Consumer Complaints & Reviews
I, too, have the misfortune of being a former Hollywood Video customer, and my experience is the same. I have now received two letters from West Bay Acquisitions, LLC demanding payment for fees I do not owe, associated with Hollywood Video rentals dating back to late 2009 and early 2010. Here's how ridiculous this is.
Just as others have experienced, I was a Power Play member, paying a monthly fee for unlimited rentals and no late fees, up until that program was discontinued. After that, I rented only a handful of movies and kept my account in good standing. I had a friend working the counter at my local store, so I got a heads up that the store was closing and made sure to be paid in full to avoid any additional fees. Three years later, I got this letter from West Bay stating that I owe late fees on 4 movies and they're attempting to collect the debt. I rented at least two of the movies, but my account was clear at the time the store closed.
As others have expressed, the very last movie I rented, I still have because the location closed before the movie was due, and another location wouldn't accept the return! The first invoice I got from West Bay stated that the movie was returned, yet had a late fee associated with it! Hollywood Video made no attempt to settle any complaints, and I owed them nothing. The 2nd notice I recently got from West Bay states, "Below are the specific titles and rental dates associated with your fees," but it doesn't list titles or rental dates! I have to double check but if I'm right, the best part is that I believe the 2 letters I received are requesting different random amounts of money. The first was for $40 and change, and the 2nd is demanding $60.69. I have sent the company a complaint letter directly and also filed a BBB complaint. These people are scum. Do not pay them.
I have read the previous complaints and I also received a formal demand payment for Hollywood Video. I received this letter the middle of November 2012. It is dated November 7, 2012 and no date on the envelope. It states I owe $55.84 for 4 DVDs since April 2010. I have never received anything regarding this before. I asked my grandsons and they said they returned them to a different Hollywood Video, because the one they rented from was already closed. I remember now. I took them. I made the mistake of calling them when I received the letter and the fellow (Ken) said, "Yes, you owe it." I explained that they were returned and he said they were probably late.
The mistake I made was I told him I would pay it. I got scared - I'm a senior citizen. Later I thought why should I when they were returned. I checked them out in Cranston, RI with Better Business Bureau and they were not registered with them. The company's name is West Bay Acquisition, LLC. What should I do? I'm supposed to pay on 11/28/2012. I just read on Consumer Alert (Mitch **) that there is 950 complaints against West Bay in the past 12 months. The complaints stem from collection made for allegedly outstanding debt from the now defunct Hollywood Video. Should I contact CA attorney general? Thank you for listening and your assistance. I hope it's not too late of me contacting you.
I just received a bill from University Fidelity, LP dated November 11, 2012 claiming that I owe $9.58 for a DVD I rented on February 22, 2009. I never had an outstanding balance with Hollywood Video the whole time I was renting from them, and in fact was streaming and getting DVDs from Netflix at that time. I called the number on the bill and got a belligerent agent stating that he didn't have to prove I owed the money, but it was due. He encouraged me to file complaints with Consumer Affairs, the BBB & my Attorney General, which is what I am doing.
A few months ago, I spoke with someone from A.R.M. and explained that the video in question was returned long ago. I also stated that before Hollywood Video closed, the store was in total disarray. A couple of weeks ago, I too received a notice stating that I was unresponsive to their collection efforts. I refuse to pay for something that I did return in a timely manner (was not late in the first place). This video was rented in 2009 from what their records are stating. They won't return my phone calls either. If I continue to get letters from them, I will take A.R.M. to court and sue them for harassment and whatever else I can sue them for due their unresponsiveness to my communications. I also am going to report them to the Better Business Bureau! Someone needs to put these regulated collection agencies in their place. I'll be darned if I will let these clowns mess with my credit!
I too received a collection notice naming Hollywood Video as the company I owe money to. I have lived at the same address for 25 years and never received a notice that I owed them any money after they closed. If I remember correctly, they charged $1.00 a day for movies returned late. So how do I owe $9.63? Any movies we bought, we paid for at the time of purchase. I will dispute this claim and send letters to the Attorney General and BBB. How do you get away with sending a claim to a collection agency without trying to collect it first?
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I have received two letters from ARM Solutions stating I owe $17.45 for a movie I never rented. After the first letter, I called them. They asked how I would like to pay and I told them it was not mine. I received a letter a few weeks later stating I have been unresponsive to their collection efforts. I tried to call them several more times to clear this matter up and now they just hang up on me. I don't owe this and I will not be paying this. I was a Power Play member and I followed their rules. They took automatic payments from my checking account every month for membership right up till they closed. I even bought "previously viewed" movies from them during their final days of business. I was a loyal customer. I will be contacting the BBB.
I too received a notice that I had not returned The Soloist and owed $14.00 as of 2/11/10. Well, I did have the DVD because they closed my local store before I could return it. When I tried to return it to another Hollywood Video store, they refused it. There was no contact info left on the vacated store, so the DVD sat on my shelf. Upon receiving the invoice, I promptly wrapped up the DVD and sent it back to them. Return receipt was requested. Infinitely more satisfying and slightly cheaper than the $14.00. I can't wait to see what happens next.
On October 10, 2012, I received a bill for $14.37 accusing me of not returning a rental three years ago on 7-27-09. After reading similar complaints on this site, I decided not to waste my time contacting the collection agency, but instead filed a complaint with the BBB. I was a loyal customer from 2001 until Hollywood Video closed its doors. I always returned my movies on time and received any notices that I didn't. I'm 78 yrs. old and I pride myself in always paying my bills and my credit score is outstanding, so I really hate to be bothered with such a pitiful scam. At my age, I don't plan on any major purchases, so I'm not worried about my credit score. As a matter of principle, I refuse to pay this tiny bill. I figure in the long run, it will cost them more than $14.37 to continue to pursue this matter.
So this place, Hollywood Video, which I rarely used in the first place, has also been out of business since 2010. They decide today to send me a bill for $14.37 for two movies listed, one of which I've never even heard of and both were rented in May 2009. This is ridiculous and should be illegal. What are they trying to pull? Also, the bill has no information whatsoever as to what the $14.37 was actually for. It doesn't say which video was returned late or never returned. What a total load of crap lying company trying to get money out of people who were forced to sign up to rent movies in the first place. I actually don't mind paying $14 to get them off my back because I sleep well at night and don't let the scum of the earth ruin my day. Although I’m thankful my "collection bill" wasn't more, I’m still skeptical to send anything as it could be a giant scam for more information.
West Bay Acquisitions, LLC and Hollywood Video late fees - Like the rest of you, I also received a notice yesterday (October 15, 2012) informing me that I had late fees for Hollywood Video in the sum of $13.76 dating back to 2009. I know it is complete and total **. I filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s office and put a fraud alert on my credit report. They can continue to send me a notice every day if they choose. I don't care if it is only $13.76; they aren't getting a single penny from me. Total scam! Do not fall for it!
Like all the other reviews, I received a notice from a collection agency for $19.99 for a supposed debt I owe from 2009 at Hollywood video. This is nonsense. I've rented very few movies from them (or anyone) and returned everything I rented. I stand on excellent credit. I'm doing what others have suggested - writing the creditors to produce proof, writing to my attorney general and suing if this continues.
We rented a few videos from Hollywood Video a few years back, but all of a sudden a few months ago, we started receiving collection calls and notices about a video rented on 8/31/2009. Almost three years later! They have the movie right on the collection notice. We did indeed rent the movie, but we turned it in and would've paid any late fees or associated fees. We kept our account in good standing. At the time, we rented most of our videos from Netflix and renting from Hollywood Video was rare. So ARM Solutions started harassing us about a $19.99 debt. We simply don't owe anything! I asked them to provide details about exactly what the debt was for and they refused. Apparently, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, they only have to provide the name of the creditor (First Lien Term Lenders Liquidating Trust), the amount and how to dispute it.
We want to know exactly what the debt is for. We can't simply walk over to Hollywood Video and get a statement of our account! Regardless, we turned the movie in and did not have any outstanding charges when they closed. I filed complaints with the Oregon attorney general's office (that's where I found First Lien Term Lenders Liquidating Trust), the Oregon BBB (FLTLLT has 32 complaints, 31 unresolved and an "F" rating), filed a complaint with the California attorney general's office and the California BBB. You can find all of them online and I recommend if you're having a problem, please file complaints with these entities.
I also find it odd that a significant number of people are being pursued for $19.99. What is this? Seems a little odd. But my suspicion is that for such a small amount and the threat of it going on your credit, most people will just pay it.
Well, I purchased 3 movies back in 2010? when the Marysville store closed. I had a perfect rating with that store since 1999 and maybe had 2-3 late charges in that time, which I might add, they blew off due to my good history. So when the store closed, I purchased, "Blind Side", "Old Dogs" and "Pelham123" in the going out of biz sale. I paid approx. $5-$6 for each. Imagine my shock when I recently got a collection notice from this University Fidelity claiming I owe late charges of $69.95 for those 3 movies plus 2 more I've never heard of! I wrote to First Term Lenders Liquidating Trust stating my case, remembering names, etc. And, of course, I can't find the damn receipt. I probably tossed it as there was no way to claim the movie as bad if the business is out of business! Believe me, I've been searching! It looks like I'm not the only one being harassed. I just got another phone call. I told them I do not owe this! I currently have Blockbuster online, plus many other mail order accounts, etc. that are all in perfect order! This is obviously a desperate attempt for corporate greed ** up!
I also received an invoice from Universal Fidelity today claiming I owe $11.58 for a Hollywood Video dated 7/16/09. It's been over 3 years and this is the first notice I've gotten. I have never returned a video late and am disputing this charge. I filed a complaint with the FTC and with Universal Fidelity. Below are those 2 website addresses for anyone else who needs/wants to file a complaint: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and www.uflp.com. I hope this info will help some other frustrated Hollywood Video customers.
Today, 09/28/12, I received a collection notice for $19.99 for a video that I rented from Hollywood Video on 04/28/2009. Can you image the gall! Three years ago for a video I returned. What horrible bookkeeping! I returned the video the next day, and ARM Solutions (collection agency) lied, yes, lied that they have sent several late notices to me. They haven't. How can an agency get away with lies especially to an old man (I'm 71 years old on Social Security!) and not themselves be prosecuted? I think that I shall sue them for harassment, and any state that allows this kind of criminal extortion to perpetuate! I am owed an apology for this harassment! But they don't even answer their phone nor call back in response to my several messages, and all this for an illegitimate $19.99! I am filing a complaint with the BBB and the California Attorney General and the Ohio Attorney General - this is the 1% against us lazy 47%!
I was very frustrated and angry to see a letter stating I owe $16.65 for a rental back from 5/1/09. Why would someone wait over three years to contact me on this? This is the 1st I have heard of owing them money. I don't agree with their letter and will be writing a written response. The letter was very vague and did not make it clear what it was for. When I called the number on the letter and told the customer service associate that I did not have their movie and was 100% sure, she said the charge was for a late fee. How could I have racked up $16.65 in late fees? I always paid my late fees and do not believe them. I will be mailed a certified letter stating my dispute and filing a complaint with all agencies that I can. It would be less time consuming to just pay the money but this is so wrong of them. They are crooks.
Hollywood Video debt collection scam - My husband and I just received a letter yesterday requesting we pay $10.50 in late fees for a movie we rented on April 6, 2009. I informed the lady I talked to that we returned the movie on time. I remember making an extra trip late at night to get the movie into the box so that it would not be late. The next time my husband went to rent a movie, they told him he owed late fees which he disagreed with and they supposedly made a note and took them off. We, like all the rest of the people, have really good credit and pay our bills on time. I was glad to see that supposedly Universal Fidelity LP, the collection agency cannot report this to the credit bureau.
When I talked to the lady at Universal Fidelity, she told me that supposedly we had not returned the movie until April 21, 2009. I told her she was lying and I was not going to pay the fees. She informed me that more letters would be coming. I also was told that I would have to provide proof of the turn-in. I don't know of any video rental company that gives you a receipt when you return a movie, only when you rent one. Of course, I don't have that receipt either. Because I dropped it in the box again, there is no receipt. I will do what everyone else is doing, write the letter and inform the TN Attorney General. My husband immediately felt like this was a scam. He seems to be right most of the time on things like this.
We got 2 collection bills. Wow, we loved going to Hollywood Video, had the prepay so I could not get late fees. Now I have almost $100 in late fees? I will follow the advice of the rest and wait for the lawsuit after I call and have a nice chat and send my letters. (Sigh) The things we have to go though so people won't rip you off is ridiculous!
Here is a letter template someone shared. This is what I sent to Hollywood Video certified mail and in response, they stopped pursuing any charges but insist the debt is valid: “I am writing pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USC 1692g, to inform you that I dispute the alleged debt associated with EDP Number ** Hollywood Video, or its legal successor. I do not owe the amount alleged by you. Your letter of **, 2012 was the first time I have heard about this alleged debt. Thus I am requesting the following information: 1) Provide me with a clear explanation of the nature of the alleged debt on paper that explains what exactly the money that I allegedly owe is for; 2) Provide me with copies of contracts, and documents that form a basis of proof for the alleged debt; 3) Provide me an accounting explanation of how you calculated what you allege that I owe; 4) Provide me with the name and addresses of the original creditor to whom supposedly I owe money.
“I further request that you take the following actions: 1) Please contact any credit agencies to whom you have reported this alleged debt, and inform them that I am disputing the debt; and 2) Please also forward a copy of this letter to the creditor, legal successor of Hollywood Video, who alleges that I owe the debt at issue, and inform them that I am disputing the debt. Furthermore, anytime I rented movies form Hollywood Video, I paid any late fees immediately. I am documenting my time spent on this matter, and I will pursue any and all legal reimbursements for time spent, which are afforded to me, by my state of residence to include the time it is taking me to write this letter and any expenses incurred on my part. I have also filed complaints with [my] State Office of the Attorney General the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.
“Furthermore, I will be joining any class action suit that is that is formed against you and Hollywood Videos legal successors. Furthermore, I expect documentation of the validity of this claim within 30 days of your receiving of this letter. Except as specifically outlined herein, I am requesting that you cease all contact with me about the alleged debt. Any further contact should be strictly in conformity with the FDCPA: It should be limited to providing me with the proof in documentation requested in this letter, informing me that you have ceased collection efforts on the alleged debt, or stating that you are taking a specific action in relation to the debt such as commencing a collection lawsuit. Any further contact should be made in writing, and should be submitted to my home address by mail."
Response to my State Attorney General: "I have received your letter dated **2012 regarding the complaint of **. I have examined the records of Hollywood Video with respect to account number ** and those records show that the outstanding charges for this account are valid. Please note that, consistent with the global settlement agreement, where there were both late fees and a product charge owing for the same movie rental, we have sought to collect only the lesser of those two amounts. I can also confirm that Hollywood Video had no company policy which prohibited customers with existing late fees on their account from renting additional movies. Finally, the collection agencies that have been retained to collect these customer accounts have reviewed the global settlement agreement with the various attorneys general, and have agreed in writing to abide in full by its terms in the course of their collection efforts.
While we have completed our investigation of this account and believe the debt to be valid, we are suspending all future collection activity on this account as a courtesy to your office and the complainant. I trust this resolves the matter, but if any additional information is needed, please contact me at the address below. Sincerely, Trustee - First Lien Lenders Liquidating Trust." I really did not owe Hollywood Video any money! That is a fact. But of course they will say the contrary. Anyways this how I dealt with it, hope it helps you. Btw, the alleged debt was $40.
I live in Maryville, TN and also received one of these lovely notices. I did call Universal Fidelity and was told I had to show proof that I paid these late fees. I don't even keep my pay stub from 3 years ago! I don't want the phone calls at night and I don't want this to hit my credit. What can we do? The BBB won't do anything and other avenues will take too long. I see hundreds of complaints on these guys. How long will the proper authorities wait before bringing these people down? It seems like Bankruptcy includes terms like auditors of their books, charge offs, and restructure. Oh, I see, this is how Hollywood is going to pay their bills!
Like many others, I received a letter stating that I had overdue late fees for movies rented in 2009 and 2010. We were completely unaware of any outstanding debt, and questioned the validity of the letter. In seeing the many other complaints against this A.R.M. Solutions collections agency, I believe this to a be a bogus company and/or debt information. Almost all of the outstanding debts were for $18 to $20, and everyone says they didn't rent nor did they get contacted by Hollywood Video in an attempt to collect. The rep at the A.R.M. agency stated that Hollywood Video did attempt to collect. Like everyone else, I would have paid then! An investigation should be done, if it hasn't already.
I, too, have received a letter regarding a late fee I owe the now tanked Hollywood Video. Worried that this may adversely affect my credit, I immediately rushed to the computer to try to pay this online ASAP. The more I thought about it, the more red flags were raised. Looking at the dates (I don't know if it's the rental or return date), I have deduced that it was when I was stationed in San Angelo, TX. The address on the letter is for my current address, an overseas APO address. If I opened the account in Texas and they went bankrupt in 2009, how could they possibly have my overseas address?
Though it isn't a tangible argument, my wife and I are very responsible and return rentals early or on time. If we incur late fees, we pay them. That’s plain and simple. This is more of an integrity argument, but nonetheless it adds to my suspicions. If I owed late fees in 2009, then why am I now getting a letter about it over 3 years later? When people want money from you, especially businesses, they are pretty timely with their demands. More suspicion was raised. So, before I completed the online payment, I decided to research this company. I was shocked to find so many people who had, in their opinions, received the same letter I did.
My research led me to find out that in 2011 there was a 50-state settlement with First Lien Term Lenders Liquidation Trust that specifically states the following: first, Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery debts cannot ever be placed on consumers' credit reports; second, consumers cannot be charged interest or collection fees on top of what they owe; third, consumers cannot be asked to pay multiple fees for the same item (if they owe a late fee on a movie and a fee for failing to return the same title, the trustee can only ask them to pay the lesser of the two fees); fourth, the trustee can't pursue a debt for a product fee (for example, a charge for an unreturned movie or game) if the consumer's account shows no other charges for that item; and fifth, if the trustee ever sells the debts and it has not done so, it must write the settlement terms into the sales contract.
I have since written A.R.M. Solutions a letter disputing the claim, sent them an email, and have filed complaints with the BBB and the CA state attorney general.
On August 13, I received two statements from West Bay Acquisitions LLC stating that I owed an amount of $135.78 and $198.58 for either late fees or DVD's from Hollywood Video dating back to 2009. I attempted to call the above company on several occasions and eventually spoke to Rowland on August 24. I asked what the charges were for and was told the company had been in bankruptcy and just recently my account was in collections for the aforementioned charges and reason. I told him that I was disputing the charges and he stated that he would note that. What is my recourse here? I do not owe Hollywood Video those amounts. Outrageous!
I received a debt collection from West Bay Acquisitions for a debt of $18.76 from 11/2009. I received no indication of debt before being sent to collections. I do not believe the debt to be accurate.
I got a letter on August the 10th about late fees back in late 2009 for two movies. I never rented those movies. I'm very responsible and always make sure I meet my obligations. They wait almost two years and it has to come from a collection company an attempt to collect late fees of $16.16. Hollywood Video never contacted me if this was an honest charge.
Hollywood Video closed their doors and now has turned me into collections for late fees. I will not be paying a company who shut their doors. This is just wrong.
I received a dunning notice from Universal Fidelity alleging a $19.27 balance due owed to Hollywood Video for late fees. This alleged transaction took place in 2010. First, do not try to use the Better Business Bureau to resolve any issue with any business. The BBB has absolutely no power or authority over any business. Also, businesses pay the BBB to be listed in the BBB. Do you really think the BBB would hurt its income stream?
If you receive any notice regarding alleged fees owed to Hollywood from any collection agency, do/follow the following:1. Write a letter within 30 days of initial notice from the agency, demanding proof in writing of the alleged debt. The burden of proof lies with the collection agency, period.
2. If the agency cannot or does not provide proof (i.e. receipts, contracts and etc), then they are illegally attempting to collect a "debt". The agency must provide supporting documentation. There is no grey area here, people.
3. In your letter, demand proof and advise you are sending a copy of the letter to your state's Attorney General's Office.
4. If the agency does not provide proof, sue in small claims or hire an attorney for suit in Federal District Court.
5. A collection agency cannot threaten your credit rating.
6. A collection agency cannot and does not act as an officer of the court with respects to Hollywood Video. I read some posts on another site and apparently Universal Fidelity claimed the "trustee said the bill is valid".
Bottom line: Demand proof. If no proof is given, file a complaint with your state's Attorney General's Office and get ready to sue. If Universal Fidelity lists a debt with any credit reporting agency, threaten a lawsuit. Hope this helps.
I received a demand for payment of 2009 Hollywood Video late fees from A.R.M. Solutions on August 6, 2012. A call to the company was promptly answered but my request for documentation was quickly refused. I was asked to provide documentation of paid late fees. After reading about all the problems on multiple websites, I have elected to file complaints with the FCC and BBB. Both can be done online in a few minutes. If we all react in this manner and overwhelm these sites with complaints, A.R.M. will receive a lot of negative attention.
I can easily afford to pay the $19.16 they claim I owe. How to handle this? I have two fears: 1. After paying the total, they will demand more late fees. My credit score will be adversely affected.
I received a letter from West Bay Acquisitions stating I had outstanding debt for $19.95 for a DVD supposedly rented in June 2009. I looked up the title and had definitely not rented the movie and can only remember renting from that store a few times in my life, and those times I returned on time. I called the number on the letter and he stated they would close the account as I was disputing, but I am sure that many would just pay because it was so little and long enough ago that they just believe what's in the letter. Hopefully, others will read all these complaints and those on the BBB and not give the scammers more money. For those who did call and had poor responses, maybe try calling back to get a different person. The guy I spoke to said he would close it immediately and that no further contact would be made, so maybe I just got lucky, but I'm guessing they're getting more legal complaints and are getting a bit nervous.
First Lien Term Lenders Liquidating Trust - I was told I did not return a video to Hollywood Video. I did return it. They say I owe $19.16. I also had a balance of $83.00 that I lost.