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Debt collection agency

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
My father, who moved in with us last year, was previously a customer with an internet provider. They wrote to him saying he had an outstanding balance on his account and I called them to pay it. They wouldn't talk to me as I'm not the account holder. Perhaps I'm being bloody minded but I'm refusing to pretend to be him or try to get him to answer their security questions, something which would confuse or distress him.

They've now passed the debt on, with an additional 25% charge, to a collection agency, who are neither answer their 'phones nor responding to e-mails (as the automated reply said).

It's a fairly trivial amount, under the circumstances, but I feel these companies should have methods in place for dealing with such circumstances.
 
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,763
Kent
I suppose these companies need to be very careful who they are dealing with to prevent fraud. It would be much easier in person but these days everything is by phone or on line.

When my husband and I shared a credit card, whenever I had a query, he had to give permission over the phone, even though he had dementia, for me to access information.

If you called to pay the balance of your father`s account, @spandit, it does seem unreasonable that you were unable to do so.

If you can be bothered, just on principle, I would write a formal letter of complaint and send it by recorded delivery.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
546
Just pay it, by hook or by crook !
you have so much stress to contend with, don’t put yourself through it.

I got back at the company that attempted fraud on my mother, via a review site, it may have been trustpilot? I wasn’t vindictive, I just let the facts speak for themselves!
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
628
its under data protection act. i had to get his permission then i changed all the bills into my name but thats not so easy when its a parent and have dealt with their business themselves but if its joint what was their problem. you have to be so careful these days.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,863
North Manchester
I agree, just pay it plus the 25% charge.

In monitory terms it's only the 25% you are arguing about and not worth the hassle.
The provider will have sold the debt to the collection agency, as far as they are concerned the matter is closed.
 
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spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
They may have sold the debt but it's their name on it. I'm not going to pay the 25% charge. It's not a lot of hassle for the principle.

I understand all the data protection stuff but I was offering to pay a debt to them - it shouldn't matter who I was. Letter going in the post today...
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
884
High Peak
I'd be writing a stinking letter to the Internet Service Provider. I would also include payment for the amount your father owed and say that you offered to pay this before but they were stupid about it - there's data protection then there's being plain unreasonable. Tell them you will not be dealing with the debt collection company nor paying the 25% they have added to the debt. You should also threaten to report them to the appropriate government body as well as detailing their behaviour on their Facebook page (or wherever.)

The way they are dealing with this is appalling and totally unacceptable.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,371
@spandit I thought you mentioned in a previous thread that you have have financial LPA? If so, the provider shouldn't be refusing to speak to you. Can you send them a copy and explain that you have the authority to act on your father's behalf and under the circumstances you wish to pay the outstanding amount and request that they waive the 25% charge?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
628
be careful otherwise they will charge your dad for every letter and phonecall as well as interests and their handling fees which increases all the time its not paid.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,513
Essex
I just want to say that I can't put into print what I think of people who are as unsympathetic as this company so good luck @spandit.

MaNaAk
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
I have written a stern, but polite letter to the lady whose name was at the bottom of the letter. I have requested they drop the entire charge but I will pay the reduced amount if needs be. They can try charging him for every letter and phone call and I will publish every communication on social media, which won't have the company name edited out.

I have LPA, but without him giving them permission to talk to me on his behalf, which he's unable to do (or at least, which I'm unwilling to try and make him do) I can't send them a copy as I don't have a suitable e-mail address.
 

Just me

Registered User
Nov 17, 2013
335
I have written a stern, but polite letter to the lady whose name was at the bottom of the letter. I have requested they drop the entire charge but I will pay the reduced amount if needs be. They can try charging him for every letter and phone call and I will publish every communication on social media, which won't have the company name edited out.

I have LPA, but without him giving them permission to talk to me on his behalf, which he's unable to do (or at least, which I'm unwilling to try and make him do) I can't send them a copy as I don't have a suitable e-mail address.
Thats what I would have done whatever the hassle.
The company has been unreasonable and should not be allowed to treat customers in this way.
I think about the people that don’t have family or friends to help with this sort of thing and the worry it causes.
You offered to pay the outstanding amount and for some reason they refused and referred it to a debt collection agency.
I hope you sent the letter tracked mail or similar.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
They got in touch and gave me an e-mail address to send the LPA to so they can deal with me now. Hopefully sorted.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,371
That's good news. I'm dealing with various companies/providers at the moment and I've found that once they know that you have LPA they are happy to speak to you.
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
41
73
Watford
I have encountered something like this with our gas/electricity company. I asked that the bill be put in my name as my husband is in care. I am not asking for any money from them I wasn’t asking for any information just a name change. No sorry was their reply your husband will have to write to us to say that it is ok bless him he can’t even remember his signature. I will be changing provider and then it will be in my name.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
115
Just had a call from them to say it is being dealt with. Feel a bit bad for starting a hate campaign on social media now but doubt they'll go bankrupt...
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
884
High Peak
Don't feel bad - if they'd behaved sensibly in the first place you would not have had to complain. You've done the right thing and hopefully it will make the company look at how they deal with such things in future.
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
70
Bristol
Just had a call from them to say it is being dealt with. Feel a bit bad for starting a hate campaign on social media now but doubt they'll go bankrupt...
Don’t feel bad, they deserve it. All these companies hide behind the Data Protection Act when it suits them. I’ve had years of problems like this when dealing with dad’s paperwork etc. I explain he’s deaf and I’m acting on his behalf, when they insist on talking to him I hand him the phone and say ‘good luck’ with that! It doesn’t take long for them to want to speak to me! All these companies operate behind a shield of ‘ let’s make this as hard as possible for the customer.....’. Hope it is resolved quickly and if you feel they eventually sort this to your satisfaction then you can post that on social media, suggesting they adopt a more sympathetic approach in the future!