help with aggressive debt collectors for debt I don't owe

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Hi,

I need some legal advice regarding a debt collection dispute, as I'm unable to afford professional legal assistance. Here's a summary of my situation:

  1. “ABC Omega debt collection” claims I owe Rackspace (UK) Cloud over $800 USD plus interest.
  2. I have evidence of closing my Rackspace account in June 2022 with all outstanding charges paid.
  3. I have a phone call recording of Rackspace admitted to neglecting to close a second account in my name, which they didn't inform me about when I requested account closure. This explains the charges.
  4. I reasonably expected all accounts in my name to be closed when I requested "close my account" and stated "I no longer need your service."
  5. The accrued debt is for web hosting services that I haven't used since I requested account closure.
  6. Rackspace billing staff have been uncooperative, limiting my access to proof by cancelling my access to their messaging system, and not providing the necessary screenshots.
  7. Account closure was only allowed over the phone, but I insisted on confirmation via their website messaging system, which they've now revoked my access to. Fortunately, I have some (albeit limited) proof in the form of 1 screenshot & 1 copied & pasted text file.
  8. Despite providing documentation and proof, the both the debt collection agency & rackspace remain uncooperative.
  9. I’ve informed the debt collectors that I do not live at the address they’re sending letters to (it’s my elderly parents address), but they refuse to remove it from their system.
  10. I'm concerned that aggressive collectors might visit my elderly parents' home one day. My parents aren’t well, vulnerable, forget everything they’re told & wouldn’t know how to deal with it. My mother had a breakdown just talking about not letting debt collectors through their front door. It would finish them off.

I'm unsure of what to do next, as I can't afford to hire a legal professional. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. However, I suspect I might have to get a loan and just pay the $800 to avoid them finishing off my parents. Thank you for your insight, particularly if you've been through anything similar.

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Comments

  • Vicxie
    Vicxie Posts: 76 Forumite
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    Try Legalbeagles website for legal advice
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,386 Forumite
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    I would have thought it pretty unlikely they'll bother visiting an address unless they have greater certainty that it would be worth their while. Costs them pennies to churn out letters. If you're really that concerned about them turning up at your parents, why not give them your address?
  • bobbidyboo
    bobbidyboo Posts: 64 Forumite
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    user1977 said:
    I would have thought it pretty unlikely they'll bother visiting an address unless they have greater certainty that it would be worth their while. Costs them pennies to churn out letters. If you're really that concerned about them turning up at your parents, why not give them your address?

    I understand your point but there should be no chance to visit my parents' address. However, my concern is also that this debt could potentially ruin my credit score, and I cannot afford to let that happen. Therefore, it's crucial that I resolve this issue as soon as possible.

    As for providing my current address, I am unfortunately unable to do so at the moment. I am currently living in a delicate situation where my landlord is a company, and the building is managed by their letting agent company. The people in the letting agent company are known to be narcissistic and cause trouble for tenants. I've managed to stay under the radar and maintain a peaceful coexistence, but I cannot risk them finding out about this and causing trouble for me. This includes the possibility of collectors turning up and damaging the landlords' property which would only result in bad consequences for me, as well as potentially taking my work equipment for a debt that I do not owe.

    I know they're not meant to do these things, but these types rarely obey the law & I don't have money to fight it in court. I need to be focussing on a million other battles I'm currently facing. I hope you can understand my situation and suggest a viable solution that can help me resolve this debt without risking my safety and livelihood.

  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,788 Forumite
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    Just to make you aware you will not get legal advice here. Only personal opinions, which you should "Remember, don't rely on what you are reading. Verify it and protect yourself. You are responsible for any action you consequently make." As per Forum rules. 👍

    Do they have any stance in the UK.
    As they are a US based company & do not appear to be registered with the FCA, as debt collectors need to be.

    Have a word with Citizens Advice on the matter 0300 330 1313
    Life in the slow lane
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,386 Forumite
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    edited 16 March 2023 at 8:18PM
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    user1977 said:
    I would have thought it pretty unlikely they'll bother visiting an address unless they have greater certainty that it would be worth their while. Costs them pennies to churn out letters. If you're really that concerned about them turning up at your parents, why not give them your address?

    I understand your point but there should be no chance to visit my parents' address. However, my concern is also that this debt could potentially ruin my credit score, and I cannot afford to let that happen. Therefore, it's crucial that I resolve this issue as soon as possible.

    As for providing my current address, I am unfortunately unable to do so at the moment. I am currently living in a delicate situation where my landlord is a company, and the building is managed by their letting agent company. The people in the letting agent company are known to be narcissistic and cause trouble for tenants. I've managed to stay under the radar and maintain a peaceful coexistence, but I cannot risk them finding out about this and causing trouble for me. This includes the possibility of collectors turning up and damaging the landlords' property which would only result in bad consequences for me, as well as potentially taking my work equipment for a debt that I do not owe.

    I know they're not meant to do these things, but these types rarely obey the law & I don't have money to fight it in court. I need to be focussing on a million other battles I'm currently facing. I hope you can understand my situation and suggest a viable solution that can help me resolve this debt without risking my safety and livelihood.

    I think you're letting your imagination run wild. No matter how "aggressive" you think they sound in their communications, they're collecting a business debt, not something you owe them for a dodgy drugs deal. They're hardly likely to turn up with baseball bats, smash the place up and steal stuff.

    And your credit record isn't going to be affected unless and until the creditor gets a court judgement against you - and you haven't mentioned anything about actual legal action.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,883 Forumite
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    Just to make you aware you will not get legal advice here. Only personal opinions, which you should "Remember, don't rely on what you are reading. Verify it and protect yourself. You are responsible for any action you consequently make." As per Forum rules. 👍

    Do they have any stance in the UK.
    As they are a US based company & do not appear to be registered with the FCA, as debt collectors need to be.

    Have a word with Citizens Advice on the matter 0300 330 1313
    ABC-Amega (note the spelling) is a well established and successful debt collection company in USA. They offer an international commercial debt recovery service by partnering with third-party companies throughout the world. In the UK I would expect them to operate via Cabot Financial or similar.

    OP, who is the UK company they are using to pursue your debt?
    Was your contract with Rackspace a commercial contract or consumer?
  • WhiskersTheWonderCat
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    Did you make it clear to them that you wanted this second account closed? And that you in fact had two accounts with them. Did you provide them details of both of your accounts when you were asking them to close your account? 
  • goater78
    goater78 Posts: 193 Forumite
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    Debts don’t tend to go straight to a debt collector without any prior contact.  Did nothing get sent to you before this happened?
  • photome
    photome Posts: 16,375 Forumite
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    goater78 said:
    Debts don’t tend to go straight to a debt collector without any prior contact.  Did nothing get sent to you before this happened?
    probably got sent to the elderly parents address

    OP surely your parents health comes before your potential consequences

    ie the letters should be going to your address
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