent out. Sometimes the credit card issuer doesn’t want to take it. Sometimes they want more money. Higher payment. So sometimes it comes back to us. Now the consumer might think their all set and don’t expect the credit card issuer to come back and say 'no no no'. So then that changes the terms of what that person talked about with the counselor and the payment might get raised. That would be the most common issue. And it is completely out of our control. We can’t make the credit card issuers take the money. Actually about 90% of the time they do. But there is that 10% where they say that payment is not acceptable. So in the consumers mind they feel like what happened. I thought I was all set. And then they have this to good back and start over. So sometime that will put someone in an off-putting position. Usually when we explain to them. Once they get a client service rep on the phone and explain to them which creditor it is and the consumer can also call the credit card company to verify the information." In order to deal with complaints like this an attention team is in place that follow up with people who are unhappy or need more information on items of the program. This has been a successful form of follow up for Consolidated Credit Counseling.

When asked to comment on complaints posted on Rippoff Report's website Ms. Lewis-Parks believes that these comments were posted by an ex employee, "the claim that is the most recent is a disgruntled employee. So it’s utter garbage... [the employee stated that] we are all thugs and I mean it is just crazy. I think if most people read it they be like this person is crazy or they have a personal vendetta it’s not a client. The ex employee actually quit to go work somewhere else. He resigned and then he didn’t get hired at the other job and he wanted his job back but we decided not to hire him back because he resigned and he is sort of mentally unstable. After you read the Ripoff report you will glean that.”

When asked what type of changes they have made to honor their commitment to make things right with the customer per the request of Ripoff Report, Ms. Lewis-Parks stated, "we have an active program where we reach out to people that are unhappy, and either if they are unhappy with the service because they didn’t feel like they received the level of service from a particular customer service representative or counselor then we deal with those issues. All of our phone calls are recorded so every counseling session and interaction with the clients is recorded. So if someone does have a complaint against a certain counselor or a client service rep we can go back and listen to the recording and we address with that team member to see what happened. If it’s something about the negotiation process with the creditors we have a client retention team that’s their job to go in and help people understand the process if they were unclear and not satisfied with the new payment. Anyone can stop the program and anytime. It’s not legally binding, no negative repercussions, no fee for them to pay. If they say you know it’s not for me and they want to drop out it’s just a wash. A setup fee of about $25 can be refunded to them as well.”

Consolidated Credit Counseling is pleased to be a part of Ripoff Reports Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program. Ms. Lewis-Parker further explains by stating, "it means a lot to us. We know that the Ripoff report does have a reputation and high ranking in Google and so we definitely want consumers to know that we care about them and we care about anyone who is unhappy with the service and that we want to address any problems or issues anyone has.”

CONSOLIDATED CREDIT / STATEMENT FROM THE EDUCATION DIRECTOR APRIL LEWIS-PARKS

"At Consolidated Credit, we understand how stressful and overwhelming debt can be, but we can help you get out of debt and get your life back. For more than 20 years, we've helped over 5 million Americans. Our certified credit counselors work with you to develop personalized strategies for beating your debt problems for good. We are an ISO 9001:2000 Registered Organization and a member of the Better Business Bureau, Association of Credit Counseling Professionals, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce. We want you to know this because many other credit counseling services don’t have our credentials, and they don’t have your best interests in mind. We invite you to do your homework and research other credit counseling services. Consolidated Credit's certified counselors are industry leaders in providing credit counseling and debt management programs throughout the United States. If you choose us, we’ll customize a program that’s right for your financial circumstances and advise you on how to better manage your money and debts. We’ll also help you develop a budget and provide you with educational programs, professional counseling and financial instructions. Consolidated Credit takes employee satisfaction seriously as well. Employee feedback and surveys reveal comments such as this, "takes employee satisfaction seriously as well. Client feedback is very important to us. When you’re struggling with debt, you want to know you’re choosing the right company to help you find debt relief. At Consolidated Credit, we’re proud to say that in 20 years we've helped over 5 million consumers find the relief they need. At ConsolidatedCredit.org you will find stories and reviews from real clients who have used our credit counseling services successfully to eliminate debt and regain financial control. " Ripoff Report was pleased to learn that Consolidated Credit's past and current approach to business is focused on its pledge to total commitment towards client and employee satisfaction.”



CONSOLIDATED CREDIT DEBT SOLUTION SERVICES

"Choose the right path to overcome problems and regain financial stability.

Debt problems are draining – financially, emotionally, mentally and sometimes in the worst cases, they can even affect your physical health. So when debt problems strike and cause financial distress, it’s critical to find a solution as quickly as possible so you can regain control.

Of course, like any financial challenge, you probably weren’t taught how to solve debt problems in school. So how do you wade through all of the options available and how do you decide which option is right for you?

This section of our website is designed to help you find the right solution for your debt problems. If you still have questions or need help finding the right solution for your unique financial situation, call us today at 1-800-320-9929 and ask for help now with a request for a free Debt & Budget Analysis.

Keeping Your Debts Under Control

Ideally, you want to develop strategies that allow you to maintain control over your debt payments. This involves budgeting carefully to make sure your debt payments can be covered without sacrificing other things that you need.

Consolidating Your Debt to Avoid Distress

When you start to struggle with credit card debt payments and other unsecured debts, your first consideration should always be to consolidate. This rolls all of your debt obligations into one payment at the lowest interest rate possible.

Credit Counseling: Professional Help for Debt Problems

If you can’t solve debt on your own, your next move should be to contact a certified credit counselor. Credit counseling is designed to evaluate your debt and offer personalized advice on your debt options to regain control.

Enrolling in a Debt Management Program

If you can’t get out of debt on your own, your credit counselor may recommend a debt management program (DMP) – designed to help you pay back everything you owe in a way that’s manageable with your current budget.

Explore Other Debt Solutions

When you can’t pay back everything you owe, even with a debt management program, you still have options that will allow you to regain your financial control. You may face credit damage, but it may be worth it for a fresh start.

Understanding Your Credit Rights

When it comes to debts and collecting payments on debts, creditors and lenders are bound by the law – but they don’t always follow it to the letter. It’s important to know your rights as a consumer.”



STATED IMPROVEMENTS FROM CONSOLIDATED CREDIT

Consolidated Credit recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Ripoff Report's review, Brandefined has made organizational changes allowing its clients and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great client experience.

In summary, after our review, which included discussions with Mr.Way and Mr.Clancy, Ripoff Report is convinced that Consolidated Credit is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Ripoff Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. This program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer.

NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED

----------------------------------

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. My Debt Consolidation company just COST me $757.00! Ft. Lauderdale Florida

My Debt Consolidation company just COST me $757.00! I try to do the right thing, the fiscally responsible thing in this time of international financial free-fall, and it drives me to bankruptcy! (again... I declared Chapter 7 after 9/11, so can't declare again for 1 more year).

The facts:

- I registered with a debt management company (DMC) to help me consolidate and lower my unsecured credit card debt (about $15,000).

- I pay DMC a monthly amount to disburse among my creditors, plus a fee to them.

- I e-mailed them instructing them to add a credit card to consolidate and begin disbursing payments was ignored. I had to follow up with them months later and finally added the account. DMC neglect of my instructions cost me $100.00 in late charges, since the credit card had gone unpaid.

- And yes, I should have followed up on DMC sooner, but isn't this why I'm paying them a monthly fee to manage my consolidation account in a professional and timely manner?

- When they finally added this credit card to my consolidation, the monthly payment to the debt consolidation company became too expensive for me to pay- over $500! I tried to pay them bi-monthly, but it still totalled almost as much as my bills before consolidation!

- I called 2 of my creditors and negotiated with both a set monthly fee, a total of $140 LESS than DMC had negotiated with the same companies.

- I e-mailed them instructing them I would take over these 2 accounts myself since I negotiated a lower monthly payment.

- I subtracted these disbursements from my monthly autopay to DMC and gave them the new, much lower monthly amount, from $512 down to $200!

- My instructions were again ignored.

- I e-mailed them numerous times to follow-up and no response.

- DMC then deducted the previous, LARGE amount through my bi-monthly autopay- $256.00 in error.

- I called DMC, again having to follow up on why they did not carry out my instructions in the original, now month-old e-mail. I called their attention to the wrong bi-monthly amount being deducted. I also made sure they finally changed their records to reflect the lower amount I had worked out on my own.

- DMC deducted another wrong payment of $256.00.

- DMC's 2 deductions in error (which they admitted) totaled $512.00 and caused my bank account to overdraw.

- This has resulted in at least 7 insufficient funds penalties of $35.00 each = $245.00 so far.

- It has also left me absolutely penniless! Nothing! Last night I had to use my ATM for a $6.50 bag of dog foodwhich will end up costing me $41.50 with another overdraft fee of $35.00!

- I spoke to a supervisor at DMC today. He admitted to the wrong autopay amounts, but DMC had already disbursed payments in the wrong amount. DMC refuses to reimburse the first erroneous autopay.

- Supervisor said DMC will put through reimbursement only of 2nd wrong payment.

- When I asked to have it by the next business day (since my account is negative due to DMC), Supervisor rudely said that's not gonna happen. WHen I asked for his supervisor, he said "every supervisor has gone home."

- The debt management company has added to my debt:
$ 100- late fees from not adding and paying account
256- unathorized autopay at wrong amount
256- unathorized autopay at wrong amount
245- Seven overdraft fees (and counting) caused by unathorized autopays

$ 787.00- TOTAL that CCCS has COST ME

This is DEBT MANAGEMENT??!!

I am so frustrated I could scream!!!

Michelle
Los Angeles, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2009 12:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/consolidated-credit-counseling-services-inc/ft-lauderdale-florida-33313/consolidated-credit-counseling-services-inc-my-debt-consolidation-company-just-cost-me-422934. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc.-- UNQUALIFIED RETRACTION

AUTHOR: Penniless michelle - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

BIG UPDATE: After my first post, I contacted the company again and was finally connected with a really good Supervisor, who listened, understood, and made certain that everything was resolved to my satisfaction. I did immediately submit an update with this info, but it's not on-line, so here's my final post.

UNQUALIFIED RETRACTION:
I want to state that in no way is CCCS to be considered a rip-off and that since I now have a great rep totally in charge of my account, I am once again happy with their services.

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