Real Life MMD: Should I help debt agency find colleague?

Money Moral Dilemma: Should I help debt agency find colleague?

Over the past year I have received many calls and messages from a debt management company for a work colleague who used to have my extension number, but now works in another department. I’ve passed on the messages to my colleague and asked her to return the calls, and have told the debt agency that the phone number's no longer correct (but didn't tell them she still works here). Should I give the debt agency her correct telephone number, or ask whether she’s managed to straighten things out with them?
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  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    What goes around comes around. You grass someone up and it could probably happen to you one day. Send a request to the agency, in writing, that they stop harassing you.
  • Pmarmalade
    Stop fielding their calls. Tell them she's not on this number now and to stop calling it. After that I'd just start saying that sharply and hanging up. Don't get yourself involved.

    I don't believe they should be contacting her in work anyway, it's using you company's time.
  • iclayt
    iclayt Posts: 454 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    No not at all, it's their responsibility to track her down, it's nothing to do with you. If you have requested them to stop calling that phoneline, they should remove it from their records.
  • kevanf1
    kevanf1 Posts: 299 Forumite
    Absolutely not! These debt management companies are nothing more than parasitic money grabbers. They go around buying up people's debts however small they are. Often the people in debt are paying back what they owe (this is sometimes dubious and I have proof of this in my own family) but it's not enough for the original debtee. The debt management company pay the original debtee a portion of what they are supposedly owed because they are not really bothered and have probably got back more than they were originally owed anyway all that's left is now extra interest. Anyway, the debt management company then start hassling the debtor with threats of court action and/or bailiffs turning up on the doorstep. They add to the original debt their fees. The original debtor ends up paying out more.

    My view is that this should be made illegal.
    Kevan - a disabled old so and so who, despite being in pain 24/7 still manages to smile as much as possible :)
  • pennypinchUK
    You've done your bit by telling the debt collector their information is out of date and by advising your colleague. You've no idea whether the debt collector is chasing a legitimate debt. Leave it alone now, or you'll simply be meddling in something that's not your business.
  • Tiptaker
    It's none of your business, you've made her aware they have called, end of story - if she had left the company completely you wouldn't be able to tell them where she was anyway. Giving them the information probably falls foul of the data protection act. Tell them if they keep phoning you will report them for harassment.
  • deborah007
    As Tiptaker says giving them information as to her whereabouts is potentially disclosing information that is protected under the Data Protection Act. They are just being lazy in any case - they could go through to your switchboard or something and ask if she still works for the company.

    Make a record of each call and ask the callers for their company details, then advise your supervisor that you are receiving calls and ask if they would like to write to the Company and tell them to stop harassing the Company's staff - if it comes from the Company it may have more weight - after all the debt collectors probably don't believe that you are not your colleague, or connected to them in some way.


    D x
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    The Data Protection Act doesn't apply to private individuals, so you wouldn't fall foul of it.

    It may be worth speaking to your colleague once more and telling her that you are still getting these calls, and that you will have to refer it to HR or your manager because it is disrupting your ability to work. This may encourage her to address the issue.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • cazpost
    cazpost Posts: 109 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I would have thought it was obvious,don't get involved! You've told the woman that they are trying to find her, and you have told them they have the wrong number,thats all you need to do.
    If they ring you again, ask for their full details, then get your boss, HR or whoever to write to them and tell them to stop ringing.
    You don't know if these people are genuine or if she really does owe them money.It's none of your business,so stay out of it
  • Fury_2
    TBagpuss wrote: »
    The Data Protection Act doesn't apply to private individuals, so you wouldn't fall foul of it.

    Not sure how true this is. The company is phoning your workplace for this information and you are acting as an agent for your company. I believe this falls within data protection rules, another reason not to hand out information!
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