NCO Financial Systems Complaint - Could use some advice on what do do about debt with NCO
To start off, back in December of 2008 I was laid off from my job. I immediately had to cancel my cell phone service, because I could no longer afford it. I was subject to an early termination for each of the two phone's that were on my account. I had a bill of approx 520$ that I needed to pay. I did not receive my unemployment compensation till the middle of February so I did not pay for those two months. I stopped receiving my bill and when I called the cell phone company they informed me that my debt had been sold to a collection agency. I assumed that I could not pay my bill through the cell phone company anymore and that's how they portrayed it also. I did not receive nor did I hear anything from any collection agency until this past Friday when they called my husband's phone saying that they were NCO financial trying to contact me about an important matter. They told my husband that I had listed him as a contact ( not true ). He gave them my information then called me to tell me that I needed to call a number and ext with a code that he also gave me. I called and looked up the company while I was waiting to speak to a representative When I found out that it was a collection agency I knew it had to be about the cell phone bill. After being on hold for over half an hour, I left a voicemail with my name and number for them to call me. They did not call me back, but instead called my husband again on Saturday. I called them and got ahold of a representative that same day. The first woman I spoke to was polite and asked me some questions ( which I wish I had not answered now but I legitimately thought that it was just a means to get the debt cleared up ), among them where my husband worked and who our checking account was through ( I am so angry that I gave out that info! I feel like such a sucker ). She then told me that my debt was over 800$ and I told her that I disagreed with that amount and that I need something in the mail stating proof that I owe that amount before I pay them anything. I also told her that due to my unemployment I would not be able to pay the debt in full, but could make monthy payments of at the very least 200$. She asked if I would hold ( had no idea she was transferring the call to a manager ). A man who said he was a manager comes on the line and demands to know my plan to pay off my debt. I told him that my plan was to get the paperwork in the mail that stated proof of what I owe and then to make the payments that I could make till it was paid off. He then went on to say " so I'm going to read between the lines and guess that what your saying is that you'll pay it when you have the money" and I was so taken aback at his rudeness that I was kind of flustered after that and said no that's not what I said at all. Then he said "well why can't you put this debt onto your credit card that you have through your bank" and I said that the card is actually primarily my husband's and he won't allow me to do that. The manager then said in a tone of disbelief "your husband and you do your finances separately" and I told them that in this matter of a debt that was mine, yes. He then went on to basically say that he had heard this excuse a million times and that all I am going to do is take one look at a paper statement and decide not to pay then screen my calls and that they would never hear from me again. He told me that I could write a check to the cell phone company, that he could care less what I did, and that he was referring my care for "further action". He then told me to have a nice day and hung up on me.
I was really upset after this phone call, I just want to get this debt cleared up and never be in this situation again. I just don't feel like I can get anywhere with this company. I don't even feel safe giving any money to them now.
If anyone could give me any advice as to what to do now I would really appreciate it. I was under the impression that I could not go back to cell phone company to pay them, but he made it sound like I could.
Thanks to anyone in advance for any advice or knowledge shared.