Spectrum threatens to ruin ex-customer's credit record unless they re-subscribe

Originally published at: Spectrum threatens to ruin ex-customer's credit record unless they re-subscribe | Boing Boing


Wow. I was expecting it to be a half-reported thing wherein the guy who received the letter had an old debt or something that spectrum was trying to collect.

The only companies that use that sort of tactics are the sleazier collection agencies that buy old debt and try to collect on it. ( I’ve received a number of late notices for various utilities in my life; while most of the dunning notices state that they are obligated to report you to the credit bureaus for being late or skipping out on payments, all of them are clear about it.)

This sounds like someone at spectrum needs an attitude adjustment, or a transfer out of marketing.


I’m confused. The text implies that the customer owed them money. and they are saying re subscribe and we won’t take you to collections. the headline implies that they sent the letter simply because for whatever reasons the guy unsubscribed.


In the full article, the guy pulls his credit report and there’s nothing on there from Spectrum. The Spectrum rep also says that they can’t find a record of any debts or missed payments. It looks like this letter was just a screw-up, but the Spectrum rep was unable to simply say “I’m sorry, we screwed up”, which probably would have made everyone feel fine.


Ahhh. Thanks


What Spectrum needs is regulation from the FTC and/or the FCC resulting in sizeable fines for every borderline criminal threat like this they make.


What else can they do. Gangsters never sell their “services” based on quality.


Seems like this could be reported to the California Public Utilities Commission.


i highly doubt that

more likely it’s a mass mailer to former customers who have one or more non-spectrum dings on their credit record to coerce them into an expensive subscription.

an honest letter would include the debt owed so that the customer could say, oh: i owe 80 bucks i didn’t know about and i can either pay that or subscribe again for 100+ a month.

since they don’t state the customer’s debt, it’s not an individualized mailer, and it’s not an attempt at restitution

what they will claim in court is different of course, but that’s what lawyers are for


The behavior is already regulated… Under the Federal Fair credit and Collections act.
This is a VERY clear violation.


doesn’t matter if it’s “a mass mailer” or not.
It’s forbidden by law.
Some quasi lawyer decided they’re try it and see how many they caught.


Sounds like someone at spectrum needs to meet about 40 of their unsympathetic customers in a dark alley.


Watch spectrum get fined less than a day’s profit and nothing will come of it.

They’ll probably even do it again and get fined less than a day’s profit again if they get caught.


Just send Captain Black.

This is the voice of the Mysterons, we know that you can hear us Earthmen, you sent us a threatening letter and you will pay a heavy price. Our next act of retaliation will be to cancel our cable. Do you hear Earthmen, we will cancel our cable.


I work with credit data from time to time. So payments to utilities would not normally show up on a standard credit report from one of the main bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion). The exception would be if you were deficient on an account and it would show up as a collection account.

However, there are alternative credit databases that try to measure creditworthiness looking at rent and utility payments to gauge the propensity of defaulting on a loan in the next 12 months. (Theoretically this is supposed to help people build a credit history.)

From the excerpt it sounds like Spectrum is saying that if you don’t keep subscribing with them that they will stop reporting that you are paying a monthly fee.

It’s a bad look (to say the least) for Spectrum to phrase it in a threatening way like this.

And if people are regularly cancelling cable service (maybe for the benefit of not dealing with Spectrum) it may not be correlated with credit risk at all.

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I agree. I meant regulation as a verb. I hope they’re held to account.

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So that’s what Blofeld did next.

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All ISPs should be nationalized. The internet is too important to national security and social function to allow capitalism to interfere with its operation.


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