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My daughter has received a Pre-Court Division letter from Moorcroft, having been "instructed by British Telecommunications plc" for an overdue debt of £181.98.

 

We're not entirely sure how this is made up, other than a large chunk is for a visit by one of their engineers to her home to trace a fault - when she received her next bill she queried the "Payment Charge" of £103.50 and was told that it was the charge for the engineer.

 

She emailed BT on 14th November ask why she was charged this amount and waited for two weeks for the initial response, which asked her to phone their Dispute Dept to discuss it. She has tried phoning them when she finishes work as she no longer has a landline at her home but has been kept waiting too long and cannot abuse the phone system at her workplace. The times that she has been forced to hang on, if she uses her mobile it is going to cost a fortune. Meantime she has been saddled with late payment charges.

 

Her boyfriend walked out on her some months back and she is currently suffering from depression and is not coping very well emotionally and is only trying to sort things out.

 

She recently received a Pre Court Division letter from Moorcroft, asking her to settle the debt without delay! They have added "an administration cost of £36.39 to offset (some of) the costs incurred by (their) client." Not sure what cost she could add for her time and calls to their client!Obviously, she has been trying to but has been unable to extract a response from BT. She emailed BT again to tell them that she can only be contacted on her mobile, and only during lunchtime. They have tried phoning her twice, once mid morning and once mid afternoon, naturally she is working at those times!

 

What should she do? I've read a number of unsavoury stories about Moorcroft so I'd like to know how I can help/advise her.

 

She still doesn't know or understand what the engineer's costs were for and can't get through to BT for clarification. She emailed mdrl.co.uk on 10th December to tell them that she is trying to communicate with BT to clarify the invoice, and added the heading of "I Do Not Acknowledge...etc." She has not had a reply from them. If they are trying to call her landline number then they will be out of luck!! She also emailed BT again, for their engineer's findings and to advise them that she had received the letter from Moorcroft. BT responded by apologising for the delay in responding (a week this time) and asked for a mobile number to contact her on!!!! They also say they understand that she is unhappy with the contact made by Moorcroft Debt Recovery Ltd.

 

BT say they have checked her account details and advised her that they have tried to contact her on two occasions, but that her mobile number was unavailable.

 

They have also advised her to contact Moorcroft and given the contact details and opening hours!

 

BT have called her twice, as stated, but each time it has been during her worktime and not, as she asked them to do, phone at lunchtime!

 

Yesterday morning she received another letter from Moorcroft telling her to pay by 25.12.2007 (yes, Merry Christmas!) or she will incur further costs taking the total to £276.99!!!!!

 

Her payments to BT are up to date except for the "payment charge". She has queried this but has not had a satisfactory response. Moorcroft now want to add a further £50 Solicitors costs, £25.00 Court Claim and £20 (but I can't remember what for!)

 

She has emailed BT 5 times now and each reply has been by someone different, asking her to contact them by phone!

 

She emailed mdrl.co.uk again last night telling them that the account is in dispute, that she contacted them on 10th December and that she has been querying her BT account since 14th November. Her £103.50 bill has the potential to reach almost £300!!!! I understood that if the account was in dispute she shouldn't incur any further charges!

 

What can she do now? BT obviously know the account is in dispute but they won't call the dogs off!!!!

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Moorcrofts charges are largely unenforceable.

 

And you're right, they shouldn't be chasing you while there is an ongoing dispute.

 

OFT Debt Collection Guidance;

http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/business_leaflets/consumer_credit/oft664.pdf

 

Regards, Dave.

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Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

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What should she do in the immediate future, because as of Christmas Day Moorcroft will assume she owes them £277!!! I have told her not to telephone them, hence the reason why she has emailed! Their silence is deafening!

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"She still doesn't know or understand what the engineer's costs were for"

 

BT always advise of their costs when you book an engineer to make a home visit. You can't expect the guy to turn up for free!

 

If she had paid the debt promptly there would not have been all this fuss. Just pay the bill.

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Write to them, tell them you've no intention of paying any of their charges as they go against the OFT Debt Collection Guidance and also ask them why they are chasing an alleged debt when there is an unresolved dispute which is also against the same guidance, threaten to report them to your local Trading Standards Service, or better still, do so.

Trading Standards Central - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection information for the UK

 

A well worded letter will get them off your back quick smart.

If my post was helpful don't forget to click the star!

Advice is offered freely, without liability and without prejudice.

If in any doubt professional legal advice should be sought.

 

I do not profess to be in any way legally trained, I am a big

oily truck driver and all I know has been learned within the

Consumer Action Group.

 

FAQ's

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/

 

Trying to stop smoking?

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/give-up-smoking-here/

 

A dummies guide to the forums

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

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http://www.bornfree.org.uk

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Actually, it's my daughter's problem, though I've taken it on myself to try to help her as much as I can. I look through these forums on a regular basis and have noticed how much affection there is for these DCAs!!!:p

 

I also find their attitudes stink beyond belief. I looked at the Moorcroft website and noticed that they boast of producing over 40,000 letters every day!!!

 

She also has issues with Tiscali, and I have issues with TalkTalk and AOL! But I'll save those for another day!!

 

Thanks for your advice Dave, I'll be sure to pass it on!

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Get her to write to BT to try and sort out the debt directly with them. Leave Moorcroft out of the loop entirely. If she can afford it she should send BT a cheque for the amount she agrees with and dispute in writing the £103.00. I have found BT willing to deal (provided you can get through to them). I would also make a complaint about the actions of Moorcroft to BT as they are responsible for the behaviour of the clampets. BT have had quite a few complaints about moorcroft. Dont worry about the Pre-Court Division they stick that on all their nasty letters

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  • 2 weeks later...

Moorcrofts!

 

what a mob!

 

I had a similar problem with them and BT when we moved house last summer - BT had neglected to tell them that we still owed them £60 on our account and the first we knew of it was a series of aggressive leters and phone calls from Moorcrofts demanding £180 immediately.

 

So I phoned BT - explained that I wasn't happy about the speed at which they had handed the account to their collectors - they acknowledged that they had not cntacted me about the outstanding amount and acceppted £60 to clear the debt - I told them to contact Moorcrofts.

 

Next thing you know a very aggressive call from Moorcrofts demanding the £120 and harranging me for speaking to BT about it.

 

I told them that if they really wanted to try and enforce their fee then to bring it on - to speak to their client aout it and explain to their client why we, with our over £1000 per annum business with BT were moving to Telewest. The individual then got abusive so I politely told him where to stick it and hung up

 

haven't hear a peep since.

 

I have used this tactic with British Gas as well who had the cheek to chase me for £170 outstanding Gas when they owed me £450 credit on Electricity.

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Hi there Chris.

 

Depending on the type of 'debt' which Moorcroft are trying to collect, it may be a good idea to CCA them rather than SAR just to check that they are entitled to collect what they say they are. Have a look here then go to 'Letter N' (Ask your creditor for a copy of your credit agreement under the Consumer Credit Act 1974). For debts being collected under the CCA, enforcement cannot be pursued if the creditor is unable to produce a properly executed credit agreement containing all of the required terms. NB When sending the letter, make sure that you do not sign with your normal signature - use capitals or something which you would not usually do. Whilst I am not suggesting that Moorcrap are guilty of this, it is not unheard of for particularly enterprising members of staff at some DCAs to get busy with a scanner and photocopier to make a signature 'appear' on what looks like the original credit agreement.

 

If the 'debt' is not subject to the CCA, then use this as a template for SAR and edit as appropriate to your circumstances.

 

To follow this up and for more advise on your own particular case, you may be better starting your own thread to save information being lost amongst other posts.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Some absolutely appalling comments here that could get this site into trouble. "enterprising members of staff at some DCAs to get busy with a scanner and photocopier to make a signature 'appear' on what looks like the original credit agreement". Evidence?

 

Put in simple terms, your daughter got an engineer out with full knowledge of the costs and is refusing to pay the bill. Would YOU work for free? I find it staggering that ANYONE here is defending her reprehensible behaviour!

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This is strange!!!!!! I have a debt with a company of £182. In all honestyI would have contacted the company concerned and probably have paid it off by now but when I started to get threatening letters from Moorcroft the heels dug in. I didnt answer any of them no matter what they threatened and the strange thing is that the amount they are claiming is exactly what I owe the company. There are no charges added on at all.:confused:

Anyway for the last few months they have been writing and I have been filing the letters under 'b*^&*&^' sometimes not even reading them properly. (I know thats not the way to deal with things!)

 

Then a couple of days ago I got a letter from them complete with a paying in slip saying that they were prepared to accept £8 a month :D and as long as I make the first payment by Jan 16th the matter is sorted. It states that when I make the first payment they will send me a paying in slip to make the next months. Seems almost too good to be true. No charges and accepting a sum way lower than I would have thought and without any communication from me!

 

Am I missing something here?

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Then a couple of days ago I got a letter from them complete with a paying in slip saying that they were prepared to accept £8 a month :D and as long as I make the first payment by Jan 16th the matter is sorted. It states that when I make the first payment they will send me a paying in slip to make the next months. Seems almost too good to be true. No charges and accepting a sum way lower than I would have thought and without any communication from me!

 

Am I missing something here?

 

I had something similar (but with payments of £10 agreed) then after a few months they started writing to tell me that I had 'defaulted' on my agreement to pay them £20 and was therefore £x in arrears. They demanded the arrears to be paid immediately or else.

 

Watch them like a hawk and never ever trust them!

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Update - having written to BT and Moorcroft, though only the latter stage of last week, my daughter has now received a Litigation Warning from midaslegalservices (a Subsidiary of Moorcroft Group plc, noless!) She has been advised that as she has failed to reach a repayment agreement with Moorcroft they have been asked to prepare a file for review prior to the commencement of legal action.

 

What a bunch of numpties these people are! Perhaps issuing 40,000 letters per day has clouded their brains!

 

My daughter emailed Moorcroft on 10th and 23rd December, through their website mdrl.co.uk, has never had an acknowledgement, but they still persist in wasting their resources chasing an amount in dispute.

 

She has taken diskmandave's advice, so we shall see what response, if any, they come back with!

 

The original invoice from BT was dated 28th May 2007, reminder sent on 18th June, at which point she contacted them. They sent her a letter on 2nd July to ask her to contact them, which she has tried, and therein lies the problem! She has never received a copy of the engineers report. Should she now report BT to Otelo. It states on the back of their invoice that "If you are unhappy with our response you can ask our Complaint Review Service to investigate. This specialist team will work with you to find a solution.

 

If we do not answer your complaint within 12 weeks, or if we write to you saying that we cannot agree an outcome, you can ask Otelo, the Office of Telecommunications Ombudsman, to investigate" Or does Otelo have their hand in the same pocket as BT?

 

My daughter is extremely worried about the situation, but I am angry on her behalf! I'm just glad that she no longer has a landline as I'm sure they would be harrassing her over the phone!

 

Oh, they've not added any further charges, so they obviously received the email of 23rd December (they had increased the amount from £181.99 to almost £277!)

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I've been chased by Moorcroft for £37 that BT claimed I owed them (I didn't). I disputed the matter with BT and advised Moroncroft that as BT had failed to respond to my dispute my view was that their attempts at collection were a breach of the OFT guidance. I heard no more, but two months later Westcot tried for the same thing; same letter sent, and this time I had a letter confirming that they had returned the file to BT (who eventually admitted, four months down the line, that the alleged debt was the result of their own failure to action a cancellation.

 

Just be persistent; they'll get the message eventually.

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"What a bunch of numpties these people are!". Why? They are chasing a debtor that STILL hasn't been paid!

 

"but I am angry on her behalf!". Why, because she STILL hasn't paid her debt.

 

Instead of moaning, whining and posting here I would suggest you and your debtor daughter get together and work out how to pay in full asap.

 

This forum is for those seeking help with genuine problems, not debt evaders.

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  • 2 weeks later...

She got a letter from Moorcroft today as follows -

 

"I write in response to your recent dispute in relation to the above account and can confirm we have been in contact with British Telecommunications Plc, please provide us with actual details of your dispute.

 

I can also confirm I have placed your account on hold until 10.02.08 and request you make immediate contact with our call centre on the above telephone number to discuss a repayment proposal you can afford and maintain.

 

However if you are unhappy with the information provided please contact us by return (or in any event prior to the above date)."

 

Your advice would be appreciated.

 

Firstly, she has already contacted BT regarding the dispute but has not had a response.

 

Secondly, why would they require actual details of the dispute? As they are associated with BT, and by their own admission have contacted BT, they should know what the dispute is about.

 

Thirdly, why, having received her letter asking for clarification as to why they are chasing something that is in dispute, which goes against the Office of Fair Trading Debt Collection Guidance, being told that if they continue to harrass for an alleged debt they will be reported to TS, and advised that the unjustified charges will not be paid as they too go against the OFT Debt Collection Guidance are they persisting?? Oh, they aren't chasing for the £277 they threatened with, they've gone back to the original £181.99, on an invoice from BT for £103.50.

 

We'd value your help.

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Dear Moorcroft

 

I have written to BT regarding my dispute. The dispute is between me and BT and as such the debt should not have been passed on whilst a clear dispute exists as this as Im sure you are aware would be a breach of the OFT guidelines on Debt Collection.

 

Should you require any details about the dispute I suugest you contact BT and in line with Data Protection Guidelines they may give you some information.

 

You are aware that your continued harassment of me regarding this alleged debt is also against OFT Guidelines. Any further harassment will be trated as such and a complaint made to and not limited to Trading Standards and the OFT.

 

yours etc

 

 

As for BT. Contact them again IN WRITING and by recorded delivery outlining your dispute and reminding them they are responsible for Moorcrofts actions. Also send a copy to OFCOM

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  • 2 months later...

Okay, so it goes on!

 

Letters were sent to both Moorcroft and BT on 21st January, with a copy of the 3rd January letter being resent to BT. It was pointed out that the account is in dispute and that an engineers report is still being waited for, along with a copy of the formal dispute resolution procedures.

 

Needless to say, neither have been forthcoming from either party!!!

 

Daughter received a letter from Midas Legal Services dated 14th March advising that she has failed to reach a repayment agreement with Moorcroft for the £181.99 and a file is now being prepared prior to commencing legal action.

 

So - I telephone Moorcroft on her behalf and spoke to "Craig". I tried filling him in on the situation, barely pausing for breath! I asked what the £103.50 was for as on the invoice it states Payment Charge. He corrects me and says there is another £40 outstanding. I tell him that my daughter has written on her BT invoice £40 paid 04-07-07 cheque no. ...... He doesn't mention this again. So I tell him the Payment Charge of £103.50 has been with held until she knows what it is for.

 

He then tells me that it was a "Call Out Charge, which was made in line with the BT contract" I tell him that neither of us were aware of a call out charge! I tell him that we have been waiting for an engineers report on said call-out. He merely states again that the charge was for a call-out.

 

I ask him how the remainder of the balance is made up and he says that Moorcroft is entitled to charge 40% for recovery! The phone conversation didn't really go any further as I obviously had to pass the information on to my daughter. "Craig" thanked me for taking the time to telephone, though his tone suggested otherwise!!

 

I telephoned BT straight away to query the Payment Charge, was in the system for over 5 minutes, just to finally speak to someone who told me that the computer system was down so account details couldn't be accessed.

 

So, the Payment Charge was for a call-out, though £103.50 seems rather steep to me as it wasn't an emergency call-out and it wasn't made clear that it would be charged for! Also, BT has not been forthcoming with the engineers report, or is that another issue? I have told her about the £40 discrepancy so she will have to check that that particular cheque did go through her account.

 

Any advice now please!

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I've checked on the BT website and a Call-Out Charge is £99 + VAT, so I'm not sure where they get the £103.50 + VAT figure from!!

 

I phoned BT for my daughter yesterday, but the girl at the other end refused to give me any information under the Data Protection Act. She asked me to get my daughter to phone when it could then be discussed. I told her that my daughter has written and emailed, and indeed telephoned on a number of occasions, but her request for an engineers report has not been complied with. She tells me she cannot give me any information on the account under the DPA, yeah yeah! I said I don't want any information could BT just make sure that my daughter's request for a report is met! She said she'll make a note on the account.

 

I said, while you're making a note could you also make a note that Moorcroft are chasing for £181.99, which includes an outstanding amount of £40 on top of the Payment Charge. "I'm afraid I can't give you any information about the account under the DPA" Aaaahh, "I'M NOT ASKING YOU TO GIVE ME ANY INFORMATION, JUST MAKE A NOTE!!"

 

So, another query has now arisen, if this Payment Charge was indeed for a call-out then why isn't that made clear on the invoice?? And why, agina, is it £103.50 and not £99??

 

I've passed the information on to my daughter, and we shall be preparing all the paperwork to send to OTELO.

 

BT haven't sorted this mess out since first contact last Summer and haven't bothered to write to her. They still haven't called the mob off either. They have made a charge on her account and don't even have the decency to back it up with proof of what it is for - until she can see that the payment is justified she isn't paying!

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