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Hello :wave: newbie here,

My Husband & I have been dealing with a Debt Collection Agency SMD Credit Solutions Ltd since April to collect a Debt owed to our Company since November last year.

 

A little background:

We were owed £38k and the debt was in dispute by the company who owed us.

This was construction industry dispute where we worked for contractor (2) who was working for main contractor (1).

Main Contractor (1) refused to pay contractor (2) citing poor workmanship therefore contractor refused to pay us.

So it was quite in depth but it was being dragged out and being a small company we needed to get a resolution.

 

SMD cold called us but it just so happened we were in the process of looking for an agency

after them phoning us everyday for weeks trying to persuade us to agree for them to take the debt on we agreed.

 

We had lengthy discussions about the whole case and we were upfront about everything before we even agreed for them to take on the debt.

We knew it wouldn't be straight forward so wanted someone who knew what they were doing.

 

They wanted to charge £2000 + VAT for a reg fee but we simply couldn't afford that so they dropped it to £1000 + VAT payable in 2 instalments.

After we agreed we sent them all documentation regarding the debt including invoices owed, purchase orders we received, emails and a report from the main contractor (1).

 

Needless to say SMD were useless,

they never answered or return our phone calls,

they never returned or answered my emails.

 

In their initial 'guarantee email' they claimed to keep you updated every step of the way and give you a full refund of the reg fee if they don't at least recover the cost of the reg fee.

 

Eventually after quite a few weeks I was emailed and told that SMD had had to obtain legal advice on our behalf and had to pay out in excess of £3000 in order to do so.

 

After weeks of getting nowhere and no answers SMD finally advised us in mid June to set up a meeting with Contractor 2 and main contractor 1 and thrash out what we could get paid.

 

We advised them that we would look for an alternative agency who was specialised in Construction industry disputes and we would like our reg fee returned to which we received no reply and no refund.

 

We then received the official In Administration letter from contractor (2), and I left a negative review on SMD company facebook page.

Nothing defamatory or untrue just stating our disappointing experience and that I would not recommend them.

Oh and I hope they don't keep telling people about their 100% success rate which is what they said to us.

 

Today I get an email from them saying that unless I remove the comment they will charge us £10,000 (10 x the reg fee) plus the £4000 costs as per their T&C's. They claim we mispresented the debt by not telling about the report :!:

Can they do that?

 

Sorry for the long post :frown:

Edited by dx100uk
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No they cant so ignore them.

 

no DCA has actually got ANY legal powers to do anything to you or anyone.

they ARE NOT BAILIFFS

 

sadly you got done over from day one!!.

 

dx

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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Many thanks for the reply dx100uk that's great.

 

Well maybe not the part about being done over from day one, but we did realise they were a useless waste of time.

 

They wasted so many months and now the company has gone in to administration we stand to lose that £38K, its had a massive affect on our company and our well being as we are now hugely in debt :sad:

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why £38k?

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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If these terms and conditions on their web site are the same as the ones you agreed to on signing up, there is no mention of a charge for negative reviews. From a web perspective, and in my personal opinion, who ever is responsible for for putting the T&Cs up as an image is a complete muppet. A practice that reflects poorly on the web designer and the company it purports to be supporting.

conditions-smd-credit.jpg

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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PDF please so we can zoom

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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PDF please so we can zoom

 

Certainly. File attached.

 

This still doesn't negate my opinion that posting a set of terms & conditions is a stupid idea and reflects badly on both the web designer and the company concerned.

conditions-smd-credit.pdf

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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Here it is in PDF:

 

CONDITIONS.pdf

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

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

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Something to note:

 

Smd Credit Solutions Ltd

 

FCA Interim Permissions Reference Number: 664349

 

Current Status: Lapsed

 

Interim Permission End Date: 29/02/2016

 

If you wish to view this on the FCA website do the following:

 

1. Go to this FCA weblink: http://fca-consumer-credit-interim.force.com/CS_RegisterSearchPageNew

 

2. Copy & Paste the above (in Bold) Interim Permission Number into the search box and click search

 

3. You should see the results for this company.

Edited by stu007

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

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

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Morning

 

Thanks again for the replies, I will upload the T&C they sent me Section 3 h refer to the part about leaving negative review.

 

Bare with me while I work out how to do this.

 

We have put our appeal in with the administrators however I'm looking at the worse case scenario and assuming we wont get a penny back!

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For reference this is the email I received:

 

The above has posted a negative review on our company, please contact client and request it is removed within 24 hours or I will have no option other than to enforce clause 2h of the contract (attached herewith) under which we are entitled to 10 x the value of their registration fee which is £10k, plus the £4k of costs I have incurred, the other £500 plus VAT they owe on the contract as well as abortive commission on the debt they mis represented.

 

They paid half of their contract which was £1k. They misrepresented their debt to us as not being disputed when they had an entire disputed file including a detailed report which they did not disclose to us. Had we sighted the report we would never have taken the case on for the amount we were paid. Despite them not disclosing the full debt issues, I still had a try for them and incurred significant costs.

 

I will check to see if the review is still up tomorrow, if it is, please invoice them in accordance with the contract and immediately issue proceedings. If they take it down, I will drop the matter and not chase them any further.

 

My reply:

 

I will take the review down however I still stand by that review and the points made and there are other reviews that state the same thing, I just wish I had looked at them before agreeing to enlist you as our debt recovery agency.

 

At not one point was that debt mispresented by us, you had the full facts before you went after the debt and you were told from the very beginning that it was disputed. You were provided with a copy of the report and yet rather that not take on the debt as you claim in your email, you still decided to get legal advise which we never asked you to get and were not informed about until after and you had paid whatever sum you paid for it.

 

You phoned every day for weeks spouting your 100% success rate nonsense to get us to agree to take this debt on and wanted to charge a ridiculous registration fee which we could not afford to pay, in a further attempt to get us to agree you dropped your price so that was down to you.

 

Yes I only paid half of it but we did not at any stage get the service you stated in your registration email, you repeatedly failed to answer or return phone calls or emails, you didn't keep us updated on anything despite what your website and registration email states. I even googled your company after all this to see if you were who you said you were and that's when I came across your rather poor reviews.

 

I have repeatedly asked for a refund of our registration fee as, and I quote

 

"We confirm the one-off registration for a lifetime of debt recovery services to be £2,000.00 plus VAT. We confirm if we do not recover at least the amount of your registration fee from the above named, you will be refunded your registration fee and will still have full access to the service."

 

And

"Our terms remain as per the attached agreement only we have reduced your registration fee by way of an initial £500.00 plus VAT with a further £500.00 plus VAT to become payable on 10th May 2017 or from the recovery of your debts (whichever is sooner)."

 

only to be ignore yet again, so felt I had no choice but warn others of your company. The review was an honest representation of the abysmal service we received.

 

Your incompetence at not answering your phone or emails wasted valuable weeks for us, we could have used a better and a more suited to construction industry debt recovery agency and got our claim in earlier as that company has now gone in administration.

 

Your email has proved that you are nothing but a useless bully

 

 

What I received this morning

 

I haven’t got time for this. If the review is removed completely and nothing further goes up, I’ll drop it, if a 1 star stays up with no comment, please invoice for costs, the remainder of reg fee and abortive fee, if the comment and review goes up / stays up please invoice for the 10 x reg fee plus costs. If I have to get involved or asked for an answer again, please pursue costs.

 

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I have just received this

 

Please advise Sue-Ann to speak to a solicitor urgently and advise she shows her solicitor the contract under which we are entitled to all costs / charges referred to. Abortive commission is in the contract at 15% of the debt (15% plus VAT of £53k), if we have to issue, also attach a copy of the invoice from FL for the £4k, she has only paid £500 of the £1k due on the reg fee so no leg to stand on there either, the only query is on the 10 times reg fee which is also in the contract.

 

Check for review at 2pm, if it’s there, issue, if this is how I’m going to be treated, I want my money back and all costs as per the contract.

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Cant see a 2h in the T&Cs...stops at 2f ?

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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Sorry to keep bombarding you with emails, but they are really pushy. Here are some more emails sent this morning.

 

Have you read your T&C's? there is no 2 h section and they differ from the one on your website which doesn't state that clause either!

 

Sue-ann,

 

Apologies it was 3h, you were sent a copy yesterday, please see further below from my MD on this.

 

The position is confirmed.

 

Yours faithfully,

Marc Henry

SMD Credit Solutions Ltd

 

Oh so it was a mistake then

 

Unfortunately I don't know how to take that review down I have tried.

 

So I may have to email the review company in question which in turn may take longer than your 'until 2pm' deadline. So therefore I request a longer deadline.

 

It does make me wonder why a company has changed their T&C's to include negative reviews?

 

 

Sue-Ann Ashford

 

Well you have breached the contract then and I am instructed to proceed if it isn’t down within the time frame.

 

Steve is willing to drop it if it is either removed or changed to a 5* review with no comment by 2pm. I would suggest changing it to a 5* without comment by 2pm so we do not pursue and still ask for it to be removed which may take a few days for them to sort out.

 

Your request for an extended deadline is declined.

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Good job you didn't put the review on CAG...as we wouldn't let you remove it :wink:

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

If you want advice on your Topic please PM me a link to your thread

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Haha well I’m taking my daughter swimming as it’s the school holidays so I guess I’m going to miss that deadline ooopps

 

Change the review to five star are they having a laugh?

Edited by August1976
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Please let me know if you can read it, the writing is very small.

 

Question: Is this the contract you agreed to when accepting their "services" or is it one they have sent post review ?

 

Having conducted a very short search last night, I found plenty of negative reviews along with some pretty scathing comments about the directors in the press. Are they going to levy the same fees across the board... Very unlikely.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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I will check when I get home what contract they sent initially.

 

I came across the poor reviews as result of a google check when they were failing to answer any emails.

 

I will also check the date in which they changed their t&cs to include that section 3 h? I wonder if it was after the last negative review posted.

 

Just to say thank you so much for all you replies so far, much appreciated

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Surely in some way it would be more financially beneficial for them to drag it out and then chase you for this extra fee. I think they knew this company was going into administration and this probably happens all the time. Sounds more like something you'd see on Watchdog! Can't be a fair contractual term surely to charge ten times an original fee for a negative review... that again makes it in their interest to receive a negative review. Absolutely batty.

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Question: Is this the contract you agreed to when accepting their "services" or is it one they have sent post review ?

 

Having conducted a very short search last night, I found plenty of negative reviews along with some pretty scathing comments about the directors in the press. Are they going to levy the same fees across the board... Very unlikely.

 

Hi

Yes this is the T&C's they sent to us when we accepted their services.

 

 

An Alex Baker Left a poor review on the 2nd July 2018, this set of T&C's were in affect from 2nd November 2017. I wonder if Alex got his threatening email. Even more interesting that 5* review was put up on that website for SMD today :roll:

 

The deadline has now passed and I am yet to hear from them by email at least, to say I'm worried is a bit of an understatement :!:

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