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Sunday, May 26, 2024   

Follow up to "Jenni the Bill Collector"
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker

I received many responses to the last article, Jenni the Bill Collector. As you may guess, the negative remarks about the article came from bill collectors and the positive article comments from people harassed by bill collectors (the majority). But one response stood out so much that I wanted to share this with everyone.


I read the letter from Jenni and thought I'd share with you the experience of my worst job ever.

I got a job through a temp agency doing data entry at a debt collection call center.

As I sat to do my job, one of the collectors stood up and yelled, "Here's a good one!" He then proceeded to play a call he had just made to a lady with three kids that couldn't pay her bills because her husband had an accident. While this lady sniffled and cried on the phone, the collectors laughed and laughed. They thought it was so funny.

Then a few minutes later, another one had a "good call," a veteran with one leg who was having medical problems. They thought it was hilarious and actually made fun of him.

At this point, I had been at work for just under two hours. I had tears in my eyes for these poor people and the humiliation they didn't even know they were encountering. I told the girl next to me to tell the supervisor I was leaving and I walked out.

These people are taught to be unfeeling and even entertained by your stories of pain, so in my opinion, the best thing to do when you get a call from a collector is to tell them to contact you in writing only and HANG UP.

One thing that was amazing is that the supervisors encouraged this behavior. Every time a collector played a call for the group, they would run out of their little glass cage offices to listen and whoop-it-up with the 100 or so collectors on the floor. They also made a production of giving small cash prizes to collectors that got money out of people, which from what I hear, is common practice.

I have never left a job so quickly or been so angry upon leaving. As soon as I left and was in my car, I broke down into tears and couldn't quit talking about the experience for a week.

I am happy to let people know this can happen so they don't get emotionally invested with their collectors. The collectors SIMPLY DON'T CARE.

DebtSmartŪ Reader

Reader Comments
" I do not respond to many articles such as this, but as someone who was deeply in debt I have experienced first hand these people. They are ruthless and very unfair in their tactics. To deal with them you have to put no emotion into the process at all , they do not care about you. Before anything happens on the phone tell them you are not going to talk to them at all and to contact you in writing about the situation. This is when you will properly respond to them and solve the situation. And after you hang up change your phone number."
Edward C.



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