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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 6, 2004 12:52:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

I was told that when you send a complaint to the FCC disputing a
payment that the wireless carrier is demanding, that carrier cannot
send your file to collections? Just called the FCC today and the
person there said this was incorrect. She stated they can send you to
collections and affect a persons credit rating even while the FCC is
looking into a complaint. Just FYI.

More about : collections

Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 6, 2004 4:10:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon Upset <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I was told that when you send a complaint to the FCC disputing a
> payment that the wireless carrier is demanding, that carrier cannot
> send your file to collections? Just called the FCC today and the
> person there said this was incorrect. She stated they can send you to
> collections and affect a persons credit rating even while the FCC is
> looking into a complaint. Just FYI.

It is against the law to collect on any portion of the balance that is
in dispute. Dispute whatever you're arguing about IN WRITING to the creditor.
The FCC does not have to be involved and writing the FCC won't prevent
collections activity.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
July 6, 2004 8:45:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

"Upset" <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:87ca3fcb.0407060752.33c1dfae@posting.google.com...
> I was told that when you send a complaint to the FCC disputing a
> payment that the wireless carrier is demanding, that carrier cannot
> send your file to collections? Just called the FCC today and the
> person there said this was incorrect. She stated they can send you to
> collections and affect a persons credit rating even while the FCC is
> looking into a complaint. Just FYI.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the collection agency is
required to suspend collection activity if you notify them of a dispute.
You should do this via Certified Mail and get a Return Receipt, as agencies
are notorious for alleging that they never received correspondence from the
debtor.

You will probably have to pay any undisputed portion of your bill, and the
agency or ATTWS may report you to the credit bureaus.

Your post give little detail about your dispute, but I suspect that you
waited too long, allowing your account to be placed for collection, before
becoming proactive in resolving the balance. Too many individuals trump up
disputes in an attempt to thwart collection activity by their creditors.

If you believe that this will adversely affect your credit, you would be
well advised to seek legal counsel. There are attorneys that specialize in
fighting unethical or coercive tactics of collection agencies, and you can
locate them by doing a Google search.

You also have the right to send the agency a letter instructing them to
cease and desist from all further contact with you. They can close their
file (and the creditor can assign it to yet another collection agency) or
they can refer your account to an attorney for legal action, but they cannot
call or write to you anymore.

They are also prohibited from contacting you at places or times that are
known to be inconvenient. You need to send them a letter saying never to
call you at work, or never to leave messages with neighbors, or never to
call you after 6 PM (they are allowed to phone between 8 am and 9 pm).

Your best bet is not to speak to them at all, referring them to your
attorney instead.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 6, 2004 8:45:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon Jeremy <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote:
>
> "Upset" <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:87ca3fcb.0407060752.33c1dfae@posting.google.com...
>> I was told that when you send a complaint to the FCC disputing a
>> payment that the wireless carrier is demanding, that carrier cannot
>> send your file to collections? Just called the FCC today and the
>> person there said this was incorrect. She stated they can send you to
>> collections and affect a persons credit rating even while the FCC is
>> looking into a complaint. Just FYI.
>
> Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the collection agency is
> required to suspend collection activity if you notify them of a dispute.

Although, as the credit card companies will tell you, if you're only disputing
part of a balance, you're still on the hook to pay the part not being disputed
(and this is completely legal, and IMHO logical).

> You should do this via Certified Mail and get a Return Receipt, as agencies
> are notorious for alleging that they never received correspondence from the
> debtor.

Yup.

> Your best bet is not to speak to them at all, referring them to your
> attorney instead.

Visit ftc.gov - the Federal Trade Commission's web site contains a great
description of how the FDCPA works. Good reading for ANYONE who has had
credit extended to them, whether they're in trouble or not.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
July 6, 2004 10:04:52 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

"Steven J Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:o P-dneXNS-2GQHfdRVn-jg@lmi.net...
>
> It is against the law to collect on any portion of the balance that is
> in dispute.

That is inaccurate. If it were "against the law" to attempt to collect any
disputed amount, then anyone could easily thwart the collection process just
by trumping up a dispute.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does require that the debtor be
provided with documentation in substantiation of the debt, but once that is
provided, the agency may proceed with collection calls or even forward the
account to an attorney for suit. The mere fact that a deebtor has indicated
that they disagree with the validity of the debt imposes no burden upon the
agency to close their file.

Especially in service industries, where the service provided is intangible
(as opposed to manufactured products) there is a greater degree of
disagreement as to whether the service was fit for the purpose for which it
was intended. As an example, if I buy a load of widgets, and they arrive
missing pieces, it is relatively easy to demonstrate that I was sold
deficient merchandise, and I can reject the shipment, putting the burden of
proof back with the manufacturer. But if I say that I had a lot of dropped
calls, given the nature of radiotelephone signal transmission, it is
doubtful that I could cancel my contract early--especially in view of ATTWS'
30-day trial period, and their automatically crediting dropped calls. The
presumption is that, if I kept the service beyond the trial period, it
probably was acceptable in terms of its quality.

Also, it is common knowledge on this NG that ATTWS routinely offers
concessions to dissatisfied customers, in terms of additional minutes or
free perks. It will be somewhat more difficult for a customer to establish
his dispute if he only raised it once he was placed for collection.
Typically, consumers dig in and refuse to pay any portion of their debt,
even though some of the charges are undisputed. This serves only to give
the moral high ground to the creditor, should the case come up in court.

Since the OP focused not on resolving the dispute, but upon stopping
collection steps, I suspect that if all of the facts came out we might even
side with ATTWS. I'd be hard pressed to believe that ATTWS was just playing
hardball with a good customer. There has got to be more to this.




Dispute whatever you're arguing about IN WRITING to the creditor.
> The FCC does not have to be involved and writing the FCC won't prevent
> collections activity.
>
> --
> JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
> Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) /
sjsobol@JustThe.net
> PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
> Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 6, 2004 11:35:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

"Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote in message news:<8RBGc.3837$sD4.433@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>...
> "Steven J Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
> news:o P-dneXNS-2GQHfdRVn-jg@lmi.net...
> >
> > It is against the law to collect on any portion of the balance that is
> > in dispute.
>
> That is inaccurate. If it were "against the law" to attempt to collect any
> disputed amount, then anyone could easily thwart the collection process just
> by trumping up a dispute.
>
> The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does require that the debtor be
> provided with documentation in substantiation of the debt, but once that is
> provided, the agency may proceed with collection calls or even forward the
> account to an attorney for suit. The mere fact that a deebtor has indicated
> that they disagree with the validity of the debt imposes no burden upon the
> agency to close their file.
>
> Especially in service industries, where the service provided is intangible
> (as opposed to manufactured products) there is a greater degree of
> disagreement as to whether the service was fit for the purpose for which it
> was intended. As an example, if I buy a load of widgets, and they arrive
> missing pieces, it is relatively easy to demonstrate that I was sold
> deficient merchandise, and I can reject the shipment, putting the burden of
> proof back with the manufacturer. But if I say that I had a lot of dropped
> calls, given the nature of radiotelephone signal transmission, it is
> doubtful that I could cancel my contract early--especially in view of ATTWS'
> 30-day trial period, and their automatically crediting dropped calls. The
> presumption is that, if I kept the service beyond the trial period, it
> probably was acceptable in terms of its quality.
>
> Also, it is common knowledge on this NG that ATTWS routinely offers
> concessions to dissatisfied customers, in terms of additional minutes or
> free perks. It will be somewhat more difficult for a customer to establish
> his dispute if he only raised it once he was placed for collection.
> Typically, consumers dig in and refuse to pay any portion of their debt,
> even though some of the charges are undisputed. This serves only to give
> the moral high ground to the creditor, should the case come up in court.
>
> Since the OP focused not on resolving the dispute, but upon stopping
> collection steps, I suspect that if all of the facts came out we might even
> side with ATTWS. I'd be hard pressed to believe that ATTWS was just playing
> hardball with a good customer. There has got to be more to this.


Actually no. The dispute is with Verizon Wireless. I left them and
went to ATTWS. The complaint I filed with the FCC was back in
December. Verizon wrote the FCC a little over 4 months later pretty
much telling them that "Everything is ok now, nothing to worry about".
So the FCC closed the complaint and considered it resolved. I
received a letter from the FCC saying that it was closed and that
everything was fine now. Excuse me? Say what? The FCC closed my
complaint because Verizon Wireless said there weren't any problems
anymore. What about asking me? So I wrote them another letter
requesting that it be reopened, and that nothing had been solved. So
now it's about 8 months since that initial complaint was filed. And
it is now that Verizon Wireless is sending me to collections. And it
turns out that this reopening of this complaint may not occur for
another few months. So, my credit is going to be ruined with all of
this. And this will all happen long before anything is addressed.
And I doubt you would side with Verizon Wireless, if their own reps
agreed that the service I was receiving was not satisfactory. But...
they don't have the authority to waive a termination.

And like I said, the people at the FCC told me this morning that yes
it is legal for them to send me to collections. Even though this
complaint is still being addressed, Verizon Wireless is still allowed
to proceed with collections.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 7, 2004 4:02:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon Upset <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Actually no. The dispute is with Verizon Wireless. I left them and
> went to ATTWS. The complaint I filed with the FCC was back in
> December. Verizon wrote the FCC a little over 4 months later pretty
> much telling them that "Everything is ok now, nothing to worry about".
> So the FCC closed the complaint and considered it resolved.

OK, I definitely understand why you complained to the FCC, but this is a
collections issue, and probably also an interstate commerce issue, and as such
the F*T*C, not the FCC, would be the place to complain (and it's questionable
whether they'd do anything, but the FCC doesn't have any say in credit and
collections issues; the FTC regulates that kind of stuff).

> And I doubt you would side with Verizon Wireless, if their own reps
> agreed that the service I was receiving was not satisfactory. But...
> they don't have the authority to waive a termination.

That's what I just ran into in the past month. My situation is different;
I now have a Sprint phone, and I dropped to the $15/month emergency plan.
I'm less than two months from end of contract. The outlay will be a lot less
than the $175 ETF.

> And like I said, the people at the FCC told me this morning that yes
> it is legal for them to send me to collections. Even though this
> complaint is still being addressed, Verizon Wireless is still allowed
> to proceed with collections.

They're right. You have to dispute the balance, in writing, with the CREDITOR.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 7, 2004 11:04:24 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

Steven J Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message news:<euydncDOf_1NHnbdRVn-sQ@lmi.net>...
> In alt.cellular.verizon Upset <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Actually no. The dispute is with Verizon Wireless. I left them and
> > went to ATTWS. The complaint I filed with the FCC was back in
> > December. Verizon wrote the FCC a little over 4 months later pretty
> > much telling them that "Everything is ok now, nothing to worry about".
> > So the FCC closed the complaint and considered it resolved.
>
> OK, I definitely understand why you complained to the FCC, but this is a
> collections issue, and probably also an interstate commerce issue, and as such
> the F*T*C, not the FCC, would be the place to complain (and it's questionable
> whether they'd do anything, but the FCC doesn't have any say in credit and
> collections issues; the FTC regulates that kind of stuff).
>
> > And I doubt you would side with Verizon Wireless, if their own reps
> > agreed that the service I was receiving was not satisfactory. But...
> > they don't have the authority to waive a termination.
>
> That's what I just ran into in the past month. My situation is different;
> I now have a Sprint phone, and I dropped to the $15/month emergency plan.
> I'm less than two months from end of contract. The outlay will be a lot less
> than the $175 ETF.
>
> > And like I said, the people at the FCC told me this morning that yes
> > it is legal for them to send me to collections. Even though this
> > complaint is still being addressed, Verizon Wireless is still allowed
> > to proceed with collections.
>
> They're right. You have to dispute the balance, in writing, with the CREDITOR.

Ok, I'll check out the FTC's website and give them a call also. Thanks.
July 7, 2004 6:25:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

"Upset" <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:87ca3fcb.0407061835.2b4b400e@posting.google.com...
> "Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote in message
news:<8RBGc.3837$sD4.433@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>...
> > "Steven J Sobol" <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
> > news:o P-dneXNS-2GQHfdRVn-jg@lmi.net...
> > >
> > > It is against the law to collect on any portion of the balance that is
> > > in dispute.
> >
> > That is inaccurate. If it were "against the law" to attempt to collect
any
> > disputed amount, then anyone could easily thwart the collection process
just
> > by trumping up a dispute.
> >
> > The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does require that the debtor be
> > provided with documentation in substantiation of the debt, but once that
is
> > provided, the agency may proceed with collection calls or even forward
the
> > account to an attorney for suit. The mere fact that a deebtor has
indicated
> > that they disagree with the validity of the debt imposes no burden upon
the
> > agency to close their file.
> >
> > Especially in service industries, where the service provided is
intangible
> > (as opposed to manufactured products) there is a greater degree of
> > disagreement as to whether the service was fit for the purpose for which
it
> > was intended. As an example, if I buy a load of widgets, and they
arrive
> > missing pieces, it is relatively easy to demonstrate that I was sold
> > deficient merchandise, and I can reject the shipment, putting the burden
of
> > proof back with the manufacturer. But if I say that I had a lot of
dropped
> > calls, given the nature of radiotelephone signal transmission, it is
> > doubtful that I could cancel my contract early--especially in view of
ATTWS'
> > 30-day trial period, and their automatically crediting dropped calls.
The
> > presumption is that, if I kept the service beyond the trial period, it
> > probably was acceptable in terms of its quality.
> >
> > Also, it is common knowledge on this NG that ATTWS routinely offers
> > concessions to dissatisfied customers, in terms of additional minutes or
> > free perks. It will be somewhat more difficult for a customer to
establish
> > his dispute if he only raised it once he was placed for collection.
> > Typically, consumers dig in and refuse to pay any portion of their debt,
> > even though some of the charges are undisputed. This serves only to
give
> > the moral high ground to the creditor, should the case come up in court.
> >
> > Since the OP focused not on resolving the dispute, but upon stopping
> > collection steps, I suspect that if all of the facts came out we might
even
> > side with ATTWS. I'd be hard pressed to believe that ATTWS was just
playing
> > hardball with a good customer. There has got to be more to this.
>
>
> Actually no. The dispute is with Verizon Wireless. I left them and
> went to ATTWS. The complaint I filed with the FCC was back in
> December. Verizon wrote the FCC a little over 4 months later pretty
> much telling them that "Everything is ok now, nothing to worry about".
> So the FCC closed the complaint and considered it resolved. I
> received a letter from the FCC saying that it was closed and that
> everything was fine now. Excuse me? Say what? The FCC closed my
> complaint because Verizon Wireless said there weren't any problems
> anymore. What about asking me? So I wrote them another letter
> requesting that it be reopened, and that nothing had been solved. So
> now it's about 8 months since that initial complaint was filed. And
> it is now that Verizon Wireless is sending me to collections. And it
> turns out that this reopening of this complaint may not occur for
> another few months. So, my credit is going to be ruined with all of
> this. And this will all happen long before anything is addressed.
> And I doubt you would side with Verizon Wireless, if their own reps
> agreed that the service I was receiving was not satisfactory. But...
> they don't have the authority to waive a termination.
>
> And like I said, the people at the FCC told me this morning that yes
> it is legal for them to send me to collections. Even though this
> complaint is still being addressed, Verizon Wireless is still allowed
> to proceed with collections.

You are arguing over an Early Termination Fee? Why not just pay it, noting
on your check that you are doing so under duress, then file an action
against Verizon in Small Claims Court, charging them with improperly
charging the fee (you may find that the Court rules against you).

The cost of having your credit negatively impacted is going to be higher
than the amount of the Termination Fee.

Your biggest obstacle is that you did have a 2-week evaluation period, and
if you continued the service, it is presumed that you found it to be
acceptable.

You really need to speak to an attorney, because you may not have a case,
and it would be better for you to act based on facts, rather than
supposition. A NG is not a good place to get legal advice. Call a lawyer.
July 7, 2004 6:30:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

"Upset" <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:87ca3fcb.0407070604.52546fa4@posting.google.com...
> Steven J Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote in message
news:<euydncDOf_1NHnbdRVn-sQ@lmi.net>...
> > In alt.cellular.verizon Upset <cgive@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Actually no. The dispute is with Verizon Wireless. I left them and
> > > went to ATTWS. The complaint I filed with the FCC was back in
> > > December. Verizon wrote the FCC a little over 4 months later pretty
> > > much telling them that "Everything is ok now, nothing to worry about".
> > > So the FCC closed the complaint and considered it resolved.
> >
> > OK, I definitely understand why you complained to the FCC, but this is a
> > collections issue, and probably also an interstate commerce issue, and
as such
> > the F*T*C, not the FCC, would be the place to complain (and it's
questionable
> > whether they'd do anything, but the FCC doesn't have any say in credit
and
> > collections issues; the FTC regulates that kind of stuff).
> >
> > > And I doubt you would side with Verizon Wireless, if their own reps
> > > agreed that the service I was receiving was not satisfactory. But...
> > > they don't have the authority to waive a termination.
> >
> > That's what I just ran into in the past month. My situation is
different;
> > I now have a Sprint phone, and I dropped to the $15/month emergency
plan.
> > I'm less than two months from end of contract. The outlay will be a lot
less
> > than the $175 ETF.
> >
> > > And like I said, the people at the FCC told me this morning that yes
> > > it is legal for them to send me to collections. Even though this
> > > complaint is still being addressed, Verizon Wireless is still allowed
> > > to proceed with collections.
> >
> > They're right. You have to dispute the balance, in writing, with the
CREDITOR.
>
> Ok, I'll check out the FTC's website and give them a call also. Thanks.

The FTC is not a free legal aid service. They are interested only in
broadly-based problems, not on a particular interpretation of the Early
Termination Fee.

If you want to proceed prudently, consult an attorney. Most local bar
associations can refer you to attorneys, and they often have a deeply
discounted price for the initial consultation.

If you do have a case, a letter from an attorney to Verizon may serve as a
heads-up to them to stop playing around with you. If, on the other hand,
your case is without merit, you should know that now, before you dig
yourself deeper into a hole.

This is my final word on the situation. I believe that my advice is the
best you'll get on USENET. If you prefer to try this case in the Court of
Public Opinion, I will step aside and watch--but I believe that you'd be
making a mistake.

"The attorney that represents himself has a fool for a client."
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
July 7, 2004 6:30:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.attws (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon Jeremy <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote:

> The FTC is not a free legal aid service. They are interested only in
> broadly-based problems, not on a particular interpretation of the Early
> Termination Fee.

Which is why I said they probably won't do anything. The FTC's *primary*
purpose is to deal with policy. Just as a point of clarification, I wasn't
suggesting that it was the right thing to do. It is, in this case, less
wrong than complaining to the FCC, however.

> If you want to proceed prudently, consult an attorney. Most local bar
> associations can refer you to attorneys, and they often have a deeply
> discounted price for the initial consultation.

Yup.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
!