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Help! Meritforce - what should I do about this?


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I've already sent in harassment complaints about Meritforce to the ICO, OFT and Trading Standards because they keep bombarding me with letters about a debt that was fully repaid to another DCA over a year ago even though I have sent them evidence of this.

 

I have just got back to my parents' house after a few days away to be informed by my Dad that there's a message on the answerphone for me that I really need to listen to NOW...

 

I am absolutely gobsmacked at what I heard - remember, this is my parents' answerphone and it's just got the generic 'sorry, no-one is here to take your call, please leave a message' blurb that was on it when bought so they had no idea who would hear the message.

 

What follows is an absolutely accurate transcription of the message and any advice about what I should do after this surely illegal message would be welcome.

 

Hi there, this is a message for a Miss X, erm, its Meritforce Limited calling here. Er, you need to give us a call obviously regarding this huge er, er debt that you have.

 

Er, now you said that you sent some proof in but all we’ve had is erm, we haven’t had actually any like headed proof off the, off the company you sent it to. Er, we have down here that you have obviously when you’ve paid and what dates but it’s just obviously well something that you’ve writ (sic) yourself, so I mean, what we need to do, is we need the actual proof off who you sent it to at the time and if they sent you a settlement letter back saying the account was settled.

 

Er, if you could do that as soon as possible, if not you can call and discuss the matter on 0191 228 2297. Again, your reference number you need to quote is XXXXXXX thank you.

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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Hello, I would keep that message safe, turn the tape over until you can get a new one, DO NOT ERASE IT.

 

Someone with more knowledge will be along soon to advise next course of action, good luck.

Saxon

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I am just astonished. The word "defamation" springs to mind.

 

Make sure you keep a copy of that.

 

Good luck.

 

Regards,

 

Corn:)

CLICK ON THE SCALES IF YOU THINK I HAVE HELPED!

 

I AM NOT SCARED ANYMORE!:rolleyes:

 

MBNA - To quote "The Carpenters", We've Only Just Begun..................;):D

HSBC - Settled.

Capital One - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) issued.

Goldfish - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) issued.

Tesco - SAR issued.

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It's a digital machine and I have no idea if one of the parents will erase it by mistake so I have taken the precaution of transferring it to my mobile using the voice recorder function. That is one that won't get deleted.

 

I am pretty certain that I can (metaphorically speaking) have their balls for earrings now!

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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I am also left wondering if there's something terribly wrong with me because, for a brief moment, I was more appalled by the fact that this moron could barely speak English than by the content of the message ;)

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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EOMT, you need to transfer this message onto a tape format that can be posted with a letter of complain to ICO. This is serious stuff!

 

You then need to write a letter of complaint to the DCA informing them of the Data Protection Breach and that it has been forwarded to the ICO. If you need help with the letter, give me a shout.

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Absolutely outrageous! Take this ALL the way! Let us know how you get on.

Abbey - 547.00 settled in full.

Second claim: £204 WON.

Barclaycard - 142.88 incl interest due WON BY DEFAULT as they didn't even bother entering a defence. Barclaycard paid up £184.88.

 

MBNA - Concluded £634.31

Capital One Concluded £148

Kinda disappointed I've no more banks to go after now...

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Guest Battleaxe

I would be sending them a request underthe DPA sar and requesting all the infomration they hold and also the Deed of Assignment. if they don't produce in the time limits I would be taking them to Court for non-complianc e and let them explain the lot to the judge.

 

I would also be be writing a letter to them placing whatever they think is an account you owe is in Dispute and that you do not acknowledge any debt to them.

 

Send another letter of Harrassment to them under seperate cover and that they are not to ring your parent's telephone number otherwise this will also result in court action for damages.

 

Send all letters by recorded delivery and sit back.

 

Check the library for the template letters and change them to suit your circumstancesm but keep stressing that you do not acknowledge any debt that they claim you owe.

 

I would also notify the OFT about this together with the TS, for what it is worth.

 

Ring the ICO and remind them that you have already lodged a complaint

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My local trading standards office contacted me about the complaint I had sent them to check if I was happy for them to pass the complaint on to the TS office for Newcastle - needless to say, I agreed.

 

I also told the very helpful young lady about the answerphone message and she agreed that it was bang out of order and advised me to contact not just the ICO but also the Financial Ombudsman Service about this one because they are now handling consumer credit complaints (since April 6th this year) and have the power to charge DCAs £400 for each and every complaint they have to investigate. She also mentioned that apparently the DCAs are up in arms about this but also said that if they didn't give their customers cause for complaint then they wouldn't get charged for it... wise words.

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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The Financial Ombudsman site is Financial Ombudsman Service

 

I also couldn't help myself - I Googled Meritfarce and right there, large as life on their home page Meritforce Limited is this statement "Meritforce complies with and fully supports the Credit Services Association's code of practice. In addition all staff operate at all times in accordance with the latest Office of Fair Trading guidelines and the Data Protection Act." Laugh? I nearly fell off my chair!

 

I now have to try to figure out how the heck I get a recording of the (digital) answerphone message onto something I can send to the ICO and FOS. Any suggestions?

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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Ignore what the muppets say about the Credit Services Association - thst's just a club for debt collectors to boast about what they can get away with. A complaint to them is a waste of time.

 

Its a very good idea to bring in the FOS but you must follow their rules which is to exhaust Meritfarce's complaints procedure first. They must have one. If they ignore it then you can go to the FOS but you must try.

 

Its a shame really - up until last year Meritfarce were quite well regarded as door-to-door collectors in their natve north-eat. Then they were taken over by Mucenzie Hall and its all gone pear shaped.

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I now have to try to figure out how the heck I get a recording of the (digital) answerphone message onto something I can send to the ICO and FOS. Any suggestions?

You say you've got is as a voice recording on your mobile. It may save that as an MP3 which you can transfer to your PC. Or it may save it as a voice file which only your phone can play.

 

Do you have (or can you borrow) an old-fashioned tape recorder? That would be a simple way of making a copy.

 

Alternatively if you have a microphone for your PC (they're only a couple of quid) you can make a recording through your soundcard, which you could burn onto a CD. There's plenty of free recording software, I use Free Sound Recorder Software Download which is a bis basic but fine for voice recordings.

 

But whatever you do, don't lose the original! :D

 

Feel free to PM if you need any help :)

  • Barclays: WON!!! It took four months but was totally worth it!
  • Cabot: I'm still waiting for an enforcable agreement, more than a year after requesting it. Go on, Uncle Ken, take me to court if you dare. You know you want to!
  • Elephant.co.uk: VICTORY - they admitted there was no debt!
  • Ashbourne Management (gym membership): Finally got my default removed and out-of-court settlement; I'm not finished with them yet!

<--- If I've been helpful please remember the scales ;)

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You say you've got is as a voice recording on your mobile. It may save that as an MP3 which you can transfer to your PC. Or it may save it as a voice file which only your phone can play.

 

Thanks DJDave, I've looked at the file on my phone and it has saved it as a .amr file so I guess that's going to be a Nokia only thing. I'm off out and about today and will see if I can pick up a microphone for the lappy.

 

As for the original, my parents are under strict instructions not to delete it!

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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Its a very good idea to bring in the FOS but you must follow their rules which is to exhaust Meritfarce's complaints procedure first. They must have one. If they ignore it then you can go to the FOS but you must try.

 

Hi Nailpost, I am still going to make a complaint to the FSO as advised by my local Trading Standards this week because it's for a breach of the DPA and I was told that this is now under their jurisdiction.

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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Update: the nice helpful person at my local Trading Standards office has given me the contact details for Peter Skevington at Newcastle TS. She spoke to him about my complaint and told me that he's said he'll talk to Meritfarce on my behalf or may even visit them. I just have to ring him to give him the go ahead.

 

I left him a voicemail today and hope to speak to him tomorrow.

 

Thanks also to DJDave - I have got the answerphone message on my laptop now as an MP3 so can either e-mail the file to Mr Skevington if he wants me to or can post CDs with it on to him, the Information Commissioners Office and the FSO :D

 

Meritfarce have sent yet another letter since all this threatening me with a home visit if I don't pay up. They are lucky that Newcastle is a long way away or I might have been tempted to pay them a little visit ;)

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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  • 2 weeks later...

Further update: I spoke to Peter Skevington and he asked me to send him the transcript of the phone message so that he could take that plus the copies of my letters that my local TS office had forwarded on to him along with him when he went to visit Meritfarce on my behalf.

 

While on the phone he said that the Newcastle TS office had really not had very many complaints about Meritfarce and that given the nature of their business they seem to be fairly well regarded. However, he was most interested when I told him that I seemed to recall reading somewhere (here!) that they'd recently been taken over by Mackenzie Hall and commented that he'd had cause to look at them on occasion and that he very much hoped that Meritfarce were not going to adopt MH's less than desirable practices!

 

I've now had a letter from him saying that he had discussed the situation with one of Meritfarce's directors who had requested copies of my letters and the mesage transcript and would investigate. I have been asked to let Mr Skevington know if Meritfarce contact me again and he'll let me know when they get back to him.

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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Glad to hear the evidence has been safely moved to a secure location.

 

I'm slightly concerned at the TS's statement they are surprised at Meritforce's given they are well-regarded. I know of a policeman who was well-regarded until his colleagues found out what he'd been up to in a flat with a small child.

 

So he's had cause to look at Mackenzie Hall on occasion - what has he and his colleagues up and down the country done to slap these vermin down and amend their "less than desirable practices"?

 

You should still report the company to the Office of Fair Trading, the Information Commissioner and the Financial Services Ombusman.

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Hi NailPost

 

I reported them to all of the above as well as Ofcom at the same time as I complained to TS. I've had acknowldgements of the the complaints from Ofcom, OFT and ICO and will update as and when more info is available.

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=purple]Moorcroft DCA - CCA Requests (x2) sent 06/01/2007, 1 x CCA supplied and payments being made, one account passed back to Royal Bank of Scotland. Regal Credit demanded immediate payment in Nov 07, sent away with a flea in their ear as RBS is in breach of CCA.[/COLOR][/COLOR] [COLOR=magenta][COLOR=seagreen]Anonymous postcard from FCM Jan 08 can only be connected to this RBS farce![/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=magenta]Meritforce reported to TS, ICO, FOS and Ofcom April 07 for harassment and breaches of Data Protection Act over a debt that was paid more than a year ago! dec 07 ICO finally agree that DPA was breached but say that the law does not allow them to take any action![/COLOR] [COLOR=royalblue]Roxburghe DCA - CCA Request sent 06/01/2007, Unable to comply letter received 14/01/07.[/COLOR]

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