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Jenny-a
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Message 1 of 11

Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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I am being harrassed by debt collectors because of a BT billing error.

 

About a year ago I received text messages from BT on my mobile phone saying that I should expect a next-day delivery of equipment for Jane Smith (not the actual name) somewhere in Scotland (I live in Berkshire). Of course this wasn't my order - for some reason this customer had given my mobile as a contact number - or BT had typed in the number incorrectly. I eventually got through to someone in BT Billing who found the order details and agreed to remove my phone number from the database.

 

About six months later I received a text message from BT asking for payment - but I ignored it as I didn't owe money to BT and had already told them that they had the wrong contact mobile number. I then had no further text or calls from BT, and I had no communications by post or otherwise.

 

Now I have started receiving text and voice calls on my mobile from a debt collection agency demanding that Jane Smith should contact them immediately. Obviously I don't want to get involved with the agency as I would be in danger of getting sucked into a problem which doesn't concern me. Clearly, BT is chasing the debt using the mobile number - which they had previously agreed to delete.

 

I have phoned BT Billing and they refuse to help me because I cannot give them an order number (which I don't have). I cannot make them understand the problem, and they even suggested I complain to my mobile phone provider!

I need this resolved because the calls are causing me undue stress and besides, the real Jane Smith may be unaware of the debt and may find herself taken to court without warning.

 

It is clear to me that all BT needs to do is search their database for overdue payments in the name of Jane Smith together with my mobile number, but they will not or cannot do this. How can I get them to resolve this problem?

 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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I have asked a moderator to provide assistance, they will post an invite on this thread.
They are the only BT employees on this forum, and are based in the UK.

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Moderator
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Message 3 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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Hi Jenny-a and welcome.

 

I'm really sory you're geting chased for a debt that has nothing to do with you. That's unacceptable. I'm sure I can help get this sorted for you. Can you please send over your details? You'll get the contact us link in my profile.

 

Cheers

 

David

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Jenny-a
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Message 4 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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For the benefit of anyone following this thread, I have had conversations with the forum moderators and the situation seems to be this. BT has sold some of its debts, including that of Jane Smith, to a debt collection agency (DCA) and it's the DCA who are texting and calling me based on the incorrect mobile phone information that was handed over by BT. Apparently BT are not in a position to correct the DCA records so I am stuck with the phone harrassment until the DCA get fed up or adopt some other tactic to recover the money owed by Jane Smith.

 

I am not going to contact the DCA myself as it seems likely that I would get dragged in to a dispute that does not rightfully concern me.

 

Jenny

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 5 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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but if you don't contact DCA you will keep getting the texts and calls.
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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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Try contacting the regulating body and complain about the DCA who are harassing you. http://www.csa-uk.com/#contact



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Jenny-a
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Message 7 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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Thank you for the suggestion but the CSA is a trade association that represents the debt collection industry.  I am sure they would want my personal details (e.g. name and address) in order for me to register a complaint - but by so doing I could be laying myself open to further harrassment through channels other than just my mobile phone. I have no confidence that the CSA would be willing to act on my behalf.

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Neil1
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Message 8 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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@Devon_Dave Is right. They will, most likely, just keep on

 

I volunteer at an advice agency and have had quite a lot of cases involving bailiffs and DCAs and they are very very persistent

 

If you do get to the stage where you want to do something the general advice is to contact the DCA and explain the situation. If that (quite likely) doesn't stop them you should complain formally to them in writing. And the next step is the financial ombudsman

 

Good luck with it. 

Distinguished Sage
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Message 9 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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@Jenny-a wrote:

Thank you for the suggestion but the CSA is a trade association that represents the debt collection industry.  I am sure they would want my personal details (e.g. name and address) in order for me to register a complaint - but by so doing I could be laying myself open to further harrassment through channels other than just my mobile phone. I have no confidence that the CSA would be willing to act on my behalf.


I had a similar problem 5/6 years ago and used the CSA and they forced the DCA who was a member of their association to stop  sending or contacting me as they were satisfied that he debt had nothing to do with me

 

doing nothing and the DCA will just escalate their attempt to get what they think is your debt



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Seraph
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Message 10 of 11

Re: Harassed by debt collectors for someone else's BT bill

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You need to dispute the debt. They are then obliged to investigate and provide evidence that you are the debtor. During their investigation they are not allowed to contact you. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/338/if-i-dispute-a-debt-that-is-being-collected-can-a-debt-co...