I'm trying to pay a bill but I exhausted all means to pay the bill using their payment methods. Now they sent me an email threatening to send the bill to collection since I have an unpaid bill. I have evidence that I tried to pay using different methods and the email doesn't offer any other method. If the company tries to collect using a collection agency or goes to court, am I still liable for collection fees or court fees? The jurisdiction is in California.

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    I'm not entirely clear on this, are you saying that all of the payment methods offered by this company aren't working? Are they not working for technical reasons? Even paying by card over the phone? And the company has refused to accept that there is a problem? Have you actually spoken to them about their payment methods not working? May 9, 2021 at 8:31
  • Or are you not able to use any of the offered payment options for some reason or another?
    – Trish
    May 10, 2021 at 7:58
  • @GeoffAtkins Company only accepts payments over their payments gateway. Over the phone they told me to go and pay through their payment gateway. May 10, 2021 at 8:07
  • @Trish There must be a glitch on their website. They are charging for something extra, so it is a payment method that doesn't seem to be very maintained. May 10, 2021 at 8:07
  • So, does their payment gateway not work? If so, you need to speak to them and escalate. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you have attempted to pay and been unable due to problems at their end. May 10, 2021 at 8:12

1 Answer 1



You owe a contractual fee for a service or good, which is to be paid in a manner of the companies choosing. Invoices contain information about what to pay and till when. This is also known as debt and the payment date is a clear indication of when to pay. You have tried to pay your debt, but an alternative method not offered is not in a manner that satisfies your contractual obligation. So you have not paid this debt.

They informed you that they will sell the right to that outstanding amount to another company or employ another company to try and get their money back. You are liable to pay your debts in a manner the company you have the debt with chooses. You are also liable for damages your non-payment creates, such as collection or court fees.

Reporting about your unpaid debt in truth is not libel or any other tort, but might be an obligation for financial service providers. Unpaid debt impacts your credit score.

However, if their payment methods accepted don't work at all, you need to inform them of such so they can investigate and possibly decide to take a different method - but which is up to the company.

  • Thanks for the explanation. Still, before a civil lawsuit, aren't they obliged to show that they requested the payment? I remember having to show in court that I sent a letter requesting the payment before I could file a lawsuit. May 10, 2021 at 8:09
  • they need to show you owe a payment and that there was a payment date, which usually is already on each invoice ("Payment due till XY")
    – Trish
    May 10, 2021 at 8:15

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