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I am smelling something fishy. Please read.

Regular Contributor

I am smelling something fishy. Please read.

Three weeks ago, my girlfriend received a letter from a billing department, directly from the corporate office of a community health group, stating she owes 20.00 on a past due co-payment.  My girlfriend did in fact receive treatment at one of the offices 2 years ago, but their policy is "paying in full" at time of service for those without insurance, which was her situation.  Weird huh?  So she called the office where she received treatment and they confirmed that she did pay.  The office then went on to promise that this was taken care of.  (uh-huh)
Today, my girlfriend gets a call from some anonymous number that left a voicemail saying, "This is Helen from the doctors office, calling regarding a balance with Dr. Merchant."  My girlfriend calls the number back and asks, "What is this regarding?  I was told by the doctors office that this was taken care of" and their reponse was, "This is collections, what is your name?"  And my girlfriend says, "I want to speak with a supervisor."  The lady starts talking in a different language and got someone else on the phone.  The person who claimed to be a supervisor was the same representative who my girlfriend spoke to three weeks ago.  In a matter of a few more seconds he hung up, with no resolution.
Can anyone tell me if they had similar experiences and what she should do?

Message Edited by Drew on 04-13-2007 05:56 PM

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Message 1 of 3
Regular Contributor

Re: I am smelling something fishy. Please read.

Start documenting everything. Check recording laws, and if you live in a one party consent state, begin recording everything. Better yet, send a limited cease and decist leaving only written communication as acceptable. Keep records.
In addition to that, send a letter requesting validation of such debt. As always appropriate documentation (signed, return receipt confirmation). You want to keep the data as thorough as possible so if you're forced to resort to a court resolution, you have necessary things.

Message Edited by okrogius on 04-14-2007 03:51 AM
Message 2 of 3

Re: I am smelling something fishy. Please read.

If another letter arrives then you have something to actually work with.  The last post is also correct - record everything.  If it's illegal where you are to tape the call then write down everything said and by who. Get names written down before even starting a conversation.
Also, never admit to anything - always ask for written proof.  For 20 bucks I would guess they will just slouch away. Seems like you got a call center in India or such like and you're just a number on a list. My guess is that nothing will come of this. But if it does then get a written confirmation of your 'paying in full' and send it to the relevent party.... and if you feel like it a threat of legal action if they don't stop trying to collect a false debt etc

Message Edited by htc on 04-17-2007 08:02 AM
Message 3 of 3