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Taking O2 and debt collection agencies to court?


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Okay - I'll try and keep this simple to avoid boring people.

 

In 2011 I returned home from a tour of Afghanistan.

 

I was greeted with some letters from O2.

 

I called up the customer service team explaining I didn't have a clue what was going on.

I was promised that this would be looked into, and they would get back to me.

They never did. I assumed it was over and done with.

 

From that date letters from a load of debt collection agencies came to my mothers address (I lived on an Army camp).

I assumed this was spam and never followed it up.

 

Then in 2013 I got a letter from issuing a county court summons.

 

I went online and spoke to O2.

They said they were still looking into it.

Promised me it was nothing to worry about...

And said they would get back to me.

 

Again this never happened,

but this time I kept screen shots of the online conversation.

 

When I passed this information on to the debt collection agency they discontinued the claim.

Again I thought it was over.

 

Recently me and my partner have applied for a mortgage.

All 25% saved.

Got rejected...

 

Checked my credit file and found there were 3 defaults from debt collection agencies (namely Lowell, and Cabot financial).

 

I call them and they say that it was with regards to O2 debts.

I explain the situation they I never had an O2 phone.

I have been with Vodafone for years...

 

Then I called up O2.

I spoke to someone from the "fraud department".

Possibly the rudest lady I have ever spoken to.

Luckily I used my iPhone to record this.

 

She stated it looked like someone I know had opened the accounts.

.. Said this was not the type of fraud they were interested in.

I offered her a crime reference number,

she said she was not interested.

 

I asked what I could do, and was told I should just pay they money even if it was not mine.

 

I have now emailed the CEO of O2. I've also emailed there complaints department.

The debt companies say they can't remove the defaults unless O2 agree.

 

From a quick google, is seems like county court action is the only option.

I can't not buy a house for another 3 years (before it will drop off).

I can't get a mortgage with this information.

 

Any advice?

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Not sure how it would take two years to look into this and you would accept that.

 

Ignoring the debt collection letters would never be advised either,

looks like this was bound to happen along the line.

 

I doubt taking them to court will work as you rung up the bill and ignored the letters for two years.

 

My advice would be to plead through O2 and offer to settle the debts.

Hopefully they should be taken off and you can get your house.

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I am assuming that O2 pretty much said what they did to get you off the phone, because it looks to me as though they had assigned the account at that time and it would have Lowells who have been recording the defaults.

 

Ignore the previous text that was here.. I misread and thought that you had a judgment against you !!

 

I will try and find someone who can help.

  • Confused 1

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Not sure how it would take two years to look into this and you would accept that. Ignoring the debt collection letters would never be advised either, looks like this was abound to happen along the line.

 

I doubt taking them to court will work as you rung up the bill and ignored the letters for two years.

 

My advice would be to plead through O2 and offer to settle the debts. Hopefully they should be taken off and you can get your house.

 

1) When someone from a large organization tells me it is being investigated I tend to believe them.

I perhaps thought I had kicked them up the bum to get them to look into this. I'm perhaps naive.

 

2) "You run up the bill" - actually it was 3 accounts which were opened.

I won't go into the boring details, but when you are on an operational tour you do not have free access to phones or the internet.

.. You also cannot just pop into a branch to open up an account.

Your statement is wrong, and also offensive.

 

I appreciate all advice or help given. I really do.

But rather than make an accusation you could ask me.

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I am assuming that O2 pretty much said what they did to get you off the phone, because it looks to me as though they had assigned the account at that time and it would have Lowells who have been recording the defaults.

 

Ignore the previous text that was here.. I misread and thought that you had a judgment against you !!

 

I will try and find someone who can help.

 

The debt has been assigned (as in sold).

 

However when I speak to Lowells, or Cabot financial,

they say they will only remove the defaults if O2 tell them too.

 

As far as I see O2 sold me details to a company..

. They therefore have a duty to sort this out.

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Some thoughts from a couple of the site team for you.

 

 

 

Just thinking aloud.

 

1. How was the contract taken out? (Online/instore)

2. What checks did o2 carryout to verify identity?

3. What address was the item delivered to and signed for?

4. You require a copy of the agreement

 

If OP's contact with The CEO office fails to get the required response and action (removal of the damaging adverse CRA markers)' date=' OP could consider action against o2 for damages citing the cases of Kpohraror v Woolwich and/or Richard Durkin v DSG Retail and Another.[/quote']

 

http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/A187_04.html

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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.

 

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Thanks CitizenB.

 

1. How was the contract taken out? (Online/instore)

- I'm told that they were taken out in a carphone warehouse store.

And one was taken out directly with O2.

They say they don't have store codes...

 

However as I was in another country/continent I feel thats good evidence I was not the one who took them out.

If I go to court I am tempted to take my medal as evidence that it could not have been me.

 

2. What checks did o2 carryout to verify identity?

- I did ask this and was told it was "confidential".

I was shocked. However I do have a recording of this.

 

3. What address was the item delivered to and signed for?

- They were supposedly brought in a store.

 

4. You require a copy of the agreement

- O2 have told me that "we are not interested in discussing this with you anymore" ,

I have that recorded.

 

I understand that I can do a SAR.

.. Would that be a good idea?

 

With regards to slick132 comment.

 

This is what I am thinking.

 

My original idea of not doing the SAR was because it would hold me back for 40 days, before I can act.

 

If I issue a lba then I would get the ball moving more quickly.

 

I only say this because from my research and the tone of the staff,

I cannot see them doing anything unless forced to.

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Something else I would suggest is speaking to your SSM confidentially and asking if your OC could do a letter confirming the dates you were on operational tour outside the UK.

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Hi PW,

 

I think sending the SAR is a good move anyway. It may provide useful info with regard to how you deal with this in the coming weeks or months.

 

If the CEO has not responded within 3 working days with at least an acknowledgement (allowing for the Easter bank holidays), let us know. You could consider sending a further email pointing out the court cases on which you'd rely but only do this if you're prepared to go through with any court action threatened.

 

:-)

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Well to be fair, it doesn't actually say you never opened the accounts,

it's just looks you dispute them,

which could mean you took them out but tried to cancel etc.

 

Maybe in trying to keep it brief you missed out key detail,

 

if you can prove you were not the person who signed the agreements,

I doubt it will need to go as far as the courts.

 

Surely the CEOs office can sort this out?

 

I'd follows stus advice and get proof from your employers as they are bound to ask for it.

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an sar would be an excellent idea.

 

as there is no agreement its only a service contract

I doubt theres anything to see on that front.

 

it could be useful to demand to see any payments details made

if anything was ever paid on any of the accounts.

 

if payments were made then that could be very revealing upon the source of them..

 

sadly you've now got 4 closed days to await over the holiday I bet

 

i'd certainly involve the CEO and reference his to the recent successful +£8k claim by Richard durkin and HFC

regarding the registering of false information.

 

dx

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

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s -  would collapse overnight.

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs - that's why they will never tell you they are not bailiffs and have absolutely zero legal powers on any debt.

 

 

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Hi PW,

 

I think sending the SAR is a good move anyway. It may provide useful info with regard to how you deal with this in the coming weeks or months.

 

If the CEO has not responded within 3 working days with at least an acknowledgement (allowing for the Easter bank holidays), let us know. You could consider sending a further email pointing out the court cases on which you'd rely but only do this if you're prepared to go through with any court action threatened.

 

:-)

 

I have already got a responce of sorts from their "executive relations team". They say they aim to sort this stuff within 5 days. So I will wait til next week to see. I am very serious in taking this as far as I need to. My current life/relationship relies on it. Appreciate the help.

 

 

Something else I would suggest is speaking to your SSM confidentially and asking if your OC could do a letter confirming the dates you were on operational tour outside the UK.

 

Good idea. I will send some messages to some senior NCO's who I have an okay relationship with. I'm not in the forces anymore, however can easily prove I was not in the country. Thanks

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Well to be fair, it doesn't actually say you never opened the accounts,

it's just looks you dispute them,

which could mean you took them out but tried to cancel etc.

 

Maybe in trying to keep it brief you missed out key detail,

 

if you can prove you were not the person who signed the agreements,

I doubt it will need to go as far as the courts.

 

Surely the CEOs office can sort this out?

 

I'd follows stus advice and get proof from your employers as they are bound to ask for it.

 

Totally understand. Writing is not my strong point, so sorry if it came across wrong.

 

I've got no problems proving I was out of the country. I just have problems getting anyone to care. I won't post the audio recording online until after I've sorted this. But their fraud department lady said it looked like it was NOT me who opened the account, but that it was probably someone I know so they don't care.

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Hi

I can see a problem with the SAR aspect. As it was not you that took out the contracts, the details O2 will have on their system will not correspond with what you know and they may refuse the SAR as it won't be your data. On the positive side, this should also show to O2 that (based on the information you supply) that it couldn't have been you that took out the contract.

 

It was O2 that originally filed the defaults but when the debts were sold, the new creditor took on the responsibility of updating the Credit reference agencies and they also have the power to remove them, not say that it is O2s responsibility. If, however, any of the DCAs are collecting on behalf of O2 then yes, O2 have the responsibility of amending your credit file.

 

As I see it and following the Durkin Judgement, any dispute should mean the offending data being removed with the option of re-inserting it should the dispute fail. This can be done by someone at O2 or the DCAs who has the responsibility of ensuring the data is accurate. The Data Controller!

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Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Perhaps the way round who is responsible would be to send the same letter to the legal department of both companies.

 

You only need type up the one letter - change the details eg company name and type across the bottom of the letter that your letter has been copied to the other company. You should perhaps also include in the body of your complaint that you have copied both companies in on this situation and that they should sort out between themselves who has the responsibility for removing any adverse data on your credit files. But sort it they must or you will be exploring your options.

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

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Thanks. I have considered going three ways... Going to Lowell, Cabot and O2. However at the moment I have been focussing on O2, simply because they are the ones who have sold this to the other companies. And rightly or wrongly, I assume that they are more likely to want to sort this than debt collection companies.

 

I am going to wait for the 5 working days to hear back from O2. If they have not responded at that point, I seem to have two options: Ombudsman, or County Court.

 

I prefer the option of the County Court, simply because I assume they have more far reaching powers to end this. I do have definite evidence that this was not me. And therefore I can't see how they can defend a claim. I'm not overly interested in compensation, however I do want this sorting.

 

So my plan of attack is, wait the 5 days. Then if not sorted send a letter before action giving them 7 days. I do expect O2 to cave in and sort this, but I am just unsure how long it will take and how much energy it will take.

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Thanks. I have considered going three ways... Going to Lowell, Cabot and O2. However at the moment I have been focussing on O2, simply because they are the ones who have sold this to the other companies. And rightly or wrongly, I assume that they are more likely to want to sort this than debt collection companies.

 

I am going to wait for the 5 working days to hear back from O2. If they have not responded at that point, I seem to have two options: Ombudsman, or County Court.

 

I prefer the option of the County Court, simply because I assume they have more far reaching powers to end this. I do have definite evidence that this was not me. And therefore I can't see how they can defend a claim. I'm not overly interested in compensation, however I do want this sorting.

 

So my plan of attack is, wait the 5 days. Then if not sorted send a letter before action giving them 7 days. I do expect O2 to cave in and sort this, but I am just unsure how long it will take and how much energy it will take.

 

That sounds like a plan :)

 

I would sincerely hope that the Richard Durkin Judgment would help bring your claim to an early resolution. I would definitely say that court would be the much quicker option as the Ombudsman appears to take up to 2 years or more..

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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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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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Obviously I have heard nothing back! As they are all enjoying their easter holiday when I am worrying my world is falling apart.

 

However I have just found out something else... And this really does beggars belief!!! When I presented Lowell with the evidence that it was not my debt and they withdrew the case... Well they have only gone and increased the amount on the default before it even got in front of a judge - and have left it there after they had to give up! I've also seen evidence that they have lied on court documents.

 

Here we are, from Noddle:

 

2013 471 471 471 471 646 646 646 646 646 646 646 646

2012 471 471 471 471 471 471 471 471 471 471 471

 

So the original amount WHICH WAS NOT MY DEBT was 471!

 

However I have in front of me a court claim form saying:

 

Amount Claimed: 521.24

Court Fee: 55

Solicitors Costs: 70

Total Amount: 646.24

 

So they have lied to a court, and have also left the court fees and solicitors costs on the default even after they lost!!!

 

Sorry if I seem annoyed - but I just cannot believe that organisations are allowed to ruin people's lives with this rubbish.

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IMHO, you have every reason to be angry - Have you also made the Credit reference agency aware of the situation ? I think you can have a Notice added to your file that there is a dispute in place and that anyone looking at the file should be aware of this.

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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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IMHO, you have every reason to be angry - Have you also made the Credit reference agency aware of the situation ? I think you can have a Notice added to your file that there is a dispute in place and that anyone looking at the file should be aware of this.

 

Yes I've filled out the forms for both equifax and also noodle. Will have to see what happens with regards to that.

 

I got an email today from Cabot. They are just telling me to do their job for them... Asking me what O2 have said when I called them.

 

I've replied politely informing them of the situation and informing them I have a recording from last week from O2 admitting it looks like someone else has opened the account.

 

I've gone a stage further though. I consider them the data controller as they have the default in their name. So I've given them 7 days to remove the default or I'll be commencing action in the county court. I've quoted durkin.

 

So in 7 days either I'll only have one company to deal with or I'll be starting a small claims case. Any ideas how much I should claim for? It's not the money... But when I read the durkin case it seemed to make me think I could claim 8k?

 

Thanks again.

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Do you have other defaults on your credit file - I ask this because if you do, then they will try to limit any damage by saying they werent the only default. If this is the only default and your mortgage broker/bank confirms this is the reason they got cold feet.. then I guess you could go for a fair amount of compensation. :)

 

But please do wait while others contribute.

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Ok a little update. Rather than Lowell looking into the matter today I've received a letter from Bryan carter solicitors... Saying that if I don't pay by the 4th of May they are going to take me to court.

 

Now that might worry me... However this is for the same account which has already been discontued after fredricksons played their games! So now they are trying to sue me again after losing... And have even included the court fees and solicitors fees onto the claim amount!!! Love it...

 

I'm really hoping that they do commence proceedings on the 4th as I will use it as an excuse to counter sue.

 

The question is though... Do these bullying tactics really work or are they just retarded?

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Sadly, on occasion, their tactics do work, which is no doubt why they continue to issue these threats and.. get away with it :(

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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Sadly, on occasion, their tactics do work, which is no doubt why they continue to issue these threats and.. get away with it :(

 

I know I shouldn't but I really want them to issue proceedings against me. I feel my case is so strong, not only can they not prove the debt but I can prove it's not true. Plus it was discontinued...

 

I've decided if they issue it I'm going to claim 5k. My take on the law is that after the durkin judgement you can go for 8k. And I believe that any county court judge will be appalled at this behaviour!

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Just finished a phone call with O2.

 

They claim that due to their investigation they feel that they will not close the account. The claim that it looks like someone has opened the account, and it could be one of my brothers... In that case they say that they do not consider it fraud, and will only sort it on completion of a successful prosecution. They call this a civil matter.

 

However they are sending me out a deadlock letter so that I can go to the Ombudsman. I plan on doing this.

 

I am also trying to work out if I should take O2 or the debt collection agencies to court...

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