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Comcast Hounded By Collections Agency 142

Bob the Super Hamste writes "According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Comcast is being taken to court for non-payment by a bill collection agency it used to collect past-due payments from customers. The suit alleges that Comcast agreed to pay $5 for each account it closed and that for each account the collection agency handled Comcast would pay 33% of the collected funds. The suit is seeking $314,210 for account cancellations and estimates Comcast owes them $50,000 for delinquent funds collected."
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Comcast Hounded By Collections Agency

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  • by RobertM1968 ( 951074 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:04PM (#35916930) Homepage Journal

    As much as I generally hate the practices of various collections agencies (and I've worked collections), I'm rooting for a Comcast loss on this one. Serves them right with the way they treat customers, and their attempts to destroy the Internet.

  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:08PM (#35916968)


    Collections agencies behave immorally but legally, and companies sell to them because it gives them some money from past due accounts and the immorality is not directed at the company.

    But Comcast sending its past-due customers to a collections agency and then refusing to pay its own bill (simplifying the facts but taking the alleged facts to be true) is the height of hypocrisy.

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:18PM (#35917036)

    I disagree, collections agencies aren't inherently immoral, it's just that many do end up crossing the line both ethically and legally speaking. Without collections agencies the only reason that anybody would ever pay their bills would be because it was the ethical thing to do. Consequently the cost of just about anything would likely sky rocket.

    That's not to say that there aren't a sufficient number of collection agencies that do behave illegally, but I do think that to some extent you have to recognize that it's a service that's needed and just make sure that you know your rights.

    I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but they do have to prove that they own the debt and that you are indeed responsible for paying it, if they can't do that then there are penalties for harassing people. There is also typically a statute of limitation on debt, and one shouldn't believe them when they claim that they're going to collect old debts by going to court. Collection Practices [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Good show (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Concerned Onlooker ( 473481 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:53PM (#35917200) Homepage Journal

    I for one, appreciate it. After all, if the Slashdot crowd--supposedly a little brighter than the average Joe--can't get it together enough to know the difference between they're and their then we are indeed in trouble.

    I suspect that the same people who complain about spelling and grammar 'Nazis' are the same ones who would deride a liberal arts major for not knowing calculus. Perhaps next time I write down an equation I'll just substitute some of the "+" signs for "-" signs and then deride anyone who corrects me as a math Nazi.

  • by Stray7Xi ( 698337 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @06:00PM (#35917242)

    I disagree, collection agencies whole intent is to be immoral (keyword being agencies, there's nothing wrong with collections). The only reason it's profitable to pay an outside company to collect debts is because they can cross those lines of morality and decency that would have landed Comcast in a PR nightmare. It's a shell game to avoid the consequences of their actions.

    Customers should be responsible to pay their debts and companies should bear scrutiny for how they treat their customers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @06:22PM (#35917372)

    You said: "I'm like 2 months late on my Internet bill" ... followed by some stuff about them contacting you about paying that debt ... then "All of this over $100!"

    It doesn't matter how little you think this is - is it your money, or is it their money? If you've used their service (and don't have any reason do suggest you did not get a good service in good faith from them), then it's theirs, so just pay it already.

    If this were some other big corporation (I don't know, let's say Sony or Microsoft, depending on which way you lean) who owed _you_ $100, would you think it was just a small amount of cash or would you be demanding they pay up immediately what was rightfully yours/stolen from you etc?

    Just asking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @06:34PM (#35917432)

    ...we're Xfinity. Come on, let's sing the Xfinity theme song! It's fun for you! It's fun for me! Everybody do... so you're not buying it, eh? You say we're the same damned service with no quantifiable differences except a different logo and higher monthly bills? Well damn, does that mean you're going to rectally ream us out in court still?

  • Re:Good show (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 23, 2011 @06:42PM (#35917468)

    N.B. - I'm a different AC, not the GP.

    I for one, appreciate it. After all, if the Slashdot crowd--supposedly a little brighter than the average Joe--can't get it together enough to know the difference between they're and their then we are indeed in trouble.

    If you, as a member of said brighter-than-average crowd, cannot distinguish between an honest-to-goodness typo and an inability to distinguish between "their" and "there", I think that's a much bigger sign that we're in trouble.

    The GP really has a point, though. Pedantry really doesn't buy us anything. Somebody made a mistake, but everybody else knew what was meant, so the correct course of action would've been to simply let it rest and focus on the important issues. That some of us here are apparently unable to do THAT is also cause for concern; what's more, it's evidence that while we may indeed be brighter than the "average Joe", we're not making good use of our above-average intelligence. We're losing sight of the big picture, fail to see the forest for the trees, and get bogged down in unimportant details. All that reflects pretty poorly on us - at least those that do these things, like the GGP (and you).

  • by MarkvW ( 1037596 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @07:03PM (#35917550)

    I will never patronize Comcast (ATT, Xfinity, or whatever) unless I have absolutely no choice. They try to get a monopoly and then they exploit it (by jacking up prices) for all they are worth.

    Support your municipal cable company!

  • by Gordo_1 ( 256312 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @09:32PM (#35918272)

    How could anyone think it makes sense to mod this up? The initial premise (that collection agencies are evil) is not even remotely supported by the relayed story.

    P.S. Statute of limitations my ass. You and your wife are the kind of folks that make things more expensive for the rest of us.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @10:57PM (#35918606) Homepage Journal

    Without collections agencies, there would just be less credit and more security deposits on monthly billings. Creditors don't want to go that way because it would make the potential buyer give more thought to how they will pay the bills later and perhaps talk themselves out of purchases they can only marginally afford.

    Most people DO pay their bills for 2 reasons. Because it's the right thing to do and because they don't want their credit rating to go down the toilet. By the time a collection agency gets involved it's generally because there is a legitimate dispute or because the person actually cannot pay the bill.

    Fortunately (sort of), my contact with collection agencies has been of the third sort, when they call repeatedly because they refuse to believe that the person they are looking for does not and has never lived here or had that phone number and that nobody who does live here has ever heard of the person.

    The problem with that is that I am not the debtor so I have no standing to insist they only contact the person through a lawyer or that they send evidence of the debt. Meanwhile, they don't believe me and are by nature asses so they keep calling from different numbers claiming to be different companies, but all with the same script.

    Since this has happened quite a few times, *I* for one would be happy to have them outlawed. They cause way too much trouble for people who are not even imagined to owe a debt.

User hostile.