Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Municipal Services Bureau:

Knock it off. Seriously. Six calls to one phone is a bit excessive, even if we did owe money on a ticket or fine - which we don't. And given that we called three times and e-mailed twice asking for you to quit calling, even if we did owe money - which we don't - you'd have to stop calling. It's the law, and you broke it like, four times at least. And for the record, hanging up on someone when they call you back to ask that you quit calling is rude, but it also doesn't absolve you from having to follow the law and quit calling, either. A little primer on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977. 1. You can't call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless the debtor agrees. 2. Within five days after first contact, you must send a debtor a written notice. 3. When the consumer doesn't owe money, they have 30 days to respond to that notice after receiving it. 4. Debt collectors can't harass, oppress or abuse a debtor. They also can't repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone. 5. And they can't lie. In other words, when someone calls you -three times - and says quit calling this number, you can't claim the number isn't even in your system. And then call again 15 minutes later. So you've been reported to the FTC and the Better Business Bureau for your antics. And for you municipalities out there using this company - sure, they may get you results, and they may even be cheaper than another collections agency, but do you really want this particular bunch of nogoodniks representing you? Texas Department of Public Safety - I'm talkin' to you. If you're an agency who has the job of upholding the law, and you hire a company that doesn't obey it, isn't it a little hypocritical? So for all you readers out there, if you get a call from this number - 512-454-4757 - it's Municipal Services Bureau, owned by the Gila Corp. They have a lengthy list of complaints, as you can see here, here, here, here and here.