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  1. Hi all, Long story short - I'm living with my partner and have been for some years now. However, the local housing trust (my parents' house), has received letters saying their rent is in arrears. I think it was around £13-15 per week. When my father questioned it, they said that new information had come to light that I had been living there (which obviously I wasn't). They said (verbally) that unless they provided them with an address for me that they would keep putting the charge on and evict them. To my mind, this is wrong. Whichever way you slice it, to do that to pensioners is shocking behaviour. The vitriolic thing is, is that, there is no reasoning on any of the letters, no explanation as to why the charges - it is all word-of-mouth upto now. I'm appalled if I am honest at this and before I act, would like to gather some advice if possible.
  2. Hi everybody, I'm new to this forum - spent a lot of time reading other threads on the issue of Xercise 4 Less/Harlands/CRS last night and now feel a bit more informed than I did previously! But I would like some help to see if I have a leg to stand on here before I go into battle! I moved to Scotland in April, and subsequently joined the local Xercise 4 Less gym on the 27th on a 12 month contract at 14.99 per month. When joining, I also paid a £20.00 joining fee - taking my first total payment to £34.99. I find it important to state now that I NEVER set foot in the gym after joining. (This was confirmed by a woman I spoke to on the telephone last Monday, 12th October '15 - more on this later) I fell pregnant and didn't really feel like going then. I continued to pay for the membership and unfortunately lost the pregnancy at just 4 weeks. The company I was working for at the time - in short - went bust, and I was found without a job. I then found out I had fallen pregnant again and after losing my first pregnancy I certainly did not want to go to the gym due to my fears if anything else! For these reasons, I cancelled the direct debit with my bank online after approximately 3 months and 11 days of membership. My partner and I then moved into a new flat in the same town. With my direct debit cancelled, I did not find it appropriate to notify the gym of my change of address, as far as I was concerned, I was no longer a member. I also find it important to state at this point that I have been a member of other gyms in the past and they took cancellation of my direct debit payments as cancellation of the service they were providing and did not contact me further - I believed this would be the case with this company also. How wrong I was! On Monday, 12th October I received a letter from a company called CRS - I have found many letters the same on these threads so will just paraphrase: They say they have been employed by Xercise 4 Less as my membership remains in arrears despite letters being sent - I had not received these letters, but the gym remained to have my telephone number/email in their records, and I heard nothing from them through either of these channels. They say they have added their fees (£111.57) to my debt, and the balance is now sitting at £321.48 They then say they want to reach an amicable resolution and give contact details telling me to phone them. Stupidly, I did exactly that. I asked the man I spoke to why on earth I had to pay so much money. He continuously repeated to me that my account was in arrears. I had told him I was not happy to pay the fees, and also explained my reasons for leaving the gym. He froze my account for 7 days and demanded I prove I was pregnant by sending forms/paperwork to him. If I sent these forms the amount would be reduced "significantly" due to my pregnancy. I also phoned the gym and asked them what was going on. The woman I spoke to had confirmed that I had never set foot in the gym (she could tell from her electronic records). I asked her why I had to pay so much for a service I had joined but never took advantage of. She told me I owed the gym £219.00 and to sort it out with the Xercise 4 Less customer service team, and gave me a telephone number. I never phoned this number. I have done the basic maths after checking my bank account - - The payments made to Harlands totalled £64.97 - this is evident in payments taken from 11th May (34.99), 26th May (14.99) and 25th June (£14.99) ---thats just raised a question in itself, why did they take my joining fee so late, and why did they charge me twice in one month...surely they've taken 2 months of payment in one month?-- - If I was still paying for the gym, I would have only now paid them a further sum of approx. £25.98, another 2 months worth of membership give or take a few days. - Upon checking my bank statement for August I see they attempted to take £39.99 from me, but I had no notification from the bank that any payments had bounced, and we can see above that they haven't - I made the payments. I wonder why they were trying to take so much from me? So WHY do I owe them £321.48/£219.00 - I'm very confused as to which it is, as when the CRS "fees" are added, the total amounts to £330.57 - so is someone playing silly beggars?! Now...some questions! - From what I have read on other threads, CRS and Harlands are the same company - does this mean they have not sold my "debt" on to someone else and have no right to be using a different letterhead as a scare tactic? - Does the court ruling of The OFT vs AMSL in 2011 apply to me, and can I use it to back up my claim that cancellation of my direct debit was notice enough? - As I never used the service, do I have any differing cancellation rights? - As the amount I'm being charged is absolutely out of this world, am I right in thinking that this is made up of silly fees/penalties and as such cannot be enforced? Remember, I've been told as I'm pregnant the amount can be reduced significantly. Why/how if they are not just pointless unlawful penalties? - I will no longer speak with any of the companies on the telephone, and will only have written correspondence. As there are a few lingering days at the beginning and end of the membership I am happy to offer them a month's payment (£14.99) as a good will gesture and final settlement of fees owed. Is this within my rights and would you say this was sensible to do? - Do I speak with Harlands on this matter? I do not want to speak with CRS (although I realise they are one and the same). Any help would be greatly appreciated! I must admit I was very upset when I first received the letter but now I am furious that they are trying to take money from me, especially at a time when this so called debt amounts to the price of my baby's pram, car seat and changing bag all in one! Thank you in advance, Elvie
  3. The trade negotiations are an assault on democracy. I would vote against them except… hang on a minute, I can’t.... More ...
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