As regular HPANWO-readers will know, I've been involved in a minor issue regarding an unpaid mobile phone bill about which I recently posted an update, see: http://hpanwo-tv.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/give-me-back-my-debt.html. I've received a reply from both O2 and also Lowell Portfolio I; strangely enough, even though there has been a delay of almost a month since I wrote to them, both letters arrived in the same post. This also happened last time they replied to me.
Here's O2's (with my comments in brackets):
Hello Benjamin, (Benjamin!? Nobody has called me that for years! My mother used to when she was angry with me.)
Telefonica O2 UK Ltd are registered under the FSA (Financial Services authority) and the deed of assignment will be in the terms and conditions that the customer agreed to where the contract was taken out. They were hold of personal copy of this themselves (sic) which was posted when the account was opened. If you'd like to review your copy please visit the O2 website.
02 are not bound by the CCA (Consumer Credit Association) like a bank or credit agreement and therefore do not have to issue a default notice or deed of assignment. This account has now been sold on to
and we are unable to deal with your query.
Please contact Lowell
directly in relation to this account. Lowell
O2 Debt Management Team.
So they're refusing to address the points I made in my original letter; they're simply hiding behind some clause of the FSA handbook which allows them to breach basic contract law and the fundamental rules of economics.
Let's have a look at the letter from
Dear Mr Emlyn-Jones,
Thank you for taking time to contact us recently.
I confirm that your complaint has now been passed to the Customer Relations Department who will carry out a thorough investigation. We will investigate this as quickly as we can and we may need to contact you for further information to provide you with an update. If we can contact you by telephone, we will be able to discuss your concerns directly with you and hopefully agree a resolution with you verbally; this is the quickest and easiest way for us to resolve this for you. I would like to assure you that your account will be placed on hold, and we will stop all collections activity whilst dealing with your complaint. We enclose a copy of our internal complaints procedure for your information. Please take time to read this, as it explains following the steps we will follow in responding to your complaint.
In the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact my team by calling the free telephone number which brings you directly through to the Customer Relations Department.
Head of Compliance.
Portfolio I Ltd Lowell
(The signature attached the name is printed)
Head of Compliance? Goodness, that sounds scary! Does he carry a whip and electric baton? This is quite clearly just a template letter with my name inserted. They send them off to anybody who initiates any kind of grievance against them. Clearly they're not going to answer my questions at this time.
What strikes me about both these letters is that I don't feel I'm dealing with a living person. The tone makes me feel I'm addressing a soulless machine. I wouldn't be surprised if I am, especially with the second letter. Of course I could always phone their helpline as they advise me to, but even then, how do I know I'm dealing with a human being? This chilling YouTube video demonstrates that I cannot know, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22ZaKbxmEMA. You can bet the programmers are right at this moment updating the software to make the voice able to say the words: "I am not a robot".