Open to any questions that aren't specific to what bank I worked for and such.

Comments: 535 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

ajbasher1229106 karma

Have you ever taken the customer's advice, gone home and fucked yourself?

dapheens230 karma

Not because they told me to. We all have routines.

Chopper349 karma

I had a work-only phone installed at home by my employer about a year ago. One of the largest banks/credit-card companies calls me on this number EVERY day, usually about 8pm in the evening, asking for someone I've never heard of, that's never lived at my address. Every time I tell them that they have the wrong number/person/address etc. I'm currently going through chemotherapy for cancer and so it's more stressful that perhaps it would normally be. I've called their head-office and reported this many, many times to no avail.

Have you any ideas what I can do, I know it's only 3-5 mins a day but really, they've got to be smarter than this surely. Thanks in advance for any help you may offer.

IonOtter238 karma

I can answer this one. A friend of mine got saddled with bogus debt, and the vultures tried to come after me.

Bad move.

Here's what you say:

"You are recording this call, and so am I. This call is on a private line that is monitored by my employer. My name is XXX, and the person you are calling and/or asking for does not, and has not, lived or had any association with this address or this phone number. This is your official first notice under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, United States Code 15, title 1692c, section 805, paragraph c: CEASING COMMUNICATION.

You are to remove this phone number from your records. You are to never call this number again by any means, be they digital or analog, voice or fax, except as provided under the provisions of paragraph c, sub-paragraphs 1-3. You are not to transfer or provide this number to any other agent, agency or operative with the company you work for, or otherwise represent. You are not to associate this number with the collection records you have been working from, nor will you include this number in any transactions with any other business, should those records or the account associated with them be sold/transferred to another company.

This is your first official warning under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, United States Code 15, title 1692c, section 805, paragraph c: CEASING COMMUNICATION. Do not call this number again. The time, date and duration of this call has been recorded. The contents of this call has been recorded. Any future violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act will result in your employer being reported as being in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Do you understand what I have just told you?

Do you acknowledge that under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, United States Code 15, title 1692c, section 805, paragraph c: CEASING COMMUNICATION, I have instructed you and the company and/or agencies you represent that you are to never contact me or this number ever again, except as provided under the provisions of paragraph c, sub-paragraphs 1-3?

Have you documented my invocation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, United States Code 15, title 1692c, section 805, paragraph c: CEASING COMMUNICATION, in the record and/or records that you are currently working from?"

They better answer "Yes." to each one. Depending on what state you live in, if they call you again, except as provided, they will get raped with a spiked telephone pole, and you'll get a very hefty financial judgement in your bank account.

Print this out in large, bold print and keep it by the phone. Most likely, you will only have to read it once.

Been there, done that, got the call records on my bill.

Red_Logic4 karma

Actually, debt collectors have to stop calling you at work if you ask once. If you have to invoke that bullshit ask in any other way than in the native tongue of the land in which you live, the debt collection firm is in violation.

dapheens2 karma

This is true. Work phones and cell phones are well protected.

dapheens35 karma

I'm sorry to hear that.

Yes, by law, they cannot continue to call you if you are telling them they have the wrong number. You shouldn't have to do this, but next time they call, ask for their correspondence fax number or mailing address, and request that they stop the calls in writing, explain that they have the wrong number, and give them the number they are calling. Legally, you could file a civil suit for harassment, but I would definitely contact an attorney for that, because i'm not exactly sure on how that process works.

But again, I know for a fact that many lawsuits have been won with circumstances like these.

JoshuaGuy48 karma

Also, I'll ask a collection question that only a collector would know. What is the best button on the telephone and why?

dapheens106 karma

Mute. Because I get to talk all the shit I want. Good way to stay level headed on the call.

Footballvike8127 karma

What are you wearing "Jake" from State Farm?

dapheens21 karma

It's "beach day", so shorts and flippy floppies!

peart24 karma


dapheens8 karma

All true.

veracitymilk21 karma

Is there any one specific person or call that has stuck with you?

dapheens61 karma

There was a woman that called in, inquiring about her husbands account with us. It was a very large account, with a balance of approximately 75k. She seemed very confused, and shaken. She went on to tell me that her husband had just committed suicide a week prior, and this was a part of her own personal investigation as to what led up to it. He had hundreds of thousands of dollars in various debt that he had taken on and hid from her, and couldn't afford to support it all. She found out after his death, and was trying to figure out how she was going to satisfy it all. Terribly sad. I spoke to her for about an hour and a half, just to try to be supportive. Calls like those hit hard. At that point, you're not a collector, you're a counselor.

KayJustKay6 karma

Could you tell us why she though she had to satisfy it? Surely it would be deducted from his estate?

dapheens5 karma

She was just overwhelmed, and uninformed. She had no idea how any of it worked, as he was the sole provider, and took care of the bills. She hadn't paid a bill since they got married.

Frajer16 karma

Would you say when you got in touch with people most refused to pay or were just not aware they owed money and wanted to get the whole thing done with?

Craziest or funniest customer?

dapheens33 karma

I would say 40% were people that just completely forgot, and were happy to pay. 20% were people that just completely forgot, but were absolutely insulted that we were calling them (these people were a special kind of douchebag). And the remaining 40% were truly in trouble, at which point I would try to help them out with some sort of hardship plan.

Craziest and Funniest: In general, the people that would threaten me personally or the building I was working in. After they got a visit from their local PD, i'm sure they regretted that decision.

rainbowtastical14 karma

How often did you come across fraud accounts?

dapheens12 karma

Constantly. Those calls would get transferred to a fraud department, who would conduct an investigation so I would seldom find out what ended up happening, however common sense dictated that 9 out of 10 of them were bullshit.

rainbowtastical4 karma

Bullshit as in the person who said it was fraud was lying about it and it was really them? Thats kinda messed up!

dapheens2 karma

Exactly. People would have a history of timely payment, and very recent charges, and would just decide they were going to try to claim that the ENTIRE balance was fraudulent. When the fraud department couldn't validate that there was any fraudulent activity on the account, the card member would just stop paying completely. Those "post investigation" calls would always piss me off, because they didn't give a shit about negative credit marks or account closure or any other negative implications, and would stand by their "this was fraud" claim.

Mackinstyle2 karma

There's something really screwy about some people, generally the less intelligent ones, that even if you catch them in a provable lie, they stick with the lie, even if it means a harsher punishment.

dapheens2 karma

Agreed. They legitimately believe that by NOT paying us, they are saving themselves trouble, and fucking us over somehow.

GISP8 karma

What is a Credit Card Collector?

dapheens4 karma

Someone who attempts to collect on delinquent credit card debts.

GISP24 karma

So you dont actualy have a vast collection of credit cards? :P

dapheens20 karma

I have a modest, and hardly impressive collection of credit cards. I do however have some rarities in MINT condition. ;)

Final7C5 karma

How much of a write down were you authorized to make on the debt you were attempting to collect, and what were stipulations for them

dapheens10 karma

When a customer would request a settlement, I would submit a request for whatever the card member is asking to a "Gatekeeper" department that made the decisions with settlements or hardship programs same time. Most of the time, 35% of the balance was the lowest the bank would go. The higher the risk, the lower the settlement amount we would accept.

Stipulations were that the settlement amount had to be paid in full in 93 days, in no more than 4 payments or the account would automatically charge off.

josolsen6 karma

I'm planning on settling with some debt collectors soon. It's the remaining tuition that hasn't been paid off for nearly a year, and that's because my Dad bailed on me and said he would not pay his portion of it when promised he would before and had each and every other month previously.

I figured settling at 40% of the original debt and maybe budge up to 60% at the most to keep them happy. And then paying the settlement that very day. I don't know if you have any knowledge of tuition debt collectors but is there any other tips you can give?

dapheens4 karma

That's shitty. :(

First, do not make any payments until you receive the settlement agreement in writing, no matter how much it is for.

You will have to claim anything over $600 settled (if my memory serves me correctly) on your taxes with a 1099C. The only advantage to paying more to the bank is claiming less as income. Other then that, credit marks are all the same regardless of the amount. Ofcourse, that all is assuming that tuition debt works the same in this regard.

Good luck to you. Hope everything works out.

Sporkicide3 karma

Not sure if this is in your realm or not, but what is the impact on the customer in such a settlement? Huge hit to the credit score? I've always wondered how it works.

dapheens9 karma

That's kind of a tough one. It reports to the credit bureaus that you didn't pay the full balance, but that you reached an agreement with the bank, and that the balance owed is $0. I've been told that it does reflect against the credit negatively for 7-10 years but have never been able to confirm, but by the time most people are ready to settle, it is a much better route for them credit-wise. It looks SIGNIFICANTLY better than a charge off or bankruptcy. I know that for a fact.

casualhobos4 karma

Was the pay worth dealing with angry customers?

dapheens1 karma

The angry customers aren't so much the problem. You learn very quickly how to deal with them and shrug them off. The pay was decent for a pretty cushy job all things considered. What didn't pay was having to fight with the system, to do the right thing at times. That was shitty. Probably the worst. Knowing why something was, without being able to tell the customer.

CBarns922 karma

What would an example of that be? Seems interesting.

dapheens6 karma

There was a "test group" of accounts, randomly selected, that we would NOT under any circumstances offer hardship assistance to, to evaluate the functionality of our programs. So people, in earnest, would request a hardship program who were flagged as part of this test group, and we would decline them purely because they were flagged. I could never handle these well, because I have trouble bullshitting (or in this case lying to) the customer. I never really had a good response to the question "Why didn't I get approved". And for some reason, these test accounts almost always seemed to be the people that WANTED to pay, but needed help. There wasn't anything I could really do about it.

throsumdsonthatbitch3 karma

Have you worked on a bonus/commission plan?

Edit: tense

dapheens2 karma

Yes, but they took it away completely in 2011. The bonus plan was monthly on top of quarterly. It was easy in the beginning, and damn near impossible at the end.

patmore_alons2 karma

So hows the experience ? I heard that people sometime are very offencive to bill collectors ? Is that true ,,

dapheens4 karma

Most people were very kind, and treated me like a fellow human. Others thought I was the biggest piece of shit there was, and that I didn't have a real job, and that I was doing the "devil's work" with no moral problem doing so. They would hold ME personally accountable for why they were getting the call. I was not a representative, I was the bank in their eyes.

[deleted]2 karma


dapheens2 karma

I stopped because I was getting burned out. I wasn't doing my job (in their eyes) anymore, and I honestly didn't care. I applied for an project management position, and things are much better for me now.

nopensionplan2 karma


dapheens2 karma

Not too many. We do a good job at squashing those concerns in the first 10-15 seconds of the call.

tehlaser2 karma

How often did people doubt your legitimacy? What did you do if someone asked "how do I know you're actually credit card company and not some scammer?"

dapheens7 karma

Not too often, it wasn't too hard to validate my identity. That could actually prove to be pretty fun. In the case where someone was being really skeptical, I would say something like "Well I see that you went to Burger King 3 times in one day... would you like me to continue?"

divs_pl2 karma

Any more embarrassing instances? Like porn shops or websites?

dapheens2 karma

Not embarrassing but kind of fucked up.

Man calls in to dispute charges on his account for a divorce attorney made by his soon to be ex (she was an authorized user). Because he hadn't taken her off of the account, and she was an authorized user, he was liable.

Luminox1 karma

How much did you sell your soul to the bank for?

dapheens3 karma

Not much, I can assure you.

RanRanRuu1 karma

Is there a way I can say to someone "This debt is between me and your company, with no third parties. If you sell the debt to someone else, the remainder is forgiven due to breach of contract."?

I keep hearing about companies selling off debts and making things more complicated than they have to be.

dapheens5 karma

It's all in the fine print of the card member agreement.

bitemybubbles1 karma

You were the jerk from Wells Fargo who withdrew $600 rather than $150

dapheens3 karma

Nope not me, but that's immediate termination, so if you reported it, that person got fired for sure.

memefan691 karma

How often have you heard the phrase "You can't get blood from a stone" ?

dapheens4 karma


intense991 karma

Are there any risks to the skip tracing approach? I have successfully evaded the creditors and they do not have a way to contact me. I have almost no assets and no wages through employment. I'm planning that I will not have to deal with them again which has worked for the past two years.

dapheens3 karma

It will work, until they litigate against you, but even then if you have no assets, a judgement in their favor can be fairly inconsequential from my understanding.

intense992 karma

Can they litigate against me if they have no way of contacting me? Will I one day find my bank account frozen? This is primarily my concern. I'm on disability so they would not legally be able to garnish my income. I have evaded them simply because I didn't want them harassing my family and I have no way to pay my debt.

dapheens2 karma

If they have the right SSN on you, they can get whatever contact information that might be linked to you that way. Have you considered bankruptcy?

andicotsteel1 karma

Have you noticed the # of problem accounts go up or down over the last few years? Why has it become impossible to collect now tha they took away your commission?

dapheens2 karma

2009-2010 was the worst year by far. Things got a bit better in late 2010 to 2011. When I started in 2008, I would get about 60 payments in 8 hours. The goal was around 4 promises per hour. When I was done, it was less than 1 promise per hour.

It wasn't impossible since they took away the commission. Before they took it away, they made it damn near impossible to get a decent commission based on the way the plan was structured, and the type of volume we were working. It was an uphill battle.