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Thread: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

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    Default Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Got contract phone for young daughter (12) restricted minutes talk and text, I've just found out that she's run up a phone bill of £80 for over use of talk.

    I know that when she has no msgs that this gets turned off, so how can I have charge for talk.

    I've asked for a copy of the contract

    The contract was taken out over the phone, no mention of overcharging nor was I directed to T&Cs to look at.

    Are mobiles covered by the CCA or are they different, I've asked for a copy contract so I can go through it.

    Any ideas or thoughts welcome
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    I have a feeling that telephones are the one thing that arent covered by the CCA. What about a copy of the phonecall perhaps?

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    I really sympathise with you. You were trying to be responsible and restrict calls and texts so I agree I would be annoyed as well.

    Having a niece at the moment who is actually stealing phones and also using other peoples credit cards to get access to calls and texts I think it is a huge problem. In our case she seems addicted to the contact and even a visit to the police has not yet solved the problem.

    I am sure your daughter did not do this intentionally and thought like you that it woould stop when the money ran out.
    "What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." - Antione de Saint Exupery

    "Always reach for the moon, if you miss you'll end up among the stars"



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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Phones aren't covered by the CCA - apparently its an airtime agreement not a credit agreeemnt.

    What did you think you had signed up for? Was it explained. Around 3 years ago when my daughter was about 12 ish we got stung by Virgin 3 months on the trot.

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    An update

    I sent the following letter at the time I started this thread

    17 Apr 09

    Dear Mr/Ms xxxxxx
    Thank you for you letter dated 15 Apr 09 the contents of which are noted.
    Please provide me by return, a copy of your complaints procedure and consider this account in dispute as defined by the Office of Fair Trading Final guidance on unfair business practices July 2003 (updated December 2006).
    I also dispute any sum claimed as due for exceeding talk time so please do not make any attempt at recovering this amount until such time as our dispute is resolved.
    To be clear until this dispute is resolved;
    a.You may not apply unreasonable charges, for example, charges not based on actual and necessary costs.
    b.You may not apply disproportionate charges
    c.You should cease all collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed account.
    d.You may not pass on details to any third party without the my informed prior consent
    With respect to the terms and conditions sent;
    e.I contend that I was never directed to read these T&Cs prior to entering into this agreement with Virgin. Please provide me with proof that I agreed to these Terms on 10 Dec 08.
    f.Some of the terms in the Agreement are in contravention to The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, e.g.
    i.Demanding that I pay by direct debit implying an undisclosed administration charge. This is classed by the Office of Fair Trading as an unfair penalty term.
    In respect to the above I now require, by return, for you to provide me with the following so that I may set up a standing order with my bank any failure to do this will result in my cancelling the direct debit;
    ii.Bank Account number, Sort code and account reference for the payment to be made.
    g.The issue at hand revolves around the suspension of the account based on your assertion that a credit limit was exceeded; please provide me with proof that you informed me as to what this limit was.
    I require a full, free of charge, statement of calls and account for the period 101208 to date, by return, so that I may ascertain where the cost over run on calls were actually made by me. I am unable to obtain these on line as the account is suspended.
    Further, I require you to provide me with information as to what legal standard allows you to assume an agreement or contract is in force without a properly obtained signature.
    I do hope you will treat this complaint seriously and behave in a manner in line with the guidance laid down by the Office of Fair Trading for handling consumer complaints.
    NO response and the removed £78 pounds from my account on 28 Apr 09, which I didn't notice until 20 May where I sent this letter

    Dear Mr/Ms xxxxxx
    I do not seem to have received a response to my letter dated 17 Apr 09, please do so at your earliest convenience.
    Despite my explicit request not to remove funds from my account until such time as we had reconciled my current dispute I find that your organisation did just that on 28 Apr 09. I demand that you return these funds (£78.93) immediately or I will lodge an immediate complaint with the ombudsman.
    I will be cancelling my direct debit after the next payment unless you provide me with the information requested Para f [ii] below. This does not mean that I will not pay the account due once delivered but I will be doing so on invoice and by Cheque.
    Onto the statements sent, there are a number of anomalies in the records that I would like Virgin to investigate and for you to report back;
    a.Why was there no check done as to the huge leap in usage in Mar/Apr when the previous use was within limits. Surely this pattern should have rang some bells and a call to alert me of the situation would have prevented the issue we currently face.
    b.The following numbers are not recognised, please provide me with further details as to who this number belongs to;
    i.28 Dec 09 – 0046737494040 – we do not know anyone in Sweden
    ii.Mar/Apr 09 – calls to 07827747018 x2, texts to 07964101237 x4, 07817582021 x3, 07827747018 x6, 07833063081.
    Please do not ignore this letter as you seem to have done with the last, I remind you we are in dispute and if necessary I will issue a complaint to the ombudsman should I not have a suitable response within 14 days
    No reply yet but I notice they removed another £53 from my account again without my permission, I rang to complain was called back by finance and tiold the charges will not be refunded sending this letter tomorrow to customer complaints to their head office.

    Sir or Madam
    I am writing to request that someone in your organisation takes responsibility for investigating my complaint. I have not had a single response to the enclosed letters.
    As a consequence you have taken £161 (two charges of £78 & £ 53) from my bank account against my direct wishes and whilst we are in dispute.
    Your complaints procedure promises a written response within 4 days, had this been the case I should have received a response to my 1st letter on or about 22 Apr 09, five days before you removed the £78 (Apr) from my account, by not responding as per your complaints procedure you have removed the money without my permission.
    I have recently complained by phone regarding a second charge of £53 (90mins of phone calls on 13 May). As the invoice period for the above account is from the 12th to the 12th of the month, it is my contention that this charge should have been accounted for in the May period of my contract and the 90mins of calls is covered by the £12 fee payable for that period.
    I believe you have no excuse for this unwarranted disregard of a consumer complaint and demand that you return these monies to my account until such time as our dispute is resolved.
    Should I have not received a detailed response to this and the enclosed letters by Fri 12th May 09, or I will consider you in breach of contract, cancel my direct debit and complain to Otelo or Ofcom
    ON a consult with CB he reckons and I agree that they cannot demand a method of payment but the are within their rights (thanks OFT) to make a charge. However, I've checked the contract it stipulates payments by DD but does not stipulate a charge if payments are made by a different method, in fact it offers no choice what so ever.

    Lets see if they get back to me
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Frisp my friend, you have threatened to cancel the direct debit on more than on occasion if they fail to respond to you, they have failed, cancel the direct debit. Not receiving payment from you is the only language they understand, they will soon respond if they arent getting paid.
    Any opinions I give are my own. Any advice I give is without liability. If you are unsure, please seek qualified legal advice.

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    I'm with Tools on this one - cancel the Direct Debit now. That will prod them into talking to you, no doubt. No doubt they will also supsend your service if you don't pay them the bills in full.

    Have you tried calling the unrecognised numbers to see who they belong to? Virgin probably won't be able to tell you, if they are Virgin numbers they won't be able to tell you because of confidentiality etc, and if they are not Virgin numbes then they probably don't know who they nbelong to anyway.

    FWIW, my personal thinking on kids and mobile phones is to make them have PAYG. That's the only sure fire way to be in control of their spending. (or anyone else spending it for them). You are probably stuck with the contract for the time being, on at least the minimum monthly charge whilst you sort this out with Virgin, but you could probably get a PAYG sim card and put it into your daughter's phone, that way she won't be totally cut off.
    Both my kids had contract phones from the age of 14, and I must admit we did have a few hiccups early on with them going over their monthly bill, but once son was working and the bill started coming out of his bank account instead of ours he took a lot more notice of his costs! My daughter is surprisingly good now, but that could have a lot to do with the fact that most of her friends are on the same network and she gets free calls to them, and unlimited texts!
    Is no longer here

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Thanks guys

    DD canceled (I had to give them one more chance) as of today and Daughter back on PAYG
    ------------------------------- merged -------------------------------
    Response from Consumer direct re my question on payments by DD

    A company may offer their goods of services, conditional on payment by direct debit, or any other method of payment. However, standard contract terms are subject to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. The Regulations deem a term unfair (and therefore ineffective) it the term is contrary to good faith, and causes a significant imbalance in the parties rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.
    Anyone want to translate that into Scottish for me?
    Last edited by frisp; 6th June 2009 at 07:39:AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Basically CD are agreeing with what we already thought that demanding payment in ONE form and not offering an alternate is indeed contrary to UTCCR..
    Have fun, I'm done..

    Laterz


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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Thanks Curly - your Scottish translation is purfick, might be worth quoting this if ever I get into serious discourse with anyone in Virgin who knows what they are talking about, might have await on my hands there.

    Letter received today from Virgin, I'm sure its in response to my complaint call and not my letters. Note the spelling of minutes, perhaps they want to dance





    My letter in response

    Virgin Mobile
    Willow Grove Hse
    Windsor Rd
    White Horse Business Pk
    Trowbridge
    Wiltshire
    BA14 0TQ
    6 Jun 09

    Dear Ms Elliot-Campbell
    Thank you for you letter dated 31 May 09, the contents of which are noted. I do not seem to have received the required response to my letters dated 17 Apr, 24 May and 31 May 09 [enclosed] please do so at your earliest convenience.
    You assert that I was informed of the credit limit applied to my account and that this allowed me to use the phone outside the limits of the agreed amount yet do not provide evidence to support your case. I disagree with both assertions and would like you to send me the transcript of the telephone call recorded at the time I opened the account.
    I am not disputing the charges, there is one or 2 that do not compute and I’ve asked you to investigate them. I am disputing your right to allow an over usage of the account despite the deal being advertised as fixed minutes [pse note spelling] and text which resulted in these charges been applied.
    Had the account been run as advertised no over usage would be allowed, no overspend, no bill to pay, QED.
    Virgin has removed monies from my account without my permission, I disputed the amount before the said removal and that is why I require the refund.
    As your response is from the same office as Ms Janicki, I can only assume you do not intend to answer any of my questions or queries contained therein and I am, as permitted by the Office of Fair Trading, cancelling my direct debit until such time as our dispute is resolved.
    Please provide me with the details requested for a standing order; so that I may resume payments when/if our dispute is resolved.
    If my complaints are not dealt to my satisfaction by 12 May 09, I will consider Virgin has broken the contract between us and commence my complaint to the ombudsman.

    Yours Sincerely
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Quote Originally Posted by frisp View Post
    Letter received today from Virgin, I'm sure its in response to my complaint call and not my letters. Note the spelling of minutes, perhaps they want to dance
    This is just the kind of lack of attention to detail and complete ineptitude that gets people like Virgin Media into trouble like this.

    Also, what precisely is "a email" and "a up to date balance"?

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    We must not mock the afflicted, perhaps I should send this example to Sir Richard for his view
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Email Neil Berkett (Neil Berkett (at) virginmedia.co.uk) and tell him how disappointed you are with the lack of customer service you have received. You will need to outline the problems you have encountered and indicate what result you expect from his intervention.
    Redletter.


    I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair - I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires.......(Darren Hayes/Savage Garden)

    "Get up at 6 face another day another red letter in the mail-already taken my TV away-whatever I earn there's always more to pay.....Gotta turn these rags to riches turn the pennies into pounds cos right now all my days are bitches and I'm tired of being down!." Copyright Change! (Redletter 2006).

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Thanks for the email addr, I'll give it a whirl what's his appointment @ virgin
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve


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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Quote Originally Posted by frisp View Post
    Thanks for the email addr, I'll give it a whirl what's his appointment @ virgin
    I believe he is Chief Executive - or one of
    Redletter.


    I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair - I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires.......(Darren Hayes/Savage Garden)

    "Get up at 6 face another day another red letter in the mail-already taken my TV away-whatever I earn there's always more to pay.....Gotta turn these rags to riches turn the pennies into pounds cos right now all my days are bitches and I'm tired of being down!." Copyright Change! (Redletter 2006).

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    There is hope!
    I just got this RE my complaint;
    Hello Steven

    As requested, I have cancelled the account and as a gesture of goodwill cleared the balance to zero. I have arranged for a equipment returns package to be be sent by post, please would you return the set top box.

    If I could be of any further help in this matter, please let me know.
    Redletter.


    I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair - I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires.......(Darren Hayes/Savage Garden)

    "Get up at 6 face another day another red letter in the mail-already taken my TV away-whatever I earn there's always more to pay.....Gotta turn these rags to riches turn the pennies into pounds cos right now all my days are bitches and I'm tired of being down!." Copyright Change! (Redletter 2006).

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Thanks to Redletters suggestion regarding an email to Neil B @ Virgin, I've been bombarded with calls asking how they can help.

    I received a letter in response to all the ones I've sent basically expounding on what is in the T&Cs and the following due to my contact with Mr B

    Dear Frisp

    Your account details have been passed to me with regards to your ongoing complaint with Virgin Mobile. I work as part of a small team whose role is to resolve complaints received by our Directors once they’ve reached the end of our complaints process.

    I’m sorry to hear that the most recent letter we sent you hasn’t answered the complaint to your satisfaction so I’d like to take this opportunity to clarify the points you’ve raised in your email to xxxxx.

    Money has been debited from your account as per the terms and conditions of the contract for the services that we’ve provided you with. I understand that you asked for no money to be debited whilst you are in dispute with us however we’ve previously received rulings from our Ombudsman to say that customers in dispute should continue to pay their bills and shouldn’t use the option of canceling their Direct Debit. I fully appreciate that you believe we should put a hold on the amounts until the dispute is resolved however we have no current process for doing this for customers and I need to check the legalities of it with our Legal Team. They have been off site today so I’ll be checking this with them first thing on Monday morning.

    All of our contracts and sim only deals are provided with terms and conditions of service and it’s information held within these that explain how you can spend more than the advertised monthly amount and also explain about how the credit limit works. I hope you can appreciate that when we advertise contracts we try to keep the information as simple as possible as it would be unrealistic to expect all of the info held in the terms and conditions to be included in the advertisement although there will always be links to this information if you’re looking online. I also believe it would be unreasonable to expect a Sales agent to go through all of this info during a sales call. For this reason the terms and conditions are provided to you when the contract is delivered and you have a 28 day satisfaction guarantee in which you can cancel the contract if you’re not happy with it.

    As the contract wasn’t cancelled under the terms of our guarantee, you are deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions which clearly explain usage outside of your monthly allowance and how it will be charged for. This is the fundamental reason that we disagree with your view.

    If you’d like to have a look at the terms and conditions they can be found here.

    As I’ve mentioned, I’m going to speak with our Legal Team on Monday and I’ll be able to update you in due course about the OFT guidelines. If you’d like to discuss the matter further I’ll be in again from Monday between 9 and 5 but I’m more than happy to speak with you outside of these hours if we can arrange a convenient time to talk. Otherwise I’m also happy corresponding via email until we can either resolve the matter or we’ve reached a position of deadlock.

    Regards,
    I responded with the following

    Dear Sir
    Thank you for your email dated 26 Jun 09 and for the letter from Ms xxxxxxxxxxxx dated 21 Jun 09, contents of both are noted.

    Ms xxxxxxxxxx letter was very informative and full of salient contractual points, however there is one too many shoulds in her response and not enough here is the proof that these things were sent and received.

    If there was a letter sent that informed me of my credit limit please provide me with a copy of said. She states also that the credit limit is stated on the 2nd page of my bill, this presupposes that I had been informed that there was a credit limit, which I wasn’t, and therefore would not naturally have looked for this term.

    She has also requested that I call and discuss this issue with a posse of people before you send out your complaint procedure, I’m afraid once asked for Virgin are obliged to send said, not apply conditions before they action the request.

    She says that you do not offer the facility to pay by Standing Order; if this is true, I’d revise this process as it’s prohibited under European Law. It is not for the supplier to dictate how they will accept payments rather its up to the consumer; you are allowed, however, to make a charge ‘sufficient’ to recover your costs of such an customer request.

    Please provide me with details requested so that I can set up a standing order once ooe dispute is resolved

    Onto your email;
    Money has been debited from your account as per the terms and conditions of the contract for the services that we’ve provided you with.

    I maintain I was not directed to these terms and Conditions when I applied for this account and request again for Virgin to prove that this occurred.
    I understand that you asked for no money to be debited whilst you are in dispute with us however we’ve previously received rulings from our Ombudsman to say that customers in dispute should continue to pay their bills and shouldn’t use the option of cancelling their Direct Debit.

    If this is truly the case then the Ombudsmans’ advice is in conflict with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT664) Guidance (Final guidance on unfair business practices) July 2003 (updated December 2006)), applicable to all organisations who hold a credit licence.
    Deceptive and/or unfair methods (pg 6)
    S2.8
    i.Failing to investigate and/or provide details as appropriate, when a debt is queried or disputed.
    k.Not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt.

    I fully appreciate that you believe we should put a hold on the amounts until the dispute is resolved however we have no current process for doing this for customers and I need to check the legalities of it with our Legal Team. They have been offsite today so I’ll be checking this with them first thing on Monday morning.

    Its not what I believe that is important but what the Office of Fair Trading has directed as guidance in matters of disputes between consumers and organisations offering financial or other services to the public.

    All of our contracts and sim only deals are provided with terms and conditions of service and it’s information held within these that explain how you can spend more than the advertised monthly amount and also explain about how the credit limit works.

    You have not proven that I was directed to these terms or conditions when I took out the contract. As stated previously, my expectation when I applied for a ‘fixed call and text deal’ was that it would do what it said on the tin, the key word here is ‘fixed’.

    In my view it’s a deception that allows people to overspend without a direct request from the consumer for an Extn of their talk or text time. My point is that unless they are aware that overspending is possible, the consumer has no choice, by default Virgin allows this practice to continue as it’s to their benefit.

    I hope you can appreciate that when we advertise contracts we try to keep the information as simple as possible as it would be unrealistic to expect all of the info held in the terms and conditions to be included in the advertisement although there will always be links to this information if you’re looking online.

    The fact that the advertised ‘fixed’ isn’t actually true, is surely a salient and important term that needs defining when informing consumers what they are in the process of signing up to.

    Office of Fair Trading guidance; Communication (pg3)
    2.2 Examples of unfair practices are as follows:
    b.Leaving out or presenting information in such a way that it creates a false or misleading impression or exploits debtors' lack of knowledge.

    I also believe it would be unreasonable to expect a Sales agent to go through all of this info during a sales call. For this reason the terms and conditions are provided to you when the contract is delivered and you have a 28 day satisfaction guarantee in which you can cancel the contract if you’re not happy with it.

    It’s not unreasonable to have your sales agents to explain fully the extent of the contract being entered into. Using the, I’m afraid ‘you should have read the contract’ excuse is no longer a guarantee of success.

    It is my assertion that Virgin should direct consumers to areas of the contract that require special attention i.e. the definition of the term ‘fixed’ and the conditions where the term ‘fixed’ no longer applies. This direction did not occur during the sales call nor did it occur in any correspondence.

    I maintain that the product as advertised was misleading and did not allow me, the consumer, to fully assess the impact of entering into this contract prior to delivery and initial use of the product.

    As the contract wasn’t cancelled under the terms of our guarantee, you are deemed to have accepted the terms and conditions which clearly explain usage outside of your monthly allowance and how it will be charged for. This is the fundamental reason that we disagree with your view.

    I am not a legal expert and neither does consumer law state that I should be, instead it makes clear that the burden of communicating contractual facts falls with the vendor, it’s not an unreasonable expectation for Virgin to have told or directed me to the definition of the term ‘fixed’ as it is a key service the contract will deliver.

    Assuming that the terms and conditions of a contract are read and understood is not sufficient evidence of agreement of the contract. It falls to you the vendor to ensure that all contractual terms are understood prior to use of a product or service.

    Virgin should not have allowed me to use the product until they had received a signed agreement of their terms and conditions.

    What I require to resolve this dispute is a full refund of the disputed monies removed from my account without my express permission. I will continue to lawfully with hold payment until such time as our dispute is resolved.

    I look forward to your response once you have consulted with your ‘wandering’ legal section and without being disrespectful may I request that we continue to discuss this issue in writing over email.

    Yours Sincerely
    My strategy is to beat them up over the term 'fixed' which is not explained before you take out the contract

    Depending on their response to said I'm may throw in the Fraud Act.

    1.Fraud by false representation

    b.A representation is false if -
    i.It is untrue or misleading, and
    ii.The person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

    c."Representation" means any representation as to fact or law, including a representation as to the state of mind of –
    i.The person making the representation, or
    ii.Any other person.

    d.A representation may be express or implied.

    e.For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it (or anything implying it) is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention).
    So far they are being reasonable and so am I.
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Just one small point Frisp my friend, they could argue the point that the 664 guidance only come into play

    1.8 Our guidance does not relate to the routine collection of repayments. It applies to
    the collection of debt once an account is in default
    . This guidance does not
    therefore affect the ability of traders who deal in home collection of repayments to
    visit their customers as those payments fall due.
    A small point but one worth noting.


    p.s. as a side note regarding your other thread re- CRA's etc if you have not already seen I have had some success against my Yorkshire Bank "spurious" default entry

    Yorkshire Bank v Tools
    Any opinions I give are my own. Any advice I give is without liability. If you are unsure, please seek qualified legal advice.

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    Default Re: Virgin are getting on my last nerve

    Thanks for that Tools, I wasn't aware of 1.8, I don't think it too important as the principles could be argued for both cases. I wonder why the OFT decided not to include 'pre default' disputes.

    Thanks for your link, I'll chk it out
    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    Nemo me impune lacessit - No one provokes me with impunity. (Motto of the Kings of Scotland)

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