CHOICE membership

Ecollect, Video Ezy debt collecting


#1

Hi all,

was contacted by a debt collection agency out of the blue stating that I owe 120 dollars for a video from video ezy that i allegedly returned late 2 years ago. This business has since closed down and it was the first time that I had heard that I had a debt. I also dispute that i even borrowed the video or returned it late. I disputed the debt and they said I could pay just 38 dollars if I pay now which i refused, as I dispute the debt .Has anybody experienced similar situation and what ended up happening?


#2

Take care Dave, not all debt collectors play by the rules when it comes to these matters. If in doubt, you can contact to the Financial Ombudsmen in the event you need to raise a dispute about the charges or the debt collection agency itself.


#3

Remember that no matter what, you can only be billed the cost to them for your breach of contract. Private companies cannot issue fines.

So if you returned it a day late, the maximum they could possibly bill you is a days hire plus a tiny admin fee. So if that $120 is not reflective of their costs they can’t charge it. It wont stop them threatening you with court though.


#4

If you didn’t borrow the video, then the whole thing may be bogus. Did you do any research on the debt collection agency; are they legitimate, or is it a scam?

Search for information based on the agency name, and ensure they are registered. All debt collectors must abide by a code of conduct which is a state by state thing. So you can search that based on where you live.

If they are legitimate, have a look at the ACCC on how to deal with debt collectors


#5

Thanks for the tips everybody. :slight_smile:


#6

You might note the financial ombudsman service morphed into

https://www.afca.org.au/

since your original post.


#7

Hi Dave,
Just wondering if you had this sorted. I got the same letter last year, fought it and ended up with a signed apology letter from the boss of ecollect- I will admit I had some fun with it.

They dont play by the rules and there is no governing body that will help with debt collectors so you need to know your rights.

Theres a very easy way to deal with this. You have a right to request reasonable information to help you understand the claim. Ask them to answer the following questions and they will reply with something along the lines of ’ we have forwarded the questions to the client and the case is on hold’ and that will be the end of it. If you want more peace of mind, explain how much ‘stress’ it is causing you and that as they are unwilling to provide the required answers you request that the case be closed or you will be forced to complain about their unwillingness to satisfy your requests with AFCA.

If your situation is sorted, hopefully this will help someone else!

Here are the questions: (obviously adapt them to suit your situation)

  1. What type of media were each of the ‘movies’ allegedly provided on?
  2. Which disc of DVD was rented?
  3. The date that each movie was initially released for rental at Blockbuster Video.
  4. The period of time for which a rental title is considered a ‘new release’, ‘3 day rental’, or ‘weekly rental’. (This will help me interpret and understand the alleged charges.)
  5. A breakdown of the penalty rates for late returns addressing each of the rental variants in the previous point.
  6. At what time of day was each movie allegedly rented? (This will allow me to check whether I was at work at the time.)
  7. At approximately what time was each movie returned? (For the same reasons as above.)
  8. A detailed record of all the other ‘rentals’ linked to my account from its opening right through until Blockbuster closed as I am now concerned that someone else may have been using my account without my knowledge or permission.
  9. A statement from the client that there are no other instances of rentals being falsely, fraudulently or mistakenly placed on someone else’s account during the operational years of Blockbuster Videos. (Obviously if this type of conduct has ever occurred in the past then the precedent is set that this also might be a mistake. If the client cannot state with absolute certainty that there is no chance of these rental records being inaccurate for any reason, then I would request an alternate statement to this effect.)
  10. A copy of my signed contract stating I agreed to these penalty rates.

#8

Thanks for sharing this advice @Thal7301, we appreciate it and hopefully it will others expereincing the same issue.