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Moorcroft and Virgin - attempting collection on erroneous debt


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Someone told me that a DCA (Moorcroft in this instance) are not supposed to send threats and letters from a PO Box address, due to trading standards guidelines on debt collection practices.

Is this true?

 

A friend of mine who I am helping, has a dispute with a previous mobile phone provider (Virgin).

She rang to close contract.

They gave her a total owed,

she paid it and was told on the phone that she had paid ALL that was owed

and was now free of the contract.

 

A few days (maybe weeks) later she got a bill for £50.

 

She rang Virgin and recounted the conversation (with name of who she spoke to).

they apologised and said it was a mistake by the person she spoke to,

and there was still £50 more to pay.

 

She told them she can't afford it and paid what she was told was all owed,

but the reply was "well we will take it as a 'training need' for the employee who you spoke to, but you still must pay the money".

She didn't pay, on my advice, its ridiculous.

 

She now has DCA letters from Moorcroft with all the usual threats and BS.

 

I am preparing a letter for her, and firing everything I can remember from when I went through this with 10-15 DCAs a few years ago.

I am trying to remember what points to mention, any help would be greatly appreciated :)

 

So far,

I am thinking of writing to say the debt is formally in dispute,

so they must cease all contact to attempt collection immediately.

 

Also intend to inform them that since they have no legal grounds to communicate with her,

any further letters will be charged a "handling fee" of £50 per letter,

and if they send any further letters having received this one, they are accepting these terms.

 

She will also write to Virgin to open a formal dispute and insist they do not instruct any further DCAs to collect on a disputed debt,

and that she will go to court if necessary as the £50 fee was not explained previously

and she asked them to tell her the total owed and she paid it,

so job done as far as she is concerned.

 

Any further arguments can go to court.

I am wondering maybe whether a SAR would be good to,

to get recordings of the phone calls where the staff made the error on the phone to her.

 

Any advice appreciated, especially on whether or not PO Boxes are allowed for DCAs

 

Thanks as ever to all you Caggers :)

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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why doesn't she/you just ignore them?

 

they'll go nowhere near a court for £50.

 

seems sily to enter into letter tennis

over such a silly amount

and that it most prob does not exist.

 

if her cra file is not trashed by it

i'd leave well alone.

 

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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Fair points, and to be honest if it was me I would do exactly that. However she is new to this stuff, and is worried despite me trying to tell her otherwise. She works for the Police and has wrong ideas that her job could be affected if they mess with her CRA file. I can't see them doing that for such a silly amount, but they could, and if they did it would help if she had already placed it into formal dispute with recorded signed for letters.

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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The OFT Guidance on Debt Collection 2003 as amended 2006 & Nov 2012 has no mention of any rules regarding the use of PO Box numbers for debt collection matters this would not I think come under TS purview.

 

Also there is no mention in the CASs guidance on debt collection letters.

So yes they can use PO Box numbers.

 

THIS is why it is most unwise to conduct ANY debt matters by phone .As far as I can see the fact that an ''operative'' gave a verbal statement that the debt was cleared and this was never confirmed in writting I presume, does not make for a ''reasonable'' dispute.

 

Also remember a phone contract is not a regulated agreement under CCA1974.

 

Also I cannot see how you arrive at the statement that ''they have no legal grounds to contact her''.

 

You may well be digging a hole here that will be difficult to get out of, the debt obviuosly exists and is payable.

 

You do not mention what the ''£50.00 fee was for here if it is charges that may well be open to challenge.

 

BUT the account has not been put in ''dispute'' in writting, so they company was within its rights to pass the debt

to a DCA.

 

Any ''charges/handling fees '' you make will be ignored I assure you.

 

So you need to loo at what can reasonably be done here:

 

1. Has Moorcroft purchased the debt or is the phone company mention as their ''client????

2. What was the exta £50.00 for?

3. As said this is a ''service'' contract not regulated under CCA 1974 as it is NOT a credit agreement.

 

So, get written explanation as to what the £50 relates to, and take it from there.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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I would guess that if its not already showing

then it cannot magically appear.

 

she would have a rock solid case for its removal.

 

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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Hi no she hasn't checked yet.

 

Going back your earlier longer message.....

 

When she closed the contract, she was explicit and clear on the phone, asking several times for a FULL settlement figure to cancel the contract. She was told equally explicitly that the amount she owed was xxx, and she paid it all there and then on the phone. When she got the bill for another £50, it did not say what it is for, it just says outstanding charges on the account. She spoke to them and they fully accepted it was their staff's error. This ends there in my view. They made a mistake, had they not done so, she may have not been able to afford the payment and may have stayed in the contract, who is to know, it is THEIR error which they admit to. I don't care what the charges are for, if it were me my approach would be, hey I asked you for a total and I paid what you asked for. End of story. You can't come to me later asking for more, admitting your mistake previously, and demanding it then. It is not reasonable, and their own mistake should cost them that £50 or they should train their staff better.

The call will have been recorded, and I am in no doubt that she will have a good defence in court if she can obtain the tapes of that call, where she clearly explained she wanted to pay everything owing, and at the end of the call she actually said "so that is it, I don't owe you any more money?" To which the reply was "No, you don't owe any more, that's your account settled and closed."

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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Then that is what has to be challenged, the telephone conversation re the original debt, that and that alone at first., then the £50 charge.

 

I think a SAR is is the answer specifically requiring the transcript of said call, you will need to supply a date for that call.

 

It's so easy for a company to deny any such call was made and or the content of the call.

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The OFT Guidance on Debt Collection 2003 as amended 2006 & Nov 2012 has no mention of any rules regarding the use of PO Box numbers for debt collection matters this would not I think come under TS purview.

 

Also there is no mention in the CASs guidance on debt collection letters.

So yes they can use PO Box numbers.

 

 

 

OFT Guidance may not mention PO Box numbers, but the Companies Act 2006 says that a company must show its Registered Office address on all stationery, and a Registered Office cannot be a PO Box.

 

If no Registered Office address is shown, you can complain to Companies House.

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Thanks, yes I agree.

They can deny of course, but I tend to find it helps to mention that all calls are recorded this end, usually helps them "find" it :)

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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thx Scarlet

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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The DCAs have been aware of the 2006 Act and all the DCA letters I see have the relevant detail on them, they do not have to be part of the header, having just had a look at some ''client'' files all have the regNo. and office address somewhere on the letter.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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Sorry, one thing I meant to ask is whether you can ask for some sort of deed of assignment when DCAs contact you like this?

The letter from Moorcroft begins "we have been instructed by Virgin Mobile Telecoms"

Does that mean they now own this debt, i.e. have bought it?

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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That means Moorcroft are acting on behalf of Virgin and will take ''insrtuctions from their client''

 

What you have is sufficient notice as the debt has not been sold on.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

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What do you mean by sufficient notice?

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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What do you mean by sufficient notice?

 

Sufficient notice that Moorcroft are acting on behalf of Virgin and are authorised to collect, however they cannot instigate court action.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Oh I see, thanks.

Yes it says that, after the threat after threat, 'we will have to advise our client to take the matter to court' or words close to those. My reply would be, and might be in this case: "Lovely, that's precisely what I hope you will do, as I would enjoy the opportunity to have this case heard in court but I couldn't afford the costs myself, so I hope Virgin will foot the bill to give me my say infront of a judge."

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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The fact is the initial court fee and cost of litigation for £50 is not practicable, and many judges would more than a trifle annoyed to see that claim before them.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Yes that's what I thought, although glad to hear others agree. I have seen a judge express anger in a large courtroom for being brought to hear a case for £30,000 so I am sure £50 would raise a few eyebrows! The truth is she would welcome such an event in this case, as she would then a right to state her case, and if she can obtain the evidence admitting the mistakes as the fault on Virgin's part, I am sure she would have a strong chance of seeing it thrown out purely on grounds of "reasonableness" which I know judges take strongly into account in smaller claims. Of course it wont get that far, so the only concern she has is bad entries on her credit file. I suppose her only avenue is either to pay it, or face that risk and consider suing for its removal if they did do something like that.

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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The reasons judge view these very small claims with some distate is that the cost always

out way the claim and often the cost are levied on the defendant and the princplt that ALL

avenues to seeking a remedy should have been exhausted before litigation is even considered.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Yes I am fully aware of the reasons

The financial system is collapsing, time to raise a glass to the end of the biggest pyramid scheme in history - The Debt Industry :whoo:

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