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Welcome - PPI added to my loan


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Hello Everyone,This is my first post, I have been reading though this site for a while with great interest, it is a brilliant help, especially at a time of need!

 

I have taken out a £3500 loan with Welcome in Nov'07. I had signed the agreement form on the 14th Nov, and had specifically asked for no PPI, as I pay into different insurance schemes when I started work, and I knew that If I was ever in need, I could go to family and look for help.

 

So far in the term I missed a few payment, but up to Jan of this year had made 9 x £259 payments. I noticed in an old letter that every time I paid, I had £201 added to my account!

 

I cancelled my direct debit from my bank, I know now I shouldn't have done this, but I was disgusted at the above.

 

I was in contact with my local office with regards to altering the payments/ paying off the loan, but was told that before I could renegotiate I had to pay an instalment of the loan today, or else it would be passed over for recovery that evening, and I would then be liable for the full amount with no negotiation available!.I was unable to pay £259 then and there, I have no credit cards/ over draughts etc, and it was over a week away from my monthly pay date.

 

I stupidly didn't phone them back or pursue this. For the next few months I started saving up my money to pay it off in one go, and that would be it done.

 

In April (22nd at 17:30), I was taking my dog for a walk, I had just walked out my gate and onto the road, when a car with two men pulled in, the driver asked me "if I knew where number xx was?" (my house number). Normally I would be quite helpful, but I was very suspicious of who these guys were. I didn't imagine then to be anything Welcome related at all. I simply said I dunno, at which point he pointed out that the house behind me was xx, he then asked if I know Mr (my name), I said no, I'm just out walking my dog, and I walked on down the road. I was very weary of two men asking questions after showing no ID or saying what it concerned etc . . . it is N. Ireland after all!

 

Further down the road the car pulled in front of me (sliding to a stop up on the grass verge), the driver jumped out, and said my name, I replied that I was not Mr X. He stated that he has “positive verification” from a man across the road. He said he represented a company in Belfast, that I owed money to. I said I do not owe money to a company in Belfast. I questioned what company he worked for, and he said a legal company in Belfast. I don’t recall the specific name, but it was Legal Something Management.

 

He produced a piece of paper from the car, in the form of an a4 screen dump from a database, which had my details, outstanding balance, monthly payments etc all on it. He asked how I was going to pay the loan, and that he was seeking to apply and get an “attachment of earnings order” to get the money out of my wages.I was still suspicious about who he was, and asked does he work for Welcome, which he replied no. He had said that he would offer me a rewrite on the loan, and phoned an associate, who informed him that payment of £100 over 120 months would be acceptable. It was suggested to come to his office and sign, and just bring my payslips.

 

I wanted to get an address for his office to find out who he was. I asked the address and he gave me an address in nearby Derry (the same address as the Welcome branch). I again asked if he worked for Welcome, and if he had a business card, the answer was no to both questions. His general attitude and behaviour was not what I would have expected from a representative of a large company.

 

I arranged to call in at my lunchtime the next day.

 

I searched these forums the next morning, and found out a lot of info on the rewrites etc, and realised that this was a new loan, which had not been explained at all.I called in as arranged, I asked straight out asked for his business card again, which he said he doesn’t use them. I asked if this arrangement/ rewrite was a new loan, and after a lot of tripe as a response I asked again, and informed him that it was infact a new loan. He said not to worry as he has done loads of them today alone, and pointed to the pile of folders on his desk.I said that I instead wished to settle my account and asked for a figure of what it would cost to settle my account. He looked up the screen, and I was amazed to see my account had a balance of £6900. I could see PPI was on there, which I not asked for. He said I had signed for it, and he could bring up the agreement.He offered that I could bring in £6900, which eventually went down to £5000. I asked for this in writing, on company headed paper. He said he would put this in writing once I’d paid.

 

The mood soon turned sour with the agent telling me that I wasn’t really going to pay it off, and how he “deals with people like me everyday”, and he repeatedly asked if I was going to pay an instalment today or he will pursue the “attachment of earnings order”.

 

He asked where would I get £5000, I said that I could raise the money but it would take at least a fortnight, and I requested if they could send me out a statement so I could review the charges on my account, and then I could make an offer. He said I had until the 27th to pay the full amount. I repeatidly told him I couldn’t by the 27th, as some members of my family were on holiday, and would not be back until after that date (which is all the truth).He further demanded payments etc, and then withdrew the £5000 offer, and said he would apply for the money to be taken from my wages.

 

I left the meeting.I phoned the customer services centre to make a complaint. The agent at the call centre took my account number, and said that my account was in the hands of another department, and that he would pass me through to them, I explained that my complaint was directly in relation with them, but he still insisted on transferring me to them. I hung up the call as it was being transferred. I shorty afterwards received a threatening voicemail (I can’t answer in work) where the same agent said he had “complete control of my account” and that I should only contact him. This did make me think I was trapped.

 

I also at this time received a letter from Welcome, which I have unopened, which my account number and customer number are clearly visible (I will add a pic later). I sent that back with the letter of complaint.

 

I will attach the complaint letters in the next post . . .

 

I had sent a standard PPI letter also, on the grounds that I didn’t require this, and had adequate work insurance, I have received a questionnaire as a reply, which I have still have to fill out (I get the feeling this is a trap!). I have typed up the questions below, I will attach to another post.

 

After the 27th had passed he phoned through to the reception at my work, and got passed through to me, he demanded payment. He stated that he had been in contact with my head office regards the attachment of earnings order, and had faxed “all my details through”. I have contacted salaries in my head office, and they could trace no record of my details, or requests for my information, but it is a big (FSA regulated) company I work for.

 

I received various replies since, and my complaint was passed to the Belfast office (where he is based). They wrote to say MY offer of £5000 seem acceptable to them (I’m sure it would be)

 

I have not got any answers, and not the agent has started calling, again he called my work on Thursday!I wanted to pay the loan off, now I will use the money to fight them!

 

I found my original agreement last night, signed by me & the sales person on the 14th, to see the sales agents signature has been partly scored out and another signature added below and dated the 19th. The PPI & PAP boxes are ticked, but these definitely weren’t when I signed. I am totally adamant of this. On signing I asked the total repayable amount, and was pointed to the £5000 and something figure at the top of the sheet, nowhere does detail a total final including interest figure.

 

I’m sorry for the long winded story with bad grammar, I just don’t want to be railroaded into making another bad loan etc. I have no other loans or debt, and feel I can pay this off outright with no great hassle. I have asked time & time again for a final settlement figure in writing!

 

Many thanks for any advice or suggestions!

Edited by UnWelcomeCharges
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01/05/2009

 

 

 

Welcome Finance Services

Complaints Department

 

Bishopshouse,

Abbeyfield Road,

Lendon,

Nottingham.

NG7 2SZ

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I am a customer of yours since November 2007 (Customer Number: x) I am writing to you in regard to my personal loan account (Acc No: x),as you will know, I am currently in arrears on this account.

 

Earlier this year I unsuccessfully tried to decrease my monthly payments due to a change in my personal circumstances. I fully intend to pay my account with Welcome Finance, and wish to bring this matter to a conclusion. I then intend to end all dealings with Welcome, as a result of recent issues.

 

I have requested with my local branch (at the meeting mentioned later in the letter) a statement of my account, detailing the payments I have made, and the interest/charges applied to it. He refused to provide me with this, unless I pay £259.91 payment, which I believe is breaching my consumer rights. I am not refusing to pay, I simply want to know what I am paying, and seek clarification on some of the details of my loan. As a customer of yours, are you able to provide me with a statement of my account?

 

I have been in contact with my bank also to verify the exact number of £259.91 payments I have made, and I have 9 payments on file, at £259.91, totaling £2339.91. I am mystified how I still have a balance of nearly £7000. Can this be explained to me please?

 

I am not permitted to answer telephone calls at work, if you contact me and do not get an answer to my mobile, please leave a message and I will return your call. This request should be recorded on my file, as I clearly stated this to branch advisors before. For this reason I do not know why I am being charged for numerous calls, as I have no messages left. I am led to believe that I may also have been charged for numerous home visits, which I am dubious about.

 

I would like a full list of all telephone calls, outside calls and home visits, and verification that these have actually taken place.

 

I am dismayed at that on the one home visit that did take place (22nd April 2009), your representative showed my information without proper security checks. I was walking along the side of the road, walking my dog when two men, unknown to me at the time, pull up along the side of the road in a silver car, and asked me did I know Mr X. The driver then persisted to ask questions without showing me any form of ID, or introducing himself. The driver then asked if I was Mr X, to which I answered that I was not. This may sound strange, but with the present security climate in Northern Ireland with threats from dissident groups at the highest level for a decade, my wariness is understandable.

 

At this point I then walked off. Some 10 minutes later the car pulled up in the road in front of me. Your representative informed me he had received a “positive verification” from a 3rd party, namely a man standing up the road. At this point the driver then produced a single a4 page from his car. The page was a screen dump of a database viewed in Internet Explorer, I was shown all of my details, including loan amount, repayment amounts, and balance as well as all other account details. This looked to me like a printout from your central database. This was shown to me without him asking me for any form of ID! Considering the appropriate security measures have always been carried out when I have phoned, I feel greatly let down that these do not apply in person. I believe that my rights have been breached by your representative’s disclosures. The driver then said his name was “Stephen Reid” and that he worked for a company which has an office in Belfast, this description changed to an office in Derry. At no time did he say he worked for Welcome. When I asked the location of his “Derry Office” he said it was in the same building as Welcome. I still do not know who the passenger of the vehicle was, or the man that provided the “positive verification”. I would like to know who the passenger was, as he obviously has come in contact with my personal details also.

 

 

 

 

 

I would respectively request more stringent controls on my details, as I do not wish them to be disclosed to anyone without adhering to proper procedures. Can I request some information on what procedures you use surrounding the holding and passing on of my information, and if possible what government/FSA guidelines you strive to adhere to? I also request that any personal details of mine be removed from my local branch, as they are not adhering to standard data protection protocols.

 

I attended a meeting with this representative on Friday 24th April at 13:30, where we discussed the aforementioned agreement of £100/month. This meeting did not come to a successful conclusion, and I am left in no better position as how to settle this in a matter that will be satisfactory to you, and also fair to me, in relation to charges applied.

 

I had given consideration to entering the proposed agreement of paying £100 per month, until I carried out an internet search, in which I discovered that your “re-write” was a new loan in itself! I would therefore as a result have to pay for a further 120 months, amounting to a total of £12,000! I find this arrangement to be scandalous considering my original loan was only for £3,500.

At the meeting I was quoted figures of £6100, £6800 and £5000 to settle my account, all in the space of 30 minutes, by the same person. The £5000 offer was then withdrawn. At such point I requested a breakdown of the settlement figures. I was informed that this was not possible, despite repeated requests. I want to know exactly what charges have been applied to my account. At this meeting I was told to make a payment by the 29th April, which I repeatedly said I will not, as I wish to get a finalized settlement, and pay the loan off completely. At this meeting your representative commented on how he deals “with people like me everyday”. Quite honestly I was appalled by his behavior, I am after all a customer of the company.

 

I will soon be in the position, with the help of friends and family to settle the full amount owed on my account. I would like to request an exact amount that you are willing to settle my account for, I request this in writing, on headed paper, as I do not believe a verbal agreement is satisfactory, especially when I am not fully aware of who the person that is dealing with my case works for, as they cannot provide me with a company business card as requested.

 

I would be more than happy to discuss my concerns or balance amount with someone from the head office. The local representative informed me that I cannot contact Welcome direct as he now has “control of my account”. I no longer wish to deal directly with my local branch, as I am not getting clear answers, meanwhile the balance on my account is being increased. I hope that you respect my right to have my account handled in a professional way, and to deal with yourselves from now on.

 

I must also stress that adding more charges to my account in the interim is beneficial to neither me nor Welcome, as it will only delay the settling of the balance.

I have contacted Welcome by telephone (0845 4564877) on the 23rd April to attempt to resolve these issues, but I was sheparded back to the same local representative, even though I described the situation. I have contacted the 0845 6187804 number on the 29th April at 16:00 to again try to get some resolve, but your “systems were down”.

 

I called your 0845 6187804 number again on the 30th April at 16:00 and could not get any answer. I finally rang your contact centre and spoke to a very helpful lady called Anu. She tried repeatedly to contact the complaints department without success. Anu noted my problem and I believe has passed my details to complaints. I called back at 16:40 to confirm this. During this time I received a call to work from Stephen Reid to inform me that he was faxing my file off to Skipton Building Society, for them to take money from my wages. I again repeated my requests for information, and stated that I want to settle my account, to which he stated that I had no intention of doing so, and that he had “caught” me. This is quite simply unacceptable behavior of a representative of a large nationwide loan company.

 

I have enclosed an unopened letter that I have received on the 30th April, my Account Number and Customer Number can quite clearly be seen in the address window. I have photographed this also for evidence. This clearly constitutes another major let down of the security of my account and my personal data. I wish to receive a full explanation of how this has happened, and what steps you are taking to make sure it is not repeated?

 

I have enclosed a letter for your complaints department also, regarding the PPI plan, which I believe I have been mis-sold. I clearly stated to the advisor, on application of the loan that I wanted no sort of payment protection whatsoever, I am absolutely sure of this.

 

Can you please reply, in writing and provide me with the information requested, I hope that you give this your up most attention.

 

Many Thanks,

Edited by UnWelcomeCharges
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08/06/2009

Welcome Finance Services

Complaints Department

 

Bishopshouse,

Abbeyfield Road,

Lendon,

Nottingham.

NG7 2SZ

To Whom It May Concern:

Further to my later dated 27th April (please find enclosed), I am requesting again a detailed statement of my account and the charges applied to it. (Customer Number: x Acc No: x).

I have enclosed the £10 charge needed for the statement.

Your Belfast Office has been in contact with me to discuss the complaints from the previous letter, and seek a settlement of the account. I have been advised that my offer of £5000 seems acceptable. Can I be clear, that it was not me that initially made an offer of £5000, it formed one of my queries of how this figure was produced?

I have received the PPI form, and I will return this to you ASAP.

I have not received any written confirmation regards the breaches of security on my account, and a number of the other concerns raised. I am somewhat amazed to have received a answering machine message on my mobile from Stephen Reid on Saturday 6th June, regards my account, as a large number of my concerns centered around his treatment of my account and personal details.

I would like my concerns to be taken seriously and addressed immediately, and action to be taken, so I can get this matter settled. Can all correspondence please be written, as I require proof of all communications with Welcome Finance.

Many Thanks,

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No I don't have one, and the agreement form that I found last night was in it's original envelope. It just had a cover letter, agreement, and also the T&C's.I know I should probably do a SAC now, is there anything else that I should be doing?Does it look suspicious with the two signatures?

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Ignore the branch completely and complain to the Compliance dept. Advise them that you are being threatened with all this; give them the person's name and demand that they sort this or you will report them for harrassment.

 

Their address is:

 

Freepost RLUU-ERRT-XKLR

Welcome Finance

Compliance Services

Mere Way

Ruddington

Nottingham

NG11 6NZ

 

I don't have time to read all your posts yet. Have you made a claim for PPI?

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I had reported my problems with this staff member to the complaints, I will try the compliance also.I have put in the initial PPI letter, and I have to fill in the questionairre above, it was only last night though that I found I had an original aggreement. This should help with the PPI claim.I currently am ignoring the local ones, and also the Belfast branch, as this character seems to work in both.Should I do the SAR as well?

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I've sent a CCA & SAR to Welcome. Also filled in the PPI Questionaire, and issued them with a Harassement notice. The compliance dept will love recieving all these, in seperate envelopes all recorded mail etc . . .I also SAR'd Direct Group Ltd to see if they have any details on a PPI that I never wanted or signed for!It will be a waiting game now I suppose.

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Direct Group have came back to me with a letter saying I have PPI witrh Aviva, and said they are passing on my details/querie to them. . . .So I've SAR'd Aviva now as well, and replied to Direct Group to say they should still comply with the full SAR (in case they were trying to pass it off).Basically when I took out my loan I said I did not want PPI, and did not tick the box for it, but somehow I still ended up with it! I only found out a few months ago.

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this gets better and better

 

direct group have told you the ppi policy is with aviva (norwich union)

 

direct group by there own addmission deal with all matters ref welcome and insurance.

thats addmin the policy

so they are now passing the buck back to norwich union, sorry aviva

 

rats and sinking ship come to mind

 

 

not unexpected as they have been busted, they are now on borrowed time

 

thats welcome/avia/direct group

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I sent Direct Group a nice leeter tahnaking their prompt response and for passing my details onto Aviva for them to respond. I then stated their duty to still comply with the SAR.I got the feeling it was a pass the buck scenario . . . Welcome have been quiet, no response from them, and they must have lost my mobile and work number, they haven't phoned yet, they must have actually understood the harrassment letter, the next question is for how long?I was wondering where I'd heard the Aviva name from, until I seen an add on the TV last night, and realised it's NU.

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I recieved a letter from Aviva saying my "compaint" was being dealt with . . .. I only asked for the relevant info regards an account which may have been taken out in my name.No word regarding the SAR from Welcome or Aviva, and no CCA from Welcome.Welcome have sent a very nice letter yesterday thanking me for my letter regarding the frequency and nature of calls (harrassement letter), and informed me that I will no longer recieve calls, and will have no correspondance from Mr x, (the individual that had been hassling me)I have been asked how I propose repay . . . I think i'll wait to see the CCA and also see what amount of PPI and extra charges have been added, then see what is actually owed on the account

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Interesting thread

 

What Welcome need to remember is an attachment of earnings can only be done with a court order - I assume you have not been taken to court by them - so you should add harrassment to your complaint and they fact that they are trying to bully and scare you with their flat out lies.

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At the start I wasn't sure whether it could, but the logical thing would be that no one should be able to take money without my consent or a court order. I double checked with my payments department and they confirmed.It was the Welcome representative's favourite line as far as I see, when I asked for an amount to settle my loan, he asked "if I was refusing to pay?" . .. a strange breed of people!To clarify also, I have not been taken to court by them.I will state again the harrassment in my next letter. People shouldn't be harrassed for the sake of a staff members commission.

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