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Rook Health Club / CRS and now Zinc Group


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I have been using this site for a while for information and advice given to others and have found it very valuable, so first of all well done to all involved helping consumers.

 

thought i would post my issue as seems i need some specific advice on what to do at the moment...

 

I moved down to London last year and signed up for a gym membership on a corporate rate through my work. I didn't actually involve my work, but when i went down to discuss the membership i mentioned i worked for the company i did and negotiated a deal with them.

 

when negotiating i specifically asked (because my work contract was only 10 months and wasn't sure how long i may stay in london) if i move house or leave my current employment am i able to cancel early, i was told most definitely that wouldn't be a problem. and that was it....

 

the contract i was on in their T&Cs meant my monthly fee dropped from £100 to £75 a month. low and behold in the summer i decided to leave as my employment had finished and although i would be staying in london, i had found a closer gym to me, but i had left my job and was freelancing or as far as the gym were concerned 'unemployed'

 

i called up to cancel and was told that, if i was to cancel early, i would have to give 3 months notice, but also my membership would have to be upgraded back to a full membership and pay the back dated £25 for the months i had had it discounted, as well as 3 further months at £100, as you can imagine i kicked off with them big time. The gym advisor had not detailed any of these charges when i confronted him about the process of cancelling early, and i said this basically amounts to mis-selling a contract or product which of course is illegal(it?). I played hardball and told them i had sought legal advice from my solicitor (which i hadn't) and that was told to demand them to release me from my contract

 

i told them the advisor that had mis-sold me the contract had intentionally done this to get my to sign up. i was told as a 'gesture of goodwill (ha!)' they would 'waive' the back dated payments and i could cancel for the remaining £100 each month. i told them this was not acceptable, i said i wanted to be released from the contract and that i would serve a months notice as a fair compromise. i didn't hear anything back.

 

so as a compromise i decided to just pay the remaining 3 months and then cancelled my standing order with them. shortly after the standing order had ceased, i received letters telling them that i had missed payments and still had a contract with them, they basically ignored my letters and continued to try and take the payments as normal. i sent them another email saying that back in march we had had the discussion to cancel, you had told me it was 3 months. i paid april may and june's payments and now i consider myself no longer a member. please cancel down my membership. i didn't receive a reply. i called and the account managers' argument was that i hadn't paid the full membership 3 months notice, i had only paid the £75 a month. so therefore i still owe £75. On the phone she had confirmed that £75 would cancel down the account... i wish i had got this in writing!! hindsight...

 

FYI the advisor that sold me the contract has ceased working with them. either he left or more likely he was let go for using this technique (probably more than once?)

 

i received standard letters with requests to pay from the gym and then finally good old CRS got in touch. i haven't made contact since. from looking at forum threads, i made the decision to ignore them. the balance now apparently stands at £434.20?!?

 

i receive a weekly or fortnightly letter from them with new ways of saying i should pay, and i could be in big big trouble if i don't pay. i receive regular text messages telling me to contact them .i have not made contact

 

the latest letter says...

 

'We regret that despite out attempts to reach an amicable resolution on your account (haven't made contact yet??) you remain in arrears to ROKO

 

We must therefore give notice that failing to reply to this letter within the next 10 days will result in your account balance being passed to Zinc Group, one of the UK's leading providers of debt recovery solutions

 

WE WOULD STILL LIKE TO RESOLVE THIS MATTER (oh yes I'm sure you would lol...)

 

We're still happy to listen to your reasons for not paying (are you really?) and will do whatever we can to reach an acceptable resolution for both parties (lol)/ all that is required for you to call us on NUMBER so we can discuss the matter further (thanks for making it so easy for me..)"

 

anyway, aside from the sarcasm, it seems they are either giving up on the dept and selling it on? or moving it to Zinc Group to pursue

 

having looked at the forum it seems Zinc are the same type of jokers as CRS

 

so what do you think I should do?

 

quite happy ignoring the letters and messages but wondering if that is the best resolution

 

To be honest i would probably pay the £75 just to get them to go away

. but then i think, no why should i?

they have taken the mickey and mis-sold me the contract.

i acted very reasonably considering what i was led in too

 

so is there a more legal and legitimate way to approach this

 

or should i just ignore them.

 

excuse the essay, but its a complicated one...

 

any help is GREATLY appreciated in advance!

 

thanks

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Hi Joe,

 

I assume the admin was handled by Harlands initially, but please confirm.

 

CRS are simply Harlands at the adjacent desk. Zinc are their next step and, if you're really lucky, you'll get a Snot-o-gram from Major & Co, their pet solicitors. Zinc and Major will back off when told but it's Harlands/CRS who keep pestering the longest. We can advise you of when is best to ignore, or reply.

 

From what you've said, there is no need to pay the extra £75, and certainly no need to pay any of their admin fees that they try to add on. I would also have advised that you only paid them 1 month's notice fee after cancelling due to redundancy or relocation. The 3 months they seek in unfair IMHO.

 

They're just trying their luck and it probably works in many cases, but not with folk who come here to CAG for support !

 

Stay off the phone and, if they call you, tell them to put anything they have to say in writing, then hang up !

 

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thanks for your prompt reply, much appreciated

 

Yes, having looked at the bottom of the letters I can see it says they are a 'trading title of Harlands Services LTD'

 

I had seen the sticky at the top of the forum about the Gym's being forced to end 'unfair' exit clauses..

 

I gathered i would be ok as long as I had proof of when i contacted them to cancel the contract

 

So would you recommend just ignoring for the time being

 

I will report back should I receive any more 'legal threatening' letters

 

it is very strange that they have my number and constantly text me, yet have never picked up the phone and called...

 

many thanks for your advice

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Hi Joe,

 

It's always a good idea to make sure they have your current address, to make sure nobody tries to sneak a court claim through at an old one.

 

I would write to CRS saying you cancelled as agreed with the gym and paid up to the end of the 12 month agreement even though you moved and were unemployed 9 months into the agreement.

 

Tell them you owe, and will pay, nothing. And that you're keeping a log of all contacts made by Harlands/CRS, Zinc, etc to make a case for harassment if necessary.

 

See if, and how, they respond.

 

:-)

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Hi

 

yes they do still have my current address and I am still receiving all correspondence.

 

I may have not made myself completely clear in terms of timescales with regard to the contract. I took out the membership in October 2013, and initially requested to leave the contract early in March 2013. My second request went in in April which was when i was told i could leave with a further 3 months notice. I then paid April, May & June and cancelled my direct debit. But technically my contract still had 3 months, obviously an early termination was agreed.

 

Do you think I should write to them in the same manner, but obviously just mention the time frames I have just told you?

 

many thanks

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Hi Joe,

 

I understood enough from your earlier post thanks.

 

Can you confirm, when you discussed ending the m/ship agreement early, was this discussed with the gym or with Harlands/CRS.

 

Keep your letter to Harlands as brief as possible and just tell them it was agreed about when you could cancel and how much you had to pay. Accordingly, you have no intention of discussing the issue further, or paying anything more to Harlands/CRS.

 

If you want to post a draft of your letter here, I'll be happy to check it before you send it to Harlands.

 

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