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Not sure if this is the correct board to put this, sorry if not. I had a tenancy with a large Housing Association which ended 2 years ago and I left owing over £1K of arrears. The last 2 years I haven't heard anything from them (they knew my contact details so not sure why) and as such I just buried my head in the sand until now. They have passed my arrears to a bailiff company called Regional Collection Services based in Sunderland, who have added £390+VAT in costs to the arrears. I've contacted the Housing Association by email asking to set up a payment plan directly with them to clear the balance but they have said I need to contact RCS to set up a payment plan with them instead. Can they force me to contract with RCS? If I pay payments directly to the Housing Association do they have to accept them? I really don't want to deal with RCS nor do I want to pay them the extra £390+VAT either. RCS have sent me a letter but they haven't turned up on my doorstep yet but I expect they will soon. If I had the money available I would just pay it all off in one go directly to the Housing Association. Thanks for any help or guidance.
Hi I am looking for some advice/information on behalf of my son. He has a small window cleaning business. He has also had learning difficulties all of his life, but gets by with a little (lot really!) of help from us. Every so often I check his bank account (Yes, I have his full knowledge and consent) to try and make sure he is managing his money OK and check for 'odd' transactions as he is quite susceptible to being [problem]med, basically he will sign up for anything anybody tells him to. I recently noticed a Direct Debit for £58.00 to a company called RCP Media. I asked him about this and he told me he had been telephoned by this company a couple of months ago. They claimed to be working closely and tirelessly with various crime prevention agencies and were looking for "honest" business's like his to advertise in their "Widely distributed" magazine. They wrapped him around their little finger and he 'jumped' at the chance to have an advert with such a distinguished magazine, particularly as being in this magazine would show he is a trusted business and the vulnerable and elderly would be confident in using his services. Shortly after this phone call (a few days) they sent him an email showing his 'advert' with a price tag of £174.00. He is unable to find this email (probably deleted knowing him) but the gist of the email was: This is your advert, the fee is £174 to be paid within 14 days (no exceptions). If you want to change the advert (free of charge) reply to the email stating your requirements. Additionally, whilst we can change the advert before print, you are now obligated under contract and the advert can't be cancelled and must be paid for. He explained he could not afford that amount (this is true, he lives (much to our annoyance) off his small overdraft). They agreed on a three month payment plan. He has paid twice so far with the third payment overdue. I was going to telephone them today and pay the outstanding amount, but decided to look (or try to) further into this. I have found a couple of sites that seem related and they all claim this is a [problem]. I have asked around, he has also asked many of his customers, if they have ever seen this magazine and specifically his advert and nobody has ever heard of or seen this magazine. They sent him a copy to show his advert was live. I can see this magazine on their website, minus his advert. So it seems the only advert for his business is in the only magazine that exists (his copy). Alarm bells are doing overtime. I think this is a [problem]. They make it plain on the back of their invoice that this MUST be paid. Late fees of £35 will be added if not paid on time. I was wondering if anybody else reading this has had any dealings with this company or knows anything about this company. I am not comfortable with this, but at the same time, if he "HAS" to pay this or end up with CCJ or other problems I'd rather not allow it go that far. I just feel mad at him and even more mad with this company who seem on the face of it very genuine, but with no sign of this advert and their pushy tactics I think there is more to this. Sorry for the lengthy post and hopefully somebody will know something about this business. The website can be googled. Search for RCP Regional Crime Prevention. Looks like a genuine site, but I guess that's the idea. https://www.rcpcrime.com/home https://twitter.com/RCPCRIME1 https://www.facebook.com/rcpmagazine/ Thanks.