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Shop Direct Group / Arrow Global - Abusing The DPA?!?!?


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Hi Everyone,

 

To Read The Shortened Version Of This Post Please Go To Post #5 Below...

 

If you make it to the end of this lengthy post: I would like to say, in advance, thanks for taking the time to do that for me… And if anyone can help answer my questions, or point out something I may’ve missed, then that would be gratefully received…

 

For over 5 years I have been disputing a debt that isn’t mine… The debt originates from Shop Direct Financial Services (SDFS), for catalogue purchases… This debt was passed over to their in-house collections team, Phoenix Recoveries, and they have used a variety of DCAs over the years to try to recover the debt…

 

Every time a letter would arrive from a DCA, I would call the number printed on the letter and then inform them that the debt wasn’t mine… I would tell them that if they could produce a Consumer Credit Agreement, with my details and signature, then I was happy for them to go ahead to court and obtain a CCJ to assist in recovering the debt… I would then request that all future correspondents cease until a CCA could be produced and suggested that they would be better off passing the debt back to SDFS/Phoenix... For the most part I would not hear from them again; until the next DCA would attempt to do the same…

 

This is as far as I have ever gone with resolving the matter because it never appeared on my credit report and I knew that I didn’t owe what was being asked of me… I can’t believe how stupid and naive I was to think it would just go away… I have always prided myself on my spotless credit history and I’m quite anal about paying bills on time… I had quite an old fashioned Dad who always encouraged us to live within our means and that if you can’t afford something then you go without until you can; even though we knew about his secret credit cards… But still, that mantra has done me well so far…

 

However, last week, the time came for me to apply for my first mortgage... Knowing that I was credit worthy: I never imaged that, even in these stricter times, I would get turned down… But I did… All thanks to a company called Arrow Global Guernsey Limited (AG)… After being turned down I took a look at my credit file and there it was, in big red letters, DEFAULT!!!

 

This brings me to today: I contacted AG to find out what it was about but they wouldn’t discuss it with me and instead put me through to a company called Mackenzie Hall (MH)… MH told me that they were pursuing me for the debt in relation to the catalogue purchases but had not yet sent any correspondents to me because the debt had in fact been recalled by AG…

 

I contacted AG again and explained that I had just been put through to MH but was told that they were not dealing with it anymore… I got to speak to a Customer Advisor who was rude, arrogant and unhelpful… I was told they had a copy of a CCA and that the owness was on me to prove the debt wasn’t mine; rather than them proving it was… I asked to see a copy of the CCA and I was told I would have to wait 3 weeks because they need to request a copy from SDFS… So I reminded them that they had just told me that they had a copy and they said they did, but it was with SDFS!!!

 

Not prepared to wait 3 weeks, I contacted SDFS myself and spoke to someone in the Debt Sales Team… They informed me that they could not discuss ‘My Account’ nor confirm if a CCA existed… So I asked them if they could email AG and let them know that I had been in contact, plus also include a copy of the CCA into that email… To my surprise, they said yes they would and that they’d do it straight away… I left it for a few hours and called AG back… I asked to speak to the same person I spoke to early as I didn’t want to relay the same story all over again… I got transferred through but the attitude was still the same plus they were unbelieving that SDFS had agreed to email over a copy of the CCA… They checked their inbox and said that there wasn’t an email regarding the CCA then said that there wasn’t anymore they could do at this point…

 

I decided to call back the person at SDFS… They confirmed that within 15 minutes after we spoke, they’d emailed AG… I asked if they also attached a copy of the CCA and then they paused whilst they thought about how to answer… So I said “There isn’t a CCA, is there?!?!?” And they reluctantly confirmed that there wasn’t and said that they made it clear in the email to AG that there was no CCA in relation to ‘My Account’…

 

I called AG again and spoke to the same person… This time they couldn’t be more polite and accommodating; telling me that they were there to help and to do what was right for me… I asked if they’d seen the email sent by SDFS and they confirmed they had… I asked if they still believed that there was a CCA that existed in relation to this matter and they confirmed there wasn’t…

 

However, they said that it did change anything and that they would still not amend my credit report as they believed the information they had put on it was factual… They said that regardless of whether there is a CCA, they are still duty bound to report ‘My Defaults’ to the CRA’s… They said that they could do this because upon the sale of the debt to them, they had been assigned all the respective rights from Phoenix and that I was sent a Notice of Assignment that confirmed they had the power to do this… They said that by receiving that letter I was bound by the same contract I had with SDFS… I told them that I had never had a contract with SDFS and that more importantly; I never received such a letter… I told them if I had received a letter that I would have called sooner; as well as making it clear that I would not have consented to any conditions outlined by either party, upon the sale of the debt… At this point I could see that I wasn’t going to get anywhere and I politely ended the call…

 

I know that without the CCA that this debt is unenforceable… I know that in 9 months that this debt will become Statute-Barred, and it will be removed from my credit history… However, I can’t wait that long because my mortgage advisor has offered to appeal the rejection decision if I can get a letter from AG saying that they will notify the CRA’s of this error on my report… Unfortunately, I don’t have the time, or want, to get into lengthy back-and-forth letters to various governing bodies; trying to prove my innocence… I’d like to be able to request my credit file be amended and put back to its original state in the easiest and simplest way possible… If that is even an option?!?!?

 

I have so many questions buzzing around my head at the moment but my main ones are, not concerning the debt itself, more about the Data Protection Act:

 

1) It’s my understanding that a lender can only pass on information about a credit agreement, and any subsequent debts arising from this agreement, with my consent… And this consent is given by way of a clause that is written into that credit agreement; that has been signed to say that I accept those terms… I also understand that passing this information on, after failure to obtain this consent, is a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998… Am I understanding this correctly and if so what should I do???

 

2) If SDFS sold on this debt to AG, and therefore my information, isn’t this also in breach of the DPA; again, due to there being no CCA or consent from me???

 

3) If SDFS relinquished the debt to AG, then why are they still holding information about me and why are they allowed to continue to be able to pass this information on, especially when AG are the ones alleging that they are now the legal ‘Data Controllers’ of my data???

 

4) What right does AG have to damage my previous excellent credit history, on the say-so of SDFS; especially when they didn’t even have any physical data regarding the debt, or have any history on what the debt was even about, until today???

 

It seems that, between SDFS and AG, they have not adhered to a single one of the 8 Key Principles (including Principle 8; by virtue of the fact that Guernsey is outside the European Economic Area)…

 

Thanks so much for reading this far down and I hope you found this saga more interesting to read than boring?!?!? And again, any help/pointers would be most welcome… Thanks!!!

 

Additional Info:

The SDFS account start date was July 2005…

The first default date was February 2007…

The debt was sold to AG in May 2011…

The AG ‘Defaults’ that appear on my credit file start from July 2011…

The alleged sent Notice of Assignment was dated November 2011…

The debt was passed for collection on December 2011 and returned on March 2012…

Edited by GoldenPluto
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complaint to the ico

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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You should stay off the telephone. Your complaint should be in writing, to their head office and marked as an official complaint.

 

Then on to the Information Commissioner and Financial Ombudsman.

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PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I realise now that I shouldn't have spoken as much as I did on the phone but I just wanted to get it all resolved as quickly as possible... The thing is I have no desire in playing months of letter ping-pong to various people/organisations, as I don't have that timeframe available... This is all seriously messing up my chances of buying a specific house; that'll no doubt have been sold to someone else, by the time this all gets resolved...

 

I find it all quite sickening that they are allowed to do this kind of thing and mess around with people's lives... It really is starting to get to me and the Credit Reference Agencies seem to be of no help at all; choosing to believe what they are being told by Arrow Global...

 

Anyway, thanks for the advice so far though...

Edited by GoldenPluto
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Hi Everyone,

 

Post #5 - The Shortened Version...

For over 5 years I have been disputing a debt from Shop Direct (SD) that isn’t mine… This debt was passed over to Phoenix Recoveries (PR) and they have used a variety of DCAs over the years to try to recover the debt…

 

There have never been any debt collectors at my door or court proceedings taken against me because this debt is unenforceable due to there being no Consumer Credit Agreement

 

However, last week, I got turned down for a mortgage… I took a look at my credit file and there it was, in big red letters, DEFAULT!!! All thanks to a company called Arrow Global Guernsey Limited (AG)…

 

Even though AG have confirmed that there is no CCA they say are still duty bound to report ‘My Defaults’ to the CRA’s… They say this is because upon the sale of the debt to them, they had been assigned all the respective rights from PR and that I was sent a Notice of Assignment that confirmed they had the power to do this… They said that by receiving that letter I was bound by the same contract I had with SDFS… I told them that I had never had a contract with SDFS and that more importantly; I never received such a letter… I told them if I had received a letter that I would have called sooner; as well as making it clear that I would not have consented to any conditions outlined by either party, upon the sale of the debt…

 

I know that in 9 months this debt will become Statute-Barred, and it will be removed from my credit history, but waiting that long isn’t an option… Also, I have no desire in playing months of letter ping-pong to various people/organisations, as I don't have that timeframe available either… I want to buy a specific house that'll no doubt have been sold, to someone else, by the time this all gets resolved...

 

I’d just like to be able to request my credit file be amended and put back to its original state in the easiest and simplest way possible… However, the Credit Reference Agencies seem to be of no help at all; choosing to believe what they are being told by Arrow Global...

 

My main questions are not concerning the debt itself but more about the Data Protection Act:

 

1) It’s my understanding that a lender can only pass on information about a credit agreement, and any subsequent debts arising from this agreement, with my consent… And this consent is given by way of a clause that is written into that credit agreement; that has been signed to say that I accept those terms… I also understand that passing this information on, after failure to obtain this consent, is a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998… Am I understanding this correctly and if so what should I do???

 

2) If SD/PR sold on this debt to AG, and therefore my information, isn’t this also in breach of the DPA; again, due to there being no CCA or consent from me???

 

3) If SD/PR relinquished the debt to AG, then why are they still holding information about me and why are they allowed to continue to be able to pass this information on, especially when AG are the ones alleging that they are now the legal ‘Data Controllers’ of my data???

 

4) What right does AG have to damage my previous excellent credit history, on the say-so of SD/PR; especially when they didn’t even have any physical data regarding the debt, or have any history on what the debt was even about, until today???

 

It seems that, between SD/PR and AG, they have not adhered to a single one of the 8 Key Principles (including Principle 8; by virtue of the fact that Guernsey is outside the European Economic Area)…

 

Thanks for reading this and any help/pointers would be gratefully received… Cheers!!!

Edited by GoldenPluto
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can we confirm please as its difficult to trawl through above...

 

have you ever had a catalogue debt ?

 

if you have previous copies of your CRA file NOT showing this debt

then it appears with a date of july 2005 on the next one

 

the cra really must investigate it fully.

 

 

but you must do everything in writing only.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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then its identity theft

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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then its identity theft

 

I’ve been so focused on the potential breaches I thought they'd made, in contravention to the Data Protection Act, that I'd never thought of it like that...

 

Thanks...

Edited by GoldenPluto
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well if you didnt take out the cat who did?

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

The SDFS account start date was July 2005…

The first default date was February 2007…

The debt was sold to AG in May 2011…

The AG ‘Defaults’ that appear on my credit file start from July 2011…

The alleged sent Notice of Assignment was dated November 2011…

The debt was passed for collection on December 2011 and returned on March 2012…

 

You can only be defaulted once for a debt no matter how many times it is sold so

 

1. AG should have amended the original default to show their name not created a new one in July 2011

 

2. if they owned the debt in may then why was it not assigned to them then ??? surely they cant own it until it is assigned to them.

 

are you sure the date of assignment isn't Nov 2010 not 2011

 

sounds to me like there has been some dodgy dealings with creative paperwork

Edited by rdm2006
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I never once said I didn't take out a catalogue!!! I said I didn't have a catalogue debt...

 

then i wish i could understand what you are going on about?

 

so this account that is on your cra file is not yours?

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

I am lost here did you or did you not have a catalogue accoutn?
Yes I did have a catalogue account but not in the same way you would traditionally think of someone having a catalogue account… I worked for Shop Direct whilst putting myself through university; ironically as a debt accounts handler… All employees are asked if they want a staff sales account, as a perk of the job… If they choose to, then they would complete the required form; that is then proceed in much the same way as a regular customer’s account would be… After processing, a CCA is produced that must be signed, by the employee, and submitted before the account is activated… I declined a staff sales account initially; however, some months later, I wanted to make a purchase but I didn’t want a fully-fledged staff sales credit account…

 

Did you or did you not use it for purchases?
Yes I did use it for purchases… I wanted to buy a few items, at the staff discounted rate, but I wanted to pay straight away via my debit card… My manager created a non-credit account that allowed me to purchase the items I wanted on my card; rather than having a credit account… This was usually done for those members of staff who’d failed the credit check or, like me, just didn’t want a credit account for whatever reason… This was done on the system manually by your manager and no paper work was required as it wasn’t credit based… This is how I know there wasn’t a signed CCA and how I also knew Arrow Global were lying when they originally said there was one…

 

Do you know who is responsible for the debt?
They say me but I don’t see how that is physically possible… The total sum of the order I placed came to less than £200 and that payment cleared my bank before the goods even arrived… Nobody can tell me what the debt is in relation to, other than it relates to goods ordered on the same account number of my non-credit staff sales account; a short while after I left the organisation… I genuinely believe it is just a system error but I seem to be the only one who thinks that… They all seem to think the SD computer cannot possibly be wrong!!!

 

BUT your statements from the original creditor?? These will show a 00 balance because the ''debt'' has been bought by the third party so you now owe Arrow Global that is the explanation.!!!!!
Okay, I think this one is miscommunication… I thought I was being asked about the statements for my purchase before the debt took place… Those statements from the staff sales account would always show a zero balance, due to the goods being paid upfront… However, the statements in relation to the debt, from the DCA’s, have always shown £772; regardless of who has been handling the debt…

 

It should be noted that all this debt nonsense started 4 months after I left the organisation, which is weird considering that all staff sales accounts are closed immediately upon leaving…

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you need to SAR SD.

 

get the full and proper picture without speculations and maybes

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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GP, the purchases that you made via your DEBIT card - do they amount to the value that is being claimed by the company/DCA ?

 

IMHO, I would certainly send a SAR to the company - they have 40 calendar days to comply and you can be sure that they will take every minute of that time. I understand that time is something you dont have because of the property you are wanting to purchase. However, once you have established and confirmed that you have

 

a) never had a catalogue account - although you have purchased from a catalogue

b) that you had always paid in cash (via the Debit card)

c) that you owe no money and the default recording is incorrect/false

 

Then.. you can take the company/DCA to court for recording the damaging information. You would of course be able to prove that you have lost the house of your dreams due to the false reporting.

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

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Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

BCOBS

1: How can BCOBS protect you from your Banks unfair treatment

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Do you still have the bank statements showing these transactions?

 

if so make sure you hang on to them

 

if not try and get them from your bank

 

stating the obvious i know but better safe than sorry lol

 

edit also see my prev post because the dates dont seem to match up re ownership, assignment etc

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Hi RDM,

 

Thanks for your responses/questions…

 

1. AG should have amended the original default to show their name not created a new one in July 2011
Sorry for any confusion but they did amend the original default… When I said "The AG ‘Defaults’ that appear on my credit file start from July 2011" I was meaning this was the point at which it stopped saying the original creditor's name and started show it as AG…

 

2. if they owned the debt in may then why was it not assigned to them then ??? surely they cant own it until it is assigned to them.
I believe they were assigned it at the same time as they bought it…

 

are you sure the date of assignment isn't Nov 2010 not 2011
I think I mightn’t have explained it clear enough when I said “The alleged sent ‘Notice of Assignment’ was dated November 2011”...

 

The November 2011 date I quoted is the date at the top right-hand side of the ‘Notice of Assignment’ letter from AG… The kind of date that denotes when the letter was written/drawn up, e.g:

 

Date: 30/11/2011

Our Ref: *******

MCH Ref: *********

 

So, regarding which date is what:

 

1) The 'Notice of Assignment' letter is dated 30/11/2011…

2) Within that letter dated 30/11/2011, it states that Phoenix has assigned all respective rights, title and interest to the account on 13/05/2011…

 

But even so, something still seems off!!! If all this took place in May why did it take until the end of November to send out the ‘Notice of Assignment’… Although, I’m not sure I completely follow the order in which the ‘debt sale/transfer/assignment of business/notification’ should be in; let alone the timeframe in which they should notify the debtor…

 

sounds to me like there has been some dodgy dealings with creative paperwork
Well, to some degree, I think you are right there and that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking… But no doubt they will plead that it’s all an admin error!!!

 

But what I don’t get is this: If the debt was sold by Phoenix in May, but the Notice of Assignment wasn’t until November, how is it possible that Arrow Global can put ‘Defaults’ on my Credit Report with a date of July??? From what I have read: A creditor must give at least 3 months to the debtor before a ‘Default’ can be recorded… Therefore, November 2011 + 3 months = February 2012!!!

 

Do you still have the bank statements showing these transactions?
Yes I do and my bank tally matches perfect with SDFS statements, date for date…

 

Thanks, GP...

Edited by GoldenPluto
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Is there anymore information on this, please :)

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

BCOBS

1: How can BCOBS protect you from your Banks unfair treatment

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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