Mittwoch, 8. April 2009

The Odyssey is over

BCW hav given in, and they've deleted my records. Read all about how you can clear a false credit entry.

Samstag, 2. August 2008

T-Mobile confirms: BCW have to hand over my data

T-Mobile sent me a letter the other day apologizing for the treatment I received at the hands of BCW, confirming that they have requested BCW to hand over my data to me, and assuring me that they have deleted references to debt in my records that could have harmed my credit status.

Now the ball is in BCW's court. Will they comply with their client's request, or will they keep obstructing?

Samstag, 5. Juli 2008

T-Mobile responds

Well there's a start: T-Mobile has responded to my letter seeking details on the data BCW hold on me. Remember, BCW said I had to go through T-Mobile to find out what data BCW has collected. T-Mobile say they will respond fully within 28 days. Let's wait and see.

Sonntag, 15. Juni 2008

Final Response

BCW complaints manager Darren Carruthers has now sent me a "Final Response." This document is a necessary prerequisite for taking my complaint to the financial ombudsman.

Carruthers' letter is merely a repetition of the old excuses he already sent on March 22, re-dated May 23 with a new headline ("Final Response"). That should show you how professional they are about dealing with complaints at BCW.

Carruthers also deigned to provide me with the T-Mobile address I apparently have to write to in order to find out what data BCW hold on me. Ridiculous, of course, because BCW is the data holder not T-Mobile, but there you go.

I'll keep you posted.

Samstag, 17. Mai 2008

The Register: UK consumers lose £6.6bn a year to unfair treatment

A relevant article from The Register:
British consumers are being cheated out of £6.6bn a year by unfair treatment from business, with telecommunications and personal banking topping the list of problem areas, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has said.

OFT research found that more than one in two of the 10,000 consumers surveyed had suffered some kind of consumer detriment in the past year. Consumer detriment is the suffering caused to a consumer by an organisation's unfair treatment of them.


Montag, 12. Mai 2008

Letter writing

I've finally found the time to write and post a few letters to various ombudsmen, consumer groups and trade associations relevant to my complaint. In the first instance I'm trying to find out who can help me with my complaint and what my rights and BCW Group's responsibilities are.

Sonntag, 27. April 2008

My complaint

I was first contacted by Buchanan Clark + Wells in November 2007. They called my home number while I was out, asking for me and declining to state their purpose. They left a number for me to call and after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing where they asked me to verify my identity, they eventually said that they were contacting me because I owed their client, T-Mobile, money. Not a huge amount, but not pennies either.

I made it clear to BCW that I didn't think I owed T-Mobile any money but there was no discussing the matter with BCW: they only act on T-Mobile's behalf, and it was up to T-Mobile to call off their attack dog or for me to pay up.

So I called T-Mobile. What followed were several weeks of very costly international calls during which I tried to convince T-Mobile that I had indeed canceled my contract with them when I moved abroad, and T-Mobile did its best to play dumb, lose details of previous calls, hang up on me mid-call and generally pretend that I was the one at fault not them.

In the meantime the letters, calls and emails from BCW got nastier and nastier, containing ever more serious threats culminating in an announcement that they would soon be initiating legal action.

And then T-Mobile gave in: I proved to them without a doubt that I had canceled my contract, they apologized and said they would cancel my debt. I also asked them to call off BCW, which they did. But when I next contacted BCW the company refused to talk to me.
"Bcwgroup plc are no longer involved in this case and therefore any further enquiries should be directed to our client."
BCW went from bullying me into providing them with my personal details lest I want to face court action to refusing to talk to me at all. Why? Because I had done what any sensible person would do and asked them for an apology and proof that my records had been deleted from their files. It takes a very special kind of arrogance to do what BCW does: attack people, and then offload all responsiblity onto somebody else. While T-Mobile did apologize and do the right thing, BCW effectively showed me the finger.

So I made a formal complaint. I said BCW had better apologize and confirm deletion of my records. But instead of doing that, their head of complaints, Darren Carruthers, said BCW would be doing no such thing. In fact, he said,
"Your details will be held on file for 18 months and will then be archived."

First of all, what gives BCW any right to keep my details on file for even one more second, especially if they are "
no longer involved in this case"? What's more, how dare they 'archive' my details? Am I to infer that BCW plans to keep them in perpetuity?

I've decided to 'escalate' my complaint. This includes contacting relevant trade and oversight bodies, as well as seeking further clarification from BCW and exploring possible legal options. I cannot accept that BCW has any right to hold my details without my consent, and if successful I hope my case will set a precedent that will force plenty of other companies to stop unjustifiably keeping damaging information on people without just cause. Over the coming months I'll write about what happens so that other people who find themselves in a similar situation know what to do and what not to do.

You can support me by linking to this blog, sending me links to other BCW complaints on the Web (use the comment form), and tipping me off about relevant legal issues, inside info on BCW and anything else you think should appear here.