American Express Complaint - Problems with an old debt...
First of all, let me tell you a little about the nature of my complaint. In 2005, I received an application for an American Express credit card that I applied for without knowing about their business and the scammers that NCO, their collections agency, are. I was young, and I stupidly accepted their credit card. I applied for a American Express Savings One card, which will deposit 1% of all purchase amounts in a savings account, which you can withdraw money from. I thought it was nice at the time to have "money" to buy college books with and tuition. Boy, was I in for a surprise!
In 2006, I got fired for the first time from my job. This resulted in 3 months of unemployment, and I didn't have any money to pay my bills. Also, my parents couldn't help me out since they were strapped as it is. I let my AmEx bill go for 3 months without being able to pay anything on it. My bill, plus interest and late fees, added up to $2,789 plus change. There was no way I could pay it off.
I received a call from a supervisor at AmEx saying that I owed the full amount. I told her that I could not pay the amount, but that I would be happy to pay in monthly installments, since I had just gotten a job. She declined and said that if I didn't pay the full amount, she would immediately send my bill to collections. Well, since I couldn't pay, that's where it ended up, at United Recovery Systems. I decided to set up an account with a reputable debt management firm to see if they could work with AmEx and get them to accept some money, so they wouldn't sue me. It worked, for a while.
AmEx ceased to send me the invoices that I needed to send to the debt managment firm (required to disburse monies), resulting in the firm to cease payments since they didn't know how much I still owed. I called United Recovery and AmEx several times for a bill, but they ignored me.
Then, 4 months ago, I received a settlement plan from AmEx that said they would stop charging interest if I would pay a monthly fee of 44.00. I agreed with the plan, and closed my account with the firm. Big mistake! For 3 months, my payments went through NCO Financial to AmEx, with no problems. Suddenly, while trying to pay on the bill online, the payment wouldn't go through, saying I owed no money. I immediately called NCO Financial to find out why, and they said that AmEx pulled my account and they don't know where it is. I have called AmEx several times but can't get a live person. I only get a message that asks you to enter your card number, but after I do, it says to call NCO Financial. I am running around in circles, and I am worried sick, because I don't know if AmEx decided to charge off (erased) the debt, or placed it with another collections firm, violating the contract we agreed to.
I know that the collections was my fault, but I can't stop worrying about if I still owe money. I don't want my credit score to drop any lower if I do. Does anyone know of a phone number to AmEx's customer service that doesn't prompt you to enter your card number? PLEASE HELP!!!
UPDATE: I contacted AmEX again tonight. Instead of saying my account number, I said customer service, and was directed to a representative. They gave another number for NCO (argh!). I'm going to try to contact NCO tomorrow and speak to a supervisor. If I get nowhere with them, I am sending a certified letter to AmEX and NCO expressing my irritation and telling them that if they don't help me soon, I will seek legal action. I have had it with them giving me the run around. I am a human, I do make mistakes, and I'm trying to rectify the situation. They DO NOT care!