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A couple of years ago I bought a car on finance, arranged through a company called First Response Finance. They charge a hefty rate of interest, but in view of my poor credit rating, they were just about my only option at the time.

 

I have paid regularly by DD every month. There is 6 months left on the agrement. I got a letter from them a few weeks back telling me what a valued customer I was, and that they'd offer me lots of Brucie Bonuses if I re-financed / took out another agreement with them when this loan is paid off. All very good. But..

 

Today I have received a postcard (not a letter), which says "Thank you for purchasing your vehicle on finance through First Response Finance. You have been specially selected for this offer which entitles you to a 10% discount off your next vehicle. Please call us on.....etc etc"

 

The problem is that my wife, who was at home when the post arrived (I was at work), did not know that I had to borrow money to buy the car. She thought I bought it outright, not being aware of the full extent of my financial problems a couple of years back. Now she has started to ask me "what's all this about you borrowing money to buy the car, etc"

 

Whilst there aren't any specific details of the amount of the loan on the postcard, have First Response broken any laws or guidelines in sending this messgae to me in a form that can be read by anyone?

 

I would be grateful for some advice.

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It looks like junk mail. The computer has probably sent out thousands of these cards to new and old customers. When you took out your finance with them, did you see or tick a box stopping them from passing on your details?

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I've no idea wether I ticked such a box or not, but surely that's not the point. They haven't "passed on my details" to anyone, the point I'm trying to make is that they have made "public" the fact that I have used their services, and this has caused me embarrassment.

 

Are they allowed to communicate me in such a way, or should any such correspondence be placed inside an envelope, so that only I can read it, or share the information with others should I choose to.

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They are not supposed to send postcards with details clearly visible to all and sundry, its in the Data Protection Act.

 

Report them to your local Trading Standards and to the Information Commissioner.

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It comes under the caegory (will post the link later) of

 

"communicating in a way which could be embarrassing to the recipient"

 

Besides if the loan is nearly repaid why should you need to re-finance? Its in THEIR benefit to keep screwing you as a customer, not YOUR benefit at all.

 

I'd complain to your local Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading about this means of 'advertising' for that is basically what it comes down to.

 

Surely if after X time you have paid back with no problems your credit rating will have hopefully risen during that period so another lender would give you far better terms - or better still no lender at all.

 

Could I suggest that you put aside the money you have been paying them into a separate account to build up a little fund for a future 'treat'? I'm going to do that with a loan of £160 I've been paying (season ticket loan - I now get free travel) so I will have some money for weekends away next year.

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Somehow I think that "treats" won't be on the menu for some time chez airtomoreira, given that the Halifax have come up with what looks very much like an enforceable CCA agreement for 3.5k (seperate thread running in Debt Acton Group section):mad:

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