La Jolla Woman's Credit Score Impacted by Rural/Metro Collection Notice

Jinyoung Choi said she was contacted by a collections agency three years after an emergency visit and told she owed the ambulance company Rural Metro more than $1,800.

“I’m in so much pain, I need help, do any of you have a car?” said Jinyoung Choi. 

Jinyoung, a Chemical Engineer from La Jolla, said it was five in the morning when she called out to her roommates. After 911 was called, she was taken to the hospital by a Rural/Metro ambulance. 

“I think a couple weeks after that I got like $2,500 worth of emergency room fees,” said Jinyoung. 

Jinyoung made payments for the service and thought her painful experience was behind her. She said she never got a separate bill for the Rural/Metro ambulance ride and assumed it was included in the other bills. 

Three years later, she was contacted by a collections agency and told she owed the ambulance company more than $1,800. 

“They’re going to basically hurt my credit if I don’t call today and pay this off,” Jinyoung said. 

Jinyoung said after she received a collection notice, her credit score dropped 33 points. She couldn’t submit the claim to her insurance company to have them pay the bill because insurance companies require you file a claim for service within a year after the incident date. 

After talking to a coworker, who had seen past NBC 7 Responds stories about Rural/Metro collection notices, Jinyoung reached out to NBC 7 Responds. 

NBC 7 Responds reached out to Rural/Metro. The company dropped the charge and contacted the credit bureaus asking them to restore Jinyoung’s credit score and they did. 

In the past, representatives for Rural/Metro have attributed the error to a processing change that was made when the company came out of bankruptcy. The company said it is handling incidents like this on a case-by-case basis. 

If you feel you’ve received a collection notice in error, reach out to NBC 7 Responds by phone at 619-732-NBC7 or by submitting this completed form to our unit.

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