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Harlands as CRS Pretending to be a Debt Recovery Company!!


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Hi Everyone

 

Thought I'd post this for everyone who's had experience of Harlands pretending to be a DRC so you all could have as a laugh!

 

Summary:

I cancelled my gym membership at my local gym for health reasons in February.

Harlands, who were handling the finances for the gym, asked for proof from my doctor which I provided.

It then took them TWO MONTHS to agree to cancel my membership early.

 

 

Now they are chasing me for two monthly payments of £24 which equals £48 covering March and April

because it took them that long to decide to accept the medical evidence I provided.

PLUS they are now also chasing me for the usual unlawful 'administrative charges'

which they add every time someone in their so called

'collections department' decides to fart.

 

ere's the text of their rambling email to me which is their so called expert 'version' of events.

Sorry it's soooooooooooooo long, but have a laugh on me!:

 

"Further to your email of 13th July 2015;

we apologise that there has been an error in calculating your balance.

To explain how this has happened we should like to initially point out that the email you refer to

receiving was not sent by Credit Resolution Services.

 

 

We have been employed to deal with this matter only from 8th July 2015 onwards.

Prior to that date the matter was being dealt with by the customer service department of Harlands.

 

As a debt recovery company,

negotiation is a significant portion of the work we carry out and as such we need the ability to easily amend the balance stated.

This is not the case with Harlands who were employed merely to collect the payments due under your agreemen

t and administer any requests for cancellation.

 

 

Harlands can only close a file in one of three ways;

by collecting the full amount remaining,

by cancelling the full amount remaining or

by passing the full amount that remained to CRS for further action.

 

At the time your payments stopped you had eight instalments remaining to be paid on the minimum term you agreed to.

Cancellation can be granted prior to completing the minimum term in certain circumstances provided sufficient proof is received.

Cancellation of your membership was not granted,

 

 

however, until after your March instalment became due, meaning that you were still in arrears of two months.

Harlands could not close the file by collecting the full amount remaining because six of the eight months were NOT due.

 

 

Harlands could not close the file by cancelling the full amount remaining as two of the eight months WERE due.

 

 

Harlands therefore pursued you for the two months outstanding plus charges applied in line with the terms of your agreement

in the hopes that once paid the full amount remaining would relate to payments which were not due

and the file could be closed by cancelling this amount.

 

 

Because you have not paid this, however, Harlands have passed the full balance (including the six months which are not due) to ourselves to collect.

 

Because you have drawn our attention to this fact we have reduced your balance accordingly.

As such you are no longer liable for 6 x £24.00 membership fees (£144.00) and we have also reduced the additional fees applied to this balance by £24.22.

 

 

You remain liable, however, for £174.50, consisting of arrears already due on the date your evidence was received

and additional fees applied in line with the terms of your agreement.

 

Clearly this amount is greater than £88.00 but we should like to point out that Harlands email of 18th June

does not in fact state that your balance is £88.00 as you allege.

It instead merely quotes an earlier letter which stated that you should pay your arrears of £88.00 by 5th May 2015 to avoid further charges being applied.

 

 

You failed to make this payment and so a further £20.00 administration charge was applied on 8th Jun

e in line with clause six of your agreement (it was this that prompted the email correspondence you refer to)

and on 8th July 2015 you have become responsible for our collection fees of £66.50 in line with clause eight of your agreement

to cover our client's costs in employing our services.

 

For the above reasons we must advise that the balance of £174.50 is correct and due.

 

 

We are prepared to offer a further discount on this balance and accept the reduced sum of £114.50 as final settlement

if you are able to pay this in one lump sum, within 7 days of this correspondence.

 

Payment can be made by Credit/Debit card by calling us on 01444 449165.

Alternatively, cheque/postal orders should be made payable to Credit Resolution Services

and sent to CRS, 2nd Floor, Rockwood House, 9-17 Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 3TW.

 

A payment plan can also be set up if you are unable to settle in full, although we do charge a little extra for this.

 

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, there are organisations who offer free debt advice and assistance such as

Step Change (0800 1381111),

National Debtline (0808 8084000) and

your local Citizen Advice Bureau.

 

Please ensure a payment or response is received within the next 7 days, so we can avoid further action being taken.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Collections Department"

 

Good wasn't it! They obviously haven't got anything better to do with their time!

 

Am I the only one who has no idea what they're on about?

Presumably I should just ignore this as they have already agreed to cancel my membership in April

and obviously there's no way I'll be paying their so called 'administrative charges'?

 

However, am I still liable for the £48 covering the two months between my notification and their cancellation in April?

I could just pay this in full and final settlement and tell them to go away but then again why should I,

when they add those extortionate charges which so many people just pay because they get frightened?

 

Any advice gratefully received.

 

Cheers Everyone

 

Baching Mad

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two words to them.

 

 

what a load of ole twaddle.

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 DX

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

Presumably the two word you mean are 'Go Away'!

 

Anyway, has anyone actually challenged these so called 'administrative' penalty charges in Court even if it's got that far? These type of companies must be making hundreds of thousands if not millions from these unlawful penalty charges every year. I think that they should be legally banned. I suppose they do it because they can get away with it because thousands of people in debt just pay them out of fear. It's legalised robbery!!

 

I consider that Harlands are just trying to recoup some of the lost payments they'll lose with these administrative charges by them agreeing to cancel my subscription early.

 

I also didn't use the gym for those two months from February to April so in effect the gym did not suffer a loss by me using the facility without paying for it.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Anyway, has anyone actually challenged these so called 'administrative' penalty charges in Court even if it's got that far?

 

 

As far as I am aware, they haven't issued a claim against anyone.

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Thanks Citizen B and fkofilee for your replies.

 

I've decided I'm just going to ignore them and eventually they'll just go away and chase some other poor sod who has no idea how to stand up to them. They won't risk taking me to Court because it'll cost them more to take me to the Small Claims Court than I allegedly owe.

 

They also know that any Court in the land will dismiss any claim they make for their administration' penalty charges. It'll also expose their dodgy practices.

 

If they do start to get heavy then I'll be back, although it'll be the usual threats and hot air quoting this and that to justify their lost cause.

 

My only concern is that they'll register the alleged debt with a credit reference agency. However, I understand that they're unable to do this as it's not a loan from a bank or mortgage etc.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Gym debts are not permitted onto CRFs :) , youre safe... Dont Worry. Slick is viewing the thread and will have some good advice as always :)

It would only appear if they got a CCJ.

 

We could do with some help from you.

 

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**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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Hi BM,

 

Harlands/CRS has taken court action but only in one case that we've seen, over the last 5 years. That case is ongoing and the really didn't start off well, when they cited the wrong party as The Claimant !!

 

Harlands/CRS love to write long letters like this and we've seen this many times. They try to look like they know what they're on about and they also cite legal cases, etc.

 

Sticking to your case, please confirm :-

 

1.When you first contacted the gym or Harlands to confirm your need to cancel due to a health issue.

 

2. Did you do anything by letter or email so you have copies.

 

3. Who asked for proof of your health issue.

 

4. When did you provide it to them.

 

We always advise folk to challenge their Admin Fees as unenforceable penalties.

 

But we also need to work out what you DO owe, so you can pay the gym what you reasonably owe.

 

:-)

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Hi Slick

 

Thanks for your reply. In answer to your questions:

 

1. I contacted Harlands by email at the end of February this year to let them know that I wished to cancel my gym membership contract as allowed under their T & C owing to a health issue I had which prevented me from enjoying and using the gym to it's full potential.

 

2. Harlands replied a couple of days later asking for proof of medical evidence from my doctor. I wrote a letter to my doctor on 8 March explaining the situation and saw him about a week later and he said he could provide a letter of proof of my medical condition at a cost of £25.

 

3. I sent a copy of the letter from my doctor to Harlands on 21 March by Recorded Delivery.

 

4. Harlands then emailed me saying that the letter from my doctor required the practice stamp on it because a signature from my doctor would not surfice! So I send them another copy on 14 April via Recorded Delivery with the practice stamped on it. Fortunately my doctor didn't charge me another £25 for this.

 

5. Harlands then emailed me at the end of April to say that they would agree to early cancellation of my gym membership.

 

6. I then received a letter from Harlands in early May informing me said that although my gym membership has been cancelled, I now owed them £88, which included their standard 'administration' charges, because I had cancelled my direct debit in February.

 

I've only dealt with Harlands and not my local gym.

 

I've got copies of the letters I sent to my doctor and Harlands but not all the emails with Harlands.

 

Many thanks for your help and advice.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Hi BM,

 

In my opinion, Harlands are getting way-above themselves, demanding the doctors practice stamp on the letter. I suggest they are simply trying to delay the point at which you could cancel and they apply their own take on things for their own benefit.

 

I'd use the date of your email in late February as the cancellation notice date. After that, you should have paid one final month's fee.

 

Adapt the letter here - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?450158-Xercise4Less-Harlands-CRS&p=4774219&viewfull=1#post4774219

 

You need to say you cancelled due to health issues and the effective date is when you first told Harlands in late Feb, not the date that they want to use when they caused unnecessary delay demanding the doctor's practice stamp.

 

Draft your letter for checking here before sending if you want.

 

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Hi Slick

 

Thanks for your reply and advice.

 

I think Harlands are always getting way above themselves from what I've seen on the CAG site. I'm amazed that they're still allowed to trade!

 

Their business model is to try and make as much profit out of any cancellation of a gym subscription they have on their books, even if the cancellation is for legitimate reasons under their own T & C's. Hence the reason for them delaying making a decision in my case.

 

I'll draft up the letter ready to send to them as an email but I think that I'll just wait and see what happens if I just ignore them.

 

I don't wish to sound arrogant but as I allegedly owe them so little, I don't think that I can be bothered with them any more, they're just not worth the effort based on the advice I've received from CAG members!

 

My main worry was that they could put the debt with a credit reference agency which would affect my credit history. But I've been reassured that they can't do this and there's also no way that they'll submit a claim to a Small Claims Court. So I think all my bases are covered.

 

However, I'll keep everyone informed of what happens next for future CAG reference cases with Harlands.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Hi Slick

 

One other thing that's occurred to me .

 

I don't suppose Harlands will try and take the money from my account because they already have my bank account details from the direct debit?

 

Presumably if they tried to do this it would be theft?

 

Just a thought.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Hi BM,

 

I assume you'd already cancelled the DD mandate with your bank. If not, do so immediately. This will stop any further DD's being taken.

 

Before you ignore them, I think you should offer Harlands the one month's fee you should have paid after giving notice to cancel. By doing this, you are doing the right thing,even if you make your offer valid for 14 days, before withdrawing it.

 

Harlands will not accept the offer and it is then your prerogative to ignore them.

 

:-)

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Hi Slick

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

I cancelled my DD in February. I was just concerned that they would try and take money out of my account but if they did this it would be now be theft as I've cancelled my DD with them.

 

OK good idea, I'll email the the letter you suggested offering them £24 as final settlement as one months notice given. It's probably fairer and makes me look reasonable.

 

As you say they'll probably refuse my offer and then come back with further additional 'administration' charges added! Then I'll just ignore them.

 

Anyway thanks for your help and I'll keep the thread updated for future CAG reference.

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Hi Slick

 

I've now emailed Harlands/CRS the following letter based on your link to the suggested letter on another thread:

 

"Dear Harlands/CRS,

 

I refer to your email dated 5 August 2015 demanding £174.50.

 

I cancelled my direct debit mandate with you in February 2015 when I wanted to cancel my monthly gym membership. I now realise I should have paid one months fee for the notice period and therefore now offer to pay you £24.00 as full and final settlement.

 

This offer is valid for 14 days only. If you confirm you'll accept this offer in full settlement of all that I owe you, I'll send you a cheque for £24.00.

 

If you make any other response, I reserve the right to ignore further communications from you as Harlands/CRS and may consider making a formal complaint to Trading Standards and The CMA.

 

Yours faithfully"

 

Cheers

 

Baching Mad

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Hi BM,

 

That letter will do the job perfectly and I look forward to your update.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Everyone

 

It's been 3 weeks since my email of 9 August to Harlands/CRS offering to pay them £24 as Full and Final and I've received no response to their demand that I pay them £174.50 "which is correct and due" or else we'll now stomp our feet and get 'really very angry'!!

 

Maybe they've just gone away with their tail between their legs knowing that I've used a CAG template which basically found them out and told them in no uncertain words to P**S OFF!

 

I'll keep you all posted if I do receive a response.

 

Cheers everyone and have a good Bank Holiday Weekend!

 

Baching Mad

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Hi BM,

 

The WILL come back with further demands.

 

They're pretty slow with their letters which is a good reason to send written mail as opposed to email.

 

Keep us posted ........

 

:-)

Edited by slick132

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Everyone

 

Nearly two months gone and Harlands/CRS haven't replied to my last email to them. Do you think that they have forgotten about me? Is this a record? Is this the end of civilization as we know it?

 

Cheers and Peace to Everyone.

 

Baching Mad

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They never do reply when they know they've been beaten.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Thanks for your reply Renegadeimp.

 

If they do get back to me then I'll post their reply, although it looks as though they've dropped their demands. Another one in the eye for them then!

 

Lets hope that with the rise of the 'pay as you go' gym chains like Pure Gym and Simply Gym, with no monthly contracts, that Harlands days are finally numbered.

 

Cheers Everyone

 

Baching Mad

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