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Lowell/EE "debt" issues following EE failure to terminate contract as instructed and confirmed by them.


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Hi everyone.

Apologies in advance for any failures in etiquette or rules here, i'm new.

 

I will start off with a disclaimer of sorts, I'm autistic and stubborn as a result of it. I'm great with numbers, bit of a people pleaser, a little gullible, but i really get the bit between my teeth when someone says I owe something I do not. Much I do at the cost of my own time, sanity and well.... time.

 

In short,

I was lead to believe something told in bad faith, and I ended up in court & subsequently going to prison.

Prior to this, the day I was due to attend court for sentencing, I cancelled my cellular and broadband contracts with EE.

 

I had been with them at least 4 years, and stuck with them all throughout the myriad of issues faced with the broadband connection - simply for not wanting to be tied into a fixed term contract. Both were rolling, and both were cancelled, or so I thought, via 2 separate phone calls in the morning, just before I attended court. This was witnessed, and overheard by a friend who came down from the midlands, to drive me to the court, and remain with me as support.

 

After being released, I learned that only the broadband contract cancellation had been actioned. The cellular contract was still live.

Fuming, i went to the bank, requested the money back, as part of the direct debit guarantee, and proceeded to call the first EE number I came across.

 

I explained the situation, and they offered 6 months back as a gesture of goodwill, as they could see the account had no usage, despite being billed. I stated this was insufficient, as the contract had been cancelled. EE held firm, so I asked for a deadlock letter. This was provided, and I subsequently went to Ombudsman services - Communications....

 

Well they were as much use as a wet paper bag. They also dismissed the written testimony of this friend of mine, whom was there at the time. EE on the other hand, has all too conveniently 'lost' the recordings, subject to GDPR, and have only a few shorthand notes to represent the content of the entire call. This is probably from an underpaid, under-trained and over-strained call handler. I am not responsible for EE's training issues. If they say a contract is cancelled, they are in the best position to know, confirm and communicate such. I would say that telling an autistic person that a contract is cancelled, while holding the requisite position to know, would easily lead them to believe without question, that it was in fact cancelled - but I can't really imagine neurotypical people being much different in that belief.

 

In short, the Ombudsman sided with EE, and even went so far as to suggest that I should have had someone manage my finances for me! - What, because I'm autistic and that automatically makes me incapable of managing my own finances, and I therefore don't understand the need to cancel unneeded services, and the wherewithal to action such? Pffft. This unqualified suggestion was followed up upon challenge at appeal, to mean that I should have instructed someone to act on my behalf whilst in prison..... - I should not need to instruct anyone to action explicit instructions, that should have been carried out first time, without question, that i'm entitled to do, as part of a rolling contract.

 

EE has Since sold the debt on to Lowell, whom have also been an earful about said cancellation. Interestingly they can do an 'debt adjustment', to show it as settled rather than partial, but I've told them to jog on as the credit markers will remain, and any such payment would construe acceptance of the debt. More on that in a bit.

 

 

Details:

Rolling EE phone contract (outside of fixed window). I phoned and asked to cancel the contract, but asked to keep the number in the event that I received a community sentence, rather than imprisonment. At the end of the call, the customer services representative told me that it was done. To me, that meant that the contract had been cancelled, and I had been sent a porting authority code by some means, to use after the sentencing hearing if favourable. I then turned the phone off, I was not obligated to read any further correspondence from EE, as in my mind, the contract had been terminated, as confirmed by the customer services rep stating they had 'done' it. With that, I gave my phone to my friend for safekeeping. The direct debits were kept live so that EE could collect any monies due for notice period(s), if applicable. They took a liberty in continuing to bill me.

 

Upon release, mid pandemic, it was exceptionally difficult finding accommodation, particularly while unemployed, and with EE placing adverse markers on my credit file, and sending snotty letters subsequent to chargeback, all whilst the Ombudsman was still hearing the case. The Ombudsman did request EE halt until conclusion, but this was already too late. I contacted EE and informed of them that this was highly inappropriate, I was bouncing around temporary accommodation as a result, and that this was a genuine dispute made in good faith. They would not rescind the late 'markers' for a debt not owed, not even until the conclusion of the ADR.

 

On a later occasion, in a manic moment, I did offer to pay EE the full amount 'outstanding', on provision that they removed all adverse markers, as the payments were taken originally, despite lack of authority, and this was only 'due' as a result of chargeback. I made it clear in the very same letter that this a disputed debt and was by no means acceptance of responsibility, and I would pursue this matter through court if they accepted these terms. EE refused, stating the markers would not be removed, but naturally invited me to pay anyway. I ignored them since then.

 

The 'debt' later got sold to Lowell. They contacted me by email. I responded by phone. I asked what they wanted, explained the above circumstances, and they stated they could 'adjust' the debt down to a hypothetical notice window. I stated that I refused on the basis of the credit reference markers. At the conclusion of the call, they asked for permission to retain contact details. They asked for phone number, and I explicitly stated that they could keep it if they were willing to work with me in removing the credit markers in exchange for the nominal 'notice period' adjustment they were implying, otherwise they were to delete the number. I refused to give them a mailing address as I was still in temporary accommodation. This conversation was just shy of a year ago.

 

Fast forward to a couple of days ago, I received an SMS message from Lowell, asking me if I had received the letter they sent me. I am now in more permanent accommodations, albeit a room in a shared house, and now back on the electoral roll. Not exactly conducive to my disability - not with all the drug usage doing on in other parts of the house, but still better than the street, or bouncing around hostels. I phoned them and asked what they wanted. It was regarding the same issue, and so everything was rehashed, and the same position was put to them. I also asked why is it they even had my number still? This, apparently, has been forwarded to their own internal complaints handler.

 

Apologies for the length, I do have some understanding of obscure bits law, mostly relating to qualities and employment law, but there is a big difference knowing some elements of the law, and putting it into action.

 

Any idea what i could or should do next? I am sick of being turned down based on credit checks for something that is not owed, and i'm frankly sick of the 'computer say's no' attitude. I screw up, I get screwed. Employers and service providers screw up, I still get screwed.

 

Thank you all for your time.

 

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Lowell, a DCA, is not a bailiff - end of, they have zero legal powers and you should never be ever ringing them or any other DCA.

 

what is the defaulted date registered on your credit file please

 

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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Hi Dx, thank you for your reply.

 

I am aware of the limitation in power, however as someone who prides myself on my credit score, and I am very much interested in buying a house at some point - either as land and self build, or a complete property purchase, the impact on my credit file is unacceptable to me.

 

I am aware of notices of correction and the like, but if the shoe were on the other foot, and i were a lender, it would cast some doubt.

 

This presents an inaccurate picture of me and I feel it is a form of legalized harassment.

 

The call(s) were for no reason other than to appeal (albeit naively) to sanity and have this matter closed. 

 

The registered date of default is 05 Dec 2020.

 

Thanks again :)

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47 minutes ago, kagaminemeh said:

a house at some point - either as land and self build, or a complete property purchase,

as it stands the account will be removed from your file +6yrs from that date.

 

send EE an SAR.

if you have MOVED since the time of the contract inc some form of written copy of proof where you are now. a bank statement suitably redacted of everything bar you address not inc transaction or a util bill in your name or an electoral roll registration or CTA bill.

 

the comms log of the EE account might prove invaluable to you.

 

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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YOU have not seen the comms log.

 

i bet it mentions your cancellation call and the operators notes made at the time

 

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi again everyone.

 

I've had the response to the SAR in the form of a cover letter and a USB flash drive.

The content of the encrypted archive within this is very limited and arguably not all the information held by them.

 

The SAR letter submitted to them was largely the boilerplate template as made available on this site, notably detailing ALL data for ALL accounts held by them, and not limited to the account number provided.

 

I will look over the documents and redact as necessary before posting here. If I can still source the documents provided to the ombudsman long ago, I will redact and submit these for comparison.

 

Their cover letter alludes to limitations that EE supposedly adhere to when keeping data for the longer term, though one would have thought that with a known dispute, later involvement with ADR, etc that certain pertinent information would have been retained.

 

In this disclosure however, there are no call logs, to customer services or otherwise, and no entries relating to contract termination, PAC codes or otherwise.

 

The account notes do not appear to have been truncated, as these go back to 2017, but a multitude of entries have been removed between then and August 2022.

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37 minutes ago, kagaminemeh said:

but a multitude of entries have been removed between then and August 2022.

 

removed or simply not there?

 

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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I believe them to have been removed, as I do recall there being more information present when this was submitted to the ombudsman back in 2020.

 

I will of course have to see if i can source the old logs from the ombudsman portal, that EE provided at that time, in order to pin down what they have omitted from the SAR.

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On 23/01/2023 at 22:27, kagaminemeh said:

The registered date of default is 05 Dec 2020

 

On 23/01/2023 at 20:23, kagaminemeh said:

I was lead to believe something told in bad faith,

sorry for you having to return to the above period, i have unbeknown like sympathy..

but what date range are we talking of where you were under her majesties bed n breakfast scheme please?

 

 

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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so they  'cancelled' the BB contract on say oct 2019.

but because you wanted to hold the phone number , they let the mobile contract exist, but didn't default it till dec 2020.

 

good luck with that one EE . the adjudicator was wrong to refuse your complaint.

 

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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Indeed, though the default was subsequent to a Direct Debit Indemnity claim I had made, after discovering EE had taken the Michael.

 

Now with fresh eyes, I will crack on with redacting and submitting documents.

 

I've uploaded the SAR letter, their cover letter and their idea of a 'fulfilled' SAR

 

Thank you all again for your time.

 

The notes do allude to the broadband contract also held with EE, but there are no other details surrounding that particular account, or payment logs (which would have largely overlapped with this). That is the first overt breach of the SAR i can identify. As for my belief that they probably do, or should be holding more information than this in regards to the cellular contract, I defer to you guys here for some clarity.

 

I know there were more entries, as I have had sight of them as part of ADR, but as for their deletion of those entries, rightly/wrongly/appropriately/inappropriately, I don't know.

 

Is that my problem?

their problem?

 

I am aware of the general principle of law, wherein 'he/she who asserts, must prove', but reverse burdens of proof are a thing too, and where they apply, I am even more hazy on.

 

Thanks once again for your time.

EE - SAR, supposedly full.pdf EE SAR request & cover letter response.pdf

Edited by kagaminemeh
revision - word choice
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and the bb account please

 

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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well there could be notes there that are useful to your cause.

maybe thats why there are none on the phone account?

 

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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why dont you ring them tomorrow  and ask where the bb ac stuff is.

there should be a number on the sar reply covering letter.

 

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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please dont use docx your per detail are in file info/properties

use PDF only

one mass file is ok.

 

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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which ombudsman service did you use ee own one or the fos?

 

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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EE have an arrangement with Ombudsman Services - Communications >

WWW.OMBUDSMAN-SERVICES.ORG

Do you have an unresolved complaint about your phone, broadband or pay TV provider? Find out how we may be able to help.

 

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not sure where you can really go with this.

you clearly opted for the option to keep the number, though how that negates the clear cancellation and the latter GOGW from them again indicating a 'mistake' puzzles me.

 

its now +2yrs since you contacted anyone?

 

on a sep note, a mobile phone default does not usually stop any credit applications today.

 

there must be other reasons.

 

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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