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Catalogue and Lowell

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
1 reply 507 views
battyboimattbattyboimatt Forumite
614 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
After I lost my job due to my mental health and after I had major surgery, I couldn't afford to pay my catalogue debt off, it's not a great amount £332.89. They kept sending me letters asking me to phone them.

I then sent them a letter explaining my situation, as well as a letter from my GP explaining my mental health condition "Bi-polar" and how it was affecting me and the debt I was in, she also completed a debt and mental health form for me and explained I couldn't communicate via the telephone as it makes my anxiety and mental health worse. I explained that they are expected to make reasonable adjustments and that I would only deal with them via wrighting.

They continued to send me letters asking me to phone in and emails telling me to phone in and that I could speak to their specialist team if I phoned in. I then went onto there live chat and explained the situation, and I said I couldn't phone in, and their response was, it was customer services who have been trying to contact you and you need to phone in and there was nothing more they could help me with.

I then put an official complaint into the company and in January this year I received their final response and they were pleased to inform me, that having considered all the matters I raised, they upheld my complaint in full. They confirmed that they had closed my account under a code of severe illness and that it will remain as an unpaid amount, however, they will not pursue the account and no further collections activity will take place.

Fast forward to today and I receive a letter from the catalogue company advising me my balance of £332.89 was sold to Lowell Portfolio on the 09th May 2019 and that they have not been made aware of any reason why the debt should not be paid and Lowell are no the legal owners of the debt and any further communications or payments must be addressed to Lowell, it also had a nice letter in from Lowell inside, introducing them and yup telling me to phone in.

As I made a complaint and got a final response from the catalogue in January, can I take this straight to the ombudsman as it's still just within the 6-month time limit or do I complain to Lowell as the complaint letter said the catalogue would not pursue the account and no further collections activity would take place. The stress of this is making my mental health worse :(



  • sourcratessourcrates Forumite, Board Guide
    20.7K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic

    That a very sneaky trick by the catalogue company, and sadly one that happens a lot.

    Two things you should now do.

    (1) Write to Lowell, inform them of the previous complaint (as they will not know anything about it) enclose copies of letters etc, ask them to hold collection activity as you are escalating this matter to the FOS.

    (2) As above, escalate your complaint to the FOS, you can do this online from their website, or download a complaints form and send it in the post, either way, follow the instructions, in the section where it says words to the effect of "how would you like your complaint resolved" ask for compensation, and specity an amount.

    These companies need to be taught a lesson in that they should follow the terms of their own complaints procedures and not try to take advantage of the situation.

    Good luck with it.
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