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About pinny

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  1. Hello CAG - can I please ask for your advice on the following situation. BT has come back and offered me £150 in compensation rather than the £2200 + VAT (based on 10 days of our daily rate before they offered compensation) but their offer doesn't reflect the time spent or mayhem created. My MP has offered to help and I'm trying to assess whether i) a small claims court action would produce any more money; and ii) whether BT's claim that no footprint has been left on the company's credit rating is in fact the case. I don't know how or where to check BT has created absolute chaos and appears (whether deliberately or not) to have timed matters so that it's outside Ofcom's terms of reference, as complaints have to be referred to them within 9 months of first being raised. There appear to be two separate complaints procedures (one verbal, the other written) with no connection between the two They have also set not one, but two debt collection agencies on us and recalled the alleged debt from the second one recently, saying that it had been placed with them in error. When I called BT to ask for confirmation that this was the case, they claimed to have written to me and promised to send it over by email, but only today, with my MP's involvement, have they confirmed that no money is o/s. The second debt collection agency also confirmed that their involvement would show up against the company in any credit searches and this is totally unacceptable. BT now dispute that there will be any footprint against my company as a result of the DCA being involved. The 2nd DCA confirmed that they didn't buy the alleged debt, just chased it. So, we cancelled BT as a supplier of our business phone lines and broadband at the end of March 2014. Up to that point, we had a direct debit set up that took all money outstanding Once we had confirmed that we were moving to another telecoms supplier, various bills arrived that we couldn't make any sense of – and neither could anyone at BT; no-one could ever explain what they were for. We received 41 letters and bills between early March and early Oct 2014, some just 1 day apart. Some were for services that we hadn't had for years – for instance, the latest we ever used data backup was Jan 2010 (and it could well have been earlier than that) -yet there possibly appeared (according to one person I spoke to before this was accelerated to the complaints department) to be a demand for money on this, 4 years down the road when there had been no interim request, and when we had a direct debit set up that collected all o/s amounts. The second debt collection agency also confirmed that BT had supplied conflicting information ie: fax and broadband service going back to 2007, when the fax number was owned a friend we shared an office with, yet the default date supplied is 17/10/14, 7 years later! BT has also only provided 1 page out of 10 pages that it claims supports this bill. Every time we received a letter or a bill we rang to try and sort it out but were advised that because it was already logged with the complaints dept we couldn’t be transferred but had to wait for them to call us at their convenience. Nobody could explain whether the larger bills received in June-Aug were several of the smaller ones added together or whether they were stand-alone bills. We were told to ignore the letters and bills every single time we rang, because the system just generated them automatically. I did receive a couple of calls but always when I was out and didn't have the paperwork to hand or any of the ref numbers. It was never even possible to fix a time when someone from the complaints dept would call back; we were just put on a 7-10 day cycle to be called again. We were also given 2 different reference numbers for the same complaint. We had letters in May, Aug and Sep saying that our service would be cancelled when we'd already done this ourselves in March. What I find perhaps hardest to believe is that having been told by BT to ignore all their letters, and them making it impossible for us to call them to sort it out, I then made a payment to BT Conferencing by mistake. This was an ancient payee that hadn't been used since April/May 2011. A payment was made in error to them in early Oct – and was refunded around 3 weeks later. I had to call several times and send several emails about it, all in the same company name as these demands were coming to. Not once was it mentioned that BT thought we owed them money, and yet it can only have been a few days later that they instructed the first debt collection agency! My view is that because no-one can explain what any of these invoices were supposed to be for and because it was all so complicated, this was passed to debt collectors in an attempt to get the money without due process or spending more time on it. No-one ever called to say that the first debt collection agency were going to be involved – the letter from them arrived on the same day as a letter from BT explaining that they'd handed it over. I'm also struggling with the logic of a complaints dept that no-one can call. I can't help thinking that it's a large coincidence that the first debt collection agency was involved 9 month after the original complaint, when by Ofcom's normal timescales it would have been refused. Thanks so much for your advice Pinny
  2. Thanks dx! It really is a minefield and it's so good to be able to check out assumptions with experts. I will keep you posted. Onward and upward!
  3. Thanks dx - is OC old card? I've followed your instructions and attached both spreadsheets. Would yoiu mind confirming please that these look right and the payment calculated on the sheet with just one date is what I should be looking for? Really grateful for your help. Pinny
  4. Thanks dx that would have been embarrassing! So, with Ombudsman awards you can claim up to the day they pay but not with ones that go through the court?
  5. dx hello again. I've got the missing statements from the office and when I average out the interest it rises to a whopping 31.44% pa! What I've noticed going through the statements is that in months where I've almost paid off the balance and there's just a few pence interest, that interest is very high as a % of the o/s balance and this is driving the overall average up. is this normal? Please see revised spreadsheet uploaded and thanks again. Pinny
  6. Thanks dx I've got 3 years statements to hand (rest at office so will get them tomorrow) and the av rate from 1999 to 2001 is 23.39%. To calculate monthly interest, I've taken the starting balance, removed the credit, then divided the interest by the result, multiplied by 100. Is that right? Spreadsheet attached.
  7. But in the meantime, I've made a donation. Really appreciate all your help regardless of how much I get - the feeling of righting a wrong is goooood
  8. Thanks again! I think it's likely to be PPI only because otherwise with compound int all charges would tot up to nearly half a mil! I don't think that's likely, sadly!
  9. Dear maroondevo 52 Thanks for this - in column I of the CI sheet, how do I calculate the charge please? Is it interest, plus PPI, plus spending, plus charges (annual, late payment or over credit limit) - so the same figure as in column C of the REDRESS CALCULATION UNDER FOS RULES - RUNNING CREDIT ACCOUNTS Thanks again!
  10. Hello - can I ask for some advice please? I have found an almost complete set of statements from Sep 1998 to May 2002. It covers an Alliance & Leicester credit card now taken over by Santander. I have to say that Santander have previously been good within limits - paid out when statements missing and very quickly. Of course, we should never have been in this position to start with but they do seem keen to be seen to be doing the right thing, unlike many others. My questions are these: 1. Given that the start date is so long ago, if I went legal, the compound interest is likely to make the award much larger than using the simple interest method. Can you please point me towards the spreadsheet that would enable me to work out the likely award please? 2. Also, how long does court action take, typically? What I might do (as they are likely to make me an offer within the next 2 weeks) is to suggest a compromise settlement to avoid court action but need to know what the likely sum is to start that discussion I think. Thanks very much for your help
  11. This was an especially acute problem over Christmas with a lot of complaints on the Amazon website about my Hermes (different from the Hermes network) but this applies to most online sales companies. The issue is this: as a customer you have to pay postage (quite rightly) but get no choice of who is used and usually no visibility of which company before you’ve paid. So, most Amazon purchases are delivered by the cheapest, most unreliable form whose online tracking system is sheer fantasy and is acknowledged as such by many frustrated customers. A company that many would not choose to use is getting their money, paid under compulsion. I’ve asked the question (but received no reply, which makes me think that the answer is yes) as to whether 3rd party sellers on Amazon are obliged to use my Hermes to deliver. Customers on the Amazon website who appear to know the background say that my Hermes had to buy a tracking system if they wanted to get the Amazon contract but bought the cheapest, most unreliable one that had been rejected as totally unfit for purpose by other delivery companies. It feels like a possible abuse of dominant market position, though of course that may be an unfortunate appearance not borne out by the facts. I think if CAG were to investigate they'd get to the bottom of it in a way that individuals can’t. I’d be prepared to put time into this. A good result would be to have a transparent choice between at least 2 named companies (at different prices if necessary) on checkout when shopping online.
  12. My question starts by being about about Hermes and Amazon but in the end it becomes a question about why you can't choose the delivery service used when shopping on the internet. I've asked the Amazon forum whether When sellers using Amazon marketplace , are they obliged to use Hermes for delivery? I have had such appalling experiences with Hermes (the latest only this week described my parcel as awaiting 2nd attempt at being delivered when it turned out that it hadn't even been collected from the sender, 3 days late!) that I was horrified to see that a delivery I ordered in good time for Xmas delivery is out for delivery with these jokers! Why can't you see who will be delivering at the point of sale and choose a cheaper option if it' s not critical or pay slightly more for as grown-up service that will what it says? If I'd known that the legendary Hermes was the "service" at the point of purchase I certainly would have insisted on a different courier firm or else I'd have bought elsewhere. It may not be deliberate but the veil of secrecy that's drawn over how any parcel will reach you is allowing these people to make a huge profit while offering a non-existent service; buyers should have a choice about whether to use them before they part with their money. Actually, I may be being harsh - what looks like pure fabrication on their online progress reports could be hiding the fact that they actually work for Santa. He does exist after all....
  13. OK thanks everyone. I've asked her to do that Pinny
  14. Thanks Brigadier - he has sent numerous texts and called round without making prior arrangements. What feels wrong is that he was told by Trading Standards that because there was no written quote; no 2 week cooling off period; the work was described as dangerous and contravening building regs by a member of the Fed of Master Builders; and he started work without being commissioned to do so, in law there was no debt. But the very same day, having received that advice, he put the amount he claimed with a DCA. Look forward to hearing your views and thanks again. Pinny
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