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Gym agrees that I stop paying, then I receive a solicitor letter from ARC Europe

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Hi people from the forum,

 

I am in a situation where I would appreciate assistance.

 

 

I am not a native speaker so apologies in advance for any mistake that might be in there!

 

I got into a one-year contract with a gym in July, consisting of monthly payments of 60 pounds;

 

 

in October I was accepted in a masters degree (which I had not applied for at the time I registered at the gym) in a foreign country.

 

 

I enrolled and left the UK,

but I left my bank account open and there was some money on it,

 

 

I did not hear from the gym until January,

when it turns out the money had been depleted and they had been unable to collect payment.

 

 

I immediately contacted the gym and asked if I could cancel on the grounds that I now didn't have a job anymore

(I had one prior to my enrollment but obviously had to quit) and wasn't even in the UK.

I assumed this would be valid as an unforeseen change of circumstances.

 

 

The person asked me for proof that I did not work anymore, so I directed her to my former HR.

I did not hear back so I assumed everything was well, and I stopped the debit from my account.

 

Two months later, another representative from the gym contacted me, notifying me that I owed two months.

I referred him to my prior emails, and he showed me an email the first person had sent me, which I had not seen, where she stated that since I had quit and had not been fired, I still owed the money.

 

 

I re-explained my situation, that I had no income now and was living in a different country, and the guy told me he understood, that he would put a note on my account and that I should notify him of when I would be able to make payment again.

 

 

I told him next October (as my masters will be finished and I will have a job -hopefully), and thanked him for his understanding.

I assumed everything was fine.

 

Then last week my former roommate told me I had received a letter from ARC Europe

(I asked her to open it in case it might be something administrative I had overlooked).

 

 

Though I am two months late (120 pounds) and have gotten an email from the guy at the Gym that I would be able to resume payment later, a "J. Turner" requests I pay 299 pounds within ten days or he may go to court.

 

Now I know this is more or less typical behavior from solicitors, but I don't really understand why they would come after me after the guy at the Gym emailed that I was fine, and why they'd ask for 299 pounds.

 

What do you think of this situation? What is my best course of action, considering I will probably not be coming back to the UK in the near future, even after my masters?

 

Thank you!

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Simple.. .Ignore...

ARC Europe dont do Court... :)

 

Stop worrying about it :)

 

If you are out of the country then its tough luck for them.


 

We could do with some help from you.

 

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**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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Hi Chax and welcome to CAG

 

1. Please tell us what gym this is about.

 

2. Did you join in July 2016 ?

 

3. What country are you in now ?

 

Read other threads here and you'll see that gyms don't take court action. Their admin companies often threaten court action as part of their collection activity but they don't actually do this.

 

Stop replying to all demands. Don't phone or email anyone anymore.

 

It's good that you continue to hear from your former room mate so you know what ARC is up to.

 

:-)


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Thanks for your input :)

 

Slick 132

 

It was in July 2016, Gymbox. I am in France now.

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Hi Chax,

 

Firstly, ARC are not solicitors - they are debt collectors but that does NOT mean you owe them any debt at all !

 

If you are sure you will continue to be told of all letters sent to the address, that's fine.

 

If you think your room mate may move or not tell you about letters, you need to give ARC and the gym your current address. This is important so you always know what ARC are doing. If they know you are NOT seeing the mail regularly, they can take advantage and take court action that you don't know about. That could affect you if you come back to the UK.

 

Don't rely on anything told to you in a phone call. Unless you had an email from the gym or ARC that you owe nothing more, ARC will continue to seek payments. In your first post you say 2 things :-

 

......... and have gotten an email from the guy at the Gym that I would be able to resume payment later ........

 

I don't really understand why they would come after me after the guy at the Gym emailed that I was fine .........

 

You need to understand 3 things :-

 

1. You had the right to cancel when you left the country. All you owed was 1 month's fee for the notice period, nothing more.

 

2. You did NOT have to start paying gym fees again if you returned to the UK.

 

3. Whether the gym or ARC told you they would wait for you to pay when you could afford it, you did not have to pay them anything !!

 

Let us know if you will definitely know what demands ARC send you.

 

:-)

Edited by slick132
  • Haha 1

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Hi Slick

 

Thanks for your very detailed response. :)

 

My roommate is staying for a while so I'll be updated, I will let you know how it evolves.

 

Thank you!

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Hello!

 

I followed the advice and did not respond, predictably I received another letter.

 

The letter says that since I have not paid,

they "could now take steps to prepare a County court claim against me for recovery".

 

 

They say the claim "can be prepared in 14 days after the date of this letter", and that they would then pass the claim to their Solicitor for issue, which would entitle their client to claim interest under the County courts act 1984 at the rate of 8%, in addition to 85 pounds of court fees and Solicitor's costs.

 

They then say if a claim is issued and I don't pay, the client could apply for a judgement against me, which, if unpaid, could affect my credit rating for 6 years. (I think I read somewhere on the forum that credit ratings did not take gyms into account due to the shadiness of their practices, but I could be wrong).

 

They conclude saying how I can pay and telling me I should seek advice from the debt advice organisations they reference, which I'm pretty much assuming to be them.

 

What's the best course of action? Ignorance still?

 

Thank you for your help :)

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silly willy waving.

 

 

a CCJ would appear on your credit file

but as no gym done so in more than 5yrs...


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, the whole DCA industry would collapse overnight.

 

 

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DX is right. See they wont go near court on this type of debt.

Its ARC Europe too.. They dont go near legal anyway :)


 

We could do with some help from you.

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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Hi Chax,

 

Read the last 3 sentences of my post #3 and points 1, 2 and 3 of my post #5.

 

Nothing has changed and the action threatened will not be taken.

 

:-)


We could do with some help from you

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                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

Thanks !:-)

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