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Littlewoods cat debt claim form from lowells - a faulty hoover they never repaired


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I ordered a Hoover from Littlewoods costing around £244 in July 2007.

Within the first few weeks it developed faults and became unusable.

 

After numerous complaints,

I received a letter from Littlewoods acknowledging the fault with the Hoover.

They quoted me around £180 for a callout to fix it,

which I was unable to afford, a

nd so was left with a broken Hoover having paid £200 already.

 

Left with £44 to pay I phoned Littlewoods and explained the issue.

I was pressured into agreeing to two Direct Debits to clear the balance over two months.

 

I had a lot of personal problems around that time and was unable to deal with my finances for some time.

When I did, I realized the DDs had not been taken and Littlewoods had added loads of charges/interest,

defaulted me and sold it onto Lowells.

 

I have always maintained that they owe me a Hoover or I owe them £44 but nobody has listened to me.

 

I got a Claim Form from Northampton County Court on Tuesday giving me 14 days to reply.

The amount has gone from £44 to become £387!

 

Please can someone help me as I am on benefits and don’t have any real money coming in to pay this.

 

I never even got a Hoover, am stuck with a massively inflated bill and have no idea what my next step is.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Can you let us know the date of issue which you will find at the top right hand corner of the claim form near the claim number.

 

Will you also let us know exactly what it says on the claim form - the reason they have issued the claim. That way we can confirm your timeline. If you are goign to submit a defence then you have 33 days from the date of issue in which to do this, but you need to acknowledge the claim - until we know the date of issue we are unable to advise when you need to do this by.

 

If the hoover developed faults within the first few weeks then it should either have been repaired free of charge or replaced.

 

Obviously they have been continuing to add interest to the balance of £44.00. You could dispute these charges and perhaps the time to have done that would have been when you were first advised the assignment had been made.

 

 

If you could answer the questions above, then I will try and find someone who can help :)

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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 ordered a Hoover from Littlewoods costing around £244 in July 2007. Within the first few weeks it developed faults and became unusable.

 

After numerous complaints, I received a letter from Littlewoods acknowledging the fault with the Hoover. They quoted me around £180 for a callout to fix it, which I was unable to afford, and so was left with a broken Hoover having paid £200 already.

 

Left with £44 to pay I phoned Littlewoods and explained the issue. I was pressured into agreeing to two Direct Debits to clear the balance over two months.

 

I had a lot of personal problems around that time and was unable to deal with my finances for some time. When I did, I realized the DDs had not been taken and Littlewoods had added loads of charges/interest, defaulted me and sold it onto Lowells.

I have always maintained that they owe me a Hoover or I owe them £44 but nobody has listened to me. I got a Claim Form from Northampton County Court on Tuesday giving me 14 days to reply. The amount has gone from £44 to become £387!

Please can someone help me as I am on benefits and don’t have any real money coming in to pay this. I never even got a Hoover, am stuck with a massively inflated bill and have no idea what my next step is.

 

Thanks in advance.

assuming your not caught by Limitation then you should have an absolute defence to the claim relying on the Sale of Goods Act 1979(as amended)

 

It seems to me the goods may not be fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality or if sale by description then perhaps even "not as described

 

You would have a potential counter claim it seems too

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assuming your not caught by Limitation then you should have an absolute defence to the claim relying on the Sale of Goods Act 1979(as amended)

 

It seems to me the goods may not be fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality or if sale by description then perhaps even "not as described

 

You would have a potential counter claim it seems too

Just to add, it seems it would be a part 20 counterclaim against Littlewoods.

 

Also, another important point to canvass, is this when you opened the littlewoods account? ie 2007? or was the account opened sooner?

 

If so, then the second limb of the challenge to this may be under s61(1) Consumer Credit Act, but first things first what is the date of the account being opened, as opposed to the transaction for the Hoover?

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The most important thing to do at this point is answer citizen b questions and get the claim acknowledged. This is not admitting anything. Acknowledge and I think say defend all. There might even be an option for counter claim

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Don't worry about any limitation period. Don't worry about the county court action against you.

 

This is a golden opportunity for you to be heard by a County Court judge and to bring Littlewoods to book.

 

Most of the companies don't bring county court actions.

They prefer to bully and harass.

 

You will also be able to make a counterclaim.

 

Do you still have their letter admitting the fault?

I hope that you do.

 

Please give all of the details of the claim as asked above..

 

Please also give us some information about the faults with the Hoover and what did you do instead.

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I expect that you will be able to counterclaim for the money you paid for the Hoover - plus 8% interest.

Compensation for the loss of use of the Hoover - maybe, £150

Compensation for mismanaging your account - maybe £150

They will have logged this on your credit file - so compensation for any damage and distress caused by unfair processing of your personal data - maybe £300

Plus an order that they remove all traces of this from your credit file.

 

We need more details to be able to advise as to whether these sums are correct or whether they should be increased.

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A counterclaim is totally different to a Part 20 claim. The latter won't be relevant here.

 

By the way, I don't think that a counterclaim is totally different from a Part 20 claim. A counterclaim is simply one type of part 20 claim.

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There are good arguments in favour of loss of use compensation - but whatever - it is worth loading the claim up within reason and let them produce the counter-arguments.

 

Frankly, if the OP has the original letter, then once the other side have received the defence I expect that they will try to settle to avoid the expense of having to attend court and losing.

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Hi, and thanks for all the quick responses. I really wish I had dealt with this earlier but didn’t expect it to escalate to a county court case.

 

 

I’ve been doing my best to find all the paperwork connected with Littlewoods but I think there are some parts missing so I’ve been trying to fill in the blanks.

 

 

To answer your questions: Date of Issue on the court document is 21st Jan 2014.

 

 

See attached for the of the case with personal details blanked out.

 

 

I think I opened the account around June 28 2006, that’s the earliest payment I can find on my bank statements anyway. I bought several items before the Hoover, so it’s hard to remember exactly when.

 

 

Details of the faults with the Hoover are that it would not pick anything up. I have a letter dated July 16 2007 from Littlewoods acknowledging a fault. I couldn’t afford to fix it and in the end it stayed broken.

 

 

I lost count of the times I phoned to complain and the whole situation was left to one side while I dealt with personal problems.

 

 

Hope that answers all the questions and thanks again for everyone’s help.

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Please will you post document attachments in pdf format in future. Thanks.

 

Please will you post up their letter acknowledging the fault.

This letter is all you really need but it would be useful to be able to get other documents to show the judge the whole story and that you did try to deal with it at the beginning. The more inconvenience you can demonstrate - the more likely you are to get a better payout.

 

Please post the letter so that we can give you better advice on your defence and counterclaim.

 

Once we have seen that, here is broadly what you need to do.

 

 

  • You will need to respond to the claim saying that
  • You intend to defend the claim in full
  • That you intend to counterclaim

 

Frankly, it has been so long since I have seen the forms that I can't remember what they ask you to fill in.

 

If you could post those up in PDF format then we can get going.

 

Roughly speaking you will say:-

 

  1. I deny the claim.
  2. The Hoover broke down within the first few weeks.
  3. Littlewoods acknowledged the fault but tried to charge me for the repairs.
  4. I couldn't afford them and so I have never used the Hoover since then.
  5. I was too poor and too frightened to chase up a big company like Littlewoods.
  6. Now I want to counterclaim.
  7. I will supply better details of my defence and of my counterclaim once the case has been transferred to my local court.

However let us see the forms and we'll do it properly. I doesn't need any special legal language

You could merely send an acknowledgement and this will give you an extra 14 days of time - but this is such an easy case - you may as file the defence straightaway.

 

I suggest that you send Littlewoods an SAR to get any other information they hold on you - but get all of your documents together first of all.

 

Don't hang around on this. You have time but let's get it out of the way in a relaxed fashion. Nothing to worry about. You will win.

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There are good arguments in favour of loss of use compensation - but whatever - it is worth loading the claim up within reason and let them produce the counter-arguments.

 

Frankly, if the OP has the original letter, then once the other side have received the defence I expect that they will try to settle to avoid the expense of having to attend court and losing.

 

 

 

Not sure you can claim loss of use of a vacuum cleaner lol.

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Of course you can. If you contract for a vacuum cleaner - then your reasonable expectation was not only to own thing but also to have the use of it over several years. The inconvenience of not having it can be compensated. Of course, it couldn't be never-ending. At some point the court would expect you to have replaced it in order to minimise the inconvenience - but for instance, if Littlewoods prolonged the misery by promising repairs which were not carried out - or by other delays then it would have been reasonable not to buy a new one yet - and that further period of inconvenience would be compensated

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Your timeline is as follows..

 

Issue date 21 January + 5 days for service = 26 January + 14 days to acknowledge the claim (you can do this online) -= 9 February + 14 days to submit defence = 23 February 2014.

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

 

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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Thank you - but as I say, there is no point in delaying. It is very easy. Submit your defence as early as possible. Get it done and finished this week. You have it in the post by Wednesday.

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Thank you.

Now we'd like you to deal with the other matters we've asked about. What did you do for a vacuum cleaner? Is it logged on your credit file? What damage or inconvenience do you think you have suffered?

Do you still have the cleaner? Do you have another one? When did you get it and how much did it cost.

 

Just settle down and tell us the whole story chronologically please - so that it is all there and we don't have to prompt for any more info.

 

Also, please could you scan the response form - does it have anywhere to refer to a counterclaim.

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OK - I've found the forms - http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n009b-eng.pdf

 

I had forgotten.

 

I see that you will need to pay a fee to begin a counterclaim. As you are on benefits, the court will waive these fees. You need to visit your local court and ask them about fee waiver as quickly as possible.

However, don't let this delay your submitting of the defence and counterclaim.

 

Go to see your court tomorrow.

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You need to understand that the timescales are very important. If you miss one then you will lose your case and it will take time and trouble to undo the damage. It is very important that you treat this as a priority matter. Once you have put in your defence then you can relax for a few weeks and get on with other things.

 

have you visited your court to ask about fee waivers? You have to realise that the court moves very slowly on this kind of thing. They are very under-resourced. You need to get all of this underway quickly. We are helping you to take control of your situation - but you will have to acted quickly and decisively.

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Apologies for taking a while to reply but my financial records are incomplete and stored in various locations around the house.

I am treating this as a priority and can assure you I am taking it all seriously.

I’ve spoken to my local county court about fee waiver and to move it to the nearest one from me.

Hopefully the following timeline will answer everything you require. Additional notes below.

 

Timeline

June 30 2006 - Opened Littlewoods Account

July 2007 - Bought Cleaner for £244. The cleaner broke in the same week, I phoned to complain.

 

Numerous phone complaints, Littlewoods being unhelpful. Passed on to different departments.

 

July 16 2007 – Letter acknowledging fault from Littlewoods.

Contacted Supplier as directed by Littlewoods letter. Quoted an estimated £180 for a call out.

 

August 2007 - Letter of complaint sent to Littlewoods explaining the situation and asking for a replacement or refund. No response.

 

August 2007 - Phoned Littlewoods, they denied receiving the letter. I asked again for a replacement or refund, Littlewoods refused and directed me to again contact supplier.

 

With £44 left to pay, I phoned Littlewoods to explain personal and financial problems.

Littlewoods refused a lower payment offer and I was pressured into setting up two Direct Debits of £22 to clear the balance.

As far as I was knew at the time they were paid.

 

January 16 2008 - Account was passed over to Nationwide Debt Recovery Ltd.

 

I continued struggling to keep up payments to Littlewoods but charges and interest became unmanageable.

Made three last payments - 16 January £21 - 18 February £52.60 - 25 February £44

 

Default logged on my Credit Score by Littlewoods on 14 March 2009 for £54.00

 

April 2009 to Present – Account passed around to Lowells, Hamiltons Legal, Red, Scotcall, Mackenzie Hall and Advantis Credit.

 

21 January 2014 – County Court Claim Issued by Lowells.

 

Additional Notes And Questions

Earliest record of Littlewoods I have is June 30 2006 through my bank at that time. I have done my best to get all the dates accurate to the best of my knowledge.

 

What did you do for a vacuum cleaner?

I had to use a dustpan and brush as I could not afford to replace the cleaner. As a single Mum with two kids and a dog to clean up after, this was time consuming and inconvenient.

 

What damage or inconvenience have you suffered?

Inconvenience and time taken to try and sort the issue.

Financial damage trapped into interest and charges I couldn’t keep up with.

Paid much more than the price of the Hoover.

Damage to my credit file.

Physical inconvenience of using a manual brush, exacerbating my condition (Fibromyalgia)

Chest problems brought on by increased dust. Requiring the use of Nebulisers

Upset and stress caused by Littlewoods and Collection agencies at a time of severe personal distress. Stepfather dying, full time caring for disabled Mum. My own health problems (Fibromyalgia) and depression.

 

Do you still have the cleaner?

Yes, it was put away in a cupboard

 

Do you have another one?

I had to buy a replacement cleaner when I could afford to. I bought one around November 2008 and paid £70

 

Hoover fault details

Pet attachment fell apart in my hands and was unusable from the start.

Constant blocks after very short use.

Purchased specifically for pet hair removal which the Hoover was unable to do.

Hoover overheated after short use causing electrical supply to cut out.

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you need to add that littlewoods have fobbed you off to the hoover

when under the sale of goods act - it's their problem.

 

I hope you have ack'd the claim using the password/id after registering at the MCOL site?

 

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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Thank you. That is very helpful.

 

Who is named as the claimant. Is it Littlewoods or Lowells?

 

Secondly, you need to calculated exactly how much you have paid for the Hoover - including interest, charges - everything. This needs to be done as a priority because this is the figure you will be putting into your counterclaim.

 

Have you any doctors/medical evidence of your condition and that it was caused by using the dustpan?

 

Start drafting your defence and counterclaim now. Draft it onto a piece of paper and then copy it into the form when you are ready. You are allowed to use an additional page or more for your counterclaim and I expect that you will have to do this.

 

Here is the approximate wording of your defence:-

 

I deny the claim. I bought a Hoover on credit from Littlewoods in 2007. It broke in the first week of use. Littlewoods refused to help me and eventually told me to contact the manufacturer. They wanted £180 to carry out repairs which I couldn't afford. I have never used the Hoover since that time. I carried on paying the installments but eventually gave up as I am a single parent and couldn't afford it anymore.

Here is the counterclaim

 

I now understand that Littlewoods had a duty under the Sale of Goods Act. They breached their duty. The Hoover broke down after one week. Littlewoods admitted the fault in a letter dated XXXXX but refused to help and told me to go to the manufacturer instead. I was unable to afford the £180 repair bill. I have never used the Hoover since that first week. I did not know my rights and I accepted the situatin and kept on paying the installments as well as interest payments and charges.

I am a single parent trying to bring up two children with limited resources. As I was trying to pay Littlewoods their installments, charges and interest, I could not afford another Hoover and had to do cleaning with a dustpan. It was over a year later that I could aford another vacuum cleaner for which I paid £70 and which is much less effective than the one supplied by Littlewoods for £244.

Having to use a dustpan for over a year caused serious difficulties as it was very difficult and much less effective to clean in that way. In addition to my two children, we also have a dog. Using a dustpan caused a great deal of dust and the continued inhalation caused breathing problems eventually requiring the use of nebulisers.

The physical strain of having to use a dustpan to clean the house exacerbated an existing Fibromyalgia condition.

As a result of my failure to keep up payments, my account was unjustly sold on to various debt collection agencies. I have been subject to a huge number of demands for money over the years from various agencies - despite my protests and complaints to Littlewoods. Entries have been placed on my credit file - which I now realise have been placed there unlawfully because of the circumstances of the case. This breach of the Sale of Goods Act by Littlewoods and the consequent unlawful processing of my data has caused serious distress for me as I have carried out my responsibilities as a single parent, coped with health problems and dealt with several family bereavements

 

Therefore my counterclaim is for:-

 

  1. Refund of all money paid for the Hoover including price, charges and interest - £XXXX
  2. Loss of use of Hoover and inconvenience of having to clean house manually for 16 months - £XXX (maybe £15 per month - £240)
  3. Effect on health £XXXX (This depends upon the evidence you have)
  4. Unlawful processing of personal data and stress caused by being wrongfully pursued for alleged debts - £XXX (unless you can show specific damage here, I would keep this very modest - say £100 max.)
  5. Total £XXX plus interest at 8% = £XXXX
  6. An order requiring removal of all related references from my credit file within 7 days
  7. An order requiring destruction of all data relating to me in this matter.

  1. The case will automatically be transferred to your local court once your defence has been sent it. Make sure that you send in your defence by recorded delivery.

 

Once the defence has been received, you will be sent an allocation questionnaire. In the section which invites you to suggest any directions or order which might be made by the judge, you should probably ask for Littlewoods to be joined as a defendant to your counterclaim. At the end of the day, it is they, not Lowells who should pay you this compensation. (I am assuming that Lowells is named as claimant

 

However, once the defence is sent off, I would suggest that you contact Lowells with a copy of your defence and counterclaim. Tell them that they have bought a pup this time and that they are on a hiding to nothing. Tell them that you will be adding Littlewoods as defendants to the counterclaim and that it would be far better if they wanted to save everyone a load of hassle, for them to contact Littlewoods directly to agree a solution between them.

 

However, tell them that you will not accept any discontinuance without a proper solution in writing and signed up by the judge as a Tomlin order.

 

Please check the suggested defence and counterclaim. Make sure that you agree that it is all true. Amend it as you see fit. You absolutely need the repayment figures. If you have no medical evidence then I suggest that the claim for ill-health is kept to £100. If you have evidence then you might raise it up to £500 - but don't forget that the more you claim, the more people will be concerned to see proof and also to resist you.

 

Do not accept any offers of settlement without coming back here and letting us now about it.

 

If you can put the figures together, you could get this all off to the court by tomorrow.

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