The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today’s winners are Nationwide Collections Inc. of Fort Pierce, Florida, and it’s President Phillip McGarvey. They get the award for the following.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – A collection agency tried to collect a $16.96 debt with an letter that addressed its recipient with a four-letter word for excrement.

“Dear S—,” began the letter attempting to collect from an old record club membership. The word was spelled out in the letter, which arrived in an envelope addressed to “S— Face.”

“I’ve never seen anything quite so brazen,” said attorney Kenneth Hiller.

He said his client plans to sue Nationwide Collections Inc. of Fort Pierce, Florida, next week.

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Under U.S. law, debt collectors are not allowed to use profanity to collect a debt, Hiller said, nor are they supposed to threaten legal action over such a small amount.

Nationwide President Phillip McGarvey said the October 2007 letter was automatically generated after his company bought about 350,000 Columbia House accounts. “S— Face” is the name under which the account was opened and the way the coupon to start the club was filled out, he said.

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“It looks bad to the observer who is not familiar with the industry,” acknowledged McGarvey, “but anybody who understands the volume would understand how this could happen. …You’ve also got people filling in famous people’s names.”Excuses, excuses Mr. McGarvey. A google search of Nationwide Collections finds they have abused other people all in order to collect money owed to Columbia House. This doesn’t appear to me to be one isolated mistake due to poor or non-existent quality control. Even if it was a innocent mistake, a company needs to be careful when sending out any correspondence with its name on it. Nationwide Collections failed that test dismally.

Calling someone S*** Face won’t collect Nationwide Collections Inc. of Fort Pierce, Florida, and its President Phillip McGarvey any money, but it does earn them today’s Knucklehead of the Day award.

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