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Thread: I got this thing in the mail...

  1. #1
    ChronoKiento's Avatar
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    I got this thing in the mail...

    I come inside my house with the mail in hand and look through it... I see something with my name and the name "Hall & Associates Attorney At Law".. so I figure it's about that idiot that ran into my car and ran off. So I open it.. and oh my god..

    Does anyone know about that Columbia House Music/DVD club where they say things like "Get 5 DVDs for 49 cents each with FREE SHIPPING when you join us now!" Yeah well.. YEARS ago.. I was probably 12 or 13.. I found out my sister had joined it and she actually did get the free CDs, so I (being naiive) was like "okay! I wanna join too!" well.. I got the CDs with no avail.. then I saw that they have a movie branch too.. so I did that. Then they began to send movies without me ordering them and they CHARGE YOU FOR IT. Well in this case it was a VHS for Shrek and they were charging $23 for it so I told my mom because I didn't even HAVE $23 so she was like "I'll just send it back." but I don't think she ever did, in fact, I think it's in the basement right now.... so now then.. back to the letter.

    I open it.. and it's from them or their attorney rather. Five years later... and they want $88.38 for ONE movie that I never ordered. Now they want this within 35 days of me getting this letter so they're serious.. but since then I've realized that it's a major scam, I did some research just now and I'm thankful that i didn't have a credit card when I was 12 or they'd have been draining my account since then. So this has gotten me a little shaken up.. considering I just got a letter from a LAWYER but I question the validity of it.. like that maybe THIS is a scam as well. I'd probably just pay it and get it over with if i wasn't afraid that they'd continue to scam me.

    I have no idea what I'm going to do, I'm just gonna show it to my mom and see if she gets any ideas, but this whole thing is BS. I dunno how they could even LET a 12 year old subscribe to this! A contract signed by a minor isn't valid is it? (though I didn't sign ANYTHING, they probably will claim that I did)
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    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Pay the fee. Sit down. Watch Shrek. And be happy. J/K

    Talk to your mom and have her call them. Make sure that she makes it clear to them that you were twelve back then and try to have them fax you any info they have regarding your “subscription.” You’ll probably have to pay the fee… My cousin got scammed with the CD version as well when she was fourteen. Also, make sure you tell them to close any account or connection you have with them to prevent further action towards you, and make sure you tell them to send/fax you a proof of cancellation of whatever account/membership/etc. they claim you have with them.
    -Joel from Southern California


  3. #3
    ChronoKiento's Avatar
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    Yeah I know I'm gonna need to have PROOF of cancelation because I've heard of people having to cancel like twice before they actually mean it.

    I was hoping there'd be some way that I can get out of paying the fees since it's BS and all but I'll take what I can get.

    I have a really strong sense of justice and folding to something like this just royally pisses me off. But.. if I don't have a choice.. I don't have a choice. :/
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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    As far as I understand it, in most states, any contract that you enter into as a minor is non-binding. If it's your parents' names on the account, then they need to pay it, but if it's just your name and you were 12 at the time, no court is going to hold you to this. Columbia House tried to pull that on me, but as soon as I called them up and told them my age, they stopped billing me. They didn't take me off of their mailing list, but they didn't demand any more money either.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    My recommendation to you is to call the company yourself (or your parent if you're too young). If they didn't provide a number, write a letter. Ask them to provide you detailed information about the transaction they're referring to.

    There are consumer laws about debts to protect you and I'm pretty certain that if you reply within the given time frame that they're required to send this to you. The first red flag here, though, is that a law office is contacting you, not a collections agency. I don't know any reputable company, particularly Columbia House, that would use an attorney instead of a collections agency for this type of mail order sales stuff. Formally request that they send you proof of the debt.

    From the sound of things this is the first you've heard of this. You've not ever had a bill or anything before? Doesn't that strike you as strange?

    I have quite a few lawyer friends who could give you more information on this, but I'd need to see the text of the letter. If you feel comfortable, PM me the text of the letter omitting all personal information and references and I'll see if I can't help you.

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    As far as I understand it, in most states, any contract that you enter into as a minor is non-binding. If it's your parents' names on the account, then they need to pay it, but if it's just your name and you were 12 at the time, no court is going to hold you to this. Columbia House tried to pull that on me, but as soon as I called them up and told them my age, they stopped billing me. They didn't take me off of their mailing list, but they didn't demand any more money either.
    ~Joe
    Joe is right, as soon as you tell them that you were twelve they will drop it. I've heard of that many times. In fact, I think my wife had something similar to that but not to the degree you are in. I think her mom just found out and then called them about the current charges. I'll let you know when I talk to her.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    ChronoKiento's Avatar
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    I just talked to my mom on the phone about it and she said that she would call and tell them that I was 12 at the time and they probably will drop the debt. MY name is the one on the account thankfully.

    The letter says... "Hall & Associates, Attorneys at Law has been retained to represent Nationwide Collections, Inc. the title holder your debt by assignment of the contract entered into by KYLE D with "Columbia House DVD Club" or "Columbia House Music Club", herein referred to as Columbia House."

    So it looks like it is a collection agency going through an attorney. I've never gotten anything in the mail from Nationwide Collections Inc., but for a while Columbia House was sending more of the little offer packets that I just promptly threw out since I didn't want anything to do with them. I think after that I did get one letter from them that said they'd take it further with attorneys and I showed it to my mom but she didn't think anything of it (probably because of my age) so we just ignored it. This was about 2 years ago and since then I haven't gotten anything at all so I figured they just dropped the account and forgot about it, I guess they didn't.

    I also asked my mom if this could effect my credit and she said that it might... which.. if it does.. I will be FURIOUS. Just because I was stupid as a 12 year old doesn't mean that I should have crappy credit already!

    I do have high hopes that this will go away without any problem because of my age at the time... but nerves are still on end. It's kinda comforting that I'm still technically a minor (I just turned 17).

    If the age thing doesn't work then I WILL ask for proof of the charges.

    Jeztor, I'll PM you the letter if I don't get this resolved the way I hope to.
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