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Collection practices and Poor Customer Service
Posted by Keeyana on 05/31/2007
BALDWIN PARK, CALIFORNIA -- On 5/31/07 I contacted GC Services regarding a ticket accout with the court house I set up to pay off monthly. I've paid 400.00 and thought it was settled. GC sent me an aggressive letter stating that I failed to pay therefore owe the 400.00 plus 300.00 for failure to pay about 5 days ago. I contacted them on 5/31 and an Alex picked up the phone. I gave him my account number and was looking for guidance. I needed clarification because they had come after me for another ticket which was paid as well and I ended up spending all day at the courthouse to see the judge, gain proof so that I can fax it to GC. I wanted to make sure before I wasted my time and money, I'm commission based, that they weren't contacting me for the same ticket.

Alex was very rude, wouldn't let me speak, he constantly spoke over me, and told me to go to the court house to resolve it. Even though I was seeking clarification that this wasn't the same ticket from before as I have the paper work to prove payment, he wouldn't be quiet long enough to understand the nature of my call. When I asked for a Manager he told me NO. I then explained to him that I'm being as nice as possible and seeking guidance. He told me to go to the court house again and hung up.

I called back, he picked up, said "yeah, hold", so I hung up. I called back hoping to get someone else and did! They referred me to the Manager who was great and clarified for me what the bill was for. Then I was able to go home, look for my check copies, and prove payment once again.

GC services has horrid collection practices and if you look them up on the BBB this will be confirmed. They actually withdrew their membership in Texas in 12/06 stating they no longer care to be accountable to the BBB for solid customer service practices.

They simply don't care......Lord help you if your account goes to GC services. They will make your life hell. There goes another day of missed work.

     
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Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-05-31:
Did you keep records of your payments as proof? Thats all you need.
Posted by Pomona Guy on 2007-05-31:
What did you get a ticket for?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-31:
Baldwin Park!!!!my home town.
Like the previous responses said,hopefully you still have proof of payment.

Also watch out for the cops out there,they are sneaky
Posted by MRM on 2007-05-31:
The 4th paragragh states," Then I was able to go home, look for my check copies, and prove payment once again."

Keeyana had already proved that she had paid the full balance.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-31:
Oops must have skipped that.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-05-31:
Case solved...dismissed!
Posted by ccalvin57 on 2007-11-08:
Someone asked about showing them the law that GC or anybody HAS to accept any payment. I talked to a lawyer friend of mine awhile back about this. He told me that if you send ANY amount to a creditor and they accept this amount (by depositing or cashing your check/money order) they are accepting the payment as a contract of intent to pay off your balance as you can. If they refuse the check/money order and send it back, then they are refusing to enter into a contract with you to pay off your balance.. Most creditors will accept any money you send them, but some (ESPECIALLY GC) will make all kinds of noise and threats and YES they will be very rude over the phone, and will record your conversation without your knowledge which is illegal. But as far as persuing their "Other oprions": They will rarely do that, because they spend so much money on their Nazi like staff. (I guess you can see I have experience in dealing with GC).
Posted by DebbieT on 2008-03-03:
I am currently dealing with GC Services due to a default student loan. I made sure to contact higher education to inform them that I'm on a rehabilitation program with them. Well anyway to make a long story sorta short, I was told by higher education that once I made a 3rd consecutive payment I would not have to worry about my tax refund being garnished. Well I made my 3rd payment and guess what? GC Services never contacted Higher Education to let them know that I AM on a repayment program nor that I have sent in any payments yet .... I have been calling GC Services all morning and no answer, no recording to leave a message for a callback NOTHING!! Now I am pissed and want to know what's going on.
Posted by ckb2477 on 2008-05-18:
First of all DebbieT, after each payment made, you should have recieved a letter documenting the payment made and the remaining balance. GC Services doesn't send documentation to other insitutions because they are a third party and have to respect the rights of their clients first. That is why they never send the payments. Now you might be able to write a letter and send the documenation to the higher education and see if there is something they can do.

To calvin57. Let me ask you this, If I borrowed $2,000 from you and told you I would pay you back $300 a month until we were good and then I moved away for a couple of years and decided to come back. You caught up to me and asked for your money. I told you that I still don't have it but I can give you $10 a month and put a ten dollar bill in your hand. Would you accept that when I already agreed to pay you $300 a month and already skipped town already. Same rules apply with collections and businesses, you can send a payment and they will accept it, however just remember you entered into a legally binding contract that will superceed any payment you send in. Not to mention that the payment amount that you send it will be less then the interest and you are just pi**ing your money away along with your credit score.
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An Employees View
Posted by GRANDMACARSON5 on 01/22/2009
I work for GC services-and every review is correct. Gc services not only treat the customers like crap but also its employees. Try working somewhere and you are told that no matter what the situation is, collect as much money as possible. I had a lady call in and say that she couldn't make a payment because her husband had died only 3 days prior to our conversation. I called over a manager and was told-ok her husband died, what does that have to do with her paying what she owes... I mean, some of these managers act like the payments are coming to them or something. When I was hired I was told it was customer service and it wasn't. Where I live jobs are few and far between but I saw in our local paper that they were hiring so I went down and applied. Since I was hired more than 60 people have been fired or quit. Now there is about 30 people that work in my department and the number is dropping daily. We get paid time off for sick days-you earn so many hours per pay period. We were told that to take them you have to request them and get approval at least 30 days prior to use. And lunch or breaks...Hahahaha. We are supposed to get two 15 minute breaks. Yesterday our names went on lists to go on breaks because they are so short handed. I usually take lunch between 4 and 6pm because I work the last shift. I got my first break at 555pm and my dinner/meal at 945pm I get off between 10 and 11pm. I never did get my 2nd break.

The client is supposed to be at work today and when they come its horrible. The managers start acting like they care and why haven't you taken your break or meal. Or my favorite, they try to act like they know who you are and try to call you by name until you correct them because they called you someones name who they fired. Have you ever been written up because you passed out at work and sustained a head injury-one girl did.

She was working over time-to help a specific manager out and she collapsed, hit her head on the concrete and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance....Gc wrote her up for being late coming back from dinner, failure to finish her shift, and not calling in the next day....She was in a drug induced coma by our major hospital because of swelling in her brain. When she did try to come back to work she was told to go home, another write up. She is now 100% disabled due to the head injury. I know for a fact that customers are getting the short end of the stick. They call in and ask for help in paying their debt and we are told to tell them they can't make arrangements they have to pay it all now. Customers be careful who you have credit with and check to see what their collection department does with accounts. If they use outside collections, its probably GC services.

Here are a few companies I know use GC services...Toyota financial, credit one bank, capital one bank, harley davidson, and home depot.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-22:
Unfortunately, FLSA only steps in on lunch and break issues if your state has a law mandating them. There are reasons many collectors behave the way they do when dealing with debtors. Your post described a lot of them.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Cold-Hearted People
Posted by Nolife38 on 02/29/2012
OHIO -- These people to include Sallie Mae, need to figure out some way in how to develop a "real" heart. When students like myself set out to attend college it is to "suppose" to better ourselves. Yes, we sign the documents that states that when we complete the education phase that we are to pay these funds back, but what nobody seems to care about is if when we do complete this phase of our lives, there are "no" guarantees that we will be able to find a job, and if you are a minority such as I am (African American~woman) we don't have a chance in hell! These people have been harassing me for months about my student loans and they refuse to take into consideration when I am telling them that I am now on disability and they are threatening to garnish my disability check? It really amazes me how this country has no problems helping everybody else, and expect for the citizens to help them help everybody else, but when it comes to assisting "home" that is not going to happen because the politicians and bill collectors refuse to accept when somebody is telling them that they are down on their luck. I hope that they will eventually have to get the chance to go through the same luck that some of us "little people" have to deal with on a daily basis and that they too will have to eventually go on disability and have to figure out point "a" and point "b".
     
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Posted by clutzycook on 2012-02-29:
I'm guessing that you've already tried to apply for a deferment or a forbearance? Usually, student loan companies will work with you somewhat to either postpone your payments or at least lower them to an affordable level.
Posted by Skye on 2012-02-29:
I'm sorry you are now on disability, but you did agree to pay back this loan, regardless of what your future circumstances became. They did help you, by providing you with financial assistance when you applied for it.

Please take clutzycooks advice, if you have not done those things already. Your doctor has to sign a document, that will allow your loan to go into forbearance for up to one year, which will allow you time to gather your finances, and I hope things do get better for you.

Good luck.
Posted by Churro on 2012-02-29:
It's a sad state affairs when this country spends trillions to bail out businesses that committed nothing short of fraud but turns its back on honest people down on thier luck.
Posted by nolife38 on 2012-03-01:
BUT THE THING IS, I CONTACTED SALLI MAE AND THEY SENT THE PAPERWORK FOR WHAT IS SUPPOSE TO BE FOR A "FORGIVENESS" AND I EXPLAINED TO THEM THAT I AM TRYING TO GET IN TO SEE MY DOCTOR FOR HER TO SIGN THE PAPERWORK BUT SHE HAS BEEN OUT OF THE OFFICE, SO I CAN'T FORCE ANYTHING THAT IS NOT IN MY CONTROL. I TOLD THEM THAT I WAS WORKING ON THE PAPERWORK AND THEY SAID OK THEN THEY TURNED AROUND AND SENT THESE JACK A** AFTER ME! IT'S LIKE I AM SUPPOSE TO PULL A MONEY TREE FROM UNDER MY BED. HECK IF I HAD ALL OF THIS MONEY IT WOULD HAD BEEN PAID OFF BY NOW.
Posted by onlooker on 2012-03-01:
Please keep plugging away at this, the paperwork and timing issues are out of your control. But you are doing what you are supposed to do. The calls and payment demands are automated processing basically unstoppable until the paperwork is in. Too many people scam them on this kind of stuff. Good luck, and try to stay patient.
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GC Services Is Full Of It
Posted by Pcasey2476 on 07/14/2011
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO IF YOUR CASES ARE IN “COLLECTIONS”?

Yes!

Just because your case was sent to a collection agency does not mean it is over. The court does not lose control over your case when it is sent to collections (if the collections agency tells you cannot go to court, they are not telling you the truth).

You can still demand a court date, and appear in court to defend the case(s), or ask the court for an extension based upon a special circumstance. As long as you have not plead guilty, you can even have a trial if you want one. You are still entitled to have a court appearance and to request that your fines be reduced or spread out over time. If you qualify for traffic school, you can still request a referral to protect your driving record.

     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-07-15:
Thanks for the Informative post.
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GC Services
Posted by Djleav on 12/09/2010
I am a soldier who is being harassed by GC Services for a student loan that I had deferred while I was over seas in a combat zone. After my early return due to injuries sustained while over seas I discovered on my credit report that my student loan was delinquent and in collections. I called up Sally Mae and spoke to them about the situation, and they said that they had sold the collection to GC Services. I contacted GC Services to dispute the collection. They said I needed to pay them money for a probationary period to get it out of collections. I explained to them that my last re-enlistment that I received "Tuition Assistance Repayment Program" for $10,000 dollars to cover the loan. They have refused to send the collection back to the original debtor so the loan can be paid off. I have been fighting with them sense. They call and harass me on a daily basis calling me at at 730 in the morning. This time they went too far. They some how got a hold of my commanding officer and spoke with him about the situation divulging the amount owed and all my personal information. I believe this to be a violation of my privacy because it is a civilian matter. Tomorrow I will kindly call them and speak to them as well write them a letter not to contact me on my phone or at my place of work or I will sue them for harassment at my work place and violation of my privacy and make them pay for the debt. I'm currently in a situation where I am trying to recover from injuries sustained fighting for this country just to return have some collection agency cause me that much more pain and suffering.
     
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Posted by rockfishing on 2010-12-10:
Call you local congressman (or woman) and ask for help resolving your problem with these (expletive deleted). Sallie Mae is just a scam to tax students to give deadbeat bankers a job and driving up the cost of an education. Thanks for serving in the armed forces!
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GC is ripping people off!
Posted by CrisB on 07/27/2010
I am dealing with GC collection company after I received a ticket for expired vehicle registration.

I had until the 28 of January to fix my registration, I did so on on the 6th of January 2010 (22 days before the tickets expiration date!), I had the ticket signed off from a CHP officer who, thankfully, made me a copy of the ticket front and back... I sent the ticket and the required 25 dollars to the Los Angeles Courthouse, which doesn't surprise me.. "didn't receive it" (this was a $25 dollar fix it ticket"... ) I come to find out this Saturday that I have a failure to appear and the ticket is now referred to GC collection company which is asking now $990.00 to give my license back!!! from $25 to $990.00 is 39,6 times the original cost of my ticket that I paid!!!!) If this is not a rip off I don't know what is.

The GC employees are rude and even the manager would not help at all to fix the situation. In Los Angeles if you have a ticket sent to GC collection YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE THE JUDGE to resolve it and if you ask GC collection company for a court date they tell you that is going to be 6 months before you can appear... Or pay the 39,6 times the price of the original ticket. I have contacted my state representatives which will contact GC shortly and I am contacting the Better Business Bureau as well to file a formal complaint against them. I also would not mind to find other people in my situation with GC and file a class action lawsuit against these extortionists!
     
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Posted by bcd on 2010-07-27:
Do you have a cancelled check as proof of payment?

The failure to appear charge implies you were contacted about the outstanding unpaid fine. Does the state of California have your current address?
Posted by CrisB on 2010-07-28:
Well I have not cancelled the check, it costs me $20 to cancel the $25 check and I still hope they'll cash it and clear everything. I do have a copy of the check stub dated 1/6/2010 to Los Angeles Superior Court, I also have the registration printout from the D.M.V. reflecting the date the registration was corrected in addition to the CHP officer badge number, signature of correction and office stamp reflecting the violation was corrected on the 6th of January (on the ticket).
I was never contacted by either the courthouse, DMV or even GC credit company despite my address is correct (it even shows in the registration printout!). I discovered this by accident by myself on Saturday.
Saturday after I discovered this I even called GC Collection company left a message in their answering machine with my phone number to call me and to try to resolve this but they didn't even have the dignity to call me back so I called them back on monday!
Yes they do have my address in fact I just received the new registration renewal letters for my other car but no letter about the license being suspended otherwise I would have taken care of this immediately! Now I cannot even see the judge to try to fix this! All I want is to pay the original fee (even if I have to pay $50 instead of $25 would be ok with me but 990 is truly an extorsion!) and get my license back!
Posted by bcd on 2010-07-29:
The drawer does not cancel a check; the bank cancels it after processing. You should have been aware the check was still outstanding when you balanced your checkbook. A check stub is not proof of payment.
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Violation of "FDCPA"
Posted by Talk360 on 02/01/2010
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- WHO IS REALLY RELIABLE HERE!! Government needs to check on agancies like this!

This company GC Services Limited Partnership Collection Agancy Division
6330 Gulfton, Houston, TX 77081

Citi Bank Sells our consumer information to this company once a card has been closed. The GC Services then takes that info uses it to obtain other info for there own collection purposes, like calling relatives and asking info they already know. They will say CITI BANK gave them the info which again is not true at all, even though Sears company & CITI Bank says they have nothing to do with the account anymore and it belongs to GC Services, they should not allow the company any other peoples information never to sell anything to this GC Services company again why would you after they accuses Sears or CITI bank of something they have not even done. This company says they got personal information provided to them by CITI Bank Citi bank denied that fact, these GC Services are cold hearted ppl that will act like they have a right to have your info DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM! They have called our family and left messages with them to give to us, even though we have spoken to them 3 days prior & updated our information. When asked what the purpose for the call to our parents was they responded with "for location purposes" which like I said we already updated out info with them 3 days before they called our family. I even told [snip] extension I will keep private, I let her know I had not received the paper from GC SERVICES yet to verify they have my account. And that as soon as I do we could discuss further payment plans, I did not even get that written letter before she already called our family. No reason for that call to be made when they had our current address our current phone number and all info they needed to contact us. Very rude company, [snip] transferred me over to her supervisor [snip], which did not answer any of my questions and I started recording the conversation, they assured me all they "FDCPA" laws were being followed, but I assure you they are not. There is no reason for these ppl to harass us, do internet searches they need to be honest if/when they do. I encourage everyone to record any conversation you may have with this company, (letting them know of course).

But also please let CITI bank know what kind of ppl they are selling our information to, crooked ppl even if they (Sears- Citi Bank) don't have control any, more they did before they handed it over to these collection agency. PLEASE HELP OUR FELLOW MAN LET OTHER KNOW please thank you
     
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Posted by goduke on 2010-02-01:
I'm pretty sure that once Citi has written it off and sold the bad debt, they aren't really concerned with the customer's thoughts on the company to whom the debt is sold. So exactly which portion of the FDCPA did the violate?

Raven should be able to weigh in on this company. Any experience, Raven?
Posted by Talk360 on 2010-02-04:
tHEY VIOLATED parts of the FDCPA like for instance, Conctacting our family for information that was already known to them. I had spoke with them 3days prior confirming all my info, informed them i was waiting for there officail letter to arrive by mail.They made 1 call to us , and expected us to believe evrything they said & pay whatever without anything in writting (i dont think so,lesson learned b4). I asked how they obtained that # to begin with, they stated:"it was on your account under account refrence when you very first signed up for the card" Said GC Services limited partnership collection agency division. Citi Bank confirmed that # was never on my account, Yet GC still sticken to the story citi provided it to us. Citi probably doesnt care about the account at all after it gets past down they should. If banks sold accounts to proffessional companys then it might help the collection proccess a bit/4 every1. I was never told where the number came from for real if it was off the internet or they used phone books tell me that, why lie about how they got my familys # unless it was illegal/?/right. $97 in just fees alone in 1 month is outrages (not sayen thats a crime). I asked about interest fees and ck process informantion which i was told its all the same as "Sears" policy & proceedure. If they didnt want to explain it i would have wrote a letting asking for it, which they never explained it nor did htey ever say i can mail you/ or you can write us for that info in writiting. They made it very clear stateing "CITI BANK" ownes my account card was under & that they are the worlds largest bank-GC saying"You do not want to mess up with them". Like what was the reason behind that, needing to be said out of the blue? Nor did they verify any of ny husbands information for security purposes, they just took my word on it during a conversation with Steddford & Hazard. Im sure im not the only 1 that thinks making sure its the right person is important.Im just now reading up on all the laws & helpful hints ^its a pain
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-04:
It is standard for a collection agency or 3rd party collection agency to attempt to verify any info they have on a debt they have taken over. Just because Citi knew your info was correct, GC doesn't. Otherwise, to them it should have been collectible. If the account has been sold, then you deal with the new account holder. As to how they get your family's numbers. Skip tracers are good at their jobs.

I love when people don't pay their bills always get bent out of shape hollering about the collection practices. Just pay what you owe and you won't have to deal with them.
Posted by Talk360 on 2010-02-08:
Once Citi bank puts a debt as "bad debt" otherwise write it off, they sell it. Meaning that the new company must send out there own privacy policies and own verbal contracts are made (promises).I'm pay all the bills i owe But i will not pay for what i don't or set myself up for failure.Ive been screwed only by doing the right thing setting the payments up, asking all the info,collectors hanging up on me Creating aliases for me posting them on my credit Report.They lost my automatic information w/ auto-pay.If companies wanna charge me fees for my stupidity. If i mess up & don't make the bill for whatever reason "cool" my bad ya know did it i understand.But when my personal affairs get involved and the companies don't wanna play by the rules anymore.They need to admit it like i have done, certainly there are circumstances for every situation. But for employees to judge the costumer badger them annoy them is not accomplishing anything.The job is to collect & help insure that payment get delivered not deter them from paying.Never assume unless you know the real situation, you could end up on the wrong end of the table.Companies & there employees need to change the way it works & the way they treat the consumers that put them in business.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-02-10:
Talk360...did you use that phone number as a 'reference' when you applied for credit? Applications usually ask for references and they will often use that info to contact the debtor if they need to. I know there's been collection agencies calling here for my Brother-In-Law's contact info because he used us as a 'reference' on their application.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-11:
Talk360---think about everytime you have given ANYONE your phone number. I am not going to share industry information, but I will tell you I have no less than TEN ways to find a number you use, even if the phone is not in your name.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-02-11:
If the OP is against posting personal information
why is s/he posting someone else's full name and phone number?


But really with your full name & city & state anyone can find your info.

I personally prefer using http://www.zabasearch.com
but there's others that contain even more information
all of it from public records
Posted by Talk360 on 2010-02-17:
Thank you every one for helping me understand what i might not ever be able to, but i want to give it a shot.
Posted by Talk360 on 2010-02-17:
raven2002there may be allot of things i do not know about every time i give someone my phone number although those who i do give it out to, there is a reason. I do not post my phone number online or even have it posted in the phonebook, i usually don't mind people calling to verify information about a debt i owe. I am not very trusting to give any body or company my information when they lie to me about a very simple question on how they got my family members number. If it is not illegal than why did they just tell me the truth, what do creditors hope to obtain when they past normal boundaries to collect debts. When you push people into a corner the less likely they are to admit there mistakes or even pay the bill. Public records can be great when used for good reasons I'm all for that, what was the reason for GC services calling my in-laws after i had just spoke to them. I had no paper work from the company or had set up any payments with them why would they do this!/?
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Info before you post a review
Posted by Ms.jeans on 01/31/2010
Well GC Services is not a company that collects for unpaid tickets, GC Services collects for Drivers Responsibility Fees that are caused by certain tickets. The company is based in Texas and now contracted to the State of Michigan. So if you don't want to get levied then just pay the bill or to call and set up installment agreement..And by the way they do not go by first name bases like the other guy stated Alex picked up...

     
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Posted by Alain on 2010-02-01:
Gee, I feel much better about your company now!
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-01:
So what's the difference between a ticket and a Drivers Responsibility Fee?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-01:
goduke, I don't know about Michigan but in Tejas the "Drivers Responsibility Fee" is a tribute you pay annually to the state for being a bad driver. Your assessment is based upon the number of driving points you've accumulated once you've exceeded a threshold or can be assessed individually on big offenses like DUI, driving without insurance or with a suspended license. A ticket you pay a fine to the municipality then you're done. The Drivers Responsibility Fee can be charged for three years for the same offense since that's how long the ticket remains on your driving record.

The Tejas legislators claim it was a move to encourage safer driving but that ain't true it was done as a revenue enhancement for the state budget.

You gotta love them crazy Tejans.
Posted by goduke on 2010-02-01:
Wow. Didn't know about that one. Never got a ticket in lonestar land. Thanks for the info.
Posted by madconsumer on 2010-02-01:
to prevent a ticket from going into collections, pay the ticket by the due date.

having lived in texas 15 years, i would like to know what this drivers responsibility fees is.
Posted by Disaster Worker on 2010-02-01:
I've been in Texas all my life and have never heard of the "Driver's Responsibility Fee"...is that because I don't have any tickets?
Posted by Talk360 on 2010-02-20:
GC services has a bunch of ruthless employees working for them, horrible the way they think just like ms.jeans has demonstrated for us by writing this review. Do not let any credit company or anyone get away with telling you= So if you don't want to get levied, lets fix this). My goodness the collectors job is to assist you with ability to pay the bill ' not drive you farther away from wanting to pay. If it were so easy to pay all the bills we debtor owe than it would simply be done already. Do you really think anyone likes being called 24-seven being asked the same questions repeatedly, & no one likes having bad credit loaded onto there (once) good name. Even if consumers do call in or answer to set up a pay-arrangement it usually gets out into words like we nee a auto-pay (ck by phone / card number to make payment) for any program or past due fee. The United States our self in general are in debt literally way past our heads so wake up smell the fresh coffee (if you can afford to by coffee)People are really broke! Realize that without people that owe debt there would be no need for debt collectors oe credit collection agencies.
If you wanna make money you should work a little bit, try earn-en the money = Collectors should pretend they care consider every aspect of a situation to try obtain & collect the dues owed (plus interest,Fees) .
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-20:
(BA) Stew
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-02-20:
Talk360, you are clearly misinformed. Once a collector has to start talking about a levy, the situation is way past "assisting" the debtor.

I seize assets all day long. I dont go to the trouble of filling out paperwork, digging around for your assets, getting a judgement, getting a lien, sending the sheriff to serve you, etc, unless you have already avoided me, lied to me, etc. Siezing assets costs time and money.

I would rather you be honest, provide details as to your debt to income ratio, and work something out that meets my clients needs.
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Amex needs to FIRE GC Services for harassing customers and breaking the law
Posted by Hurt Consumer on 11/25/2009
Sent to American Express in response to their "Assistance you might need, GC Services has your account now" letter.

American Express
Attn: Someone in leadership please.
P. O. Box 297808,
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33329-7808

Re: Your “Assistance you might need.” Letter received November 24, 2009

To anyone who will listen, (This really is worth reading and can/will save Amex money and good will)

I received your letter offering help and assistance, and frankly that was refreshing in comparison to most companies approach to collecting money. And thank you.

But… here’s my challenge, if you will please listen and forward this to anyone who can help and use this information.

After having some of the worst financial and job challenges in my life all coinciding with the biggest national financial disaster that I have every lived through, and compounded with the birth of my daughter (a blessing, but the timing wasn’t the best financially), I was forced (this was not a conscious choice) to default on some bills and prioritize for simple survival reasons. It literally came down to struggling to keep our 3 basic needs of Food, Shelter, and Transportation, met, and then add diapers, baby clothes, etc. etc. etc.

Having been raised to be responsible and pay my bills and served our Country in the US Air Force during the Gulf War and lived through some very tough times, this has been more unbearable. I went through one of the darkest emotional points in my life when I should have been relishing in the happiness of the birth of our baby girl. I cannot describe the challenges we had without getting emotional. The nights lying awake wondering how we would get through this and how I would provide for my family. The thoughts of worthlessness, and failure were overwhelming. Sitting on the floor with our infant with collectors calling and screaming, yelling, and berating me as though I did this on purpose.

Over the past 3 years, we have lost our home (and we were fully documented "A" borrowers, not subprime borrowers), lost jobs and income to the tune of nearly 50% of what we used to bring in in income pre 2005, and expect it to take years to unravel the accumulated debt that we accrued prior to the financial meltdown. Our equity vanished, our stocks and retirements evaporated, and savings was completely exhausted.

I realize that none of this matters when it comes to the debts and business at hand for your company. And frankly I understand your position to have to collect the debts for the survival of your company and shareholders as well.

But, at what cost do we lose our humanity for money, and at what point do we all realize that we are in this together and that if we all remain reasonable and understanding that we can work through this and solve all of our problems amicably?

I can only speak for myself of course, but I did not wake up one day and decide to “not pay” Amex. What has been called the worst financial disaster since the great depression, was bound to affect everyone in one way or another and some worse than others. We have all lost lots of money, and continue to lose more. But with all of that said, I have always made it clear, that I WILL pay my debts with one certain and unavoidable necessary condition, that the company I owe is reasonable and fair in how and when I pay it. Basically time is the issue. Beating me when I’m still down does nothing but push me and others into states of paralyzation, that doesn’t accomplish anything for anyone. The fact is, that I and most in my situation, simply don’t have the money right now, but will eventually as we all recover, and in the mean time, all of the hostile threats from the “hired guns/Collection companies like GC Services, will not change that reality, but rather force us into fully avoiding them and back into a mental survival state, rather than simply working out a nominal monthly payment and 6 month review of my income, job, and cash position. Isn’t something better than nothing or forcing Bankruptcy on me/us?

So, with all of that said, I want to address GC SERVICES, the collection company (one of them) that you use.

GC Services has got to be one of the most brutal, heartless, nasty, law breaking, firms I’ve ever dealt with, to the extent that the last account that I had that you sent to them (before this one) resulted in my having to file a lawsuit, although the lawsuit was ultimately settled to my satisfaction, it was the extent I needed to go to to protect my rights as a consumer and stop the brutality, public humiliation, harassment, and overall offensive behavior, that did not lead to anything productive or beneficial to Amex or myself. I didn’t pay any more money than I would have at the time, and the account had to be transferred to another collection firm whom handled the account very professionally and respectfully, and to date, we have been on a solid payment plan and I have paid down a massive portion of the debt over time and continue to do so without ever missing a payment. What do they know that GC Services does not know? Why doesn’t GC services understand this approach and choose to break the law and berate, yell, accuse, and harass people? And finally, why does such a respected company such as AMEX choose to align with such a firm? The only answer can be that their tactics work and the casualties don’t matter.

Let me list the consequences of their behavior:

1. Increased rate of Bankruptcies to stop their calls.
2. Increased rate of disappearing debtors trying to avoid paying the debt.
3. Anger and retaliation by debtor by not paying bill.
4. Lawsuits that cost everyone time, energy and money to hold GC Services accountable to their illegal and unethical tactics.
5. The saddest one. Suicides that never get attributed directly to them, but their contribution to crushing someone who has lost everything already, is impossible to ignore. I was at a funeral 6 months ago for a father of 3 and husband who took his own life because he could not deal with the financial disaster in his life. Apparently the collectors were calling daily and many could care less and just wanted their money at all costs. In the end, he lost his mind. Read the stats, in many communities that have been hit the hardest, the suicide rate is approaching or past 10% higher than pre-financial meltdown periods. No doubt those people were getting beaten up by collectors who wouldn’t work out anything reasonable. These are human beings who thought it was easier to die than push through this! Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters for Gods sake!!! They made a temporary problem permanent and you treat the debt as though it is a "right now" problem that has to be solved...or else!

Here are some of the tactics used by GC Services that I personally experienced and witnessed:
1. Calling 3-4+ times in one day. Even after speaking with me.
2. Leaving angry and hostile messages on voicemail.
3. Calling coworkers and family members under the “cover” that they are just “trying to locate”, even though they have the right phone numbers, addresses and even speak to the debtor. They just aren’t getting the money they want or as much as they want, so they use this tactic to pressure it out of them.
4. Calling neighbors and friends.
5. Threatening to sue and garnish wages.
6. Threatening to embarrasss at workplace.
7. Read off of current credit report all of the other debts to intimidate. They actually say “wow, look, you are even losing your home to foreclosure, ha ha”…

Now, I’m sure their tactics work quite often, they worked on me for the first few weeks, until I discovered that much of what they were doing was flat out illegal and I sought out a consumer protection attorney.

But, here I am again. My other account was just transferred to GC Services now, and low and behold, the hostility and anger has begun once again. I immediately contacted my attorney and we are preparing for round two with them.

Three things I would be humbly appreciative for you to please consider. 1. Transfer my account to a new collection company or back to AMEX and I would be happy to discuss some reasonable temporary arrangements while I work to recover financially. And 2. Seriously consider your use of GC Services in future collection needs. 3. Consider keeping these accounts with AMEX longer and working on modified payment arrangements as Bank of American, Citi, and others have.

A final note, this account was never behind one single day, and was closed by AMEX because one of my other accounts fell behind too far and AMEX (you) sent it immediately to an outside collector who was ultimately unreasonable with my payment plan needs. This all could have been prevented.

Thank you for reading,
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-11-25:
It is not reasonable to think that Amex will stop using GC or will transfer the debt back in house. You owe it and they will try to collect at any cost.

Send GC a cease and desist letter, certified return receipt. If they continue to call they are in violation of the law and you will have legal recourse.
Posted by bunnyhead on 2009-11-25:
The past 2 years I went through a similar situation (due to illness)and I was receiving numerous collection calls daily. Almost everyone I dealt with was willing to accept a payment plan that I could afford and that really helped. Your letter was very well written and I agree with your points. I like you, didn't wake up one day and say "I'm not going to pay my bills anymore." These companies need to realize that this can be a temporary problem and we all need to work together to get through. Good luck.
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Fake Ticket Balance Due
Posted by ConcernedCitizen on 09/27/2008
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- Just received a letter in the mail from GC Services. Says I owe them $681.00 or I will have a judgment against me. Thing is this is for a $30 parking ticket which I paid the week after receiving it and have the canceled check.

So I did some research and it appears these people are some kind of scam artists.

Obviously you should do your own investigation into your personal dealings with the company. In my own situation and in the situations of countless others the tickets were already paid and GC Services tacked on outrageous fees to the original amount.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-27:
So, what did your research find? Where do they operate from? What is the business mailing address and physical location address or phone numbers? Which public agency do they claim to represent? Long Beach Police? Did you contact the police department or the courthouse to let them know that GC was sending balance due notices on tickets already paid? Did you let them know to send out notices to other persons ticketed so they could check and see if they were scammed?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-28:
This is going to get a LOT worse for everyone. Cash-strapped cities are putting up traffic Scameras and pursuing the fine as a civil matter (there is less burden of proof). If the ticket isn't paid (or the city's records aren't accurate) the 'violator' gets tapped by a collection agency. A lot of people will pay a dubious charge just to make it 'go away'. Often, the 'fees' and 'surcharges' amount to more than the fine...a nice profit for both the city and the collector.
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