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Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
On what basis do you dispute their charges? Did you sign their terms please?
141a High Street
Avon BS30 5QQ
Suite 2, Unit 25
The Coda Centre
LONDON SW6 6AW March 2014
I write with reference to your letter dated 11 March 2014, which I have only just received hence the delay with regard to my reply.
I wish to dispute the amount owed and lodge a formal complaint. My complaint is that the service I have received is directly contrary to the regulations set out by the Ministry of Justices Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2013, effective from 8 July 2013. Namely:
Quite simply, I received payment from Barclays via my current account in September 2011 – they wrote to me prior to this on 6 September 2011 offering me a ‘goodwill gesture payment’ which I accepted. The letter was cc to you. I have received no correspondence from you whether by phone, letter, email or otherwise since July 2011, that is approximately a 32 month gap in contact before writing to give me 3 days notice to pay the outstanding balance of £1,974.30 prior to passing my account to your debt collections agency. This is not acceptable.
You have failed to keep me informed of the progress of my claim and due to this you are in breach of the Ministry of Justice Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2013 Principle 5 and the Client Specific Rules 2013 that were effective from 8 July 2013. You will be further in breach of said code of conduct if (as according to General Rule 6(b)) you falsely certify when requested by the Ministry of Justice that you have complied with all rules relevant to your company.
As per advice received from the Ministry of Justice today I write to you directly and advise you of the steps you should take to resolve my issue. In order to resolve my issue that you have breached The Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2013 I request strongly that you withdraw your demand immediately and in its entirety. I further request that you confirm both receipt of this letter and agreement to withdraw the payment demand within 14 days.
I am fully aware of my right to escalate this fair complaint to the Ministry of Justice if my complaint has not been dealt with to my satisfaction within eight weeks. I am further aware that the Ministry of Justice is duty bound to use any information I provide to consider enforcement action against you as it has breached the conduct rules. I would expect not to receive any further demands for payment in this time.
Further to this complaint please note may married surname of Mathews (spelt with one ‘t’) and that my address has changed.
Finally, I also intend to use my right under the Data Protection Act 1988 to make a Subject Access Request. I understand you will make a charge for this and I request you let me know what this is immediately so that I can make this request. I feel the information will further help my complaint and that delaying this request will be looked upon dimly by both the Data Commissioner and the Ministry of Justice.
I trust this matter can be dealt with swiftly, professionally and without obstacle and look forward to hearing from you within 14 days.
LINDA MATHEWS (MRS)
Have they responded?
Alex, a copy of the letter that I sent to Belmont Thornton with regard to my formal complaint. Yes unfortunately I did sign their Terms but I didn't expect to have to continually chase them and Barclays for regular updates. I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks.
What is it you wish to achieve?
How much are they charging in fees please?
A breakdown of their fees is as follows: Claim Management fee at 25% = £1,645.25, VAT @ 20% = £329.05, Total = £1,974.30.
Belmont Thornton (BT) commenced my claim in February 2011. Barclays authorised BT to escalate my claim to the Financial Ombudsman (FO) on 23 February 2011. FO advised BT on 12 July 2011 that Barclays wished to make a goodwill gesture with no admission of liability. Barclays made an offer to me on 6 September 2011. BT were a copy addressee. The offer was £4,938.22 + £1,642.77 = £6,580.99. I accepted the offer which was paid into my current account. I received an Overdue Fee - 4th Notice on 11 March 2014 - a gap of 32 months! It is my view that BT's involvement with this particular claim was very minimal. Although I am aware that they have a Customer Service Team available it should not be the customers responsibility to chase them by phone, letter or email for regular updates. That is what they are paid for. BT have offered their sincere apologies for not contacting me at regular intervals when there have been delays in the claims process but unfortunately that is not acceptable. They believe that it was solely down to them that my claim was successful but I disagree - if that was the case whey did I continually have to contact both them and Barclays for regular updates? They do not agree with the points that I have raised in my letter and have advised that the fee remains due. I would expect them to waiver the fee or reduce it considerably to a more realistic amount that actually reflects the work they have actually done. I look forward to hearing from you in due course. Many thanks. Linda Mathews
Alex, I appreciate that you are a working Solicitor and may be on and offline to accommodate your commitments. Any assistance that you are able to provide would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for a way forward with regard to this problem. Many thanks Linda Mathews
Did they do the work to get the £ bACK
Alex, yes to a certain degree. However, I do believe that they are in breach of the Ministry of Justice Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules 2013 - details of which are in my letter to them.
What % of work did they do please?
Belmont Thornton commenced my claim to Barclays and then escalated my claim to the Financial Ombudsman. They did not provide me with regular updates. It was left to me to get in touch with them and Barclays to obtain my own updates on progress.
I thought might letter to Belmont Thornton was self explanatory. Do I have to pay the fee that they are asking or can I continue to dispute the amount that they say is owing? It seems a substantial amount of money for the work that they actually did. I was hoping that you could advise what my options might be.
Indeed, but I wanted to check.
You will have to pay a fee as the law says you must pay a reasonable fee for reasonable work done.
But if they have breached the MoJ code then you are likely to have to pay a reduced fee
But you are likely to pay a fee as they have done some work, albeit they have not kept you informed and the code has been broken
So you will have to pay a fee for the work done, but a reduced fee
You are right to raise a complaint. Wait to see what their response is
If their response is not acceptable then you can then complain to the MoJ about their conduct. This will enable a full review and you can see what the out come is.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex, thank you for your response it was greatly appreciated. I was just after clarification that I could now go to the MoJ - I am unhappy with the fee that Belmont Thornton are asking for and truly believe that it doesn't reflect the work that they have actually done since 2011. I will draft a letter and send it off asking if a reduced figure can be set. Regards Linda
Alex, your advice with regard to the matter was second to none and your prompt responses were greatly appreciated. I have replied to Belmont Thornton today along the lines you suggested. Once again many thanks. XXXXX