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How should I proceed with CRS?

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Just over a month back, Harlands came after me with £50 in admin fees for an unpaid £39.99 DD to a gym which I left without formally cancelling. This is my fault and I accepted full responsibility. Here's a timeline of events (this is an email I sent to CRS when the debt was "passed on" (even though they're the same scummy company in essence)):

 

Dear Sirs,

 

Some time ago, I canceled my Direct Debit with [redacted]. This was outside of the gym's Terms and Conditions, and whilst I was not aware of this at the time, I accept responsibility and that I still owe them £39.99 in membership fees.

 

August 31st 2018: Email received from Harlands advising that I owe £39.99 in membership fees to [redacted] and £50.00 in administration fees to Harlands (CRS.) On the same day I contacted [redacted] who advised that I could make the payment of £39.99 with them and that the £50.00 fees to Harlands would be removed. On the same day, I contacted Harlands who advised me that the Direct Debit needed to be reinstated. I replied to [redacted] to query this and did not receive a response.

 

September 5th 2018: Email received from Harlands (ref: 3474419601) instructing me to contact the Harlands office to pay the £39.99 membership fee and that the £50.00 in "admin" fees had been withdrawn. I was advised that I had until September 15th 2018 to clear the £39.99 or the fees would be reinstated.

 

September 11th 2018: I replied to Harlands advising that I have been in touch with [redacted] who had again told me that I should make payment directly to them by calling up and making an over-the-phone payment. I asked Harlands to contact [redacted] to determine who I should be contacting to make payment.

 

September 13th 2018: Harlands advised that I can contact [redacted] to make payment directly to them and that [redacted] should notify Harlands when this had been done.Between the above and below dates, I called [redacted] on three occasions and received no response--the phone was not answered.

 

October 1st 2018: Voicemail received from [redacted] asking me to call them and make payment to them.

 

October 2nd 2018: I called [redacted]. The lady who left the voicemail message was not working (and will not be until October 8th) and I was advised that I must make the £39.99 payment with Harlands--further backtracking.

 

October 3rd 2018: Email received from CRS (Harlands) advising that I now owe £142.49.

 

I have made reasonable efforts to pay the £39.99 fee as agreed between myself, Harlands and [redacted], and have been sent back and forth between yourself and the gym to try and get this £39.99 membership fee settled. Whilst I accept that I was at fault in canceling the Direct Debit, my good faith offer (which was accepted by Harlands and [redacted]) could not be carried out due to all this backtracking. That is not my fault and I do not accept responsibility. I have made reasonable efforts to make payment.

 

As such, I now, without prejudice, make the same offer again--£39.99 in membership fees in consideration of full and final settlement. This is a reasonable sum in compensation for the cancellation being made by me without notice. I hereby give you (CRS) seven (7) days to accept this and clarify the payee. If both this offer is not accepted and a payee identified within this seven (7) day period, the offer will be withdrawn and I will not pay any monies. Any further communications should my offer be withdrawn will be destroyed without being read.

 

I reserve the right to ignore further communications from you whether in the name of CRS, Harlands or any other guise used to scare the ignorant into paying extortionate "admin" fees.

 

This matter may be drawn to the attention of the FCA.

 

Kind regards,

 

Luke J.

 

 

Today, I got this reply--

 

Dear Mr Luke_James,

 

Re: CRS Ref No: [redacted] / [redacted] Ref No: [redacted]

 

Further to your recent correspondence, as your payments were not honoured and you failed to rectify your breach of Agreement charges were applied to your account and your file was referred to ourselves for collection at which point you became responsible for our collection fees. These charges have been added to cover actual and necessary costs incurred because of your breach of contract, and are stipulated within the terms of that contract. It is our position that our charges are lawful and in line with all relevant guidance. We may, in some circumstances, be able to negotiate a reduction on these charges, but will not accept any offer of payment that gives no consideration to the costs these charges cover.

 

For the above reasons, we shall be pleased to negotiate on this sum, taking into consideration your concerns, but cannot accept your offer to pay just the remaining membership fees as sufficient to settle this balance.

 

Please contact CRS directly on 01444 449165 to discuss your account within the next 7 days. A suitable resolution can be organised.

 

Our lines are open 08:30am - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

To which I replied

 

Dear David,

 

I will not discuss this over the phone and will keep everything in writing.

 

You clearly didn't read my email as you have failed to acknowledge the fact that I reasonably attempted to make payment and was, on multiple occasions, sent back and forth between [redacted] and Harlands because both parties kept telling me I had to pay the other. This happened 3 times. I also attempted to call the gym three times. This was all documented in my previous email.

 

Furthermore, I did not sign a contract/agreement so there can be no breach of contract/agreement! I signed up to their CREW - Non-Contract plan which required me to £39.99 for two months. I paid £39.99 for two months before canceling my direct debit.

 

Harlands and [redacted] both agreed that I could have the "administration" charges waived. It is not my fault that I was not able to make the payment. Again, I made reasonable attempts to do this.

 

If you could please explain why I should be compelled to pay administration charges after previously being informed that they were being waived, I would love to hear. Again, I made reasonable attempts to make payment after an agreement that the fees would be waived. It is the fault of Firehouse Fitness and Harlands that payment was not made by September 15th because neither party could agree who I should be making payment to. I tried to clarify this on multiple occasions.

 

Again, as previously mentioned, this matter may be referred to the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Many thanks,

Luke

 

 

How should I proceed? Can anybody with any experience with such matters weigh in here? How likely are they to pursue me and take civil action? And, if so, how likely am I to succeed given my attempts to pay as outlined in the above email.

 

Thank you!

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Welcome to CAG

 

Pursue you - Yes... With vague irrelevant emails and phone calls in the hope that you cough up.

Their fees are somewhat questionable and dont need to be paid.

 

They wont take Civil Action anyway - But if you've read other threads then you'd know that :)

Seriously you cancelled your DD but was it because you wanted to cancel the membership with them?

Were you in contract with them (12 month thing etc?)

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I've got a legal background so I know they don't have a leg to stand on (but the gym could, in theory, take action as the original creditor.)

 

It wasn't a contractual membership, in fact, the plan I signed up to literally said "Non-Contract".

 

I had to pay 2 x £39.99 to cover two months worth of membership, which I did.

I then cancelled with no notice.

 

Their contractual plans which last for 12 months were a fiver cheaper at £34.99 per month.

They're just irritating is all.

 

Whilst I accept it'd have been a good idea to give notice, I know that this isn't a legal obligation by any stretch of the imagination.

It's not the business of any gym what I plan on doing in the next 30 days, not least what I plan on doing with my money!

 

I was and still am willing to pay the gym because I quite liked them, the staff were great and they're a small company.

I live in a building which has its own gym so I no longer had a need for the membership.

 

My only reason for replying to Harlands really is because I was willing to pay them the £39.99.

Edited by dx100uk
spacing

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gyms have not done court since 2012 well YEARS.

you've offered the missing fee they have refused

 

you now ignore them

 

block and bounce their emails.

 

you should have sent the offer email and when they refused..ignored them.

 

stop playing pointless letter tennis

gets you no-where..


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Hi Lj,

 

The gym could, in theory, take legal action but they haven't done this in the last 5+ years.

 

Harlands/CRS tried court a few years back and made such a hash of the case, they've not tried it since as far as we've seen here on CAG

 

Stop taking the threats seriously !

 

Stop sending Harlands/CRS emails !

 

Stop calling them !

 

Make no contact with the gym as this will not help you at all !

 

As DX has said, ignore all contact for now but keep us posted.

 

:-)


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