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Neighbour vs AOL/Roxburghe


PaulW21781
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Hi all, just after a bit of advice where to go next really (although I do have an idea so far...)

 

Right, bit of background information...

 

On the 14th of June 2010, my neighbour cancelled her connection with AOL. Rang up the call centre, and all well and good. As far as we were concerned, that was that...

 

Then on the 4th and 8th of November, she received a letter from AOL demanding payment for £25.99 (4th Nov letter), raising to £39.48 (8th Nov Letter) due to non-payment of service. Infact, here is the first letter she fired off (explains much more)

 

Simon Rawlings Esq

Debt Prevention and Litigation

AOL Broadband

11 Evesham Street

London W11 4AR

 

Dear Sir

 

Account No. **********

 

I have received your letters dated the 4th November and 8th November 2010, from which I am surprised to learn that I am in debt to you in the sum of £25.99, and increasing to £39.48 in the second letter.

 

On June 14th 2010, I cancelled my subscription with AOL, having bought a new computer, as my old one could not be repaired, and decided to go with another firm. This was done by telephone, and I was told there would be 1 months left to pay due to requiring 30 days notice to cancel. After further direct debit payments were taken for about three months (to confirm such notice was adhered to), I cancelled my instruction to the Bank, having worked there, and knowing that more could be taken if I left it open – this has happened in the past, when I wasn't even using the service.

 

Upon contacting your call centre on 12th November 2010, I was informed that a cancellation request was indeed placed by myself on June 14th 2010, but then was told I had apparently waived the cancellation and agreed to 2 months further service by yourselves. This is in fact incorrect and I agreed to no such thing. Therefore I am formally requesting a copy of the call log from the 14th of June to clarify this. I would also like copies of any-and-all access details for my account in regards to using your network during this time (of which there was none due to me no longer using your service).

 

It seems odd that you are still charging me, as the old computer has been scrapped and therefore could not be used at all. I am not very happy at getting a final notice, when I haven't even received a first warning. Perhaps you will let me have your comments on this.

 

I look forward to hearing from you, as from my long experience in banking I don't think it is correct to send a final notice before any other indication has been given. I will also be seeking legal advice from my solicitor regarding this issue, as I feel that an error was most certainly made on your part during the cancellation request, and as such, this debt is not valid, and therefore in dispute.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Mrs X

Needless to say, AOL failed to respond to this request, and today she received a letter from Roxburghe Debt Collection (gak), stating:

 

Your debt has been passed to us by aol as they have been unable to obtain payment from you.

 

ALL CONTACT MUST NOW BE MADE THROUGH THESE OFFICES

 

You are now required to pay this debt in full immediately.

 

As a debt recovery specialist, we are looking to work with you to resolve this matter, and would urge you to contact us so that this can be achieved.

 

Please note that any abscence of payment or any valid dispute, we will persure this matter with or without your cooperation, and therefor it is in your own best interest to get in touch with us so that we can resolve this debt without recourse to further action.

So lets see... AOL failed to reply or supply information regarding this to begin with, and now it's gone to the PPC's favourite artist of a debt recovery firm (I use that term very loosely)

 

So, what to reply to them?? I've been reading through on here a bit, come up with this so far... opinions? It's basically a modified prove-it letter. I will also ensure a copy of the letter previously sent to AOL is included with this:

 

Dear Sir

 

You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself.

 

I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to AOL, and all previous corresponce with them to resolve this matter was ignored. Please find enclosed previous correspondance to AOL regarding this matter.

 

I am familiar with the CPUTR 2008 and the Office of Fair Trading's Guidance on debt collection, which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

 

I would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. AND in not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

 

Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

 

I would ask that no further contact be made concerning the above account unless you can provide evidence as to my liability for the debt in question, by supplying the following evidence and requirements as previously requested to AOL:

 

1) Complete copy of the call log placed to AOL on the 12th of November to originally query this matter, in both audible recording format and transcript.

2) Complete copy of the call log placed to AOL on the 14th of June to request cancellation, in both audible recording format and transcript.

3) Copies of any-and-all access logs to the AOL network showing any access took place after the 14th of June to confirm that no access to the AOL services took place.

 

I await your written response to all of the above points in regards to evidence to prove this debt is valid, however upon non-compliance of this request, I must therefor ask for confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to Trading Standards and also inform the Office Of Fair Trading of your actions.

 

I look forward to your reply.

 

Yours faithfully

Thanks for any pointers/advice/etc etc :)
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Hi,

While that is an OK letter to send, I would get more personal.

Simply write to the DCA and tell them this account is in dispute with AOL and for them to either return it to AOL or place a hold on the account until this is resolved. Either way it should end up back with AOL.

 

Next, send another letter on the same lines as the first one to AOL but this time, head it FORMAL COMPLAINT, the reason being that if they don't receive a formal complaint, they treat it as a query and deal with whenever they feel like it. A formal Complaint has to follow procedure and they have up to 8 weeks to resolve it or ask for extra time. Once you get a final response or they don't reply within the 8 week limit, you can then go to the regulator

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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Agree your letter is fine. From what you say there was no assignment of the debt notified to your neighbour. If a debt is assigned to a DCA you should be notified of this - basically you should get a goodbye from one and a hello from the other. I think the Prove It letter could be a good one to send. If they can't prove it you are on strong ground. Maybe you'd like to ask for a copy of the assignment - that could prove very interesting.

 

Do you know if the AOL agreement was governed by the CCA?

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As far as I'm aware, AOL wasn't goverened by CCA, but may be worth checking. She did originally have a minimum 12-month contract, but that expired about 14months prior, and as such was then a month-by-month basis (hence 30 days notice to cancel)

 

There was no notification letters either, just AOL demanding monies, then the Roxburghe letter mentioned above.

 

Silverfox

 

Would it be worth then just writing a simple response for now then stating it is in dispute with AOL, and to pass it back (thus ignoring prove-it letter for now) and as you say send the new letter to AOL as formal complaint? Just clearing up what you mean...

 

Will get it in the post asap though once I know where to go with this.

 

Handling Roxburghe before was easy, my brother had previous dealings with them regarding a PPC, so all correspondence for that one was just ignored (his paper chain stopped a few months back now) but this is a little different...

 

Cheers again

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You could send Roxburghe the 'prove it' letter as you dispute that there is a debt but that doesn't always stop them chasing. Asking them to put a hold on the account is (in my opinion) the better way to go and as you have already been in contact with AOL (albeit onesided) the account is disputed.

 

Following protocol with complaints helps you should you need to take it to the regulator. A few months back I was reading that when customers didn't put 'Formal Complaint' at the top of the letters, customer services didn't treat it as such (and it kept their complaints figures down)

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi All

 

Ok, We fired off a Formal Complaint (with fancy red lettering) to AOL, and a Prove It/Return to AOL letter to Roxburghe. Both were sent via Recorded Delivery, and BOTH were confirmed signed for by the recipients.

 

My neighbour then received a call from AOL on the 20th December, Grovelling, saying sorry, and saying the matter is closed, they were in error, etc etc etc... We have now also received this in writing.

 

However, we have no received THIS from Roxburghe...

 

72 HOUR NOTICE

 

6 January 2011

Tel No : 01932 332038

 

Dear xxx

 

Re: TALKTALK GROUP

Account Number XXX

Total Amount Due £90.46

Service with AOL BB

 

We have written to you previously and you have failed to resolve this matter with us. As a result your file is being reviewed to decide the best course of action to take.

 

You now have 72 hours from receipt of this notice to make payment.

 

Failure to deal with this matter within the time given will result in action being taken without further reference to you. This may involve the commencement of legal proceedings where court fees, solicitor's costs and statutory interest can be added thus substantially increasing the amount owed.

 

Please note that in the absence of payment or any valid dispute, we will pursue this matter, with or without your co-operation.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Stuart Sylvester

Debt Recovery Manager

Roxburghe (UK) Limited

So, they have failed to reply to the letter sent. Also, their letter is dated 6th January, and was not received until 12th January... Makes the 72 hours a joke really!

 

This was what was sent to them originally on the 17th December 2010:

 

Stuart Sylvester Esq

Debt Recovery Managerf

Roxurghe (UK) Limited

Roxburghe House

PO Box 342

Lavender Park

West Byfleet

Surrey KT14 YX

 

Dear Sir

 

TALKTALK GROUP

Account No. xxx

Total Amount Due: £76.47

Roxburghe Reference xxx

Service: with AOL BB

 

You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim is owed by myself.

 

I would point out that I have no knowledge of any such debt being owed to AOL, and all previous correspondence with them to resolve this matter was ignored. I am therefore requesting this matter is passed back to AOL to be resolved, or a Hold is placed upon this account due to the debt being in dispute, and a Formal Complaint being issued to AOL regarding it.

 

I am familiar with the CPUTR 2008 and the Office of Fair Trading Guidance on debt collection, which states that it unfair to send demands for payment to an individual when it is uncertain that they are the debtor in question.

 

I would also point out that the OFT say under the Guidance that it is unfair to pursue third parties for payment when they are not liable. AND in not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt you are using deceptive/and or unfair methods.

 

Furthermore ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment amounts to physical/psychological harassment.

 

All post will be sent to yourselves via Royal Mail Recorded Delivery to confirm receipt of this letter.

 

I await your written response that his matter has been passed back to AOL, however upon non-compliance of this request, I must therefore ask for confirmation that this matter is now closed. Otherwise I will have no option but to make a complaint to Trading Standards and also inform the Office Of Fair Trading of your actions.

 

I look forward to your reply.

 

Yours faithfully

So... Anyone any ideas what I should fire back now to these idiots?? Also, what are the official routes to take regarding complaining (SRA (for impending Graham White/Michael Sobell) and FSA, etc etc)

 

Thanks again for any advice :)

Edited by PaulW21781
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Ok, one more letter to Roxburghe with a photocopy of the letter from AOL telling them that if they wish to persue this, you will report them to all and sundry for harassment. The next letter you expect from them is a formal apology.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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Ok, one more letter to Roxburghe with a photocopy of the letter from AOL telling them that if they wish to persue this, you will report them to all and sundry for harassment. The next letter you expect from them is a formal apology.

 

Thankyou :) I shall get that written tomorrow ready for posting on Monday!

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