I am desperately hoping someone can help on what step to take next with CRS / Harlands.
To give back story, my partner signed up to a boxing gym in November last year for an 11 month term contract (English is not his first language and was mislead to believe he could cancel his contract at any time with 1 months notice as like a rolling contract)
He lost his job that following December, and in January he went into the gym to inform them of this and ask if he can cancel his membership. The woman there told him that it is fine under these circumstances and he can cancel his direct debit. She did not at any point tell him to contact Harlands and cancel it Via them.
In February he started receiving letters saying he owed 80 odd pounds, and he has been charged penalties, fees etc.
He contacted them saying that he has lost his Job and was told this IS an acceptable reason to cancel his membership at the gym.
He sent them the evidence of his loss of job, but because he was actually effectively sacked out of his job by a new manager who did not like this was classed as him being 'dismissed', CRS responded saying he is NOT able to cancel his membership as they can only cancel his membership if he is made "redundant or other loss of livelihood"
After this I advised him they are being ridiculous (CRS) and that he should offer to pay the last month and ignore them.
Since then they have sent him numerous other letters demanding £741.20 for the full years membership £495. (he paid 2 months) and then £290 odd of fees!!!
I have had phone calls with them try to explain he lost his job and he was told totally incorrect information at the gym about cancelling his membership, but because those were 'verbal conversations' there is no proof of them taking place !! The man on the phone was very condescending and snotty about all this.
After months of back and forth, he has had enough and has recently offered to pay the £495 for the rest of the years membership and to just try and end all this. I used the template found on other threads here and sent them a letter offering them that as a final amount and to Pay no fees or penalties, within 14 days and if they do not accept he will not pay anything.
They have now responded via writing with the following:
Further to your recent correspondence, as your payments were not honoured and you failed to rectify your breach
of Agreement charges were applied to your account and your file was referred to ourselves for collection at which
point you became responsible for our collection fees. These charges have been added to cover actual and
necessary costs incurred because of your breach of contract, and are stipulated within the terms of that contract. It
is our position that our charges are lawful and in line with all relevant guidance. We may, in some circumstances,
be able to negotiate a reduction on these charges, but will not accept any offer of payment that gives no
consideration to the costs these charges cover.
For the above reasons, we shall be pleased to negotiate on this sum, taking into consideration your concerns, but
cannot accept your offer to pay just the remaining membership fees as sufficient to settle this balance.
We are, however, concerned to hear that someone here has told you that you cannot cancel in the circumstances
you have described. This is not the case, but it is true you cannot cancel by the procedure you have followed.
We wish to confirm that the terms of your agreement state:
“This agreement can be cancelled upon appropriate proof of redundancy or other loss of livelihood.”
The terms also state, however, that:
"ANY cancellation for the above reasons will not be effected until the appropriate proof is provided and received."
As such, you will remain liable for your arrears up to the point such evidence is received, but a reduction is
possible and so we recommend that you supply us with evidence of your change of circumstances as soon as
possible in order to maximise the discount we can offer you in relation to the remaining balance.
For termination on the grounds of redundancy or other loss of livelihood, we require either a letter from your former
employer which is either signed or on headed paper (ideally both) confirming the termination of your employment (
either from the time your employment ended or a new letter), or any document relating to a claim for job seeker’s
allowance. Please note we cannot accept a P45 as sufficient as this would be supplied even if you left your
previous employment to take a higher paid job.
This evidence may be sent to us by posting it to Credit Resolution Services, 2nd Floor, Rockwood House, 9-17
Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 3TW, by emailing it to *email.
uk or by faxing it to 01444 449 152. Please be aware that we are happy to accept scans, photocopies and
photographs of evidence, we do not require original documents.
We shall hold further recovery action for a period of 7 days to allow you time to provide such evidence.
Now, should we write back and offer to Pay the penalty fee of late payment on top of the £495 (£20 I believe or something) or just ignore them and act as this is them declining his previous offer.
And also, is him loosing his job NOT by redundancy, but by being dismissed reason enough for him to be able to cancel his membership anyway?.. Surely it should apply to both, and can even be considered a 'loss of livelihood' if he does not have his job any more?? is he actually not obliged to pay anything at all because he lost his job ?
Please any advice on what he should do next would be greatly appreciated! I cannot believe they are not accept his payment of nearly £500 and still want £740.
Thank you in advance !