I've been getting calls from a collection agency lately - AOL referred me to them. I never used AOL, but I let my brother use my credit card to do a trial subscription, thinking he'd be responsible and cancel it before I started getting charged. The card was pretty maxed, though, so I never saw any charges - they piled up when my card was declined. This is just background information, I have no problem paying the charges. I'm a student, but I'll either make my brother pay me back or be out the $60. That little amount of money isn't worth messing up my credit over.
Anyway, the collection agency calls me this morning. It's been an incredibly bad morning already, for various personal, emotional, and physical reasons (girlie problems, I'm sure most of you understand, it's really a miracle I got out of bed and answered the phone as it is). When I *answered* it, I was in tears.
The agency was MCO. She says that they've sent three bills (I haven't seen them, but I get a lot of junk mail, so it's possible that a notice or two got tossed with all of it) and are calling to collect. I ask her to send another bill, that I'll make sure it isn't tossed out. Now that I know a company name, MCO, I won't assume it's junk when I get it.
She informs me that she's not sending anymore bills, to pay right now using a credit card or checking account, or it's going to go against my credit.
I admit to sucking here, my frustration level at a peak; I tell her "Fine, lady, whatever." and hang up the phone.
Can a company do this, refuse to send a hard copy of a bill? I honestly don't have a copy of it, don't know if I tossed it out or maybe they got thrown out while I was away at college. I mean, ethically, can they demand payment over the phone? What if I wasn't comfortable with giving out credit card information over the telephone? (If I was going to pay, I'd do it with a money order anyway. I'm a college student, my credit cards are fairly maxed out.) By refusing to send me a bill, they're making it impossible for me to pay them, and now my credit is going to be screwed up.
At least I learned not to toss anything out as junk, or let my brother use my credit card ("I swear I'll cancel it before it starts charging you!" my ass) ever again.