Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Boy'dup

legal advice please

Recommended Posts

A friend of mine has recently encountered a debt problem at university, after paying a deferred payment to the gym on campus they said it was pending for some time afterwards. They asked him to pay afterwards but he said just to cancel the membership (Which he hadnt used yet). Possibility is that the card had expired but we dont know this, then the university has sent the matter onto a debt collection agency.

his problem is, not a single one of the letters has come with the name correctly spelt, and they've all come with the wrong address too, so he's wondering whether they have the right to pursue the case. He is also wondering about his options to counteract the matter

cheers for any advice given

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He should tell them that his name is H.S.B.C. Barclay-Lloyd and refer the debt collectors to Messrs Brown & Darling for any amount owing.

Seriously, if he has bought a service and not paid for it, irrespective of using it (and gym memberships are one such thing many buy and don't use), then I'd say he was duty bound to pay for it. As for names and addresses being wrong, he has the letters, so I'd say that doesn't wash either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He should tell them that his name is H.S.B.C. Barclay-Lloyd and refer the debt collectors to Messrs Brown & Darling for any amount owing.

Seriously, if he has bought a service and not paid for it, irrespective of using it (and gym memberships are one such thing many buy and don't use), then I'd say he was duty bound to pay for it. As for names and addresses being wrong, he has the letters, so I'd say that doesn't wash either.

the only reason hes got the letters is that a highly dyslexic friend of ours always goes to the post room for us and he cant understand the difference in the names, none have ever been put under his door as is the usual policy when you're in trouble with the uni. he never used the service because they never took payment so he never got a membership. It would be like asking to buy a mars bar, not having the money, so they dont give it to you but they take you to court anyway.

just to explain, the post room works for 6 buildings, and post is in order of name, ie the D box may contain the surnames Davis etc. His name and the other name that keeps appearing are similar, but very much a different name unlike most misspellings with just a letter off. also the letters have been on occasion adressed to one of the other buildings with the same name. University arent being cooperative in telling him if this other person exists or not which is helpful of them.

Edited by Boy'dup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say if he signed a contract he is legally bound to pay.

I assume it would be in his court to prove he didn't receive the letters and as they weren't returned to sender, they will assume he has received them.

He could try saying he never received any communication and therefore didn't think his membership had started. Hopefully then they will check their system and see the address and name is incorrect.

He should have sorted it sooner though to be honest, not wait until the Uni goes to debt collecters.

Tell him to go see his student advisor and say he's suffering with stress and he's thinking of withdrawing from his course over it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would say if he signed a contract he is legally bound to pay.

I assume it would be in his court to prove he didn't receive the letters and as they weren't returned to sender, they will assume he has received them.

He could try saying he never received any communication and therefore didn't think his membership had started. Hopefully then they will check their system and see the address and name is incorrect.

He should have sorted it sooner though to be honest, not wait until the Uni goes to debt collecters.

Tell him to go see his student advisor and say he's suffering with stress and he's thinking of withdrawing from his course over it.

the length of time isnt that long in all honesty, its just the fact that he never thought to pick up the letters addressed to the mystery person, so he recieved all the letters in one go about 2 days ago when our friend picked them up (as we have noticed theyve been there for a while) so the friend in trouble opened them to find allsorts of warnings and then the debt collectors letter. The debt collectors letter is quite literally farsical, the layouts terrible, it came with staple holes where theyd stapled the wrong side, you can see a shopping list imprinted on it and also its filled with terrible grammar and spelling.

the main thing for him is getting the debt people off his back, he'll pay membership if he must but he doesnt want to have to pay the debt agency for their time which has worked out at 35% of the orignal debt.

just need some serious advice and if he doesnt have a leg to stand on he'll have to pay up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having gone through a smiliar (although very different) experience with bank, generally speaking there is very little you can do about situations like these.

The paper work will more than likely be correct and the detail of the client will probably be correct in the Gym's computer system.

As far as a court is concerned that is all that matters.

My Advise would be to call them and figure out a payment plan that he can afford for the money that he owes and make sure that he is not charged for anymore costs.

Good luck to him either way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my uni we have a legal person that can deal with any debt problems. I suggest your mate gets in contact with someone who deals with debts etc at his uni as they can pretty much sort anything out straight away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definately go and see a student advisor they will be able to give him info etc. If he has signed a contract regardless of whether the gym took the money or not he is legally bound to that contract to pay for the duration it states. Did he have a 14 day period by which to cool off his decision to join the gym? he could argue that his failure to pay was due to his deciding against joining. However, this might not hold up as he would also have to tell them verbally or in writing, check the contract for this. If he didn't sign a contract they have no right to any monies. .

You are not allowed by law to open letters that aren't addressed to you. If you know a letter is merely been misspelt and it is for you then fine, but if there are many things wrong with the address and the name isn't correct, you can't be expected to know it's for you and open what could be someone elses mail. I would say that the 'appropriate' measures HAVEN'T been taken by the gym and they shouldn't have contacted the debt collectors, if this is the case for all correspondance from them. Did he leave a phone number on which they could have called him? Was there any other way they could have contacted him other than letter? if so why didn't they use it

I would say, that they gym haven't taken the necessary steps to get in touch with your mate as they have not addressed their letters for payment to HIM correctly. He should take the letters to them and state that they haven't taken reasonable steps to get in touch with him due to clerical errors beyond his control, point out the correct spelling on the contract etc. Apoint out that by law he shouldn't have opened these letters are they are not addressed to him.

He should then (if he has signed a contract) pay the monies owed directly to the gym, as his contract is with them still, due to their administrative incompetance. The Debt collection agency has also misspelt etc their letter to him and so have also failed to ensure the information is completely correct before forging ahead with their collection. The gym should, while your mate is there, phone the debt collection agency and confirm with them that payment has now been taken and then send them, and a copy to your mate, a written acknowledgement of the debt being cleared.

Make sure your mate keeps all his letters, contract etc.

If you want any more info check this site out:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBen...ars/DG_10034289

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

running is not the best option... it will leave to more pain in the end

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
running is not the best option...

He could of done that on a treadmill if he actually went the gym :lol:

:tumbleweed:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He could of done that on a treadmill if he actually went the gym :lol:

:tumbleweed:

Cheeky :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×