It is almost a cliche that when we sue any debt collection company for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) the lawyer defending the agency will say “We didn’t do it” or “If we did it, then it was a rogue collector.”
The idea is that an agency is not responsible for its employees who break the law.
Here’s the problem — a company acts through its employees. A trucking company acts through its drivers.
An agency gets the advantage of employees working — it pays the price if its employees break the law.
So keeping this in mind, it is interesting that a collector wrote this little “open letter” to some of the so called rogue employees (we usually find they were “star employees” before we sue then they are fired and called “rogue employees” but I digresss….):
I hope you don’t mind my calling you Bill. I know that sometimes, you use other names. Names like…….. Attorney, Paralegal, Legal assistant, Special investigator, Court liaison, Security specialist, Loss recovery investigator, Secret Squirrel, Deputy Dawg….oops, sorry! The last two came from my childhood. They were cartoon characters, Bill, just like you.
I’m sorry if I offended you, Bill. I didn’t mean any harm. I mean, we all know how high of a regard that you hold yourself in. We hear you all the time. We see you outside in the smoke area, beating your chest about how great you are, with a cheap cigarette hanging out of the corner of your mouth. They should build a glass box for you to stand in out there. This way, you can see yourself the same way that we all see you: a relic of the past.
I get mistaken for you on occasion, Bill, and it’s really a degrading feeling. I have to explain to the consumer that I treat people with respect. I have to explain to them that we will not be calling their job five times a day. I have to tell them that they are not going to jail. I promise them that I will not slam the phone down on them. I have to assure them that I will not be calling their relatives and divulging information. I have to promise them that I will not set up payments that they did not authorize. I explain to them that I will not be taking my personal issues out on them over the phone. No wonder you can’t play by the rules, Bill. You’re too busy following your own, and making up more as you go along.