Details Sent to Debt Collection Agency by Care Park

So in March my company started to work remotely, and I cancelled my reserved Care Park parking spot next to office that I work at. I received a call early in April from someone at Care Park letting me know that they would be taking the final two payments together, totalling $280. He told me he'd be taking them from my regular direct debit account (which is how I had been paying for the past 18 months). He then (luckily) sent me an email after the phone call:

Dear deanylev,

As discussed we shall collect $280.00 from your account tonight

BSB xxxxxx

ACCT xxxxxx

The money was not taken that night but I assumed it was just taking a day or two to process and forgot about it.

I then received an email in May demanding the money, and replied stating that they are free to take it out my account, as discussed in April. And then another one in June, which I sent a fairly angry reply to. I finally received a follow up from a Care Park rep saying they would take the money on July 1st, and to make sure there was enough money in the account (which there was, and I obviously have proof of).

Today I received an email from a debt collection agency demanding the money. I called Care Park and explained how ridiculous this was getting and the rep tried to blame me, stating that I didn't have enough money in the account (which I did) and that I would've received emails stating that the payments had been dishonoured (which I didn't, only the emails stating they had not "received" my money yet). I explained that I did in fact have enough money in the account and she said that perhaps something had gone wrong on their end, and that I should just pay the debt collection agency to resolve this, as it's no longer Care Park's debt or problem, which I did.

If I'm not mistaken, dishonoured payments would show up on my account statement anyway, and I would be charged fees, correct?

A few minutes after paying the collection agency, I received an email from them stating that I am liable for $77 in debt collection fees. I called the agency and left a very angry message (in hindsight, it's not really their fault this has happened, but you can imagine how frustrated I am by this point).

The only real argument I can see against myself is that I should've noticed the payments not being taken from my account but I think it's understandable that it's not something that was really on my mind at any given time. Care Park have my banking details, as they have for the past 2 years, and my written consent to take money from my account, I don't see how it's my problem past that point. I could be completely off-base and am happy to hear it if so.

What steps should be taken from here? Luckily I have a paper trail dating all the way back to April, but I would really not like this to become a legal issue, as the debt collection letter is threatening.

TL;DR Care Park have failed to take payment from me for the past 4 months even though they managed to do so for 18 months with no problem, and have now sent my details to a collection agency who are demanding an extra $77 in collection fees

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Comments

  • +15 votes

    Tell em to get stuffed.

  • Bikies.

    But also

    Tell em to get stuffed. Not your fault care park can't operate a functioning accounts team.

  • One perfect example of where Credit Card would have avoided this problem.

    Having said that, because you paid to the Debt Collector, it would be seen as an admission of error.

    In the past when I had errors like this with my utility bill, the company is obliged to retract the debt back from the collection agency. Not sure where in the legislation but pretty sure something like that exists.

    I would ignore the demand.

    • In true OzBargain fashion I wanted to avoid the credit card fee ;)

      Thanks for the advice though. I'll ignore it and see what happens. I was a bit worried about an admission of error, as you put it. I regret listening to the Care Park rep.

      • All you have to do in my opinion is to collect evidence of funds sufficiency at the times of attempted direct debit being taken.

        As an example if you know they have 3 attempts on date x, y, and z, you just need to show on your bank statement or internet banking balances showing you indeed have sufficient funds.

        Print and keep them in the file in case they try to take you to court and if they do, give them the motherload of evidences and shut them for good.

  • Doubt they ll go as far as to proceed with legal proceedings for that small amount. See if you can negotiate a discount, or at least the original amount sans processing fee if you are willing to pay it. Debt collectors buy debts for a lower amount, I've had them go as far as 50% off total.

    • I have already paid the original amount to the collections agency as instructed by the Care Park rep. I then received the second demand for collection fees. Regretting it now :/

      • Oh missed that bit. If they didn't tell you prior to you paying I would say too bad so sad.

        • Great call actually. If their first letter just mentions the $280, which it does, and I've paid that, I don't see why I'm liable for anything further.

  • Leave a negative review in their Facebook page or something or contact a media company/ACA, it usually solves problems without having to go to court.

  • Dear CarePark,

    A total of $280 had been remitted to your nominated party.

    If you wish to dispute this, let me point out that I have not denied you the fee at any time after the termination and that the funds were made available for your method of direct deduction from my account.

    All claims above are backed by evidence.

    I consider this matter settled. Should you disagree, we can resume this conversation with the involvement of the appropriate ombudsman.

    X

    • I like it. So then the responsibility would be on them to withdraw the collections request?

      • It doesn't place any responsibility on them. It is just calling out their BS in a language they understand.

  • It is a shame you’ve paid the debt collection agency. I would’ve put it back on Care Park to prove the payment had been dishonoured by your account. If they had been using this payment, up until then, you shouldn't be held responsible if they stuff it up. I wonder if they had, somehow, stuffed up the account they were trying to take it out of. In, hindsight, maybe transferring the money, yourself, might’ve been better once it all went sideways. Best of luck. You need to make sure it doesn’t affect your credit rating as well. I would be, insisting, the debt collection agency provide proof that Care Park had been unable to get the money from the account.

    https://www.consumer.vic.gov.au/resources-and-tools/dealing-...

    • Thanks for the advice! The credit rating point crossed my mind, I wasn't sure if this would affect it or not.

  • complain to the consumer agency in your state as well and ask what other remedies and actions you need to take, eg to protect your credit reports.

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