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Clairecc -v- Ashbourne management


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Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone can advice me, yesterday received a letter from a solicitor, it seems to be a LBA regarding £300 they say I owe their client a debt collection agent ARC Europe on behalf of Ashbourne Management.

 

I would have thought this is the sort of letter you get after lots of attempts to contact you and refusals to pay but this is the first time that I have heard I owe them money!!

 

Back in late 2007 I joined a gym in Watford because I got a "special" offer via a fax at work.

On touring the facilities I told the lady I'd possibly be moving and she said if I move far enough away they'll cancel my agreement which she put in pen on the contract which she very much pushed me to sign, my new address was not considered far enough so even though it was now awkward to get there I was stuck with the membership.

I attended only once and then due to a bout of illness I started to take medication and got sick as a side effect from them, with constant nausea I certainly did not feel like exercising & I didn't feel like telling them my personal business regarding my illness so when I called up I just said I'd like to cancel as I no longer wanted to be a member, I had not attended more than once and I was a member for 3 months by then so I clearly wont be attending again they said it was fine I just needed to cancel my direct debit.

If they had told me there was a problem and I'd still be liable for 36 months I could have got a doctors note explaining the illness and medicine side effects which I'm sure would get me out of the contract. The thing is I didn't know it was a 3 year contract, they didn't point this out or go through it with me (I know I should have read the small print) and i don't even have the paperwork any more it was all done with as far as I was concerned but I now believe I did sign a 3 year contract.

 

I heard NOTHING from them since then until I got this letter threatening me with a CCJ and telling me I must pay.

I didn't even know who I owed and assumed it was a mistake or ID theft as I don't have any debts or people chasing me for payments. When I called ARC the guy on the phone told me it was the Gym I cancelled in 2008 I still owed and I must pay now. He was very insistent and I didn't know I could argue so I agreed to call back as I don't have the money to pay and see what I could manage to pay today and then in installments till it's complete. After the call which left me worried and stressed (as did the unexpected letter) I discussed it with my boyfriend and he sent me a link to this thread.

 

So after reading this thread & the good advice I am going to write to the debt collectors and solicitor & say I dispute that I owe this but am scared I have somehow compromised my position by agreeing to call back and pay!

 

Any advice would be really appreciated.

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Hi Claire and welcome to CAG

 

I've put your post into your own thread which you can use from now on. :-)

 

Ashbourne and their 36 month contract have resulted in them being taken to the High Court by the OFT. The OFT are also challenging other aspects of the business "strategies".

 

Have a read of this thread and see if you can use the same letter - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?303196-Zemme-Vs-David-Lloyd-ARC-Trevor-Munn-Victory-Case-Closed

 

Adapt the letter as necessary and send it to ARC, or to Trevor Munn if they become involved.

 

Shout if you need any help.

 

8-)

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Hi Slick & Thanks!

 

I wrote to ARC and sent Trevor Munn a copy of the letter, I said that I did not recognise the debt as being owed by me and that I refused to pay it in asking me to do so was harassment I mentioned section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act.

 

I asked them to prove I owed the debt and if they could not do so I would expect some written confirmation the matter was closed. I hope this was the right thing to do.

 

If they pursue me further I will use the letter you have linked to. If that happens I'll have to ask where would I get the documents mentioned as enclosed?

 

I'll keep you updated.

Thanks again, I've found this site very helpful.

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Just to add, you haven't compromised your position by agreeing to call back and pay them. You were being intimidated and knew no better.

 

Having looked into the matter further, you now realise they cannot force you to pay unless they take court action which is most unlikely as they hardly have a legal leg to stand on.

 

Do not have any further tel cons with ARC or Trevor Munn. If anyone calls you, tell them to put anything they have to say in writing, confirm the call is being recorded, say goodbye and hang up !!

 

Don't argue with them about issues such as :-

 

* The number of times you used the gym.

* Moving away so you could no longer use it.

* Medical conditions

 

The real issue with Ashbourne is that the OFT consider their business strategies to be unfair to consumers. Read more about this here - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?289465-Office-of-Fair-Trading-v-Ashbourne-Management-Services-9th.March-2011(1-Viewing)-nbsp

 

:-)

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Thank you very much you have really put my mind at ease I will read up the link you've given and see what happens and try not to stress about it.

 

Claire

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  • 3 weeks later...

PLEASE NOTE - I am not a legal expert, what is stated is my own opinion and from what I have learnt from this forum and my own experiences.

 

DEBT COLLECTION LETTER/SAR/AGREEMENT TEMPLATES ARE HERE - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/content.php?65-legislation

 

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Claire,

 

Any update on your case please.

 

Read here - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?320766-Ashbourne-Management-Services-Ltd-Contracts-longer-than-12-months

 

If you're still being chased for payments, we can help and the OFT may also be interested.

 

:wink:

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