July 20th, 2004

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Wal-Mart, Revisited

In 2003, I went through a gruesome dispute with Wal-Mart over some cheques that were stolen out of my mailbox and made out to Wal-Marts all over the gulf coast.

This problem took more hours out of my life, and more stamps than I currently owned, and more hours on hold, than I have spent trying to clear up all the other problems of my entire life combined.

The problem was resolved last year when I stumbled across someone on the phone who actually had an ounce of pride in his job. He looked at my case, was silent for a moment, then said, very slowly and carefully, "Oh. My. God. I. Am. So. Sorry. For. This. I. Will. Clear. This. Up. Immediately."

Kevin was his name, I seem to recall. I always liked Kevins. Anyway, he did as he said he would, and Wal-Mart is out of my life forever.

Ah, but I feel I'm back in mix again this week. No, not with Wal-Mart (thanks, Kevin!) but Peco Energy, the faceless monolithic power company of Philadelphia, with whom I had an account in the late 90s.

They've stuck a sizeable chunk of collections on my credit report, which needs to be dealt with in order to complete the mortgage for Clifford.

I've made around 15 phone calls today already, to Peco, to the collections agency they assigned my case to, to the next C.A. to which it was allegedly sold, to the next, and on and on. No one knows where this came from. No one can tell me why I might owe this money. (Which is clearly a mistake. If you know me, you know I'm positively anally retentive about bills and credit reports, etc.)

I hate this hoop jumping, imposed upon me once again by inept corporations, but I'll do what I have to do. Problem is, these things take time — a lot of time — and we don't have the time to waste fucking around with these morons. Clifford should have closed last week. As it stands, we should be done with the deal in a week or so. These disputes with the credit report companies take a minimum of 30 days (!!!) before anyone can get off their asses and do their little jobs.

I'm seething at the idea that I might have to actually pay this mistake simply because the whole fucked up system cannot work quickly enough to accommodate my needs.

The punchline is that at one point (maybe now, I can't quite tell) this issue was referred to a company called J.B.C. Legal Group. Ben googled them and found — well, I'll just paste what he wrote to me…
Nasty, slimy collection agency. They are being sued under a class-action suit for all kinds of infractions, mostly violating provisions of the Fair Debt Collections Act of ?

I'm confident if you dispute this item it will just go away.

That's great, but we don't have the time for a sluggish dispute, especially with a criminally fucked-up agency like this one.

To sum: "Looks like I chose the wrong week to stop sniffing glue." —Airplane
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