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What happens if a company has sold my debt?


cassi444
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Hi

I had a four week free trial to a company who offered leads to jobs/contracts for the building industry. At first sight, the jobs where all for 2009, so I emailed informing them that I would like to cancel as the jobs were all out of date.

The email came back with jobs that were current, but irrelevant to our company, so I mailed them again and said that I wanted to cancel as the jobs were no good to us, and asked if this email was enough to cancel it.

Then I didn't go onto that account until I recieve a 'bill' from them saying I owed them £650 for the years subscription to their site. I then checked the email address I had sent the mails from, and they had sent me a mail saying that to cancel, I had to do so through their site, so it could be time and date stamped. I then went to their site and cancelled it, but it runs out next year!

We have had bills from them, my partner has had phone calls from them, and we have said that we have a small niche market, which they don't cover. They deal with multi million pound contract leads and we are a two man operation, who take away green waste for disposal.

They are now saying that they have passed the debt to a collection company. What does that mean? I have had no court dates to attend from them, so how can they have passed it on without taking us to court?

They have an 'opt-out' clause in the contract, instead of an 'opt-in'. I believe they have done this with the sole purpose of catching people like me out. I think their main income is catching people out with that clause, which I believe is very underhand and decietful, and possibly borderline illegal? i.e. putting a clause in with the sole purpose of catching people who don't know the internet very well to make copious amounts of money for doing nothing other than sending a useless email once or twice a week.

That aside, what is my next legal move? How do I deal with the collection company? Do I get a day in court?? Can I make them 'go away' somehow?

Thankyou for taking the time to read this

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Hi Cassi

 

Welcome to CAG

 

It sounds like there is an outstanding balance that is allegedly owed, to collect this money they've passed the details to a debt collection agency.

It hasn't reached the court stage yet. It might be a good idea, if you only deal with the DCA in writing, not over the phone.

If you think the creditor is being underhand in it's actions, contact Trading Standards. I've heard of a similar thing before.

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As advised, start to make up a file containing a 'paper Trail'. How did you 'sign up' for this deal, and did it confirm that the onus was on you to cancel prior to the end of the Free Trial.

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 there

Thx for answering =))

Yes I did miss the cancel date, according to them, by not checking that email address in time (one I created for my partners' business). However, I had emailed them to cancel twice previous to that, but their t & c's specifies that you must cancel via their site. I feel this has been put in the t & c's to catch people out. If they believed that their company was invaluable, it would be an opt-in situation, as the 4 week trial would have proven to be worth the money. It was not. The companies it would attract probably wouldn't need a site like theirs as they deal in million pound contracts and would probably know about them, before the site I mentioned. ( I don't know if I am able to name them on here?)

 

Can you tell me why they have given it to a DCA? I thought it would be court first and then a dca after? I haven't as yet recieved any contact from the dca, but I won't talk to them on the phone and will tell my partner to do the same (it's his company and I was acting on his behalf, he is computer illerate!).

I did this, not him, and I feel aweful that I have got him into this situation =((

Cassi

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Unfortunately, we are seeing many more of these types of 'Contracts' indeed, I believe that most Mobile phone contracts are handled this way, in that even when the stated period (18 months, 24 months etc) has passed, you still MUST cancel 30 days in advance otherwise they just run the contract on and on, until you give them 30 days' notice. Many 'trials' especially those that require you to give your payment details at the start, state somewhere that they will begin to take payments UNLESS you contact them in the specified way to cancel.

 

Most companies will sell on these debts at a cheap rate and write off their losses against tax, this is standard proceedure so these alleged debts will often go through the hands of many DCAs in their lifetime.

 

As previously suggested, if you feel that the Company were being 'underhand' in any way you can make a complaint to Trading Standards online here: http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/contact

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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Sadly I don't think legally there is anywhere you can go. As mentioned above TS may investigate, but these contracts are so commonplace, the terms and conditions were there for you to read and you didn't check the e-mail. I know this is not what you want to hear, sorry, but I fear it's an expensive lesson learnt.

 

You could try pleading to their better nature stating you'd tried to cancel twice via e-mail so your intention was clear etc.... and see if it gets you anywhere, but legally I fear they're on strong ground.

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CPUTR? Sounds like an unfair contract to me, especially as the intention to cancel was clear.

“The industry is rotten to the core, whether it is in-house recovery and collection, or where agents are used, or where the debt has been sold.” Andrew Mackinley MP, House of Commons, 22 April 2009

 

If a Cagger helps you, click their star. Better still, make a donation however small, so that CAG can continue to help others.

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Because a contract exists, it doesn't mean that it's fair, there is probably a lot of case law that backs that up.

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Hi Cassie

 

Did you actually sign a contract and when did you receive a copy of their Terms and Conditions?

 

Having initialy agreed to a free 4 week trial, twice you sent notice, for genuine reasons, you wished to cancel, both your emails were/are time and dated stamped. I assume the first email to cancel was within this 4 week free trial period, was your 2nd email also within this period?

 

Look on the OFT website and forward a complaint, be exact about the dates/details and agree to them contacting you direct, you've nothing to fear from the OFT, they will offer the advice as to whether this "contract" is legal.

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Yes complain to Consumer Direct and they will pass details of your complaint directly to the OFT and TS who sit along side CD..

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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