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How Many Calls - Harassement ?


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How many calls per day constitutes "harassment" ? I'm told (by a certain company) that it's 7 - However, my view is that it's a quantity that any "reasonable person would find annoying/distressing". Said company also seem to think that a CCA is enforcable even after the 12 day limit has passed... ?

 

This company also seems to encourage fairly agressive call-centre staff who insist on interrupting and refusing to listen to my examples of UK Law, and refuse to entertain anything other than their "terms and conditions". Not being sexist, but it's the female staff who are this way - The men are nearly always capable of a reasonable conversation.

 

The company previously advised me (during a call to one of their customer support bods) that my number was to be removed "full stop". Later, I'm told that it was removed "pending receipt of a payment proposal". This, I never agreed to. Today (after receiving an SMS saying to call them), I am told that unless I agree to a payment plan, the telephone contact will resume... They have had at least 2 copies of the "telephone harassment" letter.

 

I have previously warned this company that any further telephone contact will be chargable at a rate of £250/call. I will be sending off my first invoice on Monday morning ;)

The BidsterMeister

Helper of the hapless and hopeless...

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When it comes to debt collection, the Office of Fair Trading's guidelines state that calls should not be made at unreasonable times or unreasonable intervals. During the consultation preceding these guidelines, opinion was split on what constituted unreasonable - with some people saying daily was unreasonable and some saying weekly was unreasonable. Because of this, the OFT decided not to specify what was reasonable. However, it is pretty clear that 7 times a day is most definitely not reasonable!

 

If they're breaking these guidelines, it's also arguable that they are committing a criminal offence under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act.

 

My circumstances have changed recently and I'm not making my minimum payments on my Lloyds TSB personal loan. They were calling me daily, including at work even though I informed them I could not take calls at work. I wrote them an extremely assertive letter detailing the above guidelines and legislation, and I've only had one, very brief, call since.

Please note I'm not insured in this capacity, so if you need to, do get official legal advice.

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I remember reading on one of these threads that more than once every three days was unreasonable. The post was by a person who had formerly been a member of staff at a debt collection agency. I'll have a hunt and see if I can dig it up so you can PM him and ask if there is some kind of official guideline stipulating this.

 

As well as the Adminidstration of Justice Act, I'd also take a look at the Harassment Act 1997.

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

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Of course they don't listen to your citations of the law, since they're breaking it. If I were you I'd cease telephone contact with them altogether and do the following:

 

1) Report them to the police and make a note of the crime reference number.

 

2) Write to them saying you consider the frequency of their calls harassment as defined under the Harassment Act 1997, quoting the crime reference number. Add that all future communications with you should be made in writing to your home address, and that any further calls will be recorded for legal purposes. In using your telephone line as a means of communication with you, which in any case you have forbidden, they agree to their conversations with you being recorded.

 

3) Purchase a telephone call recording device (available from Maplins for about £10) and record all conversations between you and them. Please note that it is also against OFT guidelines for them to lie to you about what the law is in order to collect the debt.

 

4) Start making a log of all their contact with you - date, time and details.

 

Keep a copy of all letters you send to them, as well as proof of postage (you can obtain a certificate of postage from the post office, free). If you do this I think they will cease to bully you very quickly.

  • Haha 2

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

If you found my post helpful, please click the scales on the left.

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Thanks all.

 

I have given them the template harassment letter, and have a log of all received+missed calls on my phone since beginning of November. They claimed that my number was removed on the understanding that I would compile an income/expenditure sheet - Something which was not agreed, as I have a 30min recording of my call to their customer service chap agreeing to remove my number "full stop".

 

The woman on the phone was exceedingly agressive - and just throwing back their T+C's at me, and then saying that if I wasn't prepared to come to a payment arrangement, there wasn't much point continuing the call. I was interrupted on numerous occasions, and the 26min call makes interesting listening.

 

I look forward to them testing my patience further - I have a nice bottle of Chianti waiting to be used ;)

The BidsterMeister

Helper of the hapless and hopeless...

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Well done for recording the call - looks like you're one step ahead of us.

 

Keep us posted.

Gruffle Gaw vs Halifax - £1531.50: ***WON - cheque for £1966.78 received 30/09/06***:)

I'm not a legal professional and my advice is given without prejudice or liability.

If you found my post helpful, please click the scales on the left.

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I am not a legal expert my advice is given without prejudice and is purely my opinion only. If you are in doubt please seek professional advice.

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How many calls per day constitutes "harassment" ? I'm told (by a certain company) that it's 7 - However, my view is that it's a quantity that any "reasonable person would find annoying/distressing".

 

I would say it is repeatedly making calls when there can be no reasonable expectation that the situation has changed since last call.

 

Tim

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ANY number of calls becomes harassment once you inform the company that you will no longer discuss the account on the phone.

 

As per the details in the templated letter, if they continue to call you then report them.

..

.

 

Opinions given herein are made informally by myself as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

 

 

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As jonni2bad says, if you have ordered them not to call, then 1 constitutes harassment. Contrary to popular belief (and annoyingly that of some of the less well-educated police officers), creditors do not have an absolute right to contact you.

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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