The Debt Consolidation Co. / Avoid this Company at all costs
I recently filed a suit in small claims suit against the Debt Consolidation Co., 5762 Okeechobee Blvd, #147, West Palm Beach, FL. 33417 for services not rendered in 2004.
In early March 2004, I decided to surf the Internet for a Debt Consolidation Company to help me manage my debt. During my search, I came across a Website for the Debt Consolidation Company located at http://www.debtadvantage.com because I felt this company could support my need for debt relief and were affiliated with the Customer Assistance Program for the Better Business Bureau (BBB). I contacted the Debt Consolidated Company, herein referred to as the “Company” via email and was contacted by phone. I spoke with a Financial Consultant, at their toll free number.
On March 11, 2004, their representative sent me an email congratulating me on taking the first step to becoming Debt Free. I filled out an enrollment package via email and faxed the Company my application for processing. I was scheduled to begin the program on April 1, 2004. Included in the packet was an automatic draft form (voided check) that needed to be filled out along with my application. The packet was faxed to the Company in March 2004. My application with a voided check over $1000.00 was included. That amount was withdrawn from my checking account by the Company in April 2004.
Later that month, I contacted their financial consultant requesting that my account be canceled because I had not been contacted by their Customer Service company to setup a Debt Consolidation plan. I did not want to make another monthly payment to my creditors nor a monthly payment to his company for services not rendered. At this time, I was getting pressure from one of my creditors regarding a delinquent account since I hadn't started this program. I chose to look elsewhere for help and was in my home state. Prior to my contacting this company in writing to cancel my account, I spoke with one of their supervisors on the phone on a couple of occasions explaining my disappointment in the Company’s response time. I later contacted their Customer Service office for help. I called an 800 number, was given an account number and told by one of the Customer Service representatives that I would be contacted in 24 hours. That call never came, and as a result, I issued an email to the consultant requesting that my account be closed and I be reimbursed for the amount invested.
Towards the end of April 2004, a Processing Supervisor contacted me regarding my email to cancel my account. He stated that he had presented my concerns to his supervisor and would inquire about this with a Customer Service affiliate. He assured me that I would be contacted within 48 hours. He further stated that if I chose to withdraw from the program, I was more than welcomed to do so, but I would forfeit my payment since the original payment was only refundable within 5 working days. The following day, I informed him that I had decided to cancel my account since I had not been contacted by a Customer Service affiliate. I understood their policy, but did not feel it should be enforced if I was never provided any service. Their Financial Consultant gave me the impression that as soon as the Company received payment, a Customer Service representative would immediately contact me and I could begin their program. I was also not contacted within 48 hours by anyone from the Company as stated by the Processing Supervisor. I further stated to them, that I would be contacting another party to help resolve this matter, the BBB.
At the end of April; 2004, I contacted the West Palm Beach, FL. Better Business Bureau (BBB) for help. I explained my situation in an email and was later contacted by their rep on the next business day stating that their office had received my email and would present my complaint to the Company for a response to hear their side of the story. In May 2004, I received an email from the BBB with an attached response from the Company. I responded later that day stating my displeasure with their response because I felt their claim was not accurate and the company had been dishonest in trying to contact me and set up a plan. I requested that the Company provide the BBB a telephone log documenting that they tried to call me, from whom and when.
Later that day, the BBB contacted me stating that they had contacted the Company asking them for additional information and requested that they provide me with a telephone log. They complied and provided a list of names to the BBB. A copy of this log was compared to my phone records from the service provider and wouldn't you guess it, there was no record of their call or information from my creditor that they had been contacted. I can honestly say, that after having paid over $1000, I would have made the time to speak with someone from the Company to setup a debt consolidation plan that I needed. Finally, the BBB emailed me and stated that they had reprocessed my complaint with Company; however, the Company had decided to make no further offer of adjustment.
I contacted the Florida State Attorney General’s Office in West Palm Beach for help. I was contacted by the State Attorney General’s Office that my complaint had reached their office and was requested to fill out a complaint package. The filed my complaint, notarized the letter and submitted it to the State Attorney General’s Office. In June 2004, I contacted the State Attorney General’s Office by phone and asked if they had completed their investigation. They stated that there was nothing that they could do because the Company had no other complaint against them.
After many months of trying to seek legal help, in September 2005 I sent a demand letter to the Company notifying them that they had left me no other alternative but to file a suit in small claims court. The Company never responded to my request. I copied furnished the BBB and the State Attorney General’s Office that I would be filing a complaint.
Well, the suit went forward, the company didn't show for a pre-trial conference and the court ruled in my favor in June 2006. The Company was requested to pay me an amount that included my application fee, court fees and other costs incurred for filing the suit. I still have not heard from this company nor the president for resolution. In any case, if the past predicts the future...I don't think they will pay me. I also never heard from their local TV news for help after I contacted them. So, if you can avoid this Company at all costs.
Please let folks know that anyone interested in doing business with this Company should be cautious and do research before entering a program with them even if there is a BBB seal on their Website.
Please remove any reference to my name, location and email address regarding this complaint. Thanks.