I haven’t had the pleasure of being contacted by the good people at the collection agency yet but I know a few people who have though. And I’ve been on the other end of the phone line so I know how annoying it could be. Most of the calls are a hassle and a waste of time.

When you owe money to the big companies, they hire people to call you until you eventually pay. If you fail to make payment, there are a couple of things that can happen. If you’re late on paying for your phone bill, your phone will get cut off. If you refuse you pay for your phone bill, not only will your phone get cut off but your credit rating will be affected as well.

Your credit rating is a score that shows how good you are with payments. It ranges from R0 to R9. The higher the rating, the worse your credit is. Banks and businesses use this rating to decide whether or not to grant you a loan. It helps them decide if it’s alright for them to extend a payment due date without having to worry that you’ll run off.

Rating Meaning
R0 Too new to rate; approved but not used
R1 Pays within 30 days of billing, or pays as agreed
R2 Pays between 30 to 60 days or one payment past due
R3 Pays between 60 to 90 days or two payments past due
R4 Pays between 90 to 120 day or three or more payments past due
R5 Account is at least 120 days past due but is not yet rated R9
R6 No rating exists
R7 Paid through a consolidation program
R8 Repossession
R9 Bad debt or placed for collection or bankruptcy

I know of a few people with bad credit ratings but nothing to the point of an R9 rating. A coworker of mind mentioned that he had a R9 credit rating but he likes to bullshit a lot. My credit rating is somewhere around R1. I don’t like to leave my unpaid for too long. I can’t say the same for some friends of mine.

A while ago, I wrote about a consolidating my friend’s debt. I had to transfer her debts into my credit card because the collection agency was after her. Initially, I wrote her a balance transfer cheque and told her to send it in. I recommended that she give them a call to notify them that the payment has been sent in order to avoid any further dilemmas. The collection agent that she spoke with said that it would take too long for that cheque to clear. I had to call him up and explain a few things but he didn’t want to listen. He informed me that the cheque would take up to fourteen days to process. I told him that it’s a balance transfer cheque which is pretty much the same thing as a credit card. He was stuck on the idea that it was cheque and it will take a long time. So instead, I gave him my credit card number and he processed the transaction. He put a note on their computer system to destroy the cheque when it arrives. But after looking at my Visa statements, that clearly did not happen.

I have access to my credit card statements with online banking and I find it very convenient. I checked my RBC Visa statement and noticed that there was a substantial increase in the balance owing. I saw that the collectors cashed the cheque that was supposed to be destroyed. Apparently someone wasn’t reading the note placed in the system when they processed that transaction.

I checked my CIBC Visa statement to see if that transaction went through but it hadn’t posted to my online account it. I did notice a decrease in available credit so I called them up. The representative informed me that the collectors debited my CIBC Visa as well. I told him that it might be a duplicate transaction. He told me that I can fax them a photocopy of my statement as proof that I’ve already paid it and they can reverse the charges. I told him not to worry about it because it’s the other transaction that was supposed to be canceled.

I called up the collectors to get some information as to why I was double charged. The people that I spoke with weren’t too helpful. I ended up speaking to the guy I spoke with the first time but even he didn’t know what to do.

Operator: Hello, how may I help you?
Me: Hi. I need to speak with someone regarding a recent transaction.
Operator: Uhhh… Okay, and what is this transaction about?
Me: I believe it was duplicated.
Operator: Uhhh… One moment…
Billing: Hello, how may I help you?
Me: Yes, I’m trying to get some information regarding a recent transaction.
Billing: Okay. What seems to be the issue?
Me: I think you guys charged me twice for the same thing.
Billing: Which account are you referring to?
I gave her the account number…
Me: I spoke with one of your associate regarding a payment for my friend. I wrote her a balance transfer cheque but the associate said it would take too long to clear. So I gave him my credit card number and he process that.
Billing: Okay, it says here the cheque should have been destroyed when it arrives
Me: Yes but it’s showing up on my Visa statement so the transaction was processed.
Billing: Okay, could you call back within five minutes. The associate that you spoke with before is currently on the phone.
Me: Okay.
five minutes later…
Associate: Hello, how may I help you?
Me: Yes, I’m calling about a recent transaction that you processed. I spoke with you before about my friend.
Associate: Oh right.
Me: Yes. I wrote her a cheque but when she called you, you informed her that the cheque was going to take too long to clear so I emailed you my credit card.
Associate: Right.
Me: I’m looking at my statements online and I’m showing two charges for the same amount. The lady I spoke with before said that the cheque was supposed to be destroyed when it arrives.
Associate:Yes, that’s what the note says on the computer.
Me: Well, it didn’t get destroyed because it got process.
Associate: Uhhh. I’ll have to look into that and get back to you tomorrow.

I gave him my info so he can get in touch with me to get this straightened out. I don’t understand why this mess is happening. I highly doubt that both transactions occurred at the exact same time. Someone should have seen that it was processed and cleared so the balance should have been zero. The second person to process this transaction wasn’t very observant. There’s no need to process anymore payment if the balance is already at zero. Credit card payment take affect almost immediately.

I gave them my credit card number on Jan. 19th so it should have been process no later than the 20th. My CIBC Visa shows a pending process because my available credit has dropped. The balance transfer cheque was sent to them around Jan 18th and it showed up on my credit on the 23rd. So that meant the mail must have taken about five days to arrive. If someone had read the note on the system and destroyed that cheque, I wouldn’t be making phone calls to all these companies. These collection agency expect you to have their money but they still mess things up when you give it to them.