Debt collectors just don’t understand.

I haven’t received anything recently (i.e. letters, phone calls, etc.), but they just don’t understand.

Of the many, many, MANY phone calls I have had with this one company who keeps calling me (but hasn’t within the past week and a half, thank God), the conversation usually goes something like this:

LADY: Miss Lawson, we can drop the amount due to $87 if you make a payment today.

ME: Using a credit card?

LADY: Yes, that’s how you can make it today.

ME: I’ve already said that I don’t have the money to make any kind of payment. You’ve said your minimum is $20, monthly, and I can’t even do that. Aside from that problem, I’m very anti-credit card payments over the phone.

LADY: If you don’t pay it today, then it will increase, and we’ll have to turn it over to the police, and you could go to court.

And that is why I don’t talk to them anymore. Because they threaten me. I’ve requested that they allow me to send a check, but “there is no guarantee that we would receive it, so we have to do credit”. And their website is complete shit. Like, it’s really shitty. Picture a website from 1999, and that’s what it looks like. It makes me sick just looking at it. I’m not gonna trust a company, no matter what it is, if their website looks like shit.

Note: If you have a shitty website, say goodbye to your integrity and credibility!

All of this started when my original AVON county person just never returned ANY of my emails, causing me to contact AVON (who wouldn’t let me email them, which forced me to call them, which then led to support persons saying that my account would then be terminated) and having an even greater mess created.

A piece of advice: The “AVON won’t let you leave” thing is totally true. They don’t want you to leave, and when you try to leave, you won’t have ANY help, so of course you’re gonna go into debt. And then debt collectors will call you. And they won’t care what time it is. And they’ll threaten you. And they’ll try to scare you.

I tried to explain what had happened to the lady who ran my “case” who called me. I really did.

ME: This is actually a huge misunderstanding. I even tried to contact AVON many times after my account closed to explain what happened, and I couldn’t find anyone who would help.

LADY: Yes, because you see, AVON hands overdue fees over to us to deal with. You can’t contact them about this again.

ME: I get that, but I tried to contact them about a week after my last order came in. I know how it works. It was a misunderstanding, and now I owe all this money because no one would help me and listen to the problem I had. And now I have to pay money I don’t have in order to fix someone else’s mistake.

LADY: Exactly. So, how much would you like to pay today?

ME: I just said I don’t have money.

LADY: Listen, Sarah1, if you don’t pay today, we’re going to have to call the police. You’ll have to go to jail until you pay this debt.

I hung up. They called back from a different number. The voicemail included their information.

I hate them so much. They’re so shady and expect the people to comply. And if you work as a debt collector and have to deal with people like me, I have zero sympathy for you.

I’m aware that they’re not allowed to threaten me, but that doesn’t stop them. It’s went on for a year, and now I’m just ignoring them. They got the house phone when AVON only had my cell phone number. That’s a lot of stalkery. And I’ve had some major stalkers, but they take the prize.

  1. BARF.

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Comments on this post

cantaloupe’s gravatar

They should take checks. I paid my debt collectors with a check. If they’ve ever mailed you something, which they should have, then there should be a form you fill out and you can pay by credit or check. That’s how I paid mine and there were no problems. It’s bullshit if they’re saying they won’t take checks.

Debt collectors are the worst. Especially when it goes to them solely because the client is having an issue with the person that they allegedly owe money to. I “owed” money to a free clinic that failed to fill out the proper forms to ensure my blood work was, in fact, free. It was pure bullshit. But I spent so long attempting to fight it and get it figured out, that it went to collections. And I was like, fuck that noise, I didn’t owe shit in the first place! Eventually though, I just sucked it up and paid their obnoxious collectors. And isn’t that their goal? It’s awful.

Liz’s gravatar

@cantaloupe,
Honestly, when I have the ability to spend that much in one time without having to worry about what else I’m going to do, then I’ll pay them off. The annoying part is that I shouldn’t owe over $76 from the original charge, but their stupid promo packages got thrown in even though I requested to unsubscribe, thus making it around $85. And they keep saying it’ll increase, and it never does. I don’t want to pay it because if people had actually done their jobs and whatnot like I was promised they would (“Just call, and they’ll help you!”), then I wouldn’t have had to go through this in the first place.

I wish they were more professional and less horrid. D;

Stephanie’s gravatar

I suspect that they are able to bring charges against you (but not call the police) if you don’t pay up – but they’re not going to do it to you because the cost of bring charges against you is much higher than your debt. I’m not sure what the laws are, and the laws are probably different in every state.

It’s really stupid that they don’t allow you to mail a check. I paid off my student loan with a check. Sheesh!

Liz’s gravatar

@Stephanie, If they do that, I can use in my defense that they continued to call after I said the “magic words”, which are to “cease and desist”. And that they’ve threatened me. They’ve made much worse threats.

Agent Q’s gravatar

It’s actually illegal to threaten you via arrest.
I don’t know the exact time that you got these calls, but they can only call you from [what I believe] 8am to 9pm.
So for just these reasons, you may combat these debt collectors through a lawsuit [if you’re willing to go that far]. Of course, you have one year since the last incidence of the abuse on the debt collector’s part.
These are all I know regarding ways to handle debt collectors. I looked a few things up a few months back in case I have to deal with unreasonable debt collectors once I begin repaying college loans. :/

Cat’s gravatar

Wow, that sounds like a really frustrating situation to be in. I can’t believe they don’t accept check. That sounds sketchy, and I don’t trust paying credit card over the phone either. Even if the check gets lost, you could void it and try again. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal to them.

(I also totally agree with the crappy website bit. It really lowers their credibility if they can’t hire someone to make it look professional.)

That’s pretty terrible that no one at AVON would help you and get this sorted out 🙁 I hope something eventually works out!

Bubblez’s gravatar

That’s horrible, Liz. I don’t get debt collectors either. 🙁
It’s so wrong for her to threaten you. And even my parents have taught me that never give personal information on the phone, especially if it’s money. 😐

April’s gravatar

Debt collectors, I have never personally had dealings with them, but my sister has had plenty. They truly do not stop and from the sounds of what they are saying to you they sound so shady indeed! Maybe YOU should take THEM to the police.

Nancy’s gravatar

It’s unbelievable how those debt collectors can be nasty when it comes to communication. How could they expect to get money with that kind of attitude? It’s odd how they accept credit rather than any other payments because isn’t it their jobs to collect the money under any circumstance? For them to threaten you is uncalled for too. Hopefully they’re not knocking on your door because that will be going too far and that this whole situation will end soon (peacefully).

AVON sounds really irresponsible at this point with having crappy representatives :I.

Liz’s gravatar

@Nancy, It’s mostly their debt collectors that are horrid. 😡 Now I know what everyone warned me about, but I’ve also learned that it’s easier to learn from something when you make the mistake yourself.

Kyuu’s gravatar

D: I got here via a random link, but I’m so sorry this has happened. I hope it’s okay if I share your blog post with a makeup community I’m on (makeuptalk.com)? I don’t know if they’d be any help with suggestions, but at least I can get your message out about their creepy, atrocious business practices.

Kyuu’s gravatar

I hope this will help!

“It’s against the law (Federal Fair Debt Act prohibits it) for threats of using the police to collect a debt. The vast majority of US states also prohibit using threats. I hope she reported them to her State’s Attorney General as well as the FTC.

http://business.ftc.gov/documents/fair-debt-collection-practices-act
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1692e

15 USC § 1692e
(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.”

Zadidoll’s gravatar

Next time they call record it. Let them know from the beginning of the recording that you ARE recording the conversation and if they do not wish to be recorded they need to hang up otherwise they are giving permission to be recorded.

Under Federal Fair Debt Act they cannot threaten you at all. If they mention the police again let them know that you will be filing your own police report for harassment and intimidation. Also file complaints with your state’s Attorney General, their state’s ATG and the FTC. Good luck!

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