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mackenzie hall letter FINAL OFFER/VODAFONE DEBT.


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Hi all, I'm hoping i can get some help here.

I received a letter from makenzie hall today regarding a debt to vodaphone...it lists "pursuars" as Lowell portfolio 1 ltd????

They are offering a full and final payment of £218.81 on an outstanding amount of £437.62.

My initial reaction was FANTASTIC i can clear my debt and help my credit rating..(i was recently refused an upgrade on my phone due to poor credit)..But will this happen if i pay it??....and will they then leave me alone once i've paid???...or is it a ploy to make me contact them????....

HELP needed....thanks all...:)

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Are you agreed that you owe this debt ?

Was there any communications with Vodafone ?

Maybe you would like the chance to raise this with the Vodafone webteam who are registerd on the CAG and look into complaints ?

I will move your thread there.

 

Meantime,can you give us some more details about the account ?

 

1.What is the alleged debt for ?

 

2.When did this happen ?

 

3.Did you try to resolve it with VF ?

 

4.Have you got paperwork to show how the total is made up ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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hiya

I was aware that i owed money to vodaphone but did not think it was for anywhere near this amount..

I contacted vodaphone when i knew i was struggling to pay my bills but was given no help.

At the time (approximately may 2008) i had to give up my job to become the registered carer for my nan who had a fall and was in poor health.

I have received no paperwork to show how the total amount is reached.

I have now returned to work following my nans death a year ago. And have been getting calls at work from some solicitors..(can't recall name)..who have been telling work colleagues they are looking for me in respect of an outstanding debt...this debt is the only one i have. I have checked with equifax...

My credit rating is poor due to the fact i don't and never have had any other credit agreement!!!8)

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Ok I will alert the VF webteam to this-I am sure they will help out-at least to see whats happened etc.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Thank you...I am more than prepared to pay the outstanding amount as i am in a position to do so now...But i don't really want to pay more than i should. And i really would like to improve my credit rating again.

I must admit...I have been guilty of burying my head in the sand for a while. But with all going on with my nan it was just an extra worry. Again many thanks..:cool:

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I'd be interested to hear from Lee on this too.

 

(1) Do VF sell their debts on to lowell, or are they (Lowell) collecting as a DCA to remit to VF?

 

(2) If VF are paid by Lowell (having sold the debt) and VF have not defaulted the customer when selling the debt, as the consumer has never explicitly given anyone other than VF to modify their Credit File, is the DCA advised that they cannot update the consumers credit file?

 

(3) On the basis that VF no longer have an interest in the debt (as ownership of it has been disposed of), if a debtor agrees to repay VF in full, rather than a DCA, will this offer be dismissed?

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Tray can you say what it says on your credit file ?

What is the amount shown there are defaulted ?

Who is updating there ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Raymond-Guidance from the ICO says that credit reporting/updating following debt sale can be carried out be the OC or the assignee.

It says that this should be clearly agreed though-and that the debtor should be informed as to who will be doing this.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Thank you...I am more than prepared to pay the outstanding amount as i am in a position to do so now...But i don't really want to pay more than i should. And i really would like to improve my credit rating again.

I must admit...I have been guilty of burying my head in the sand for a while. But with all going on with my nan it was just an extra worry. Again many thanks..:cool:

 

Hi tray65,

 

It's good to see that Martin has been helping you out here and as he says as you're unsure of the amount quoted we'd be happy to take a look at this to make sure that everything is in order.

 

To get in touch with the Web Relations Team you'll just need to follow the steps in our pinned thread here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/telecoms-mobile-fixed-internet/213340-vodafone-webteam-customers-problems.html.

 

Once you've sent it just update the thread with the reference you'll get when you receive our automated reply and whilst I'm not in the office I will keep an eye out for your update so I can raise this with my colleagues and ensure we can get back to you as soon as possible once we've taken a look at your account.

 

Thanks and I look forward to hearing you again shortly.

 

I'd be interested to hear from Lee on this too.

 

(1) Do VF sell their debts on to lowell, or are they (Lowell) collecting as a DCA to remit to VF?

 

(2) If VF are paid by Lowell (having sold the debt) and VF have not defaulted the customer when selling the debt, as the consumer has never explicitly given anyone other than VF to modify their Credit File, is the DCA advised that they cannot update the consumers credit file?

 

(3) On the basis that VF no longer have an interest in the debt (as ownership of it has been disposed of), if a debtor agrees to repay VF in full, rather than a DCA, will this offer be dismissed?

 

Hi buzby,

 

As you may've seen over the years we have used quite a few different DCA's some of which will be collecting owed balances on our behalf rather than having bought the account.

 

However, some accounts do get passed back to us as unpaid and on a periodic basis we do sell these accounts on to agencies such as The Lowell Group.

 

In all cases of DCA referrals we will have registered a default against the customer's credit file and as part of the debt sale process all information which we have previously recorded is amended to reflect a default having been recorded by the DCA who has bought the account from us.

 

Although I'm not really sure of the answer to your third question I will pick this back up when I return to the office on 2nd August and will come back to you as soon as possible.

 

Hope this clears your first two queries up for you.

 

Lee

 

Web Relations Team

 

Vodafone UK

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Thanks Lee. Martin, ICO's 'guidance' is just that. Like the Highway Code, has no legal standing. The point being made is that debtors who will have given their permission for their financial affairs to be disclosed to third parties, are doing so to facilitate the processing of their application. It still is possible for consumers to strike out this clause (or indeed any clause) they disagree with, as there remains the possibility the the firm will be happy to accept the customer on those terms (or perhaps not even notice the amendment).

 

Where it gets sneaky, is when networks have conspired with their debt-purchasing clients, by redrafting the 'disclosure' paragraph to include not just themselves, but any third party collection agency of their choosing. When challenged on this ability to pass on customer data to anyone at anytime (for the purposes of debt collection or recovery), this has successfully been challenged on a number of cases (that I'm aware of) as the term was too wide-ranging and effectively left the back door swinging open on the uses and misuse of personal data. Further, there was an even greater breach, in that there were no inhibitions on what these firms could do with the data obtained in this way. Some were selling it on (for money) to firms compiling lists of defaulters to easy-credit and loan companies.

 

Of course, where there is no express permission given for third parties to share, it is a slam-dunk breach and fully actionable. Bear in mind this has nothing to do with the provision of credit reference material to CRA's, and as such can do similar or greater harm to the data subject.

 

If mobile phone contracts were viewed correctly, in that the end result from the consumers viewpoint is a shiny mobile and a contract of a set length (erroneous on both counts) to what they actually are, a never-ending (unless explicitly cancelled after the minimum term) binding agreement for an easily stolen, misused fashion statement, that permits unspecified companies to say what they like and wreck your social standing through perhaps no direct fault of your own? Agreeing to such a 'deal' should be outlawed, as is is weighed so heavily against the consumer as to be a no brainer for anyone who looks as the process dispationally.

 

What you have to ask yourself is this. Why, for the sake of an shiny inducement worth perhaps £50-£150 are people prepared to risk everything for a SIM card (which is what the contract is actually FOR) when they could avid the [problem] and remain in control themselves?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi buzby,

 

Further to my reply last week I can confirm that should payments be sent to us we would accept them and take care of DCA side of things to either update them with the reduced balance to reflect the payment received or close the account should the payment settle the balance owed together with arranging for the customer's credit file to be marked as satisfied.

 

I would stress however that in the event of an account being sold to a DCA payment should ideally be made to them as the account is technically owned by them following the debt sale process.

 

It's also worth pointing out that should any sold accounts have unresolved disputes then we do have an agreement with the DCAs whereby we would be able to investigate these in the event that the customer contacts us and take whatever action was necessary to conclude the dispute.

 

Kind regards and I hope that this clears things up for you.

 

Lee

 

Web Relations Team

 

Vodafone UK

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Thanks for the appraisal Raymond,as always your contribution puts an alternative viewpoint which many may beg to differ on.

Anyway,The ICO technical guidance publications may not be legally binding as per se but Data controllers are expected to make use of them and follow.

There is provisions for remit through the Courts-and before you say it....yes a claimant may be exposed to costs,but they could rely on ICO technical guidance publications in their submissions could they not ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Oops almost forgot

 

"What you have to ask yourself is this. Why, for the sake of an shiny inducement worth perhaps £50-£150 are people prepared to risk everything for a SIM card (which is what the contract is actually FOR) when they could avid the [problem] and remain in control themselves?"

 

 

People take out contracts for shiny inducements every day.Why the focus on phones ?

If it was a [problem] then it would be outlawed.

Maybe you know something we dont ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Thanks Lee. I realise you feel this is a reasonable stance, but from the consumer's point of view it is not.

 

Imagine, a customer who is fed up with their treatment, bad service, customer services, call quality or reception problems, and decides to cut their losses and pass their account to a third party to arrange cancellation, or deal with all future communications.

 

Would VF (or indeed any other network) agree to this? I seriously doubt it. They'd either say that as they are 'not the account holder' they will not deal with third parties or disclose any further information. It is for this reason (lack of a level playing field), that if a network wishes to make money from their former customer by cutting their losses and selling the debt on, I would have no moral duty to deal with them - if the network didn't wish to deal with me, then goodbye and goodnight. You'll have wrecked by credit file, so what is the incentive to pay?

 

Absolutely none! If I paid, the only difference is the default changing from 'owed' to 'satisfied/settled'. Who does this benefit? Certainly not the account holder! Add to this that the DCA will, in most cases only be using its graded harassment letters to weaken the customer's resolve is hardly a satisfactory solution.

 

As for the threat of being taken to court, not many are - I don't have the time to trawl the UK court records, but of the main DCAs chasing mobile customers, I've only found 3 listed since the beginning of the year in Scotland (and no idea if this was a mobile debt originally) so I'd suggest this is not something a consumer needs to worry needlessly over.

 

Indeed, I heard that the most useful defence is that as 'society' treats your Credit File as your personal 'Report Card', if a network lists you as a defaulter, sells the debt to a DCA and they take you to court - an ideal defence to the judge is that your punishment (the Default, appearing like a Court CCJ) was your punishment. A DCA attempting to obtain a formal CCJ for the same debt would be unfair and contrary to natural justice. Their credit file showing two defaults, a CCJ and a Mobile default. Now that's what I call unfair, and from what I've heard, the courts do too.

 

If a network has decided to operate a policy where it divests itself of a customer for non payment, then at the same time the customer has no obligation to pay anyone else simply because the network says so. Recalling my original point - networks don't allow third parties to interfere with their contracts... why should the customer?

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People take out contracts for shiny inducements every day.Why the focus on phones ?

If it was a [problem] then it would be outlawed.

Maybe you know something we dont ?

 

Who's "we"? The term '[problem]' is used very loosely in these forums - it does not mean anything illegal is taking place, simply that the consumer is shielded from the real issues for the sake of obtaing a handset, and NOT advised that their contract is only for the SIM, not the inducement.

 

Why focus on phones? Because everyone over 18 is a potential customer! Other similar inducements are limited in their appeal, (householders, for double glazing and home improvement projects & married couples with jobs and a family for holiday clubs and timeshares). For a phone contract you only need to be breathing, have a credit or debit card and pass a CRA check.

 

Pretty obvious really.

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It's only a '[problem]' if you don't go into the contract with your eyes open. Much of the trouble arises when people walk into these contracts without researching what they want and following some basic steps for their own security.

 

Buy online or over the phone and make sure you have coverage at the places where you spend most of your time within the first week of having the handset. You can DSR the contract if it's not suitable for you!

 

Read independent reviews on the handset you're thinking of.

 

Balance the contract cost and usage allowance against your typical usage and see if you would be better on PAYG.

 

Pin lock your sim!

 

Use the security measures on your handset

 

If you don't call international numbers, get them barred from your contract

 

Turn off all mobile data and roaming when you go on holiday abroad.

 

Keep your eye on your usage.

 

If you are not going to do all of the above steps, Or if you are not finacially stable, and if your credit file matters to you, PAYG is the best bet!

If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

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I think in the past 4 years we've all seen that consumers really haven't a clue what they're getting into. It is a world where they have a '18 month contract' and then the stop paying and the end, move and discover their default later. A mistake, certainly - but worthy of making them a pariah? Of course not. Are they told their financial dealings will reported to a DCA up front? I don't think so - they're the folk that don't read their T&Cs, and may routinely sign anything that is placed before them.

 

Sure, they get the deal they deserve, but we've got lots of legislation protection that is neatly avoided. Where is the ICO 'opt out' of sharing data? The whole situation is detrimental to the consumer, with no plus points, UNLESS you're job is guaranteed, and you use all your allocated inclusive bundles EVERY month.

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Everyone refers to it as a "contract phone". Everyone knows (or should know) that the idea of a contract is to read it.

 

Yes I feel for the people that had an 18 month contract and they paid what they thought was the last payment, but they should have checked aswell.

 

The mobile suppliers do capitalize on having a massive long contract and the nasty stuff is buried in their I agree. I also agree that the ICO's opt out of sharing data should apply to this, but it's the same as applying for an overdraft... you'd be refused if you don't agree to share your data.

 

I've worked in quite a few call centers for telecoms companies, and I have to say I've never found a call center that discourages mis-selling as much as it rewards it. Bonuses and prizes for the biggest bonus / most sales are very common, and a verbal warning if found (not that anyone is looking for it!) mis-selling on 3 occasions are the penalty in most cases.

 

It is as always buyer beware! But you're right, they need tougher regulations against mis-selling and omitting relevent parts of the contract!

If in doubt, contact a qualified insured legal professional (or my wife... she knows EVERYTHING)

 

Or send a cheque or postal order payable to Reclaim the Right Ltd.

to

923 Finchley Road London NW11 7PE

 

 

Click here if you fancy an email address that shows you mean business! (only £6 and that will really help CAG)

 

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As for them not accepting a customer who opts out - that's easily fixed. The ICO makes it a condition that any opt out cannot lead to a refusal. You are not denying the right of the network to check on you (that would be silly), but their right to pass on your dealings with them - which in no way can benefit you. DSR brought in requirements that most retailers wished they hadn't, and many choose to ignore until the point is pressed home - so there are precedents.

 

The disclosure requirement by the networks is because of the CRA's. It is THEIR insistence that the data be provided that has resulted in the current situation.

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It is as always buyer beware! But you're right, they need tougher regulations against mis-selling and omitting relevent parts of the contract!

 

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and GC23 already provide quite strong statutory protection, more regulation isn't needed in my view effective enforcement action is.

 

Ref the ICO's Guidance Notes on Defaults, arguably they do not apply to mobile phone contracts anyway. The foreword states:

 

"The aim of the guidance is to provide advice to credit grantors on the conditions under which information about defaults is filed with the credit reference agencies."

It then goes on to refer repeatedly to financial services, lenders, creditors, loans and bank accounts etc. The guidance is aimed at and was developed in conjunction with the financial services industry, not the service industry so its relevance to service agreements is questionable in my view.

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The fact that this advice is selective, and only relevant to CCA arrangements is the problem. It would need to be widened to include all consumer contracts - but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

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