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B.T. registered late payments in error on my Equifax Report - Compensation?

edited 31 July 2013 at 9:57PM in Credit file & ratings
10 replies 6.8K views
Twinkling_StarTwinkling_Star Forumite
8 Posts
edited 31 July 2013 at 9:57PM in Credit file & ratings
I hope someone will be able to advise me. Several years ago I checked my Credit Rating by using a free trial with Experian. Having NEVER missed a payment for anything whatsoever I had no reason to suspect there would be any problems so the only reason I had checked was because I was curious as to what my Credit Score rating would be. My Experian credit report had no errors on it so I stupidly thought that it would be unnecessary to check all the other companies - especially knowing that I had never defaulted on any payments at any time.

On 30th May 2013 I made the decision that I really needed to check all of my credit reports because I was preparing to try for a re-mortgage. Having previously applied and been turned down I thought it was due to the fact the my income was not adequate and so thought no more about it.

I could not re-check the Experian report as that was going to cost something like £14.99 which I cannot afford. When I later found the error on my Equifax report I telephoned Experian who assured me that B.T. is NOT included on their Credit Reports. So I am hoping that is correct. The credit report from Noddle was free of charge FOREVER so I checked that and it was a perfect 5 out of 5 score. I checked my Equifax report to find that there was massive solid red square over the £ sign on my report! I clicked on it to find that during 2007 B.T. had registered ONE late payment in May 2007, THREE late payments in June 2007, a Query registered for July 2007, and Settled for August 2007. These entries were affecting my credit score by FIFTY points out of a possible score of 600. I was extremely upset. I had ordered some mobile phones from B.T. on the understanding that if I could not get a reliable signal at my remote address that providing I notified them within 7 days of receipt of the mobile phones that no payments whatsoever would be due and they would not take any payments by Direct Debit. I received the phones. The signal was completely unreliable and I phoned B.T. within 24 hours of receiving the phones and they arranged to collect the phones. A few days before the first payment was due I went into my bank account and put a stop on the Direct Debit as I had agreed with B.T. that I would do this if the phones did not work in my area. By this time they had already picked the phones up at least 10 days prior to this. I had no idea they had registered all these details on my credit report. I had purely exercised my rights under the Direct Debit legislation and also exercised my rights under the agreement I had made with B.T.
On discovering these errors on 30th May 2013 I contacted B.T. on 31.5.13 to get the information removed. After many many phone calls they failed to deal with it within the time scale allowed and Equifax removed the information. My credit score went from 477 up to 527 on the day the information was removed from my account this is out of a possible score of 600. The other possible points are affected by the fact that I have Credit Card debts but I have never missed a payment and never been late at any time with any payments. I continued to contact B.T. many times by telephone and then by eMail. Eventually I received a message from Equifax on 23rd July stating that all the issues with B.T. had been resolved and that all the errors recorded by B.T. had now been permanently removed from my credit rating.

My credit rating had been affected for over 6 years by 50 points on a possible total of 600 that is A LOT of points! During those years I have been turned down for some credit cards which I applied for. I have also been turned down for re-mortgages. Of course, I cannot prove that I was turned down because of these errors but it certainly looked terrible on my credit rating and for 6 whole years affected my score by 50 points! I expect to receive compensation. I am entitled to compensation and how much should I ask for and how much should I expect?

B.T. must have agreed that these were errors as they have corrected the history. I knew these would have been removed in August anyway as the 6 years would have been up from when the account had been settled. However, I have now missed the opportunity of applying for a mortgage as it is no longer available. I am extremely limited as to where I can apply for a mortgage as I am retired due to severe disability. B.T. also caused me a great deal of stress as they failed to respond to any of my phone calls. Today is the first time they have attempted to contact me - I requested that they ring after 4 pm and they rang before mid day. They then sent me an eMail stating they hoped everything had been resolved!! WHO BY - THE TOOTH FAIRY!! lol I replied asking them to please read my eMail PRIOR to attempting to contact me.

Sorry to waffle on. Thank you in advance for any advice.
Always prepare for the worst but hope for the best!
Keep Smiling
Kind Regards

Twinkling Star

Replies

  • YorkshireBoyYorkshireBoy Forumite
    31.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    You can't claim compensation for what might have/could have happened...especially since it would be impossible to prove. You may be able to claim something for 'distress and inconvenience'.

    Ignore scores. They don't mean a lot, since the CRAs don't give the score they give you to the lenders. Focus on the raw data, since that's what the lenders will do. Not sure where you got your 600 figure from, because Equifax scores can exceed that (as stated on their website).

    Experian reports are £2...if you're prepared to wait a week.
  • How can u be upset over a meaningless score?
    Proud to be a member of the Anti Enforcement Hobbyist Gang.:D:T
  • StuC75StuC75 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    The agency score doesnt count for anything anyway. Never pay the £14, request the £2 statutory report instead which has the same information.

    If you have had refusals in the past why did you not check your reports then as each rejection would advise of which agencies were used.
  • edited 3 August 2013 at 2:05AM
    Twinkling_StarTwinkling_Star Forumite
    8 Posts
    edited 3 August 2013 at 2:05AM
    I could not find anything on the Equifax web site stating you can score over 600 points. It specifically quoted between 475 - 600 as being excellent range. As to being "meaningless" score I do not feel that having late payments recorded on my credit rating and a score reduced by 50 points as meaningless whether they see the score or not they would certainly see all the late payments. Yes I forgot to state that I did pay the £2 out to Experian to ensure there were no errors on their records but with that system I cannot access the actual score. The score does provide a guide to how companies regard your history to pay on time, and your ability to manage your finances so even if you say they don't see the actual score the entries which have affected my score are seen. Who would want to give someone credit who has 4 or 5 late payments in 3 months! As stated I felt I had no reason whatsoever to check my credit ratings having never been late and never having ever missed any payments EVER. So are you all saying that the companies can make as many false entries about you and it does not matter and does not affect the customer? I genuinely do not understand most of your replies but thank you for taking the trouble to reply.
    Kind Regards
    Always be prepared for the worst but always hope for the best.
    Keep Smiling or in my case Keep Twinkling!
    Twinkling Star
  • edited 2 August 2013 at 1:36PM
    JohalaReewiJohalaReewi Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    edited 2 August 2013 at 1:36PM
    Yes I forgot to state that I did pay the £2 out to Experian to ensure there were no errors on their records but with that system I cannot access the actual score.
    There is no actual score which is why the statutory report doesn't show one.

    However, you are correct in saying that the data on your report is important. This is what you should be concentrating on, not what your score is. If there is incorrect data on your report, you can report it as wrong to the CRA. In the meantime, you can put a notice of correction on your credit report saying that this data has been added in error and you are in the process of getting it removed by BT. It can take a long time and yes it can muck up your access to credit. Yes it is a PITA. There should not be incorrect data held on any personal database but it seems that CRAs consider themselves exempt. Write to your MP, Watchdog, kick up a stink...

    Anyway.

    The score you are referring to is the number created by Experian (Equifax, Noddle) when you ask for one (usually with cash). This number is not a credit score. This number is not seen by anyone else. This number may well be different next time you ask for it.

    If I said to you, give me £6 and I will give you a number between 1 and 999, would you do it?

    In the words of the great James Jones.
    The score mirrors how most lenders score your credit report, but they score other data as well so it's not your 'credit rating' - you don't have one.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=62372273&highlight=#post62372273
    What you need to understand, however, is that this score is only a guide and is only seen by you. While this can be very useful, any lender you approach for credit will calculate its own score.
    http://experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askjames301.html
  • StuC75StuC75 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    No company from the Last 6 years will openly tell you that they refused 'services' solely because of this credit file mistake. That would be the only way that you prove a loss from this.

    when you were refused in the past they would usually write and advise of which agencies they used.
  • ALIBOBSYALIBOBSY Forumite
    4.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    You can take them to court and sue, if you can prove a direct loss through this I believe the court can award £5k per loss as compensation. BUT the big problem is proving that you were turned down for credit because of that incorrect entry. TBH the only case I saw where they won for this was on another forum (I think it was on the CAG forum), and it was for a mortgage so they were able to prove a definite "loss".

    I wouldn't bother with phone calls to make ANY type of complaint. I might try once for the initial contact as some companies/call handlers are good and will sort things out there and then. But for something more complex I would always go for a written complaint, preferably to the management. Some companies respond well to emails, but some treat them like calls-fob off the complainant and ignore. I think the OP needs to do a full written complaint setting down all the details and asking for a written response.

    Good Luck
    Ali x
    "Overthinking every little thing
    Acknowledge the bell you cant unring"

  • edited 3 August 2013 at 2:16AM
    Twinkling_StarTwinkling_Star Forumite
    8 Posts
    edited 3 August 2013 at 2:16AM
    Dear Everyone,
    Thank you all so much for your advice. I am very grateful and it has helped me to agree to a sensible settlement. My initial posting was not clear in many ways. I was upset about the false entries rather than the actual score but I know now reading my post I did not make myself very clear on this and also not knowing that the companies do not see the actual score both the false entries and the scores seemed equally important to me. I think companies should have to pay when they make false entries about a person's credit history and I am pleased that this matter has been resolved.
    Thanking you all.
    Kind Regards
    Always be prepared for the worst but always hope for the best.
    Keep Smiling or in my case Keep Twinkling!
    Twinkling Star
  • StuC75 wrote: »
    The agency score doesnt count for anything anyway. Never pay the £14, request the £2 statutory report instead which has the same information.

    If you have had refusals in the past why did you not check your reports then as each rejection would advise of which agencies were used.

    Thank you for your reply....I am sorry I did not get all my facts accurate in my initial posting. I am severely dyspraxic and forgot that I later thought I had better pay the £2 to make sure there were no false entries on the Experian report. Thank you for your help.
  • I was bankrupt (declared self after unemployment) in 2010/11 and when the bankruptcy was over I was advised to check my credit reports.

    In 2011- May 2013 things were improving. So when I was refused a bank account I was told to check again.

    BT had reported everything from 2007 to 2009, as I ceased all services with them. However, they reported duplicate and error accounts...they'd sent a mobile phone without a working sim...so sent new one and collected missing sim one...yet generated multiple accounts and billed me for the tariff chosen 'TWICE' plus late, slow payments, and finally collection attempts, with defaults all over my credit report ....that could not occur since it was paid by direct debit on time. Although they did attempt to bill my accounts for duplicate, and may have taken payment on valid account and paid duplicate account.

    I contacted CEO office, Gavin Patterson and after many months finally had things corrected, however my score never improved, or reverted back to healthy score held Nov 2012.

    As of this month, I received letters from various collection agencies demanding payments for settled accounts, inc costs £462, plus threats of doorstep visits and everything that had been sorted on my credit reports all reversed. So upset. I contacted CEO and declared I was going to media!

    They refused compensation twice, but as of 19th Nov 2013 they promised to settle matter for £325, paid to my account within 5 days.

    The promised payment has yet to arrive in my account, and as of 26th the account was showing again on my Equifax account as Defaulted owing £362.

    Now being bugged by BT survey requests, on how I felt matter was handled and resolved.

    I feel BT are not competent enough to be allowed to report to credit bureaus.

    Even filed complaints with Equifax re: BT misreporting and restoring debts to active.
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