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VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.
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Old 21-03-2021, 02:38   #1
RichardCoulter
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VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Someone has tried to sign up to VM & been told that they cannot do so until a debt to Telewest of £64 is paid. He denies he's ever been with Telewest and VM say that the debt is so old that they no longer have any further details. It's not really a problem as the debt will now be statute barred & he simply got his partner to sign up instead.

Is this practice of trying to recover old debts new as i've not heard of this before?

As a private company VM are free to refuse service to anybody they choose (except in limited circumstances), but if it were me i'd be questioning the legality of this given that they only have very flimsy evidence, yet were accusing me of owing money. In the past debt collection agencies have come a cropper when trying to do this.

It does seem an odd business decision to jeopardise at least 18 monthly payments for the sake of £64 though. If he genuinely didn't owe it (or did & simply didn't want to pay it) they still wouldn't get their money & have lost 18 months worth of revenue!

I have come across cases where Sky have written off trivial amounts so that returning customers can start afresh and enable Sky to raise far more than the original debt too.
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Old 21-03-2021, 08:24   #2
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

They're not chasing after an old debt in general, but if somebody has arrears with a company, it's not unreasonable for them to ask for that debt to be cleared before signing up with them, again.
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Old 21-03-2021, 08:28   #3
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

What a load of typical B/S from you again.
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Old 21-03-2021, 09:18   #4
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

So somebody should continually be able to run up a debt with business X, and keep expecting to sign up with them again, and ignore any previous debt? It's a pre-condition for signing up with them, again. Otherwise they won't chase it.
Not many businesses would do any different.
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Old 21-03-2021, 09:51   #5
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
Someone has tried to sign up to VM & been told that they cannot do so until a debt to Telewest of £64 is paid. He denies he's ever been with Telewest and VM say that the debt is so old that they no longer have any further details. It's not really a problem as the debt will now be statute barred & he simply got his partner to sign up instead.

Is this practice of trying to recover old debts new as i've not heard of this before?

As a private company VM are free to refuse service to anybody they choose (except in limited circumstances), but if it were me i'd be questioning the legality of this given that they only have very flimsy evidence, yet were accusing me of owing money. In the past debt collection agencies have come a cropper when trying to do this.

It does seem an odd business decision to jeopardise at least 18 monthly payments for the sake of £64 though. If he genuinely didn't owe it (or did & simply didn't want to pay it) they still wouldn't get their money & have lost 18 months worth of revenue!

I have come across cases where Sky have written off trivial amounts so that returning customers can start afresh and enable Sky to raise far more than the original debt too.
If he did owe, he’s a credit risk, and could accumulate further debt...

It also depends what else is on their credit score - if they have other missed/late payments for other utilities/credit cards/loans, this will lower the overall credit rating - it's very rarely decided on one "negative" action.

Do you have a link to this story, please?
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Last edited by Hugh; 21-03-2021 at 11:36.
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Old 21-03-2021, 10:37   #6
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

I think it's fair enough to refuse a service to someone who historically owes you money.

I used to work part-time for a company that collected debts for various companies and from my experience the majority of the people we visited denied owing anything and insisted the company was in the wrong. Strange how very often they 'wrongly' owed money to lots of different companies who all must have got their records messed up. I suppose it's just like the majority of people in prison are innocent too!
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Old 21-03-2021, 11:34   #7
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Oh dear, Richard.
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Old 21-03-2021, 12:06   #8
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
If he did owe, he’s a credit risk, and could accumulate further debt...

It also depends what else is on their credit score - if they have other missed/late payments for other utilities/credit cards/loans, this will lower the overall credit rating - it's very rarely decided on one "negative" action.

Do you have a link to this story, please?

Something dating back to Telewest most certainly will have been removed from the Credit Scores years ago

My main issue with this story is how something dating back so far is still on record

GDPR states

"any personal data must not be kept any longer than it is necessary for the purpose for which the personal data is processed"

I would quest the number of years passed since Telewest existed that this term has been breached

14 years have passed since Telewest ceased trading

Last edited by Jaymoss; 21-03-2021 at 12:10.
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Old 21-03-2021, 12:49   #9
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Of course, this is all hearsay, anyway, from a source that usually provides less than full information.
How long ago? No information.
Was it really Telewest? Maybe but perhaps just a vague recollection. I still sometimes refer to Telewest but have no idea when it changed to NTL then Virgin Media.
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Old 21-03-2021, 12:52   #10
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymoss View Post
Something dating back to Telewest most certainly will have been removed from the Credit Scores years ago

My main issue with this story is how something dating back so far is still on record

GDPR states

"any personal data must not be kept any longer than it is necessary for the purpose for which the personal data is processed"

I would quest the number of years passed since Telewest existed that this term has been breached

14 years have passed since Telewest ceased trading

Thanks for the clarification.

Some good info here.

https://www.creditangel.co.uk/help/h...-credit-report
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Old 21-03-2021, 12:58   #11
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

It's not about a credit file. It's about a debt with a company they're trying to do business with again. No suggestion of debt collectors appearing on the doorstep, just a pre-condition for signing up again.

Eg A hotel is not going to let you stay again, until you've settled a previous bill. You could try another hotel, just not the same one again.

Last edited by nomadking; 21-03-2021 at 13:15.
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Old 21-03-2021, 14:46   #12
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymoss View Post
Something dating back to Telewest most certainly will have been removed from the Credit Scores years ago

My main issue with this story is how something dating back so far is still on record

GDPR states

"any personal data must not be kept any longer than it is necessary for the purpose for which the personal data is processed"

I would quest the number of years passed since Telewest existed that this term has been breached

14 years have passed since Telewest ceased trading
The ex-customer still owes a debt, regardless of how long ago it was, whether its no longer listed on their credit file or has become statute barred. VM could argue that its still appropriate to retain their databecause of that. I don't think Telewest did cease trading, it's operations were absorbed into VM (in fact legally Telewest took over NTL).
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Old 21-03-2021, 15:27   #13
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobboEdin View Post
Of course, this is all hearsay, anyway, from a source that usually provides less than full information.
How long ago? No information.
Was it really Telewest? Maybe but perhaps just a vague recollection. I still sometimes refer to Telewest but have no idea when it changed to NTL then Virgin Media.
He had to write to VM (Scotland I think he said). VM say it was from 20 years ago when he left Telewest, so it's definitely a debt related to Telewest but (he says) he's never been signed up to them. This all came about when he tried to sign up with VM.

---------- Post added at 15:08 ---------- Previous post was at 15:04 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadking View Post
They're not chasing after an old debt in general, but if somebody has arrears with a company, it's not unreasonable for them to ask for that debt to be cleared before signing up with them, again.
Fair point, but i'm surprised it wasn't written off years ago, for accounting purposes if nothing else.

When I worked in housing, if rent arrears hadn't been paid and the former tenant hadn't been traced after so long, the debt would have been written off. Otherwise the councils total rent arrears would look bad as it was inflated with debt that was unlikely to ever be repaid.

---------- Post added at 15:10 ---------- Previous post was at 15:08 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh View Post
If he did owe, he’s a credit risk, and could accumulate further debt...

It also depends what else is on their credit score - if they have other missed/late payments for other utilities/credit cards/loans, this will lower the overall credit rating - it's very rarely decided on one "negative" action.

Do you have a link to this story, please?
Fair point Re: credit risk, but they did say that if he paid it, he could have a VM account, so I don't think there were any other factors involved.

---------- Post added at 15:13 ---------- Previous post was at 15:10 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by pip08456 View Post
What a load of typical B/S from you again.
Unusually, your usual pig ignorant comment has served a purpose on this occasion as it could be an indication that this situation is not that common.

---------- Post added at 15:27 ---------- Previous post was at 15:13 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimUpNorth View Post
I think it's fair enough to refuse a service to someone who historically owes you money.

I used to work part-time for a company that collected debts for various companies and from my experience the majority of the people we visited denied owing anything and insisted the company was in the wrong. Strange how very often they 'wrongly' owed money to lots of different companies who all must have got their records messed up. I suppose it's just like the majority of people in prison are innocent too!
He does deny any knowledge of this debt, but as you say this could be because he doesn't want to pay it. He might owe it, but have genuinely forgotten about it or VM might indeed have got him mixed up with someone else.

He did ask about a subject assess request, but the VM staff said that they had no other information other than what he had given him eg the original invoice.

My main concern isn't about this particular individual though, but the fact that any of us can, on the face of it, be accused of owing money based upon very flimsy & very old information with no way of challenging it!

There used to be a PPV service on Sky that went bust called U>Direct. Years later a debt collection company bought their outstanding customer debts, again with very little information about how these debts arose. From what I remember they either had to be written off or were unenforceable because of this.

Last edited by RichardCoulter; 21-03-2021 at 15:36.
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Old 21-03-2021, 17:11   #14
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
He had to write to VM (Scotland I think he said). VM say it was from 20 years ago when he left Telewest, so it's definitely a debt related to Telewest but (he says) he's never been signed up to them. This all came about when he tried to sign up with VM.

---------- Post added at 15:08 ---------- Previous post was at 15:04 ----------



Fair point, but i'm surprised it wasn't written off years ago, for accounting purposes if nothing else.

When I worked in housing, if rent arrears hadn't been paid and the former tenant hadn't been traced after so long, the debt would have been written off. Otherwise the councils total rent arrears would look bad as it was inflated with debt that was unlikely to ever be repaid.

---------- Post added at 15:10 ---------- Previous post was at 15:08 ----------



Fair point Re: credit risk, but they did say that if he paid it, he could have a VM account, so I don't think there were any other factors involved.

---------- Post added at 15:13 ---------- Previous post was at 15:10 ----------



Unusually, your usual pig ignorant comment has served a purpose on this occasion as it could be an indication that this situation is not that common.

---------- Post added at 15:27 ---------- Previous post was at 15:13 ----------



He does deny any knowledge of this debt, but as you say this could be because he doesn't want to pay it. He might owe it, but have genuinely forgotten about it or VM might indeed have got him mixed up with someone else.

He did ask about a subject assess request, but the VM staff said that they had no other information other than what he had given him eg the original invoice.

My main concern isn't about this particular individual though, but the fact that any of us can, on the face of it, be accused of owing money based upon very flimsy & very old information with no way of challenging it!

There used to be a PPV service on Sky that went bust called U>Direct. Years later a debt collection company bought their outstanding customer debts, again with very little information about how these debts arose. From what I remember they either had to be written off or were unenforceable because of this.
Who is "he" or who is "someone"? For all we know, it's someone you've just made up.
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Old 21-03-2021, 17:34   #15
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Re: VM trying to collect old Telewest debt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardCoulter View Post
He had to write to VM (Scotland I think he said). VM say it was from 20 years ago when he left Telewest, so it's definitely a debt related to Telewest but (he says) he's never been signed up to them. This all came about when he tried to sign up with VM.

---------- Post added at 15:08 ---------- Previous post was at 15:04 ----------



Fair point, but i'm surprised it wasn't written off years ago, for accounting purposes if nothing else.

When I worked in housing, if rent arrears hadn't been paid and the former tenant hadn't been traced after so long, the debt would have been written off. Otherwise the councils total rent arrears would look bad as it was inflated with debt that was unlikely to ever be repaid.

---------- Post added at 15:10 ---------- Previous post was at 15:08 ----------



Fair point Re: credit risk, but they did say that if he paid it, he could have a VM account, so I don't think there were any other factors involved.

---------- Post added at 15:13 ---------- Previous post was at 15:10 ----------



Unusually, your usual pig ignorant comment has served a purpose on this occasion as it could be an indication that this situation is not that common.

---------- Post added at 15:27 ---------- Previous post was at 15:13 ----------



He does deny any knowledge of this debt, but as you say this could be because he doesn't want to pay it. He might owe it, but have genuinely forgotten about it or VM might indeed have got him mixed up with someone else.

He did ask about a subject assess request, but the VM staff said that they had no other information other than what he had given him eg the original invoice.

My main concern isn't about this particular individual though, but the fact that any of us can, on the face of it, be accused of owing money based upon very flimsy & very old information with no way of challenging it!

There used to be a PPV service on Sky that went bust called U>Direct. Years later a debt collection company bought their outstanding customer debts, again with very little information about how these debts arose. From what I remember they either had to be written off or were unenforceable because of this.
A link would be most helpful
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