Dun & Bradstreet (Receivable Management Service)

An InternetU.org Business School Case Study

Q: Who is Ardent... what do they claim we got from them ?

A: Ardent is a company that took over accounts from the bankrupt tele.-comm. company CAIS/Covad. Though at one time we had tried a CAIS/Covad DSL account, the service was so dismal that we had canceled the account. This happened before they sold their "assets" in the bankruptcy proceedings.

So, we never contracted... nor received services from Ardent. We had contacted Ardent about this matter immediately upon their first bill. After explaining the situation, they assured me they would take care of their error.

However, several months later, Ardent began sending threatening letters claiming we owed them money. At that time, we made repeated attempts to contact Ardent about their continued errors. The email addresses and phone numbers on the collection letters where not valid. The email was bounced back to us. The phone numbers did not answer.

Q: Who is Dun & Bradstreet (Receivable Management Service)

A: Dun & Bradstreet appears to be the collections company for Ardent. Upon receiving a collection letter from Dun & Bradstreet, we immediately called the phone number on the letter -- Linda Thomas Ext. 8464374.

When I explained to Ms. Thomas that she was trying to collect a fraudulent claim, she became belligerent and said that was "not Ardent or Dun & Bradstreet's problem, it is your problem."

She said she could be of no help to me and gave me a phone number for their Ohio office. The Ohio office phone was answered by Keana (who wouldn't give her last name.) Again, I explained that Dun & Bradstreet was trying to collect a fraudulent claim. She also became belligerent and said "we have documentation that you owe the money."

I asked her to send us a copy of this information, which she agreed to do. Nevertheless, it was not a comfortable feeling. She attempted to gain additional information from me instead of just mailing to the address they already had on record.

Though I made repeated pleas that Ardent could not be contacted through the information Ardent had supplied to us, she refused to give me any phone number or contact information for Ardent.

Feeling very uneasy about what was happening, I asked if there were any phone numbers available for consumers in these situations. She said "I am not required to give you that information. Go find it out for yourself." (At this point, I asked for her supervisor's phone number -- a message has been left for Linda Weller.)

Next, I called the main phone number (NJ) and asked to talk to public relations (to make sure I got names spelled correctly, company structure, etc.)

Bernie Donohue told me that Receivable Management Services was a "separate company" that uses the name Dun & Bradstreet. Mr. Donohue then told me to call John Kazis.

Mr. Kazis took my name, phone number, publication, and information about Ardent, and said he would have someone call me back. When I asked Mr. Kazis what state the main company is located in, he told me PA.

To this date, we have not received a return phone call or the documentation they promised to send by mail.

Q: So, who can help a consumer with a letter from New Jersey... that has you call Ohio... about a Pennsylvania Company?

A: It was the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's office that said they could help us file a complaint against, as well as, resolve the matter with Dun & Bradstreet.


From Dun & Bradstreet's (Receivable Management Service) sales information:
"Letter Demand Services Get your payment requests paid by using D&B's letter demand services. Our portfolio of letter demand services features attention-getting correspondence printed on D&B stationery, giving you the opportunity to leverage the D&B name. Now, even your smallest past-due accounts can receive the focused attention they need before they become a serious collection problem or bad debt. For high-volume customer service applications, we can also furnish laser-printed letters that replicate your stationery. These are ideal for applications such as product information notices and remittance instructions."


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