Debt Relief Industry Scam Articles

Consumer Mediation Services Opens to Help Scammed Consumers

A new type of company has just opened to help consumers that may have been scammed by a debt relief company, and is looking for money back, but getting nowhere. We all know how frustrating that is.

If you are the consumer and you didn’t get the services that were sold to you, the matter could be put to rest if the debt relief company would just refund your hard earned money they didn’t earn and say they were sorry for not being able to deliver. But that just doesn’t seem to happen.

I wish this new breed of consumer defender the best of luck in their efforts and hope this turns into something really big for consumers who have been taken but just want a fair and reasonable resolution.

It may also turn out to be something big for debt relief companies that work closely with this new company, Consumer Mediation Services, and that can develop an exceptional reputation of being prompt, professional and consumer friendly.

As I’ve always said about life in general, it’s not if a problem may erupt along the way, it’s how the company responds to it that’s important.

So for now I’m enthusiastically optimistic about this new type of consumer assistance and welcome all feedback from people that use the service. If they do a great job for consumers and you feel you’ve been treated well by CMS, let’s praise the heck out of them.

And if you are a debt relief company and you are contacted by CMS, let’s hear from you as well to see if you feel the interaction by CMS was fair, reasonable, and helpful.

What follows is the initial press release sent out by Consumer Mediation Services.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Mesa, Arizona

“When you’ve done something long enough, you become good at it… When I was growing up I was really obnoxious… Thirty one years later I’m still at it.” But can being obnoxious really be a talent?

Consumer Mediation Services agents say “YES” – and they are quite good at it. Consumer Mediation Services is a fraud fighting company that provides a unique, strategic and powerful method of dispute resolution for anyone who paid for a service and got scammed.

Need an example? Hundreds of companies promise to help struggling consumers “become debt free in two years or less” every single day; we’ve all heard those commercials practically screaming at us through the radio “we can cut your debt by up to seventy percent” or “we can modify your home loan today.” Today a high volume of complaints are being submitted to CMS about law firms offering to settle debt. Unfortunately, the reality is that many can’t get you out of debt as easy as they make you believe. And they know it. But they still take your money.

Consumer Mediation Services has made it their goal to help consumers who have been scammed; with an emphasis on the debt relief industry.

“Too many companies are lying to people with the empty promise of help. These people are paying large fees with money they can’t afford to pay… and even worse, most will likely never get what they are paying for.”

So how does ‘being obnoxious’ play a role into the Consumer Mediation Services operations? Simply put, if a company is operating with questionable motives, CMS will find and expose them in the most unique methods. “We find out who the bad guys are, and then we go to work on them. We speak a language they understand very, very well.”

According to one CMS agent “we don’t take on every complaint. We know how to sift through the complaints we receive to find the true victims of a scam. Not all companies are bad just because we receive a complaint about them. Many companies will actually try to fix the situation quickly. It’s the bad companies that we have so much fun with.”

CMS says that “most bad companies aren’t intimidated by customer complaints because their customers aren’t knowledgeable on the laws and regulations for that industry and can’t escalate complaints properly. That’s where we achieve maximum results… we know how they advertise and how they lure their customers in with empty promises of financial freedom.”

Another agent adds to that “If no resolution is made within 14 days of the initial complaint, we increase turn up the volume a bit.”

With actions ranging from online campaigns to regulatory and media communication, if the company shows no desire to resolve the complaint, CMS will attack the lifeline of the company: future cash flow. “Alongside standard complaint presentation, we may just find out who owns the company, gather the camera crew and ask him a question or two in Starbucks… or better yet, at his church on Sunday morning or at their child’s little league game on a Tuesday evening… Then we’ll send the story to Channel Seven News and maybe a federal regulator or two… ”

Consumer Mediation Services’ primary objective holds two purposes: helping consumers get their money back and preventing companies from victimizing more people with their deception.

Understandably, the Consumer Mediation Services agents remain anonymous in the public eye as their ability to participate in trade conferences, seminars and other events may be jeopardized. “If they knew who we were, they certainly wouldn’t let us in the room.”
CMS director says “We need help creating awareness. Consumers usually don’t get refunds because they don’t know how to approach the situation. That’s where we can help. Social networking drives our business.”

Follow the fight against fraud. Power is found in numbers. Follow Consumer Mediation Services at www.facebook.com/consumermediationservices and www.Twitter.com/fraudsniffer.

Consumer Mediation Services
PO Box 7923
Mesa, Arizona 85216-7923
(855) No Scam 5
(855) 667-2265
[email protected]




About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

101 Comments

  • Jonathan I am very confused about your CMS business model as you describe it and maybe you can further explain.

    You do not charge a fee until you finally get results and you offer your services to consumers nationally.

    I have read what you describe as your tactics for collection of consumer’s money and am wondering how you can afford to take on a client in one part of the country who says they are out a few thousand dollars paid to a non performing DSC based in another part of the country.

    With no money from the client will you really travel across country, hook up with a TV station news crew and harrass your target at their church on a Sunday?

    This is not an attack…and I wish you well…I just don’t get it and I have read all of your posts.

  • Steve the link you provided to Morgan Drexen posting stated that CMS would waive their advanced fee for that particular case. This would indicate that their normal business practices do in fact include an advanced fee charged for their services. Are we missing something?

      • CMS charges no upfront fees and as of last week we announced that our services are 100% free. we charge no fees whatsoever. Read the press releases…

      • Also, for the record, we helped with many refunds over the past couple weeks and haven’t charged a penny. I’m not hurting, and I can’t stand what this industry now represents… So, if you didn’t catch that, I help people for free. Any more questions?

          • YES ANDY, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY. YOU SEE, WE NEVER INTENDED ON CHARGING AN UPFRONT FEE. REMEMBER THE WHOLE “SIXTY BUCKS UP FRONT” TOPIC? WELL, I DID THAT TO STIR THE POT. TO SEE WHO THE SHIT TALKERS WERE. AND ONCE I FOUND OUT WHO THEY WERE, I STIRRED THE POT TO GENERATE A LITTLE CONTROVERSY. I’M NOT CHARGING A PENNY FOR MY HELP.  IF SOMEBODY GOT SCREWED, THEY NEED HELP. I AM GOING TO HELP THEM. 

            I STIRRED THE POT ENOUGH TO CREATE AN AWARENESS. NOW PEOPLE NOW WHO I AM AND WHAT I AM GOING TO DO, AND I AM READY TO HELP CONSUMERS FIGHT BACK, FOR ABSOLUTELY 100% FREE. I HAVE MY LIFE IN ORDER, I HAVE MY FUTURE SECURED. I DONT NEED TO CHARGE. MY INTEREST HERE IS TO SAY FUCK YOU TO ANYBODY WHO DISLIKED MY SERVICE FROM THE BEGINNING. THE PURPOSE OF ME STIRRING THE POT WAS TO SEE WHO WOULD SPEAK OUT AGAINST MY PRESENCE. ALL THE MORONS WHO SPOKE DOWN ABOUT MY PRESENCE ARE OBVIOUSLY DOING SOMETHING WRONG, BAR NONE. THE ONES WHO ASKED QUESTIONS AND ONCE THEY REALIZED THE RIGHT THING WAS SUPPORTING THE CAUSE, WELL, YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME. TO THOSE WHO QUESTIONED MY MOTIVES: WAIT A SEC, YOU THING I AM DOING SOMETHING WRONG?  WHAT ABOUT NOW? THE ONLY THING THAT CHANGED IS THAT NOW I AM WORKING FOR FREE. SAME SERVICE WORKING TO GET YOUR ASSES SHUT DOWN. JUST NOW ITS FOR FREE.  I DARE YOU ALL TO WORK FOR FREE. NOW THAT YOU KNOW I AM HERE FOR ONE REASON: TO GET THE CROOKS SHUT DOWN WITHOUT  A PENNY COMING BACK TO ME, ANYBODY WHO STILL SAYS MY INTENTIONS ARE NOT RIGHT CAN EAT SHIT. 

          • Sorry CMS, but I’m not buying into this still. Horrific blogging and people skills, a complete 180 within a couple weeks regarding your  business plan, the appearance of a one-man show company, and the already aforementioned legal and ethical questions-it puts a picture of your operation in my mind that’s not professional and I don’t think the big guns will take too seriously, except when they decide to bury you with suits..

          • awww c’mon allison go easy on the guy. He just announced that he’s helping people for free, What more could you want? 

            Instead of the getoutofdebtguy, he’s the getarefundguy. Where’s the harm in that?

          • You are so full of crap.  You were in violation of the law and you and your big mouth blabbing about how much money you have went and changed because you knew that everybody would sell you out.  Your model was illegal and you know it. Steve, why did you take the entire post about you being sued down?  Your spin and little game seems to have made you a nice hornets nest.  Oh yeah a few others are following Mr. Ward’s lead and are prepping suits.  What is your definination of a scam?  Because your slanderous comments are going to cost you big.

          • Whatever you guys say. HA.. Wait till I get a complaint about you from somebody you screwed. And Allison, I am not in the “people” business here. I am in the “fighting back” business. Sorry to disappoint. 

            Guest, not sure that most of your post is relevant to this thread… But, whatever. Hate on. 

          •  How come if it’s free now as you said, your website says
            “We don’t charge you a penny until we get you a refund. We only get paid based
            on how successful our efforts are!”
            LOL, how do you consider working on a contingency the same as doing it free?
            Contact form
            submitted!
            We will be in touch soon.

          • Steve, really!? We get called out on an anonymous blog if we don’t agree? I guess I’ll keep my comments to myself then and rethink my following.

        • Good
          luck CMS …I hope you are independently wealthy cause when Freedom Debt Reliefs
          x clients see this you will be employing half the state of AZ

  • Hey CMS, you’d better stop your advance fee scheme because the FTC just went after a similar scam:
    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/11/businessrecovery.shtm

    Steve, you should publicly recognize the advance fee scam that CMS is perpetuating.  UPL to boot, I mean, c’mon, CMS is NOT mediating but advocating on BEHALF OF A CONSUMER that affects the consumer’s legal rights.  THIS IS CLEAR AS DAY and the CA & AZ bar associations are looking into this.

    • But CMS does not charge an advance fee anymore.

      The other group you mentioned was “misrepresenting the nature and effectiveness of their services, and accepting advance payments from consumers for recovering money lost in previous telemarketing transactions without waiting seven business days for the consumers to receive the recovered money, as required by the Rule.”

      I read the other complaint at http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/1123009/110302brscmpt.pdf and don’t see significant similarities.

      Am not aware of CMS doing the same thing as they were. Are you?

      • I wasn’t aware that CMS did a 180 and stopped charging advanced fees.  Just so that we’re clear – CMS doesn’t get paid a single penny unless and until the consumer receives a monetary refund?

        Even though they may have stopped charging advance fees, the bigger problem here is their UPL.  

        Why don’t you ask NACA or the NCLC about their opinion as to what CMS does?  And, make no mistake, even though CMS likes to go around touting they are a “mediation” service, they unequivocally are ADVOCATING on BEHALF of a CONSUMER.  A consumer who may have been scammed by a debt relief provider has a LEGAL claim against that provider.  When CMS comes in and helps that consumer obtain a refund, they ARE PRACTICING LAW!!!

        If you don’t believe me, ask some experts.  They’ll tell ya!

        • So I get the point you appear to not like the CMS model of fighting for consumers but tell me who consumers who feel they have been harmed can go to for little to no advanced fee and have someone attempt to get them their money back or their problem resolved?

          • Aggrieved consumers can seek the assistance of a properly licensed attorney, like those found in NACA (http://www.naca.net/find-attorney). Most, if not all, of these consumer attorneys will take such matters on contingency because most state UDAP statutes allow for attorneys fees (which are paid by the wrong-doer, in this case the debt relief provider).

            Look, I’m all for CMS’ stated goal here – that is, to help consumers who’ve been scammed by a debt relief provider obtain monetary redress.  But, just because the goal is laudable, doesn’t make CMS’ actions legal (or ethical).  Steve, you’re smart enough to know that the ends can’t justify the means.

            Again, why don’t you reach out to a bona fide consumer attorney and get his or her take on it.  As a journalist, you should (and must) care to properly and fully investigate a story.  You put this in play by reporting on CMS – now do your due diligence my friend!! 

            So, are you or are you not going to investigate the (potential) unauthorized practice of law by the CMS outfit?!

          • Are you saying that CMS is practicing UPL because they are attempting to assist the consumer with a customer service issue?

            Did they say they were going to represent consumers in court, prepare pleadings or give legal advice?

            If what CMS proposed to do is UPL then every local television station that investigates consumer issues would be guilty as well.

            Or are you saying that helping someone to get some sort of redress is an effort that can only be performed by a lawyer? I’m not clear on what your UPL assertion is.

            And while you are at it, please identify yourself so readers can figure out your experience with such issues.

          • By the way, please make it absolutely clear for your readers that CMS doesn’t get paid a SINGLE penny UNLESS and UNTIL the consumer receives a monetary refund.  Everyone has a right to know.

          • Could you please provide the link to the comment(s) in which CMS stated that they don’t receive a single penny unless and until the consumer receives monetary redress – I couldn’t find that comment.

          • Steve, you’re getting it twisted – CMS is NOT assisting a consumer with a customer service matter – rather, they are attempting to obtain monetary redress for a consumer.  They are ADVOCATING on behalf of a consumer in exchange for monetary compensation (CMS charges a fee if they’re able to get a consumer monetary redress).
            Here is what they are doing:1. An aggrieved consumer has a potential claim against a business (a debt relief provider);2. The consumer hires CMS to represent their interest and try and obtain monetary redress.3. Said consumer pays CMS 30% of the total recovery.

            THIS IS UPL!!!!

            Your example of a news network (e.g. Channel 5 on your side) DOES NOT CHARGE A SINGLE PENNY FOR THEIR SERVICE!!!!!!!!!  

            Doing the three things I listed above is MOST CERTAINLY the practice of law!  Why don’t you ask a consumer attorney and quit thinking you understand what the practice of law means.  SIMPLY ASK a  NACA attorney.  Or even ask the NCLC.  Or even ask Elizabeth Warren.  Do your due diligence, dude! (alliteration much?!) 

          • There are certainly other examples of advocates that are paid a fee for helping consumers. There are paid patient advocates, personal assistants, senior assistants, daily money managers, disability advocates, medical billing advocates, etc.

            What makes the CMS representation different than those other examples that also assist consumers for a fee to resolve problems and at times make a recovery?

            To be clear, I’m not standing up to fight for CMS, just trying understand your position to see if it is opinion based or fact based.

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