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Hi, hoping for some advice please.


My next door neighbour has one item with dial a TV.

She had some issues with them and stopped paying

and said she would resume payments when a manager called

and sorted out the issue as she was fed up of being passed from pillar to post.


I know she's had the items for less than a year as she went with them shortly after I went with BAYV,

and I've only been with them for 11 months, so she won't have paid 1/3.

She also isn't sure if it's a rental or HP agreement she has as she hasn't got a record of her paperwork (I've advised her to ask for this)


today a guy from DATV turns up to collect the item.

She refused and said it was elsewhere (whereas she just didn't want them taking it away as it's full of her data, and she wants to back it all up.)


She advised that she was happy to pay if she just got the original issue solved, and was still waiting for contact from management.

She provided her contact details again,



5 minutes later received a text message which said "This is DialaTV re: The 1968 Theft Act.

This advises you your rental account will be passed to police for theft

due to non payment with the intent to permanently deprive DialaTV of their equipment.



You must call us urgently to arrange collection of our goods whereby police action will be cancelled.

Phone 01487 773515"


Now, this got me angry, as I'm fairly certain that this is a civil matter,

and they're clearly trying to terrify her, but I just wanted to clarify I was correct in my assumption?


Also, it was obvious from what she had said to the guy that turned up that she was not trying to steal the item

but was merely withholding payment until issues were sorted.


Also, can anyone offer any other advice? I have already advised her as mentioned above, but have I missed anything?



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You have correctly identified that she needs to establish if it is hire purchase or not. Dial-a-TV's website notes both "rental" and "rental-to-buy" options : but her agreement with them will state if it is HP or not.

If it is HP (and with less than 1/3rd paid) then she has fewer rights (as they can demand the item back) and her best redress is via a civil claim for breach of contract / wrongful repossession.


If it isn't HP she is in a better position, as then she can note: for it to be Theft :

A) she must appropriate property belonging to another

B) with dishonest intent

C) to permanently deprive the other of it


The "deprive" can be "depriving the goodness" from an item, so taking a season ticket to a football ground, using it and giving it back with one match remaining could still be "to permanently deprive".


So, she needs to be able to show B) and C) don't apply, in case the company are foolish enough to claim theft.


Can she record calls? If so, I'd call the 01487 number, stating (as you have identified) that :

i) It is indeed a civil, not criminal matter

ii) she has been paying before the issues, will resume paying once the issues are resolved, and had only stopped paying in protest at the issues being ignored,

iii) she has no intent to permanently deprive, so it isn't theft

iv) her intent is in no way dishonest but is to hold the company to its contractual obligations.


If she can copy these in text to the number that has texted her, and send a letter highlighting these (& the issue she needs sorting!) to the company's head office (keeping a copy of said letter, and sending it by a tracked, guaranteed delivery service) : should the police come calling she can show these to the police, demonstrating why it isn't theft, and why it is a civil, not police / criminal matter.


She shouldn't keep it anywhere other than her agreement with DATV states (it wasn't necessary for her to state it wasn't there and might give them more reason to believe it has been "stolen"). She can just refuse to allow DATV in.

Keep a further copy of the letter, and pass it to anyone from DATV who turns up (ideally through the letter box of an unopened door).


If they try to force entry or are causing a disturbance : call the police.


Back up all the data (it is a good idea to have a backup, anyway?), in case it comes down to having to return it!

So, back it up anyway, but especially if it turns out it is on HP and liable to be returned!

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I'd be copying that threat to the FCA



they arestill investigating all rent to own people like this lot



they cant threaten things like that

and she should be seeking compensation for the threat being made.



see the recent nelly99 thread here


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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While it may have seemed a good idea at the time to suspend payments, this has caused double the trouble.


They cannot demand return of good without a court order and they are using the theft act to harass her. Whether the police actually get involved is open to question as this should be dealt with as a civil matter (and they should say as much..hopefully)


Why no paperwork. Lost? not given?


If she is able to make the payments up to date, then that is what I would do then raise a formal complaint in writing.


I am assuming this is a laptop or PC or Tablet PC so what is the issue with it? Dead? faulty?


I would also make a complaint about the text message as that (in my opinion) is using threatening comments which is against the CPUT regs as amended.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

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

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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The issue she had was they were erratic with taking payments, and started threatening her with non payment

after a direct debit was returned unpaid.

This was down to them copying the bank details from the paperwork to their system incorrectly.



When she then asked them to re-set up the direct debit, they did so too late for the second month's payment,

but didn't inform her of this, and started harassing her again re: payment.

She was on holiday and came home to about 3 letters and a load of voicemails.


She didn't get so much as an apology, and so said she wanted to speak to a CS manager.

She was told "we'll pass on your details but it's up to the manager if they feel like calling you."

They didn't.



She called back and said she would be stopping payments until a manager spoke to her to which the reply was "we have noted your refusal to pay".

She then clarified it was not a refusal to pay,

but a payment hold until she could be sure all payments were going to come out as and when agreed etc.

as the erratic payments were inconveniencing her.


She has no paperwork as she has lost it. She has requested a copy of this.


Also, after giving them her phone number today, the agent rang and hung up just after she closed the door to verify the number, which she found irritating.


Then, 2 minutes later, after having explained her willingness to pay if a manager speaks to her, she's sent that text.


She also said the laptop was at her mother's house as she had left it there yesterday, not just "elsewhere", so not like she was vague etc.


I will mention to her about reporting the threats as she is classed as a vulnerable person due to mental health issues,

and she came round in tears after that text message thinking she was going to be arrested.

It took me quite some time to calm her down and explain that it wasn't a police matter.

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When she then asked them to re-set up the direct debit, they did so too late for the second month's payment.


Two suggestions spring to mind:


1) Pay by way of standing order and remove the ability for them to dip in to the account when they feel like it.


2) Contact a few local charities and see if they are able to supply a laptop at a reduced cost. If help can be found via a charity, the current laptop can be returned along with a suitably worded letter.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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Because as soon as the FCA receive x complaints about a place they will review their license to offer credit.


If more people complained to the FCA when places like these misbehave, they would have to change their ways or be shut down. Look what FCA has done to pay day loan company's for example.








The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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