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Help with Lowell & Orange Account

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Hi Folks

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice with Lowell Portfolio.

In Novemeber I received a letter from Lowell advising me that they had bought a debt of £25 from Orange in relation to a phone contract in 2009. I foolishly paid even though I had not received anything from Orange advising me of a debt and there was nothing logged on my credit file in relation to defaults or missed payments.

In December I received an Experian alert informing me that Lowell had logged a default against my report. When I looked they had placed the Default on my file in relation to the Orange account and marked it as settled.

I wrote to Lowell and asked them for information in relation to the original debt (agreements etc) and the original default notice. This morning I received my £1 postal order back and a letter stating some of the following points:-

  • "In the case of mobile contracts, inserting the SIM card and usage of the equipment is taken as acceptance of the terms and conditions of the contract. We are therefore not obliged to send you such agreements which can be obtained over the phone" (this contract was signed in store).
  • "The default notice is a technical document which is appied to a credit agreement should, the customer fail to repay their account over a prolonged period of time. Mobile phones do not have a credit agreement they have a service agreement and as such default notices do not apply. Should the customer fail to repay their mobile bill then they have breached their service agreement and will be issued with a suspension notice. The suspention notice is sufficient to report to the Credit Refrence Agencies."
  • "When the account entered into default with Orange (I received no notification of this and it was never on my credit file) they would have recorded a default on your creti file (they never). When the account was purchased by us the original default was amended by us."

I am confused as they are saying that defaults don't apply to mobile phone accounts, but there is one on my file. As Orange had never placed a default on my file or sent me any notices should Lowell therefore have entered a default on my file.

 

I am not sure where to go from here, I have also contacted Orange who have stated they can't see my account history but there is no outstanding debt. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

 

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What you will have to do is find out from Orange whether you ever owed them any money and if you did not, get this confirmed in writing. Armed with the information, you can then send a complaint to Lowells asking for your £25 back, the default removed and appropriate compensation for their error.

 

It is not unusual for companies to have a debt on mobile phone contract, not to contact the phone contract owner, not to note a default on a credit record and then to pass the debt to a DCA. It is not a default re CCA, but a non payment of a payment contractually due. But the mobile network provider would have had to write to you advising of this non payment and asking for payment I think within 30 days, before they could note your credit record.

 

If you find out from Orange that you owed the money and they did write to you, then I cannot see a problem with Lowell noting your credit file on behalf of Orange to show the debt as being satisfied. But you have to find out from Orange, why the debt was due and why you were not informed.


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Hi Thank You for the info, I will contact Orange on Monday.

 

I have previously contacted them and they stated that they could no longer see all the details of my account as the details were with Lowell. I am certain I received no letters from Orange and that I owed them no money.

 

Hopefully they can clarify when I contact them.

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Hi Folks

 

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice with Lowell Portfolio.

 

In Novemeber I received a letter from Lowell advising me that they had bought a debt of £25 from Orange in relation to a phone contract in 2009. I foolishly paid even though I had not received anything from Orange advising me of a debt and there was nothing logged on my credit file in relation to defaults or missed payments.

 

In December I received an Experian alert informing me that Lowell had logged a default against my report. When I looked they had placed the Default on my file in relation to the Orange account and marked it as settled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote to Lowell and asked them for information in relation to the original debt (agreements etc) and the original default notice. This morning I received my £1 postal order back and a letter stating some of the following points:-

  • "In the case of mobile contracts, inserting the SIM card and usage of the equipment is taken as acceptance of the terms and conditions of the contract. We are therefore not obliged to send you such agreements which can be obtained over the phone" (this contract was signed in store).

When you take a contract out, using the handset is agreeing to the terms and conditions.

  • "The default notice is a technical document which is appied to a credit agreement should, the customer fail to repay their account over a prolonged period of time. Mobile phones do not have a credit agreement they have a service agreement and as such default notices do not apply. Should the customer fail to repay their mobile bill then they have breached their service agreement and will be issued with a suspension notice. The suspention notice is sufficient to report to the Credit Refrence Agencies."

  • "When the account entered into default with Orange (I received no notification of this and it was never on my credit file) they would have recorded a default on your creti file (they never). When the account was purchased by us the original default was amended by us."

Mobile companies do record your payment information. Maybe Lowells just made it visible on the one you're checking?

 

 

I am confused as they are saying that defaults don't apply to mobile phone accounts, but there is one on my file. As Orange had never placed a default on my file or sent me any notices should Lowell therefore have entered a default on my file.

The regulations of recording defaults is part of the "consumer credit act" however you had no "credit"(ie the sale of money) So they do not have to follow the regulations set out with recording a default.

 

 

I am not sure where to go from here, I have also contacted Orange who have stated they can't see my account history but there is no outstanding debt. Any advice would be appreciated.

The debt will have been sold to Lowell

 

You are in a tough spot here, however you gain nothing by paying. In your shoes, I would only make any offer of payment on condition that they will completely remove the entry from the credit file (not just mark it settled) AND I would want this agreed in writing before I paid a penny.


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If this amount was outstanding and has now been paid, the default, if recorded, should show the correct date when the default happened. Unless the debt had been sold, I think that it should show as Orange's, mot Lowell.

 

If Orange hadn't informed you of the outstanding amount then I think it would be worth pursuing Orange to get it removed

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Hi FolksJust thought i'd update you on this - I have contacted Orange who said that they hold no details of my account as they have all been sent to Lowell. I contacted Lowell who said that the only information that they had was the default date and ammount of 29.95 (the statement they sent said £25). Lowell stated that Orange will have written to me and stated that I should contact them for copies of the letters as they don't have them. I recontacted Orange and was passed from person to person who each told me something different, I'm now sending a letter to Orange asking for details of what I owed and why and also copies of the final demands. I have also found my bank accounts showing my final payment to orange when my account was closed. I think it's a shocking system with the burden of proof appearing to be to fall to the consumer. Ill let you know any responses I get back from Orange

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Hi FolksJust thought i'd update you on this - I have contacted Orange who said that they hold no details of my account as they have all been sent to Lowell. I contacted Lowell who said that the only information that they had was the default date and ammount of 29.95 (the statement they sent said £25). Lowell stated that Orange will have written to me and stated that I should contact them for copies of the letters as they don't have them. I recontacted Orange and was passed from person to person who each told me something different, I'm now sending a letter to Orange asking for details of what I owed and why and also copies of the final demands. I have also found my bank accounts showing my final payment to orange when my account was closed. I think it's a shocking system with the burden of proof appearing to be to fall to the consumer. Ill let you know any responses I get back from Orange

 

It is up to Orange/Lowell to prove that you owe this money. Threaten Orange that you will take this to CISAS if necessary. http://www.cisas.org.uk/


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It is also worth looking at your contract terms and conditions to see if it says whether Orange will update your credit reference file. I don't think that they normally do, it sounds as though Lowell have as a means of debt collection.

 

In any event, even if this debt was correct, this would not be a true reflection of how you conducted your account with orange and you might stand a good chance of demanding Lowell remove it on that basis alone. ie challenge them to add all of the account bills and payments under the orange name as well or remove their entry

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Hi GuysThanks for all the advice, I've fired an email off to Orange's (everywhere everything) credit query dept requesting information on the original debt and notifications and some other info. I'll post to let you know how i've got on. Cheers

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Hi Folks Just an update on this situation, I have been passed from pillar to post with this - with neither Orange or Lowell wanting to take responisibility for the entry on my credit file. However after threatening Lowell with the OFT and providing evidence that Orange had not updated my address when I moved, they have agreed to remove the default from my credit file. Defo worth continuing the fight after initially been fobbed off!Thanks for the advice guys.

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