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Collection agencies push out phone companies for most complaints

Collection agencies push out phone companies for most complaints

(Credit and Money Matters) Permanent link

Washington consumers don't like calls from debt collectors. Gripes about collection agencies have been rising in recent years but it took a single complaint to ultimately move the industry into pole position and bump out telecommunications, which previously held the top spot for at least a decade.

“Anyone who runs a business and meets a payroll knows it’s important for customers to pay their bills on time. That’s why collection agencies play an important role,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said as the Consumer Protection Division released its annual Top 20 list of consumer complaint categories today. “But no one likes to be on the receiving end of a collection call, especially in times like these. And it only takes a few shady collectors to make the entire industry look bad.”

Volunteers and staff in the office’s four Consumer Resource Centers process consumer complaints and attempt to resolve them through informal mediation. The service is provided at no cost to consumers or businesses and there’s no legal determination of who is right or wrong. The centers recovered $7.1 million for consumers last year.

Related Blog Posts:

In debt? Know your rights when dealing with collectors 

Pesky debt collectors may not be legit 

How to avoid a repo when you can't make a car payment 

Posted by Kristin Alexander All Consuming Blog Moderator at 02/03/2010 04:11:20 PM | 

Well, I don't doubt these numbers for a moment! Based off of the number of calls I get for debts that aren't even my own, it seems like these companies need a lot of work on their policies. Would be all for the AG stepping in to help them figure it all out. Here's my story...

[ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: This comment described in length a complaint about a specific business. The All Consuming blog is not a substitute for complaint mediation. Therefore, I've asked the writer to submit a complaint to our Consumer Resource Center.]
Posted by: CREDIT HARASSMENT ( Email ) at 2/15/2010 11:41 AM

After being contacted and ultimately sued for a debt that was not my own by a collection agency, I have discovered that Washington state is severly lacking within the Consumer Protection state laws written for the consumer. For example; a debt collector contacts you on a debt. You request validation of said debt (aka: 'debt validation') The debt collector does not have to give you any information on the debt. They can and will sue you and the consumer does not have any recourse in this action. We need to contact our legislatures and senators and have consumer protection laws updated and written to actually help the consumer. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: If you don’t believe you owe money, you should notify the collector in writing. A collector may contact you after receiving your letter, but may not pursue the debt if you are able to prove that it has been paid or that the debt is not yours. If you are in that situation, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at or call 1-800-551-4636 to request a complaint form by mail.]
Posted by: JJTA800 ( Email ) at 2/17/2010 8:12 AM

afni collections trying to collect money that is not owed them saying that there collecting for Qwest who doesn't know to much about this. I've never done buisness with Quest yet I have gotten 3 notices from afni saying I owe 3 different amounts. Online there are 8 pages of complaints for afni collecting for all different company's [BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Jerry, please file a consumer complaint online at This comment was slightly edited per our comment policy.]
Posted by: Jerry Baker ( Email ) at 2/18/2010 2:37 PM

I'm getting harrassed by AFNI Collections, by mail & phone, for debt(s) owed by someone else, and I don't even know who that person is. I've lived at the same address here for over 12 years. First, it was by mail -- and I would faithfully write "Addressee Unknown, Return to Sender" on each unopened envelope. In the last couple of months, AFNI has been harrassing me by phone, leaving machine messages for this person, and I've tried to get in touch with them but they are artful dodgers on being reachable. What do I do? I really resent the thought of having to change my phone number. I've had this number for 12 years. Please advise me how I can get through to these idiots that the person they are trying to collect from is NOT HERE and I don't know who she is! [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Please file a consumer complaint. Thanks.]
Posted by: Meg ( Email ) at 5/14/2010 12:01 PM

A collection agency is trying to collect on a revolving credit card that I paid off about 4-5 years ago, but I don't have the paperwork to prove it. What can I do? The debt must 10 years old, is there a statute of limitations on these things. Also, the company has a Canadian address and shows no license number on their bill to me, does this sound like a scam? [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: You should send a certified return receipt requested letter to the collection agency disputing the debt. If you think you paid with your checking account or credit card you may be able to contact that financial institution and see if they are able to find a record of payment. Generally, the statute of limitations can run from 3-10 years however, our office cannot give you a specific time for credit cards. You may also want to pull your credit reports and see if this debt is being listed. You can pull your credit reports for free at If the collection agency is unwilling to work with you, you can file a consumer complaint with our office.]
Posted by: Matt Mauzey ( Email ) at 4/1/2013 7:13 PM

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