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Books For Children / erroneous charging - debt recovery agency

1 Tonbridge, England, Kent, United Kingdom Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 07796673904

I subscribed to Books For Children last year - in May I believe - I was lured by a special offer & competition to win a laptop.
I subsequently tied myself into a contract to purchase 4 books by June 2010.
I found that once a member I was inundated with unsolicited offers both by mobile phone & email as well as having to cancel an 'editor's choice' sent to me monthly unless I cancelled it first. It seemed that any offers I did take up were not to count towards my 4 book quota commitment.

However the reason I am complaining today is as follows, please bear with me, it is longwinded - for this I blame BFC
I paid a bill on 28th November, by phone.
To the best of my knowledge I was paid up to date at that time & told I had cleared my debt.
Despite this I began to receive overdue payment reminders - each time the bill seemed to increase.
Initially, because it was leading up to Christmas time I just thought there was a 'lag' in their system & that it would all resolve itself shortly, internally, when they realised their billing mistake.
The letters stopped - reinforcing this train of thought on my part.
Then shortly before & after Christmas I began to receive letters from Groundwell Debt Recovery - for the money I had already paid.
I ignored the first couple of these - again thinking communication within the company was just inefficient - I was also away from some time over Christmas.
In the New Year I received another Groundwell letter or two - so I contacted Books For Children by phone - I believe on 4th February, having first checked my online account.
It stated that I owed a £1.97 late payment charge. I knew this was unfair as I had paid my bill many weeks previously.
The man I spoke to at Books For Children confirmed the following:-
Yes I had paid my outstanding bill on 28th November.
No I should never have received a late payment charge.
No I should never have received letters from Groundwell.
He told me that he had removed the £1.97 debt from my account
He confirmed that I didn't owe the company any money
He confirmed that he would notify accounts & Groundwell that I didn't owe any money
He confirmed that neither Groundwell nor Books For Children would contact me again with regard to this matter
He confirmed that it was understandable that I was unhappy and apologised on behalf of Books For Children. Finally he assured me that 'editor's choice' was no longer operating and that I would not receive any more unsolicited products.
Despite all this on 19th February I received another threatening letter from Groundwell (dated 15th Feb ref [protected]) stating that I owed £23.93 will all the associated intimidating blurb that comes in such letters.
I promptly checked my online account - it stated that I owed £1.97.
I tried to phone Books For Children but was told by a recorded message that I had to contact them during week day office hours.
I went online & sent a complaint to Customer Services detailing all the above, on the form they provide. I shall attach herewith what I could copy of this before I sent it and my complaint reference.
I also expressed my extreme displeasure with the company and that I would like to hear back from them in writing by Monday 21st Feb stating that they had cleared the matter up.
I wrote that I would like an apology and that I no longer wished to deal with such a company as their's due to the unscrupulous manner in which they did business, regardless of the contract I had with them.
I also included my land line suggesting that a phone call would also be appropriate but that essentially I needed assurance in writing that they were attending to this matter, their errors & my mistreatment as a customer.
I also said that I would be consulting my solicitor if I didn't hear from them.
I have yet to hear from them and it is now 4th March.

How you guys can help, hopefully...
I would desperately appreciate some advice from yourselves as to how I should proceed with all this.
I am loath to sit waiting for ages to speak with someone at BFC on the phone - I am a busy woman.
Clearly there is little point in complaining by phone or writing to them again as they lie on the phone & do not respond to written complaints..
I am frightened that the debt recovery agency are about to turn up on my doorstep & am concerned that this will have given me blacklisting points on my credit rating.
As you can imagine I am furious & absoultely certain I am not the first customer to be treated like this.
Please please advice me as to what I can do & please please warn other consumers to have nothing to do with this bullysome & unscrupulous 'outfit' - thieves too as far as I am concerned.
Yours sincerely
Nicola Litsa Aris

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Comments

  • If
      29th of Aug, 2011
    0 Votes
    Books For Children - Fraud
    Books for Children
    United States

    After numerous attempts, Book for Children will not let me cancel my account with them. I had tried on numerous occasions to stop them sending me books, even contacting delivery agents and asking them not to deliver packages from Books for Children.

    All attempts have been futile and now I have packages left every few months. I have not paid for them. Today, after receiving another threateing letter, I braved their telephone system and spoke to a lady who said that she CAN cancel these deliveries. Sadly, I still have to pay for a collection of 'My First...' books, my children are three and 14!

    I am aghast that I seem to have no rights and that they can demand money from me when I have specifically told them NOT to send me anything. Can anyone offer any advice please?

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