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Hi

I am on a bit of a roll with getting back on these boards and reading through the latest posts! What a website!

 

having read up on the forums i came across a few topics relating to Studio Catalogue.

 

My mum has an account with these and she keeps mentioning that she is paying them £100 a month

in an attempt to pay off a balance of approx £1000.

 

The trouble is with all of the charges they add

i.e. 'Service Charges' etc she is actually only paying off about £40-50 off of her actual balance per month.

 

I personally think this is unfair...valid assumption?

 

What should we do?

CCA them as a first point of call?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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Hi Shane

 

According to this thread, yes you can claim the charges back.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?71769-studio-catalogue

 

Send a SAR Request with £10,

they will send 6 years worth of data on the account including statements.

They have 40 days to respond.

 

Library - Use the templates and spreadsheet to claim the charges back.

Also claim the SAR Request fee back.

 

Depending on how you get on with the refund of Charges,

then move onto the the CCA Request with £1 postal order.

They have 12+2 days to respond.

What ever they send, scan, post removing all personal details

then the guys here can have a look at the documents.

 

Heres the library:- http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?65-legislation

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Studio, in my experience, are one of the easist to deal with. They soon backtrack when they realise customers know their rights.

 

Good luck to your mum and if you need more help with come back and shout :)

"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

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Thanks

 

I have found the SAR Template Letter and will post it off to them today or monday.

Should i send it via Recorded Delivery or is standard post sufficient?

 

I was speaking to my mum after learning she could claim back such charges

and she told me she has been paying the £100 monthly for a good few years

so she could expect a significant amount back if Studio play ball.

 

I will keep everyone up to date

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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I would advise your mum to cut right back on these payments. As long as she maintains regular payments she will be ok. They will probably kick up, but just keep paying, something, but definitely nowhere near £100.

Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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Forgot to say, if she is paying by Direct Debit cancel this ASAP and offer to set up a Standing Order instead. It has been known that at the first hint of a 'problem' extra payments have been 'mistakenly' taken, allegedly.

Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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Hi Shane

 

Send it Recorded. Keep copies, if they fail to respond within 40 days, you can contact the ICO.

Also don't forget to add interest to the Penalty Charges, thats how the spreadsheets

come into play, you've got simple or advance, go for advance.

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

If you need any further assistance, just ask.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi people

 

Well my mum got a response from Studio Catalogue in todays post.

 

They have given her a breakdown of all of the charges applied to her account from its inception up until the latest date.

 

It is rammed full of charges termed as PPP, Default & Service charges.

 

What is the next step...

shall i create a spreadsheet with all of the charges listed to go along with a letter simply

saying these charges are unlawful and should be reimbursed with interest?

 

i'd be grateful for the advise.

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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....just to add we cca'd Studio and in response to that they have sent us a one page 'Sample Credit Agreement'!!!!

 

The front of the sample agreement it asks for my mum to fill in the details, then sign and return to them - she WONT be doing this!

 

They also then, despite us not asking set out all the upcoming payments they say are due!

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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Hi people

 

Following the posts above i have gone through the details they have given

and have created a spreadsheet of all of the charges applied to the account.

 

As you can see, they are quite significant.

..can anybody help me with the interest calculations on this please?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Shane

Studio Sums Mum.xls

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Hi people

 

Please ignore the above XLS document. I had more time today so used the template available

and put all of the charges onto the sheet.

 

Can someone look over the attached document for me and check that it is correct?

 

I have only added the 8% on monthly interest charges so far..

 

.is that correct or do i need to add statutory / compound as well?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Shane

Mum Studio Calcs Rev 2.pdf

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ShaneG,

 

I've unapproved the attachment as in the top left hand corner is the name/account number/address. Please can you remove the current attachment and re-upload an edited version.

 

Cheers

 

S.

Are You as Anonymous on CAG as You Think You Are? *Link*

 

The CAG is a free help site,should you be offered help that requires payment,please report it to site team.

 

Deal with your debts:

STEP ONE - Dont Panic! | STEP TWO - Priority & Non Priority Debts | STEP THREE - Personal Budget Sheet | STEP FOUR - A SAFE bank Account | STEP FIVE - Dealing with Priority Debts | STEP SIX - Non-priority Debts | STEP SEVEN - Non-Priority Debt-Repayment Opt1 | STEP EIGHT - Non-Priority Debt-Repayment Opt2 | STEP NINE - Perils of Consolidation | STEP TEN - RE-Evaluate Frequently

 

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IMPORTANT: Please take my advice in the spirit it is given and on the basis that I am expressing my opinion, These opinions are not endorsed by CAG in anyway and are offered informally without prejudice or warranty of any kind. These opinions are solely based upon the knowledge I've gained from this fantastic site and life in general. I have NO legal training.

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Hi people

 

My mum has had a response from Studio Catalogue today.

 

They have made a good will gesture offer of £417.81 against a total claim of approx £2500.

 

They have also stated that due to the Statute of Limitation Act that we can only claim charges for the past 6 years...is this correct?

 

Another interesting note in their letter is that they say they are not considering refunds of their default charges 'in light of the recent OFT investigations'.

 

We are not satisfied with this offer so can i please ask you people to help with a response letter in the hope they re-evaluate the claim to somewhere closer to the total claim value?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Shane

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Hi

 

Just a quick update on my mum's claim after Studio's initial good will offer.

 

They are now saying that their service / default charges are not unlawful - can somebody point me in the direction of recent guide lines / case law that proves otherwise?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Shane

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Not sure of the answer to your point just raised,

but if they have not produced an enforceable Agreement,

then provided you have responded with the Account in Dispute letter,

they can say what they like about the charges, etc.

 

whilst the account is in dispute it cannot be taken to court and enforced, thus,

the decision of whether to pay any further money to this company is in your hands.

 

Further, whilst in dispute the account cannot be 'chased' or passed on to any other collection agency.

 

So make sure you have sent the Account in dispute letter.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...-is-in-dispute

Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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Hi Shane

 

Have a look at the OFT website, http://www.oft.gov.uk/

 

I think they are trying to use the Supreme courts judgement against your claim.

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Hi

 

As noted above we issued the letter to Studio essentially rejecting their good will offer

stating that we wanted the full amount refunded.

 

Well, we have received a response and they are saying that they have offered to refund the default charges

but they want us to tell them why we want them to refund the 'service charges' that have been applied to the account.

 

Is there any recent guidance on this issue that i can write back to them on?

 

Just so people know,

 

Studio apply this service charge to the balance of the account each month.

 

An example in my mums case is that she makes a payment of £100

however only £60 of that reduces the balance because they apply this 'service charge'.

..surely this is unreasonable?

 

Thanks

 

Shane

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Studio, allegedly, are one of the companies that add ludicrous charges, which, in effect, make the 'alleged' debt almost impossible to pay off.

 

Report them and any DCAs involved to TS, the OFT and the ICO.

"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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Personally, I would send the Account in Dispute letter and then just stop payments and ignore any future communications. It really is not worth the effort. They will soon get the message and go forth and multiply.

Every journey begins with a single step :):)

 

Please note: I have no qualifications in this area - my advice is learned from the wonderful members of this Forum. Thanks to you all for your help.

 

If you have found my post helpful please leave a short message by clicking the star to the left of my profile - Thank You

 

The only person entitled to your Personal Finance details is a Judge not a DCA

 

Move all banking activity to another banking group if you have a dispute - your funds can be used to offset debts within the same group.

Be careful with Banking details (card/account numbers) as these can be used to take unauthorised payments.

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Back in 2007 my (now ex) partner had some major debts with Studio (think it was around £1400)

and I can't remember whether it had been passed to a DCA or not.

 

I had a look at statements and saw she was paying £20 a month as a non-payment fee

and a few other charges and it was rapidly starting to spiral out of control.

 

I told her that I'd be willing to pay half of it if they'd remove the charges,

but a friend suggested offering them 35% as a full and final settlement.

 

I got her to ring Studio up and tell them to cancel the non-payment charges

and offer them 35% of the original debt as full and final settlement.

 

They wanted payment there and then,

but we got them to back it up first with a letter so they couldn't renege on the deal,

and a few days later we received a letter stating they'd accept 35% (just under £350)

as full and final so I paid it, and the matter was sorted.

 

Has anyone else tried this and have I just been lucky here?

 

The most stupid thing was after this had been sorted out,

a few months later they let her get more credit with them!

 

Needless to say I'd seen enough at this point and me and her split shortly after.

Edited by scouserat
typo
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Thanks for the comments everyone. I am intent on pursuing this with Studio as my mum has been falling for their daylight robbery for too long now.

 

I have completed the charges schedule and attached it to this post for you people to see how badly she has suffered w/ charges against the account over the past 6 years.

 

Thanks

 

Shane

Mum Studio Charges EDITED FOR CAB.xls

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Bloomin' 'eck! They're 'avin' a laugh!!!

"To love unconditionally is the greatest gift, laughter is a close second" .To give your time to help others after being helped here is the best way to show your appreciation to your fellow CAG members.

 

Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Seek the advice of an insured qualified professional if you have any doubts. All my knowledge has been gained here, for which I'm very grateful. I'm a Journalist, not a law professional.

 

If you do PM, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private ;)

BB 13 - DCAs/banks and solicitors 0.

 

I get a fresh start to get on with learning to live with severe disabilities when they could have had something if they'd been understanding...

 

<--- If you feel I've helped, please twinkle my star :)

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Tell me about it...thats why i am so keen to respond to each and every letter they send us claiming their charges are lawful!

 

Its a bloody joke...i feel sorry for every single customer of Studio24!!!

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Hi people

 

Well i have had another response from Studio.

They are once again denying my mums complaint regarding the service charges that they have levied on her account.

 

I dont have access to a scanner so have typed the response below.

I would very much appreciate your help in responding if its worth it or should i simply refer my case to the ombudsman?

 

''Thank you for your letter dated ....

......and fully note your comments and opinion regarding your liability (error on Studio's part in saying 'your liability'

 

The office of fair trading and local trading standards acknowledge that for the home shopping industry

the supply of an exact copy of the credit agreement together with all of the relevant financial information

is acceptable to meet your request for a copy of the credit agreement.

 

You can be assured that legal advise is sought in such matters where liability is in dispute.

We are still very much of the opinion that the debt exists.

 

We are also aware that the Courts would not grant an enforcement order

should a default summons be issued by us because of the non payment

and is was defended on a spurious challenge to produce a copy of the original signed agreement

as defined by Section 61 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974,

unless we were able to produce a signed copy of the original agreement in support of the lam.

 

It is only in such an instance that it would be cost justified to recover the originals from our archives

(THIS LAST BIT HAD ME LAUGHING)

 

You have been a customer of ours for several years and we are trying to avoid an irretrievable breakdown in that relationship.

 

Without making regular payments we will have no option but to register the debt

with all of the credit reference agencies as an unsatisfied default.

 

That may adversely effect your ability to obtain credit for up to 6 years,

as well as any person with whom you are financially linked.

 

This company will not write off a debt just because there may be the possibility of a legal defence

if we were to take legal action as a method to recover the debt owing to us.

 

If it subsequently transpires that you did not sign and return a copy of the credit agreement

we realise it will be unenforceable but it is not void nor an unlawful debt.

 

We are satisfied upon discussions with the Information Commissioners Office

and on legal advise that it can still be registered as a default with credit agencies.

 

The balance on the account is ........ and the account is currently up to date

(note this balance takes into account the approx £400 of default charges they offered my mum)

 

We will not be refunding all the service charges as you have the opportunity to spread your payments

and the flexibility to select the payment method that suits you.

 

As you decided to pay for goods on credit terms,

you have agreed to pay the service charges that will be applied by paying instalments

which is clearly stated in the information point pages in your current catalogue.

 

This is not a punative charge as we do not offer interest free credit.''

 

That is the letter in it's entirity.

 

What should i do people?

 

Spend time responding or just pass it on to the Ombudsman for a final decision?

 

Thanks in advance

 

Shane

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Hi shane

 

Surely the Service Charge should be the same amount each month, thats my thinking. Also if you take the matter to the FOS it will cost them £450 to look into it.

 

I think it's based on the balance. I see no harm in responding to it. Hopefully some of the guys here can have a look at Service

Charges, maybe they have breached UTTCR (1999).

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