About 4-5 years ago I got a phone in my name for my dad because he had horrid credit and asked me to do it for him. The phone was for a business his friend owned fixing roofs after a recent hurricane. After 6 or 8 months business slowed down so my dad stopped doing the second job and no longer needed the phone. I canceled the contract and neglected to pay the fee. I'm not sure exactly how much time passed before I got a letter from a collection agency. I called the agency and settled with them for an amount a little smaller than I owed sprint ( I don't remember how much I settled for because it was 4+ years ago).
Since then, I've been with Verizon and T-mobile (completing both 2-year contracts). I was looking into getting and new phone and decided on Sprint because they have the best unlimited data plan and I get a good discount from them with the company I work for. When I went to the Sprint store to get it, I was told that there was an outstanding debt with them for $195. I called the number I was given and explained about paying a collection agency and the response was essentially "It doesn't matter if you paid a collection agency or not, you have to pay Sprint $195 dollars or you can't have an account."
I was under the impression that once a company sells a debt, it's illegal for them to collect on it a second time; double-dipping so to speak. What can I do? The person I talked to said there's no grey area... I pay or I don't get the phone.
I don't understand how a company can do this... If it's not resolved, I'll just never get a sprint phone for the rest of my life. Seems like a good way to lose customers. I would be inclined to pay, if it were some kind of down payment and goes toward my bill. But I'm not paying $195 just to pay another $200 for a phone and $40 for activation and ect...
SHORT STORY: Owed Sprint money 5 years ago, they sold it to a collection agency. I settled with the agency (for a little less than I owed) 4 years ago. Now sprint wants the same money they sold to the debt collector (and I payed) before they will give my a new account.
Contact a local consumer rights agency. Sprint SOLD your debt to that agency so it should no longer be on their books. Whoever you spoke with at Sprint does not know what they are talking about, or they did not keep proper records. Another options is that the debt agency pulled a fast one on you and never legally had the right to do what it did. Meaning it got the info that you owed money, but never actually purchased the debt from Sprint.
If you happen to have records or can contact who you paid off it would hugely help, otherwise you don't have much to go on.