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DCA letter: "debt" already paid in full


FjordEscort
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Hi folks. Can I say what a great site this is, quite an eye opening read too. Won't be long until I'm asserting my rights all over the place! :D

 

Has anyone heard / dealt with a DCA called Buchanan Clark and Wells? I received a letter from them today referring to a "debt" owed to Scottish Power from my old shared house which I know for a fact (having finally collected the last sixty quid from my former housemates) was paid in full more than a week ago.

 

Checking their website I've found several email addresses for senior staff and I'm planning to send something along the lines of the following (initial reaction was to phone, but thought again having read the guidance on this site - thanks folks!) Email addy is for a "Dougie McManus", Operations Director and copying it to their [email protected] address

 

Client Ref: xxxxxxxxx

My Name: Mr Fjord Escort

 

Dear Dougie

 

I was surprised and ever so slightly perturbed to receive your letter dated 23rd April bearing the aforementioned account reference today referring to what you describe as a debt owing to Scottish Power. The letter makes reference to an amount which was paid in full more than a week ago. As the amount was fully paid to Scottish Power prior to the date at the head of your letter may I suggest that you check your records and ask your client to do likewise?

 

Furthermore the letter advises of a "15% administration charge", which if this amount had not already been paid I am informed I would need to remit to your company with a further threat of this charge increasing to 35% should I "fail to respond positively". Although this point is moot in my case, I would be very appreciative if you could illustrate for me your costs (or indeed those incurred by your clients) justifying such a fee. You will no doubt be aware of the current furore surrounding the issue of penalty charges and the relevant points of law in such cases. Please issue a schedule of the costs incurred by Scottish Power and illustrate how they would jump by 20% of any monies owed in he event that a "positive response" was not received as I would be extremely disappointed if a reputable company like BCA were attempting to make profit in this way and in the lack of any evidence showing these arbitrary sums to represent liquidated damages will bring the matter to the attention of Trading Standards.

 

Finally, I would appreciate confirmation via return of your recipt of this email. Rest assured that if this maladministation be it on the part of BCA or Scottish Power in any way adversely affects the credit rating of myself or my partner then the relevant authorities will be notified and furthermore I shall not hesitate to seek restitution from both parties.

 

Best Regards

 

Mr Fjord Escort

 

 

Any suggestions / comments will be very gratefully received indeed. Thanks very much :)

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  • 1 month later...

Quick update re this - I sent the email as stated and following this received a letter from BCW stating that "0871 numbers are not premium rate" (I neither implied this nor reasonably should they have inferred it), they see "no reason to refer this matter to our client" (!!!) and that this was their final response.

 

In the meantime I received from Scottish Power (not my current supplier) notice that all accounts have been settled and that nothing is owing. A week ago I emailed BCW to that effect. Guess what... No response... I have emailed them again tonight giving them a week to respond prior to my referring this to FOS (£400 case fee, etc) and passing on other concerns to TS.

 

I have specifically asked them (further to their response which implied that they make no money from their 0871 number) how much money they make from inbound phone calls and whether they could justify this figure. Furthermore I have asked that they comment on possible (probable?) breaches of s2.8 (i) of OFT 664. In all I posed five questions pertinent to the conduct of their business (relevant to all DCAs) and have asked them whether they object to their answers (if given) to said questions being placed within the public domain and / or published accordingly.

 

I am awaiting their response with interest. Once again, Scot Power have advised me that I owe them nothing which puts BCW in a sticky situation concerning their initial letter in response to my "complaint" (their terminology not mine). Will update accordingly.

 

EDIT>>> Ought to add that I challenged them to justify their making money from debtors through use of a revenue generating telephone number in my original letter... ;)

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