Zeke once worked for now bankrupt and defunct Hollywood Video. Employees had special accounts allowing them to rent older movies (more than a few weeks old) for free and not have to pay late fees when they didn’t bring them back. Zeke is sure that he wouldn’t hallucinate free movie rentals, but the collection agency that sent him the letter insists that this policy never existed, and that it’s up to him to prove that he didn’t owe the company $28.95 in late fees at the time he quit.
Guess who’s at it again?
I just got a collections letter from [a collection agency] on behalf of Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery. Apparently I returned Hancock incredibly late, enough to have $28.95 in late fees. I’m actually not sure the store was open at that point, but I am sure that if I did rent the movie it was while I was an employee and thus free, as I went to Netflix right after quitting.
[Redacted] Collections doesn’t believe me, nor do they believe employees had free rentals. [From their FAQ for Hollywood Video customers:]
Q:”I was an employee of Hollywood Video and didn’t get charged late fees, how do I have a balance due?”
A: Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery had no such policy allowing employees to rent for free or have no late fees.
If memory serves, it was account type 3, but I could check with one of my managers on that. It was even coded to include the 2 week waiting period for movies to go free for employees.
[The agency] does say, kindly, that I can just provide a receipt showing a zero balance upon returning the movie. That might be a problem, as I know my store didn’t print receipts on return, nor am I sure of any that do.
I’m not so sure there are many people who have receipts from video stores from 2009 to begin with, but the fact the receipt they want doesn’t exist makes it a bit trickier, doesn’t it?
I’m already writing in with my dispute, but what else can I do to get rid of this and make sure nobody gets scammed into paying what they don’t owe?
We previously noted that these old Hollywood Video debts will not be reported to credit bureaus, so that’s something. Make sure that’s still the case, and then use one of these two letters to dispute the debt or make the collector prove that they really own it.
- Sample Letter For Disputing A Debt Collection Notice
- Sample Letter For Telling A Debt Collector To Drop Dead
To keep others from paying bills they don’t really owe, contact as many of your former co-workers as you can, and… well, you could send them a link to this post, or just let them know the name of the collection agency and to watch out for bogus zombie late fees.