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AlphaGeeK Vs Amex ***WON***

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Here is the text of my complaint to the ICO about Newman and Company Ltd.

 

Newman and Company claim to be acting for American Express Services (Europe) Ltd in relation to an alleged, disputed, credit card account.

 

I asked them to provide me with a copy of any credit agreement that exists between them and me so I could check if I had agreed to them processing data where I am the data subject on 15th May 2007. On the same day I mailed them under separate cover a DSAR letter for the same purpose. Both letters where signed for, delivered on the 17th May 2007.

 

In parallel, I also gave American Express Services (Europe) Ltd the same opportunity to provide me with documentary proof that I had given consent for them to permit Newman and Company Ltd to process data where I am the data subject. The two letters I sent to this organisation were signed for, delivered on the 16th May 2007.

 

On the 5th June, Newman and Company mailed me a poor photocopy of two American Express credit card application forms, signed by myself on the xx/xx/97 and xx/xx.97. Neither document gave my permission to either organisation to process any data where I am the data subject. Then a further Pre-approved application form, again without any consent.

 

I wrote to Newman and Company on 11th June 2007 asking them to cease processing any data where I am the data subject as they had no lawful right to be doing so, giving them 7 days to do so. This was signed for, delivered on the 13th June.

 

I subsequently received a letter dated 12th June responding to my letter of the 11th (one day prior to them receiving it) where they were obviously continuing to process data where I am the data subject. The letter made no mention at all of my request.

 

I wrote to them again on the 14th June, asking that they cease to process any data where I am the data subject. This was signed for, delivered on the 15th July.

 

Subsequent to this letter, I received another letter dated 12th June where they were obviously continuing to process data where I am the data subject.

 

I have reminded Newman and Company that Under the Data Protection Act (1998) I have principled rights in that:

 

(Schedule I)

1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully.

2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.

(Schedule II)

1. The subject has given his consent.

2. The processing is necessary “for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party.”

 

I say that their processing of data where I am the data subject breaks all four of those principals and, indeed, they have no right to process any data or to start to process any data where I am the data subject.

 

It seems they have a different view of the Data Protection Act (1998).

 

I have attached all the documentation I have in regard to this complaint and would ask that you advise Newman and Company Ltd of the error of their ways. Please note: The scans I have made of the documents that they provided are not badly scanned. They are very good copies of what they sent to me.

 

I have not provided Royal Mail POD scans as letter delivery is not disputed. They are, of course, available on request.

 

I understand that you have limited powers in this area, but I contact you in the hope that I can avoid litigation in having to seek a court order to prevent Newman and Company unlawfully processing data where I am the data subject. Hopefully a reminder from your office as to their obligations will suffice.

 

Thank you for your time.


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Any news from Amex ??


You may receive different advice to your query as people have different experiences and opinions. Please use your own judgement in deciding whose advice to take.

 

If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional. Any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability.

 

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No nothing - I think I need to send them a reminder that I still exist.


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Amex are now in criminal default on my CCA request. I could just accept the rubbish they sent as they would be unable to rely on it in any court action.

 

The SAR request is now complete and the charges they applied to my account don't come anywhere near the balance outstanding at the time they defaulted me.

 

They have, however, been continuing to apply monthly interest to my balance since defaulting me and passing me to the DCA.

 

The most important thing to me (I Think) is getting the default removed. What do you think my chances are if I just send them a prelim and then MCOL or N1 of getting it removed if I claim such a small amount compared to the balance at default time.

 

Mind you, I think I will go and calculate the interest they have added since defaulting me. If I could claim that back too, that might change my mind.

 

Advice please.


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Ok, Jan '05 was the 1st month my statement said "ACCOUNT CANCELLED AND WITH COLLECTION DEPT." and July '05 is when they entered a default against my CRA file. (They did this despite me making 4 payments of £500 during Jan and July :-x)

 

If I only work on 8% statutory interest then;

 

From the day they said Account Cancelled, the unlawfully charged interest of £1919 + 8% CI comes to £2197

 

From the day default entered, the unlawfully charged interest of £1202 + 8% CI comes to £1336

 

If I use Contractual CI of 19.28% then;

 

The totals are £2669 since the day they said Account Cancelled, and £1557 from the day default entered.


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Nice sounding figures.................:)


You may receive different advice to your query as people have different experiences and opinions. Please use your own judgement in deciding whose advice to take.

 

If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional. Any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability.

 

If you think I have been helpful PLEASE click the scales

 

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As I'm sure yours are Josie - but what should I do next? ;)


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Me ...............I'd go for the highest CI figures - really make them squirm,,,,,,,,,,you know they won't go anywhere near court:p

 

I'd put on your actual claim the alternative rate of 8 % as well


You may receive different advice to your query as people have different experiences and opinions. Please use your own judgement in deciding whose advice to take.

 

If in doubt seek advice from a qualified insured professional. Any advice I have offered you is done so on an informal basis, without prejudice or liability.

 

If you think I have been helpful PLEASE click the scales

 

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Hello (if anyone is still reading this!)

 

Sorry I have been off the grid for ages, I think I was abducted by aliens or something like that biggrin.gif

 

I will post up what has happened since I last updated this thread to keep the record straight.

 

In a letter dated 13th Aug 2007, I heard from the ICO about my complaint about Newman and Co.

 

13 August 2007

 

Case Reference Number xxx

 

Dear Mr Geek

 

Thank you for your correspondence dated 2 July 2007.

You have explained that on 15 May 2007 you wrote to Newman & Company under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) to request a copy of your original credit agreement. You also sent a subject access request under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) requesting a copy of your transactions and charges. On 11 June you then sent Newman & Company a notice under section 10 of the Act requesting them to stop processing your data.

 

Before addressing the various points you have raised I would like to advise you that when we receive a complaint like this, we are under a duty to assess whether it is likely or unlikely that there has been a breach of the Act. We will then decide what action, if any, to take.

 

In the interests of clarity I will now consider each aspect of your complaint, separately below.

 

CCA request

As you may aware we (the Information Commissioner's Office) are an independent body set up to regulate and enforce the Data Protection Act 1998, amongst other legislation. We do not however have any involvement in regulating sections 77 or 78 of the CCA. As such your complaint is not one that we can look into. However as the CCA is regulated by the Office of Fair Trading you may find that they may be able to offer you further advice on this matter. The contact details are as follows:

 

08454 04 05 06

Office of Fair Trading

Fleetbank House

2-6 Salisbury Square

London

EC4Y 8JX

 

It may also be helpful to explain that sections 77 and 78 of the CCA state that a creditor must give a consumer a copy of their executed agreement within 12 working days of receiving a request in writing and the appropriate fee. The Consumer Credit (Cancellation Notices and Copies of Documents) Regulations 1983 (CNCD) specify that every copy of an executed agreement, security instrument or other copy referred to in the CCA and delivered or sent to a debtor, hirer or surety under any provision of the Act shall be a true copy thereof. However, it is well established that a 'true copy' is not an exact copy.

 

Regulation 3(2) of the CNCD Regulations allows the following to be omitted from any copy:

a)Information in the original which relates to the debtor, hirer or surety or is included for the use of the creditor or owner only and which is not required to be included in the original agreement by the Act or by any regulations as to form and content. Therefore it is not necessary for the copy to reproduce, for example, details of the business or occupation of the debtor, the name and address of the employer or bank details of his income etc,

 

b)Any signature box, signature or date of signature.

Therefore there is no requirement for an organisation to send you a copy of the original agreement. They may simply send you a copy of the terms and conditions of the agreement. Further to this, sections 77 and 78 of the CCA do not apply once the agreement has ended; therefore a creditor does not have to supply you with a copy of the agreement if the credit has been repaid.

 

Furthermore, the failure of a creditor to produce a copy of the signed credit agreement is not, on its own, evidence that your debt does not exist and should therefore not appear on your credit file. If the credit grantor can supply some other evidence of the agreement and you have no evidence to contradict this then it is likely to be proper for the debt to continue to be recorded on your credit reference file.

 

section 10 notice and consent to share your information

You have complained that Newman & Company are passing information to the credit reference agencies. Your argument is based on the assumption that the credit reference agencies need consent to process account information. This is not the case.

 

As you may be aware the first data protection principle states that

"Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless:

at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met; and

in the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions in
Schedule 3 is also met."

One of the conditions for processing in Schedule 2 is that the individual has given his consent to the processing. It is our view that consent is not easy to achieve and that organisations should consider other conditions for processing before looking at consent. No one condition carries greater weight than any other. All the conditions provide an equally valid basis for processing. Merely because consent is the first condition to appear in both Schedules 2 and 3 does not mean that organisations should consider it first.

 

Consent is not defined in the Act and so it is helpful to look back at Directive 95/46/EC which defines "the data subject's consent" as:

"...any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes by which the data subject signifies his agreement to personal data relating to him being processed."

 

In the context of applying for credit, consent to share information with the credit reference agencies cannot be freely given. This is because if you don't agree to your data being shared then your application will simply be rejected. In other words you have no choice.

 

It is our view that the condition for processing below covers the sharing of account data with the credit reference agencies for the duration of a contract and six years beyond.

"The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case because of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject."

 

We take a wide view of the legitimate interests and we consider that it is in the interests of other creditors to make informed lending decisions. It is important to note here that the fact that the processing may be seen by some to prejudice a particular individual (for example, someone with an adverse entry on his credit reference file may not be able to obtain credit facilities) does not necessarily render the whole processing operation prejudicial to all individuals.

 

The Act does not prescribe the period for which information is retained by credit reference agencies. However we understand that the Crowther Report on Consumer Credit 1971 expressed support for the view that a statutory time limit should be considered and suggested a period of six years should be adopted. At the time this was already the practice common to some of the major credit reference agencies. The Younger Committee on Privacy considered that as the prevailing practices of the agencies were coordinated, there was no immediate necessity for statutory recommendations to be made but prepared the ground for the Data Protection Act 1984 by recommending that periods should be specified beyond which the information should not be retained.

 

The fifth data protection principle states that "Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes."

 

Account information is held by the credit reference agencies for a period of six years after the account was last active. Therefore once a default has been registered it may remain on an individual's credit reference file for six years. It does appear to be the case, at least at the present time, that in addition to current credit commitments the preceding six years of an individual's credit history is taken into account by credit grantors when applications for credit facilities are assessed. As a consequence this historical information would appear to be relevant to the purpose of credit referencing and by holding this information the agencies would not appear to be in breach of the fifth principle.

 

In view of the above information there is no evidence to suggest that there has been a breach of the Act by Newman & Company.

 

Penalty charges

It is firstly important to explain that complaints about unfair penalty charges fall outside our remit. We are therefore unable to directly assist you in seeking the repayment of any charges.

 

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is the most appropriate organisation to assist you when seeking to settle disputes about unfair penalty charges. The FOS can be contacted on 0845 080 1800 Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm.

 

The FOS was set up by Parliament as an independent, free service for settling disputes between businesses providing financial services and their customers.

 

However if you have still not received a response to your subject access request please do not hesistate [their spelling] to contact us again.

 

I hope the above information is helpful. Your case will now be closed.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Faye Bower

Casework and Advice Officer


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16th Aug 2007 saw the arrival of this from Allied International Credit (AIC);

 

CLIENT NAME:AMERICAN EXPRESS EUROPE LTD

CLIENT REFERENCE NO.: xxx

AIC CASE NO. 000

OUTSTANDING BALANCE:£xxx

 

(A referral fee of £xxx.xx is included in this amount)

 

Dear Mr Geek

 

Allied International Credit (UK) Limited (AIC) are writing to notify you that the above outstanding account has been referred to us by American Express and payment of the total amount due must be directed immediately to the offices of AIC. Please note that failure to pay the above amount could result in court proceedings being issued against you.

 

Along with payment in full, please forward your American Express card (cut the card into two parts) to our offices by either Registered or Recorded Delivery. To ensure immediate credit to your account, you must write your AIC case number on the top section on the front of your payment and also return a copy of this letter with your remittance.

 

Payment can be made by the following methods:

 

By Debit Card (Switch/Delta/Solo/Electron) - telephone our office with the relevant

Debit Card details.

Credit Card (Visa/MasterCard) - telephone our office with your relevant Credit Card

details. (Please note that there will be a bank surcharge applicable for this method of

payment.)

Cash/Building Society Cheque - either call in person to our office, or use Registered

or Recorded Delivery. This will guarantee next day delivery to AIC and also insure the contents. Once posted, you must also telephone this office to advise us of the unique Royal Mail reference number this will enable AIC to apply the payment to your account.

 

Bank Draft - take the cash to any high street bank and ask them to issue a Bankers Draft payable to AIC (NOT a cheque from a personal account) and post it to us

immediately (again, we urge you to use Registered or Recorded Delivery).

 

Bank Transfer - you can pay funds directly into our Bank Trust Account. Please telephone the number below with the details.

 

Should you have any problems paying the above amount, it is imperative that you telephone this office immediately to discuss your account and therefore prevent any possible proceedings.

 

Yours sincerely

 

MR B FARQUHAR

Debt Collection Department

 

Tel:

I had not actually read this letter until just now. The arrogance is unbelievable!

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28th Aug 2007 saw this arrive;

 

Dear Mr Geek

 

URGENT - FINAL NOTICE OF INTENT

 

Allied International Credit (UK) Limited (AIC) are acting on behalf of our Client to recover the above outstanding balance. Due to your continued failure to contact AIC, despite numerous letters, or the failure to arrive at a satisfactory repayment solution, unless payment of the total amount is made to our office immediately our Client have authorised us to consider issuing proceedings against you.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the proceedings will involve a claim being issued through your local County Court and, should Judgment [Their spelling. Seriously, if you can't spell learn how to use the in-built spell checker] be awarded against you, the necessary steps will be taken to secure full payment. This could result in substantial solicitor s [and learn where the apostrophe key is you dim wits] fees/court costs being added to your account. In the event that proceedings go in our favour and the Bailiff serves a Warrant, the following options are available to us for the recovery of the funds:

 

>Wages - your employer could receive an Attachment Order that will enable us to secure payment of the above amount from your wages. This would be an Allotment of pay if you were serving in HM Forces.

 

>Assets - a Bailiff could be instructed to call at your home to seize assets under a Warrant Of Execution.

 

>Property - a Charging Order will prohibit the sale of the above property and the ability to re-mortgage or secure funds.

 

If you wish to prevent these proceedings you must telephone this office immediately to make payment in full using one of the following methods:

 

•Debit Card •Building Society Cheque (Switch/Delta/Solo/Electron) •Bank Draft

•Credit Card •HSBC Bank

•Giro Slip •Cash

 

[Telephone you and use the HSBC Bank to make a payment? I don't think they would want to help me. I am not a customer of that bank! Note to DCA: Do not smoke crack whilst composing letters!]

 

This is a final letter and no further warning or intimation will be given.

 

Yours sincerely

 

MR B FARQUHAR

Debt Collection Department

Tel:


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On the 5th Sept 2007;

 

Mr Geek

NOTIFICATION OF INTENDED VISIT

 

Allied International Credit (UK) Limited (AIC) are surprised you have ignored our attempts to communicate with you, as we have no knowledge of a valid reason for you to be withholding payment. AIC are left with no alternative but to have our agents visit your premises.

 

To prevent this action, please contact our office immediately, or return a copy of this letter with your payment.

 

Yours sincerely

 

MR B FARQUHAR

Debt Collection Department

Tel:

 

I am sure in the letter of the 28th they said
This is a final letter and no further warning or intimation will be given.
so what is this letter all about?!?

 

Why do they always want their letters returning? Do they just change the header details and mail them out again to save money??

 

(AIC) are surprised you have ignored our attempts to communicate with you, as we have no knowledge of a valid reason for you to be withholding payment.
Ok, let me help you out. I cannot abide being written to by people with such a poor command of the English language... and you forgot your telephone number on all three letters, dummy!

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October 25th 2007, Casey and Co - Solicitors

 

Our Reference: xxxx

Date: October 25, 2007

Direct dial: 0141 228 3028 (Craig Nicol)

 

Dear Mr Geek

Re: AMERICAN EXPRESS EUROPE LTD Account No xxx

Outstanding balance £ xxx

 

We have been instructed by Allied International Credit acting on behalf of American Express Europe Ltd to consider legal proceedings against you in the Wakefield County Court for recovery of the full amount outstanding above, together with statutory interest and additional costs. If you wish to avoid Court action then you must either pay the full amount within 7 days or alternatively contact AIC direct on 0141 228 3028 to discuss payment.

There will be no further warning

 

Upon Judgment [Hmm, where have I seen that spelling before?], enforcement action could be taken against you, whereby the following methods of litigation could be considered:

 

•Attachment Order on your salary

 

•Warrant of Execution by the Bailiff/Sheriffs Officers instructed to seize your goods from your property.

 

•Charging Order or Bankruptcy may also be considered where applicable.

Please note that all contact and correspondence must be sent to the offices of AIC at 389 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 SLR - It is imperative that when sending correspondence your account number (above) is clearly marked.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Casey & Co


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I know this is an American Express case, but do they seriously make all of their henchmen set their localization to English(US) in their word processors? :)


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Finally, 16th Nov 2007 and we're back to AIC (?? how did thay happen ??)

 

November 2007

CLIENT NAME:AMERICAN EXPRESS EUROPE LTD

CLIENT REFERENCE NO.: x

AIC CASE NO.: x

OUTSTANDING BALANCE: £xxxxx

 

(A referral fee of £148.08 is included in this amount)

 

Dear Mr Geek

With reference to our previous correspondence, the records of Allied International Credit (UK) Limited (AIC) show that the above account still remains unpaid. Unless payment of the total amount due is made immediately to our offices, AIC will instruct our Clients to arrange for the issue of proceedings against you.

For the avoidance of doubt, the proceedings will be issued through your local Sheriff/County Court and, equally for the avoidance of doubt, necessary steps will be taken to secure full payment of the outstanding balance should a Decree/Judgment [Hmm...] be awarded against you.

If you fail to telephone our office within 3 working days of the postmark [no postmark on envelope], this shall be taken as notice that you have no intention in arranging repayment of your debt to our Client. It is therefore likely that legal proceedings will be issued against you, which could incur substantial solicitor s [Was this typed on the same keyboard Mr Farquhar used earlier perhaps?] fees/court costs.

If you wish to prevent these proceedings, AIC require immediate payment of the above outstanding balance. You must also forward your American Express card (cutting the card into two parts) to our offices using Registered or Recorded Delivery. To ensure immediate credit to your account, you must write your AIC case number on the top section on the front of your payment and return a copy of this letter with your remittance.

No further warning or intimation will be provided to you [that's what the last guy said!]. You should therefore be aware that this is the final opportunity to resolve the matter without further costs and/or credit implications.

Should you need to discuss your account with us, please immediately telephone the number below.

Yours sincerely

MRS LEANNE DICK

 

Debt Collection Department

 

Tel: 0141 2283030

Another one who wants her letter returning!?!

 

Well, at least this one remembered to include her telephone number.

 

Score: 1 out of 10.


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I am working on my Prelim and need to ask if I am correct in thinking that AMEX had no right or basis in contract to apply interest to my account after they defaulted me?


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I am working on my Prelim and need to ask if I am correct in thinking that AMEX had no right or basis in contract to apply interest to my account after they defaulted me?
Sorry, they can apply interest after they defaulted you - they cannot if you defaulted them - ie sent a CCA request which they didn't satisfactorily answer.

Steven

 

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Thanks for that.

 

They have defaulted on supplying a copy credit agreement so I will add that interest only in to my SOC.


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Prelim draft;

 

Address

 

Thursday, 03 January 2008

 

American Express

Amex House

Edward Street

Brighton

BN88 1AH

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re: − Account Number xxxx

 

Request for repayment of charges

 

I am writing to ask you to refund to me the charges which you have levied from my account over the last six years.

 

I now understand that the regime of fees which you have been applying to my account in relation to late payments, exceeding credit limits and so forth are unlawful at Common Law and contrary to consumer regulations. If you say that they are not, then will you please demonstrate this by letting me have a full breakdown of the costs to which you have been put by as a result of my breaches, in order to reassure me that your charges really do reflect your costs?

 

Additionally, it has now been confirmed that your particularly high level of penalties are considered to be unfair per se by the OFT who reported on the 5th April 2006 and are therefore presumed to be unlawful in the absence of specific proof to the contrary.

Your responsibilities

I would draw your attention to the terms of the contract which you agreed to at the time that I opened my account. It is an implied term of that contract that you would conduct yourselves lawfully and in a manner which complies with UK law.

I am frankly shocked that you have operated my account in this way as I had always reposed confidence in your integrity and expertise.

 

I consider that your repeated representations that your charges are fair and reasonable are deceptive and that they have deceived me into agreeing to pay them. Your concealment of the true nature of your charges has prevented me from asserting my right until now.

 

Additionally you have not complied with my request of Monday, 15 May 2007 under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (Sections 77−79) for a true copy of the executed credit agreement you allege exists.

 

The permitted time for you to supply the copy document I requested expired on 4th June 2007. I note that you have been adding charges and interest to the alleged account and continuing to engage in collection activities for the alleged outstanding balance you claim is owed. This is in clear contravention of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the OFT’s guidelines on debt collection.

Should you not have any signed credit agreement in relation to this alleged debt, please confirm this in writing to me.

 

If you have no such agreement, another worrying facet of this whole situation is the unlawful dissemination of my data by your company to a third party. Under the Data Protection Act (1998 ) I have principled rights in that:

(Schedule I)

1. Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully.

2. Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.

(Schedule II)

1. The subject has given his consent.

2. The processing is necessary “for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party.”

 

I have recently conducted an audit of my personal credit reports supplied by Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. Within these files entries referencing the alleged debt are lodged.

I note that files have been updated continually and I can only deduce that it is your firm updating these credit files without my consent or that your company is disseminating my information to a third party without my consent.

The Data Protection Act (1988 ) also demands that data held and processed should be accurate. The earliest unlawful charge you applied to the alleged account pre-dates the earliest 1-month arrears status marker you placed within the files of credit reference agencies. An incorrect balance would certainly render the data inaccurate and could be found to have been damaging to me and my perceived credit-worthiness should I need to pursue the matter in the County Court.

I have also been contacted by various firms purporting to represent you attempting to enforce this alleged debt after you failed to comply with my request for a copy of any credit agreement (regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974) that exists between us within the statutory time frames. As they were using my personal data in conjunction with a number you use to reference this account, I assume it must have been you who passed my data to them and, in clear breach of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and OFTs guidelines on debt collection, instructed them to pursue and harass me in an attempt to obtain money.

 

What I require

  • I calculate that you have taken £xxx.xx in levies and further, I also claim interest at a rate of 19.28% as set out in the attached list of charges. I believe this rate to be justified under the principle of mutuality and reciprocity, and is based on your interest rate that would be applied under the terms of the above mentioned account. Therefore the total amount owed as of today’s date is £x,xxx.xx with interest accruing at £x.xx per day. Schedule of charges attached, page 5.
  • You have processed data where I am the data subject in contravention of the Data Protection Act (1998 ) and I require you to remove all data regarding this alleged account from the files of the three credit reference agencies. Please Note: Amendments and/or corrections to such entries will not be acceptable to me as you do not have, and never have had, my consent to process any data where I am the data subject.
  • You have processed data where I am the data subject in contravention of the Data Protection Act (1998) and I require you to remove all data regarding this alleged account from the files of any other third parties you have passed it to.

My targets to resolve this matter

I hope that you will enter into a sincere dialogue with me about this matter and I am writing this letter to you on the assumption that you will prefer to do this than merely respond with standard letters and leaflets.

 

I will give you 14 days to reply to me accepting, unconditionally, my request in principle and letting me know a date by which I will receive payment and by which the data mentioned above will be removed.

 

If you dispute that I am entitled to a refund of these charges, I request that you forward within the above mentioned time scale, a copy of the Terms and Conditions that were in force at the time my account was opened, and any subsequent amendments to those Terms and Conditions. These are requested under CPR Pre-Action Protocol 4.6©, and failure to provide them will be brought to the attention of the court, should it be necessary to commence a county court action.

 

If you do not respond, or you do not respond positively, within this time period, I shall send you a letter before action giving you a further 14 days in which to reflect. I believe that these targets are more than sufficient for a large company such as yours with dedicated staff and departments.

 

After that, there will be no further communication from me and I shall issue a claim at the expiry of the second deadline.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Alphageek

 

Enc/ Schedule of charges

 

Any comments?


The REAL Axis of evil: Banks, Credit Card Companies & Credit Reference Agencies.

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Prelim printed and in the (recorded) mail in the morning.


The REAL Axis of evil: Banks, Credit Card Companies & Credit Reference Agencies.

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Mailed. 14 Days to reply.


The REAL Axis of evil: Banks, Credit Card Companies & Credit Reference Agencies.

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Ok everyone, pay attention. Received this from them today;

 

11 January 2008

 

American Express Membership Number: **** ****** *xxxx

 

Dear Alphageek,

 

Thank you for your letter dated 8th January 2008, received in this office on 10th January 2008 and for allowing us the opportunity to deal with your complaint.

 

We are currently in the process of investigating the issues you have raised. Please be assured that you will receive a response within 28 days from receipt of your contact.

 

Please find enclosed a copy of our Complaints Procedure.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Ian Hayward

Executive Customer Relations Administrator

Enc.

and this was enclosed with it;

 

American Express Services Europe Ltd. Complaint Handling Procedure

 

Customer Satisfaction

Our aim is to provide you with the best possible service every time. We realise, however, that on occasions mistakes can happen and we need your help to improve. If things do go wrong we've set up a complaint handling procedure that is easy to follow and will make sure that you receive a quick and thorough reply.

The Complaint Process

 

Step 1

We believe that the people who deal with your accounts on a day to day basis can resolve the majority of complaints quickly and fairly. If you have any comments or concerns you can speak to a member of our Customer Service team on one of the numbers below:

Blue Credit Card 01273 576 576

Green, Gold, Platinum Credit Card 01273 620 555

British Airways Credit Card 01273 576 445

Green Charge Card 0870 600 1030

Gold Charge Card 01273 697 272

Platinum Charge Card 0845 608 0845

Business Charge Card & Credit Card 01273 576 123

Nectar Credit Card 0845 600 5210

Nectar Business Credit Card 0845 600 4120

Red Credit Card 0845 600 3216

Alternatively, you may wish to contact us in writing at the following address:

 

American Express Services Europe Ltd.

Dept. 66 Amex House Edward Street Brighton BN88 1AH

 

When you contact us, please tell us:

■ Your name

• Your account number

■ The nature of your complaint

 

We will deal with any complaint as quickly and as efficiently as we can and will try to resolve the matter before the close of the business day following receipt of the complaint.

Step 2

In certain circumstances it may not be possible for us to resolve your concerns immediately and we may need to carry out a more detailed investigation. If this is the case then we promise to write to you within 5 working days to tell you who will deal with your concerns and how long it is likely to take to investigate the matter fully. Our aim is to provide you with a full response within 4 weeks. If you are not satisfied with this response we will ask that you let us know so that we can investigate the matter further.

Step 3

Sometimes, more complex issues will take a little longer and, should your complaint be one of the few not resolved at this point, we will keep you informed of the progress we are making and provide you with a final response within 8 weeks of your initial contact. In the unlikely event that we are not in a position to provide you with our final response at this point then you will be contacted by one of our experienced representatives to advise you of the reasons for the delay along with a commitment to provide a detailed response within a specified timeframe.

Step 4

If you feel we haven't resolved your complaint satisfactorily or you haven't been given a final response after 8 weeks, you have the right to bring your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This will only apply if you are a personal customer, or the complaint is on your business card and your company has an annual turnover of less than flmillion.

 

This is a free, independent service set up to help you settle a dispute with "financial services companies. You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service at:

Financial Ombudsman Service

South Quay Plaza 183 Marsh Wall London E14 9SR

Or you can phone them on 0845 080 1800 or simply log on to their website at www.financial-ombudsman.orq.uk.

So there you go everyone. A simple 4 step, 8 week recipe for sending a copy and paste "bog off" letter :-D

The REAL Axis of evil: Banks, Credit Card Companies & Credit Reference Agencies.

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So there you go everyone. A simple 4 step, 8 week recipe for sending a copy and paste "bog off" letter :-D
So what did you expect? :rolleyes:

Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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Received this from them today;

 

19th January 2008

 

Dear Alphageek,

American Express Membership Number: **** ****** * xxxx (Cancelled)

 

I refer to your letter received in this office on 10th January concerning the default charges applied to your account and the processing of your data by American Express.

 

Whilst I appreciate your comments, American Express maintains that the charges applied to your account were clear, properly disclosed to you and could have been avoided, provided you complied with the Terms and Conditions of its agreement with you.

 

In April 2006, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued its statement of position regarding default charges in Credit Card contracts, which considered default charges of more than £12 to be unfair. In making its statement, the OFT identified legitimate costs for assessing default charges as including "staff costs, premises, telephone, letters and postage, IT systems, depreciation of assets related to running collection systems pre default notice, IT support and other central services such as human resources". Had the OFT believed that a minimal sum of £1 or less represented a reasonable charge, no doubt it would not have set its threshold at anywhere near £12.

 

Following publication of the OFT's statement and in line with its recommendations, American Express carried out an assessment of its default charge policy. Although the OFT's statement of position only concerned Credit Cards, American Express also voluntarily assessed its default charge policy in respect of Charge Cards. With effect from 1st July 2006, the default charge applied to American Express Credit Card accounts has been £8. This figure is significantly lower than the threshold set by the OFT and indicates the thorough and fair nature of the assessment carried out by American Express. It does not, however, affect the default charges applied by American Express prior to 1st July 2006 and, therefore, our previous default charges will not be amended.

 

Please find enclosed a copy of the pertinent parts of your agreement, which you have signed.

 

By entering into the card agreement with American Express ("the Agreement"), you consented to American Express exchanging information about you and your card account with credit reference agencies (please see box above your signature). Any processing carried out by American Express or further exchange of information with credit reference agencies is with a view to keeping data accurate and up to date. I am sure you will agree that it is in the interest of cardmembers that a reduction in, or settlement of, the outstanding debt should be recorded by American Express and exchanged with credit reference agencies.

 

In any event, it is the view of American Express, having sought advice from its legal advisors, that it is entitled to exchange information with credit reference agencies for the duration of its agreement with cardmembers and six years thereafter. This is because, "The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject." (see paragraph 6(1) of schedule 2 to the Data Protection Act 1998 ("the Act").

 

This is a view shared by the Information Commissioner's Office ("the Information Commissioners Office"), which enforces and oversees the Act. The Information Commissioners Office has explained that it takes "a wide view of the legitimate interest' and considers "that it is in the interests of other creditors to make informed lending decisions". It is only through informed lending decisions that the industry can hope to avoid/reduce the over-indebtedness of consumers.

 

Moreover, referring to the Crowther Report on the Consumer Credit Act 1971 and the Younger Committee on Privacy, the Information Commissioners Office has concluded that the sharing of account data with credit reference agencies for the duration of a contract and six years thereafter "...would not appear to be in breach of the fifth principle [of the Act]'.

 

Therefore, without prejudice to other arguments in respect of your consent to such processing, even if you were able to show in accordance with section 10(1) of the Act that the processing of your data is causing you substantial damage or distress, which you have failed to do, you cannot show that the damage or distress is unwarranted. As the Information Commissioners Office has said, "the fact that the processing may be seen by some to prejudice a particular individual (for example, someone with an adverse entry on his credit reference file may not be able to obtain credit facilities) does not necessarily render the whole processing operation prejudicial to all individuals". As such, there is no basis for your notice to American Express to cease processing your personal data.

 

The information American Express has exchanged with credit reference agencies remains accurate. I would also like to make clear that American Express merely reports to credit reference agencies up to date information about the outstanding debt due from you to it.

 

In the circumstances, there is no legal basis for your request that American Express removes all information concerning your account (i) from its systems, and (ii) from your credit file held by credit reference agencies.

 

I trust this deals with your queries and that I have clarified the position of American Express. The Information Commissioners Office view is published on www.ico.gov.uk and can be found by searching for 'credit agreements data sharing'.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

PERSON

And a copy of the application forms they sent me earlier (post #10)

 

American Express maintains that the charges applied to your account were clear, properly disclosed to you and could have been avoided, provided you complied with the Terms and Conditions of its agreement with you.
But not lawful? Quite a telling omission.

 

In April 2006, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued its statement of position regarding default charges in Credit Card contracts, which considered default charges of more than £12 to be unfair.
My B.S metre nearly went off the scale there :D

 

Please find enclosed a copy of the pertinent parts of your agreement, which you have signed.
Pertinent parts? :D

 

By entering into the card agreement with American Express ("the Agreement"), you consented to American Express exchanging information about you and your card account with credit reference agencies (please see box above your signature).

Yes, I can see a box but the writing is illegible. Oops for you :p

 

I am sure you will agree that it is in the interest of cardmembers that a reduction in, or settlement of, the outstanding debt should be recorded by American Express and exchanged with credit reference agencies.
Actually, no I do not agree.

 

In any event, it is the view of American Express, having sought advice from its legal advisors, that it is entitled to exchange information with credit reference agencies for the duration of its agreement with cardmembers and six years thereafter.
Yawn..... ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........

 

This is because, "The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject." (see paragraph 6(1) of schedule 2 to the Data Protection Act 1998 ("the Act").
We'll just forget about the "accuracy" bit of the act then shall we?

 

This is a view shared by the Information Commissioner's Office

The first bit factual information in the letter.

 

The information American Express has exchanged with credit reference agencies remains accurate.
Ah, they didn't forget about accuracy after all. Our opinions still differ.

 

Huh? Nothing what so ever about my request for the unlawful charges to be repaid?

 

Dear oh dear. :D

 

To paraphrase MC Hammer (younger viewers may need to refer to Wikipedia) - "What time is it? N1 time."

 

*No CAGgers were harmed in the production of this post. Any appearing unconscious are merely sleeping as they have read this rubbish countless times before.


The REAL Axis of evil: Banks, Credit Card Companies & Credit Reference Agencies.

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Pertinent parts? biggrin.gif
... or possibly impertinent parts:rolleyes:

Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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