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GE Money (B&Q Store Card)


marshyc
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Hey I am new to this site and after some recent issues I thought I would register and get a bit of advice. This might be a long story but bear with me.

 

About 2-3 years ago I took out a B&Q Store Card when we purchased a kitchen. All went well until very recently when I rang the automated telephone line to get a settlement figure. The figure quoted to me was £314.58 which I paid immediatly over the phone via the automated system. Having paid the card off I cancelled my Direct Debit as you are advised by your bank.

 

A week later I received a letter from GE Money stating that my account for the kitchen was £50 (my monthly payment) in arrears. I rang GE straight away and after being cut off three times I eventually got to speak to someone and give them the full story. I was told that the figure quoted to me was inclusive of a deduction made for my DD of £50 although this had not even been honoured by my bank. It was retured a few days after I paid the card off because I had cancelled it.

 

I was not very happy about this as I had been advised of the amount due when I called. If I had been advised at that time of the additional £50 I would still have paid but I felt they should waive this as I had an exemplary payment record with this account and another which I settled on the same day. I had never missed or being late with a payment.

 

The person on the phone went away to speak to a supervisor and came back to say that I was still liable for the payment. I told them I felt I had been mislead and inconvenienced by this matter and I would be making a complaint.

 

I wrote the complaint letter that night and posted it the day after. That night I received a phone call from an Indian call centre from GE Money wanting to know if I was making the £50 payment. I told them I had made a complaint about this and I would not be making the payment. I received a further 5-6 phone calls like this, including one on a Sunday morning, and eventually someone put the account on hold so I would not get any more calls.

 

I received an acknowledgment letter for the complaint but nearly 8 weeks later I had still not received a reply. I then also received a B&Q statement which advised the account had been passed to Viking Collection Services. I then called the number on the back of the statement and asked to be put through to the complaints department. I spoke to a rather arrogant bloke who basically said the £50 would not be waived but they would waive the late payment fee and interest which had gone on to the account since my complaint.

 

I wasn't too happy with this as I felt nothing had been done really. When I asked when I would be getting a response to my letter I was told one had been sent a few days ago so I left it at that until I received the letter.

 

I waited a further 3 days and the letter still had not arrived so I called GE back and asked to speak to the same bloke in the complaints department. When I got through I got the same smart and arrogant responses as before but this time I was basically told that they do not have to respond via letter as they are not under Ombudsman rules yet and they had issued their final response vebally which I was aware of. However, it was me who had to contact them for the final response and had I not I would not have known what their final response was. I was also told that if I did not pay the £50 soon they would keep the late payment fee and interest on there too!

 

I have a good credit rating and was already showing two monthly payments missed. I did not want to go into default for the sake of £50 so I paid it the day later.

 

Is there anything I can do. Have they breached the OFT regulations on debt collection by continuing with debt recovery action whilst the debt was in dispute? Can I complain to the OFT and FSA. Who regulates store cards at the moment? Can I complain to them?

 

Sorry it was so long but I felt ot best to give you the full story. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Pay the money and beg them to remove the adverse payment history or your screwed. Same thing happened to me with HFC paid final settlement cancelled DD then 6 months later get a letter of default for £314.87. thats £15 missed payment from cancelled DD and everything else is charges and now I can`t get any credit. I'd reccomend you pay up and hope you find a nice person at GE who will modify the history or you'll be screwed.

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Well, if I was in your position, I'd fight them all the way, as it's not the money - but the principle. It was their error from the start - if you call for a settlement figure and are given one (irrespective of whether it is automated or not) then the amount they request IS settlement, they cannot come back later and say they got it wrong and demand more from you. What you need do is;

 

1) Respond in writing to any debt collection agency stating that your reject GE's claim, there is no debt due and as you have no intention in dealing with third parties, suggest they fass the file back to their client. Should there be phone calls, explain the debt is disputed and as the matter is being dealt with by letter, to remove your details from their telephone system.

2) WRITE to GE by recorded delivery, explain that you have paid off the debt in full and final settlement by way of their telephone system, and do not accept their assertion that an uncollected DD could possibly have any bearing on the issue, as no funds had been taken at the time of your call for a settlement figure. Explain that you are concerned that the company is continuing to process data for an account that is closed, and demand they cease doing so immediately. Further, you demand that any adverse data being placed by them on your credit record is removed immewdiately. Failure to do so will result in a claim against them for all costs incurred in rectifying their error, and ensuring your credit record remains intained. Give them 14 days to respond.

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Cheers.

 

I have already paid the £50 as I was not willing to go into default for the sake of such a small amount of money.

 

I do intend to fight their process though and hopefully claim back the £50 and get the 2 missed payments record corrected on my credit file.

 

Would I do this by following the same type of procedure as you describe buzby?

 

When I called and asked to speak to a supervisor I got the old 'my supervisor doesn't take calls' speil. Basically I had a decision made by some jumped up little a**e hole and could get no one else to look at the matter. I also found that as they are not covered by the Ombudsman for store cards they provide an uttlerly discusting service.:mad:

 

Who can I write to other than GE themselves to complain? OFT, FSA??!!

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Shame you paid it, but the issue now is you have no proof to support your version of events to raise court action - you'll need to request a SAR which may cost you up to £10. You'll need to request this, and go through it to establish the timelines. No point talking of court action with them until you have all the facts. Get the SAR and then plan to get the cost for this and your money back.

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Cheers.

 

I will carry out a SARN request probably after Christmas now though. But is it worth writing to them, the OFT, FSA, MP's etc regarding their non-compliance with the OFT guidlines etc. Almost a LBA I suppose?

 

Also is there any case law or guidlines regarding this type of situation having being informed of a settlement figure which is not correct?

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Have fun with your SAR from GE Money... I did.. In a letter from them it was quoted as they had documented evidence of a form with my signature on it, I Did SAR and gues what no signs of the mentioned form..Someone telling porkie pies either that or they failed under SAR to provide all Information..lol I have now also complained to the ICO regarding this mob, On the 40th Day no signs of Information so I sent a Failure to Comply notice by fax and 2 days later I recieved some info.

 

Ian

Lloyds TSB -PPI - Full refund . 05/09/06 :D:p (As Seen on TV) :p

Halifax settled in Full.. :D 22/09/06

TSB First Claim SETTLED IN FULL 19/10/06 :D

Second Claim to Lloyds TSB - Settled in Full

Firstplus - early settlement interest charges - Challenged the use of the rule of 78 - SETTLED IN FULL 12/1/07

PPI - GE Money / Purpleloans / Firstplus - Now Settled after 1 year long hard fight.

 

 

 

If my post has helped you, please click the scales! :grin:

 

Anything said is my opinion and how I understand the law, always consult professional legal advice before taking something to court.

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