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allsorts1

BT and Closed Account / Debt Collector

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Hi all

 

Hope someone can give some legal advice here

 

A month or so ago BT cut me off due to some admin problem, they reconnected me and didnt charge me anything, which was all fine, just annoying that it happened at all. The only issue being they had closed my original account and had to open me a new one.

 

I was sent a bill for £221 as a final account bill - i queried this and they sent me a new bill with payment date of June 28th for £176, as they "forgot" to remove the cost for the time it took for me to be without a phone.

 

I received the bill beginning of July ??

 

I contacted BT again and said as i had to pay line rental and so on in advance for my new account which obviously i wouldnt have had to but for their mistake, could i pay bill first week in August, was told yes no problem.

 

Quick update - all these calls went via BTs escalated department via OFCOM

 

Last week i received a letter from Wescott Debt Collectors chasing me for £221 - was totally shocked

 

I contacted BT who said as the account was "suddenly" now closed they could not do anything about the Debt Collectors but they would make it the correct amount.

 

I contacted OFCOM again and eventually got a call from BT escalated Dept who said they could give me till 2nd week in August but as account closed they could not remove from debt collectors. They have totally admitted that this should never have happened but dont seem willing to do everything they can to remove it from the debt collector.

 

Now i am sure this is in fact breaking terms and services and probably some laws as obviously firstly it should not be with a debt collector (who i now have to pay) and secondly they are not following correct procedure as stated on their website of

 

issue bill

issue reminder

debt collector

 

I am not concerned about paying the bill, just the fact its still with a debt collector even when none of this is my fault

 

I want to find out what action i can take to remove it from the debt collector as "BT have admitted" they should never have sent it to them in the first place.

 

Also sometime in the future it will probably turn up on my credit report (even though BT said it wont) as i have no faith in BT.

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Nothing, really. If BT are so incompetent they can pass the admin to anyone they like. However, as you know the account number, you can still pay the account using an old bill or PC Banking direct to BT without acknowledging the existance of the debt collector (and you don;t have to deal with them at all).

 

As for your credit report - Debt Collectors cannot touch it, and they (BT) are right in what they said - they do not report customer defaults.... yet. (Expected to do so later this year).

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Another BT nosense! Of course they can remove a non existent 'debt' from the debt collectors. BT say they cannot do this !!! but why are you bothered? DCAs are a laugh whose main object in life is to intimidate people into paying debts. They have no powers and by August 2nd there will be no money owing to BT.

 

If Westcott should contact you either a) ignore them b) refer them by letter back to BT. Do not speak with them on the phone.

 

If they phone you do not confirm their secuirity questions. If they persist put the phone down - posing as a DCA is a favourite method for security thieves to gain information from their victims.

 

If you agree that the bill is now correct pay BT as arranged in August.

 

Make sure that in about three months you check that BT or Westcott have not put a default marker on their files at the CRA's. Despite what Buszby says DCAs do in fact put defaults on CRA files and even though this is the result of gross incompetence and error it is annoying and occasionally difficult to remedy.

 

If you are sufficiently cross complain again to OFCOM and also to the OFT.

 

Ask for compensation.

 

Stop using the telephone when you communicate with BT! -writing only. Telepone agreements have a habit of disappearing and then of being denied.

 

This kind of mess is the sort of thing that the head of BT would be interested in - so write to him personally.

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Similar situation, after 2 years and debt collection agency onto me twice over the same disputed amount with Post Office Homephones, otelo rules in my favour and says £289 has been credited to my account.

Next bill paid as normal and well within time only to find phone use is 'restricted' by their Revenue Management dept as their system does not recognise the credit on the account! restriction removal may take 24hrs,

Asked them to put me through to their customer service dept but as before during the past 2 years they never reply. Any ideas where I stand on this now as after phoning otelo, they dont want to know as original complaint now closed.

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Move to a different supplier?

 

This is simply inometene, and fully allowable. You can seek to bring matters to a head by taking them to the small claims court (and get some financial compensation for it) u often it is best to cut your losses and go elsewhere.

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Thanks for the advice, I have only stayed with them as I dont pay anything by direct debit payments being abit of a dinosour and on low income.

If I thought there was now remedy through the small claim court, I would consider this just to give them a taste of the hassle they have given me over the past 2 years. I would not do this for any fianancial gain as if there was any gain it would be split between this site and Brinsley Animal Rescue Centre.

Not good to feel so revengeful but this is how these companies make you feel.

It is at least good to be able to share what is happening on a site like this.

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You're certainly not being a dinosaur by not agreeing to a Direct Debit. If you see all the complaints on here from people who have had their financial affairs ruined by incompetent misuse of the mandate, you at least are in control of your finances!

 

Retaliation is sweet - it is a sad fact that consumers are very much put upon by the expectations of firms... it makes you wonder who is 'king' here? In truth, it is probably the firm.

 

In going to court, nothing is assured - BUT if your treatment has been apalling, and a judge agrees, you'll succeed!

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Yes in my opinion the treatment was/is appalling but I dont think I have anything to now claim for as the call barring is now reinstated.

Consumer direct said 2 yars ago to either pay the money they were claiming I owed them and then go to court or go through otelo as I would not have to pay up front.

There was also a separate issue of mis-selling. As I have accepted the findings of otelo who took approx a year to reach a full decision and also the credit which Post Office Phones say was applied to the account 19th Feb 10 but which their revenue management team say their system does/did not recognize.

They also said that the last bill (normal quarterly) which says please pay by April 24th which was paid on Tues 20th by debit card at a post office branch did not reach them in time to stop them putting the call barring onto operation.

So with my very limited knowledge having never made a claim or been to court in my life, there is nothing now to claim against other than poor service which seems normal in todays society.

I have read on this site about writing to the OFT as all written complaints have to be investigated, is this the best option or just a waste of time as apart from being 'told off' for poor service, nothing happens.

Thanks again.

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By all means write, but only if you have the time to spare. You'll get a patronising reply and nothing much else to resolve the issue diown the line. OFT can certainly see your angst and notice that there is a concern.... but they cannot really do anything more useful. Firms are allowed to give crappy service..... :)

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