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    • I had exactly the same issues.   Grossly over estimated bills from January onwards.  Despite what they claim, they are effectively taking an interest free loan from their customer base to keep the company in business.   They can dress it up how they like.  It’s irrelevant if they reconcile the bills the following month because they just over bill again thus keeping a rolling interest free loan.   it took two months of constant badgering to be finally moved to a fixed DD.   Once that was done I didn’t care how much they over-estimated by.   I had raised a query with the ombudsman over the billing fiasco and they readied a complaint should I wish to proceed.   I thought everything was sorted until May/June whereby I was allegedly more in debt then I was expecting to the tune of an extra months DD.   On querying it, it transpired that even though I was on a fixed monthly DD, because the bill was generated less than 5 days before the DD was due to be taken they didn’t take the DD.   They offered £5 compensation by way of apology but wanted to take two months DD in June.  I told them where to get off.   With appalling customer service,  bills that you need a Maths degree to follow, and I do have one and still struggled, inability to follow through on any agreements, constant gross over-estimation, the missed DD was the final straw and I proceeded with complaint to ombudsman.   Prior to getting to that stage I had to quote Symbio’s own complaints procedure to them to get any sort of response.   Their final offer to me was £25 goodwill and to waive an exit fee. The offer was derisory given the time it had taken to get things sorted and the continuing ineptitude.  Also, the whole thing has dragged on so long (5 months) I was already in the final 49 days of my contract and therefore there were no exit fees to pay and therefore nothing to waive.   Anyway, upshot is, ombudsman found in my favour.  Ordered an apology and a goodwill payment. Symbio appealed but were told the decision stood.   This week I received the goodwill payment.   I promptly left an honest and truthful review on trustpilot.   The next morning I received an email from Symbio with an apology.   This was followed an hour later with an email from trustpilot saying Symbio had replied to the review.  On reading the response they have accused me of not following procedure and of cyber bullying.   The company is a complete joke.
    • why not simply tell you supplier they have the wrong meter number you been paying for usage , and ofcourse you can view this online too so its not as if you'll owe anything you might get a nice surprise and find you are owed a refund.
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    • I would add, many companies have done everything possible to manage and carry on in difficult Covid19 circumstances to supply customers with what they need.   Continually making excuses for delays is not what I'd want from an installer and maybe the £100 deposit is not so important.   Get this deposit back if you can but, more importantly, find a local installer recommended by family or friends to carry out the works.
    • Hello all,   I hope you can assist me, as I am quite lost and confused at the moment.   Two years ago I moved to my actual flat. Throughout this time I have been with EDF first and now EON. When I moved in, my landlord didn't quite know which one was my meter and I picked the one that I believed was mine (now reading you I know I should have done a burner test..). During this time, I have been paying my bills and submitting the numbers that I believed mine, which actually agreed with my consuming patterns.   Today, all the meters appeared with numbers, but the one next to the one that I was using, which appeared with a different flat number. As you might have guessed, none of them had my flat number. I have just made the test and it looks like that one may be mine.   Now, how should I proceed? I have been paying bills is not like I wanted to avoid paying, but clearly there has been an issue. Could you please advice me on how to proceed?   Lastly, in terms of meter serial number, the one that I was using matches my bill and I guess my neighbor bill. The additional doubt I have is, who is paying for my meter and why are they still providing me with gas if no one is paying the one that seems to be my real meter.   Many thanks!    
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
       
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
       
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
       
      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
       
      They are not your friends and you owe them no loyalty or moral duty, that must remain only for yourself and your family.
       
      If it was me I would send them all a CCA request.   I would bet that not one will provide the correct response and you can quite legally stop paying them until such time as they do provide a response.   Even when they do you should check back here as they mostly send dodgy photo copies or generic rubbish that has no connection with your supposed debt.
       
      The money you are paying them should, as far as you are able, be put to a savings account for yourself and as a means of paying of one of these fleecers should they ever manage to get to to the point of a successful court judgement.  After six years they will not be able to start court action and that money will then become yours.
       
      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
       
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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Are you being harassed on the telephone by your bank or by debt collectors?


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Should I look to get this into Court? I don't know whether harassment is a civil or a criminal action even?

 

Thanks!!

Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, harassment can be either civil or criminal.

 

You should keep a log of all calls they make - and if possible probably get a recording of one or two (that does mean answering them). If they deny that they made the calls then it may be possible to prove that they did from phone cos records.

 

A log of phone calls would probably be enough to win a civil case - on the grounds that it is unlikely that they would be prepared to commit contempt of court by denying they made them.

 

However first stop should be Trading Standards

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Is the Financial Ombudsman another option does anyone know?

Don't know but my first port of call would be the police rather than trading standards for harassment.

HAVE YOU BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY BY CREDITORS OR DCA's?

 

YOU CAN NOW COMPLAIN TO THE OFT ABOUT THEIR CONDUCT UNDER THE CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS 2008.

 

 

 

Complaint to the OFT about DCA's threatening legally action on statute barred accounts

 

BEWARE OF CLAIMS MANAGEMENT COMPANIES OFFERING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS.

 

 

Please note opinions given by rory32 are offered informally as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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I think you will struggle to get the police involved with a case like this.

 

The main legislation that might apply is

(a) The Administration of Justice Act 1970 - which Trading Standards can enforce

(b) The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 - which allows for you to take civil action

© The Communications Act 2003 - that is usually "enforced" by OFCOM. It is worth raising a complaint with OFCOM but they will not intervene.

 

It is certainly worth raising this matter with the FOS as well - they may be able to look at it and it can do no harm to ask.

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Don't know but my first port of call would be the police rather than trading standards for harassment.
I think Rory the Polis would not become involved unless some of these numpties harrassed or threatened you at your doorstep or other public place. Then they would leave themselves wide open to a number of criminal offences, Breach of the Peace, Common Asssault and Disorderly Behaviour to name but three

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Just a quick update - I contacted Trading Standards this afternoon - they didn't want to know, suggested I try the Financial Ombudsman; then I rang Ofcom and spoke to a really helpful man there - he told me that it wasn't their thing, but he did take a note of my concerns, including name & address etc. and said that he would flag up HSBC's actions. He gave me a phone number for the Information & Commissioners Office and advised me to ask them about the "Right to Privacy" legislation, so I'll ring the FO and the ICO tomorrow and see what they have to say. Latest update on phone calls - none on home phone but 6 calls between 6.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. this evening on my mobile.

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Did you talk to Trading Standards or "Consumer Direct"?

 

I contacted Consumer Direct (Consumer Direct) about a similar issue, but less severe, they told the local TS office to investigate, which they are doing.

 

I would encourage everyone in similar circumstances to raise the issue with all the regulators (OFCOM, OFT, FSA) - while they don't have the powers to intervene in any individual case they will take action against an individual firm, or at the industry level, if they perceive it as being a problem.

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Hi - when I rang the number given on the TS website, I was automatically redirected to the Consumer Direct number, I didn't get a chance to talk to Trading Standards - and Consumer Direct told me that it wasn't a matter for TS anyway... but OFCOM were very helpful even though they can't do anything on an individual basis. I will try and get through to the FO today, as their website doesn't really lend itself to my sort of complaint, they seem more geared to bank charges, and this instance isn't really a bank charges one I don't think... so I'll phone them and see what they say.

 

Thank you for the advice, I don't know why I got such a different response from Consumer Direct. Guess it depends who you speak to!

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You should be able to find out the number for your local trading standards office - it is probably worth speaking to them because they do have the power of enforcement of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 - which is probably the most appropriate piece of legislation in this case.

 

Also a second call to Consumer Direct may bring better results if you say "I've followed the advice you gave last time and got no change"

 

FSO won't be able to help until you've been through the HSBC complaints procedure.

 

6 calls in one hour is ridiculous - if that is happening regularly go back to the police and ask to report it under the Protection from Harassment Act. While they are unlikely to take action if they are not actually threatening violence, you might at least get a crime reference number. A couple of points that may be useful (a) as I understand it the Act does not require "mens rea" - the issue is what a "reasonable man" would believe (b) It is clear from the home office guidance that the act does apply to debt collection activities. So don't let the police get out of reporting the crime on either of those grounds

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Hi

 

I need a bit of advice, my partner got a mobile phone from t mobile 3 years ago he returned it within the 14 day period and last year recieved a letter from wescot saying that they had taken over the debt, somewhere down the line my partner had an outstanding debt with westcot-united utilites and discovered a few weeks ago that £20 per month had been coming out of my bank via standing order for the debt with t mobile he rang westcot and was told that no payments had been made, when he gave them the reference number the woman said that he had been paying off someone elses debt £200 worth. They said they would put the account on hold and recover the payments from the other persons debt. he rang today and was informed that the debt had been passed back to t mobile, i asked about payments that had been made £200 and they couldnt comment on this and told us to contact t mobile. We have written the same letter to wescot and t mobile and posted it yesterday, any help on this please.

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Were you paying by Standing Order or Direct Debit?

 

If by SO then the payments are totally your responsibility so you have no real cause of complaint against T-Mobile for continuing to receive them. If by DD then it is all T-Mobile's fault.

 

However in either case there should be no problem getting the money refunded. I imagine a polite letter to T-Mobile explaining the circumstances and asking for a refund will do the trick. If this is T-Mobile fault then you should consider requesting a goodwill payment in lieu of lost interest.

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Hi i was paying through standing order from my bank account for my partners debt with wescot, the confusion was we was already paying a debt off with westcot-united utilities and somehow it has been paying off someone elses debt.

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If you are being harrassed by unwanted telephone calls then take the same action as you would do with anyone else. Call BT and they should give you a number to key in whenever they call and that logs the calling number even if it's withheld, duration and time. After a few similar calls it will then get passed on to the police to investigate.

 

You shouldn't have to record it as asking them to stop is full and final. Anything after that is an abuse without them even saying anything. You wouldn't record a heavy breather on the phone but you'd still see as an offence by them calling you in the first place and if they continued to call it after you asked them to cease then it's a nuisance and a breach of the TCA.

 

Debt collectors aren't exempt from the law and if you can nail them with an 'official' log of calls and a report to the police then go for it as you have nothing to lose.

 

Steeley

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I've just read everything here, but i can't see what happens next. When you've recorded everything and logged everything, what do you do with the information?

Get in contact with us.

 

We think that this is so important that we will help you instruct solicitors and also develop some media contacts for the story.

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Hi - I've written a huge long letter now as a last resort to HSBC senior complaints department and have asked them to deduct all of the unauthorised transactions plus all of the interest charged through these transactions. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained! The first time I wrote to complain, now I've got all my correspondence out, was on 16th November 2006 so they are well outside their 8 week target to resolve complaints! I've given them 21 days to respond so we'll see what happens, i'm logging all of the calls I receive (I counted 26 in 6 days!).

Thanks everybody!

Just wondering BankFodder, does the above apply to me as well or is that just for Chris W? Thanks!

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I get a phone call every 15 - 20 mins Mon - Sun week in week out. I let it ring out so the answer phone will take over but the caller just hangs up its always the same number. I think I know who it is (M&S Money) this is my wife's account and she is behind a little on her payments. She missed a Payment about two months ago. She has had contact with them and arranged to pay extra each month (After being lectured about the way she has managed her account). She asked them to stop telephoning and to write to her if they needed to dicuss her account. they refused and said they will continue to ring her until she brings her account upto date. We feel like were under siege form them. It is so bad that we unplug the phone so that we don't have to listen to ringing all day long. we only plug it back in after nine at night. I think I'm going to buy a recorder and start answering the phone to them. As the saying goes Give them enough rope.........etc.

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Send them the telephone harassment letter. They cannot be allowed to continue with this dispicable behaviour. You may also consider having your telephone company bar witheld numbers. This confuses the autodiallers and really pees off the DCAs. What is actually happening is that a computer automatically dials your number if you pick up then its passed to a trained monkey in the call centre. However if all the monkeys are busy they just cut you off. No excuse I know but thats the explanation

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I get a phone call every 15 - 20 mins Mon - Sun week in week out. I let it ring out so the answer phone will take over but the caller just hangs up its always the same number. I think I know who it is (M&S Money) this is my wife's account and she is behind a little on her payments. She missed a Payment about two months ago. She has had contact with them and arranged to pay extra each month (After being lectured about the way she has managed her account). She asked them to stop telephoning and to write to her if they needed to dicuss her account. they refused and said they will continue to ring her until she brings her account upto date. We feel like were under siege form them. It is so bad that we unplug the phone so that we don't have to listen to ringing all day long. we only plug it back in after nine at night. I think I'm going to buy a recorder and start answering the phone to them. As the saying goes Give them enough rope.........etc.

 

Yes - do exactly that. We are anxious to get some complaints going in order to make a very public example of these companies.

Please get a recorder and follow the the advice we have given in the stickied threads on this forum.

 

You need to get enough evidence so that it is overwhelming.

 

This means log the calls for a weeks or so without answering them to show the pattern of frequency and of behaviour.

 

Then start answering and logging and recording as suggested in the action sticky.

One of the lines of conversation you can draw them on is to start asking them why they have been calling so often. It will probably be quite easy to get them to admit that they have been calling you a lot automatically. i imagine that they will be pleased to say that if you bring your account up to date, the frequent calling will stop. Try and get a thorough and friendly discussion going on this topic. If they think that they are getting on with you they may say all sorts of things which you can then use against them later.

 

Then come to us with the evidence and we will help you through the next steps.

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Send them the telephone harassment letter. They cannot be allowed to continue with this dispicable behaviour. You may also consider having your telephone company bar witheld numbers. This confuses the autodiallers and really pees off the DCAs. What is actually happening is that a computer automatically dials your number if you pick up then its passed to a trained monkey in the call centre. However if all the monkeys are busy they just cut you off. No excuse I know but thats the explanation

 

Although you can send them the letter, it may not have any effect.

I would suggest the more head to head approach.

Don't send them the letter. Instead gather the evidence and stick it to them.

 

We will be only too delighted to help you.

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Although you can send them the letter, it may not have any effect.

I would suggest the more head to head approach.

Don't send them the letter. Instead gather the evidence and stick it to them.

 

We will be only too delighted to help you.

 

I agree with most of the numpties the Harassment letter has little or no effect but surely it strenthens any case you have against them when you do report them. After all you have made them aware that you dont want to be telephoned and they still continue to do so after you have proven they have received you letter. Surely a judge would take a dim view of this. There are many folk on here who cannot handle the constant hassle of these phone calls.

 

Dont get me wrong, I see where you are coming from but which is better evidence 20 unanswered calls a day or 5 calls a day after you have informed them not to phone. They are suuposed to be clever enough to read what you have told them so should therefore be aware of the consequences of the continued calling.

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Don't know whether it's a coincidence or what - I sent my really long letter out to them on Thursday but because of the postal strike on Friday didn't expect them to receive it until Saturday...

 

However I have not had a call from HSBC since Thursday. It's spooky now. Mind you, they did stop for a couple of weeks when I wrote before asking them not to phone me, but then it all started up again So, I won't hold my breath!

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What is actually happening is that a computer automatically dials your number if you pick up then its passed to a trained monkey in the call centre. However if all the monkeys are busy they just cut you off. No excuse I know but thats the explanation

 

Ahhh, so that is why there is always a pause when you answer the phone before someone speaks. Whenever I answer the phone and don't hear somebody answer straight away, I put the phone down anyway.

 

I get alot of calls, but usually my dad will say Im not in or I will answer and say "my sister" (me) isn't in. I am 27 weeks pregnant though, do you think I could use this to my advantage to stop them pestering me? As in, it's casuing me too much stress? ;)

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I recently complained to HSBC about telephone calls. Their reply is risible: apparently they are only attempting to contact me to prevent further charges being added to my account, but have now deleted my number from their records.

 

I replied suggesting that if they want to prevent charges being added, all they have to do is to not add them, not least because they are unlawful and I'll be claiming them all back. Not heard from them since.

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