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Forrester UK Holdings LLC / Harrassment for non-existent debts

1 England, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Review updated:

In 2003 my business, a small one which I run with my wife, acquired a card terminal through Lloyds TSB leased by Hypercom. Hypercom's leasing activities were sold to Forrester and after four years (in July 2007) we would no longer be liable to penalty for terminating the lease. A little later the bank started pushing us to cancel the lease in favour of one with another company which was partly owned by them.

The bank has treated us well and went as far as they reasonably and legally could to warn us of Forrester's likely reaction, so what ensued was no surprise. We were bound to give one months notice which we duly did and received details of how and where to return the terminal, which we also did. I also cancelled their direct debit.

Since then we have received around a dozen phone calls, mostly automatic ones, from America. I told them clearly that the contract was terminated in good order and that we did not owe them anything. I have no doubt about this having checked our bank statements and their schedule of payments due up to October 2008.

Two of those calls in particular stick in my mind - an early one when they threatened to send bailiffs in and one where I told them that Obama was going to close them down. The guy thought Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I told him I would not trust him (Obama), and then that I did not trust him either, after all they are both Americans [sorry American friends, but I was really wound up!], have a nice day, etc, etc. If it was not for these phone calls I might have thought they were just incompetent and nothing more than that. However, they are menacing and that is not a sufficient explanation!

My wife took the last call and, rather inadvisably in my opinion, asked for a copy of the contract and gave them our fax number. Now I am braced for streams of junk faxes. The 'contract' they faxed (their fax did not show their fax number) was not the original, did not show the actual dates or any signature. Interestingly it showed that quarterly payments were payable in arrears whereas they were actually due in advance and my payments records confirm that. So I am forced to the conclusion that not only do they make harrassing phone calls but are also, let us say, 'creative' with their documentation.

Today I received a demand for another quarterly rental payment which would, indeed, have been due if the contract was still in force. In the same post was a threat to refer the debt to their legal department. It really is laughable.

The fact is that Forrester UK Holdings LLC do not have a UK office. The terminal was returned to them c/o Hypercom in Salisbury and the address on the letters was 363 Stockley Close, West Drayton, Middlesex, UB7 9BL, United Kingdom, ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED. The last two lines give away the fact that the letter was not produced by a British office. Their spacing in the telephone number for replies also showed unfamiliarity with how UK phone numbers work. The address belongs to International Bonded Couriers, not Forrester. I have no reason to suppose IBC itself is not entirely genuine.

This could run and run, so I am going to try to enjoy it! I am assured that if they were foolish enough to pursue their wild allegations to the ultimate end they would have to bring a case before the Small Claims Court and it would simply not be worth their while even if they were right. But they are wrong anyway!

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Comments

  • Su
      26th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    A wee correction! Forrester have no connection at all with West Yorkshire, apart from having one or more dissatisfied customers or ex-customers there. I simply misunderstood the submission form. Whoops.

  • Pe
      4th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    It is nice to know that our company is not the only one out there with the same problem. Your story is very familiar, no, in fact the same as my own. I was phoned by their "legal dept" yesterday (3/12/08) saying that my account was overdue (having said that the terminal was returned in August 2008- a couple of weeks before the end of the contract - even though the contract was paid up - terminal returned via courier to the address supplied etc etc...) I have been told on numerous occasions that my payments were made in arrears (not!!!) and I have told them that they do not read my correspondence (sent with copies of original contract/invoices etc) which proves them wrong. Next time they phone - which no doubt they will (and they always make me angry...) I will be asking for proof of this in writing and a statement of account from them dated back to 2004 - which I doubt very much they will be able to provide - indeed, they do not respond to written correspondence with replies in the post, which one would expect!

    Having spoken to our new leasing company they are aware of a string of similar complaints from Bristish businesses. One gentleman, I was told, apparently got so fed up with them calling that he sent them an invoice for time wasted for a couple of thousand quid and never heard from them again!!!

    I think that Lloyds Bank (who on the whole are decent to deal with from a small business point of view) should take up this cause on behalf of the customers it got involved in this company in the first place (ok fairs fair, originally we dealt with Hypercom who transfered all its business to these people but that's not our fault and as far as I am concerned we were not asked to sign any further paperwork when this happened) and stop all this wasting of our time. Small business holders are finding it difficult enough at present without the added hassle from these people who don't know their proverbial from their proverbial!!!

    Maybe your right, enjoy the calls as in English law, they haven't got a leg to stand on and if they want to waste money on transatlantic calls, that's up to them!!!

  • Na
      18th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I cancelled my agreement in November 2007 and all equipment returned to their english office. I also ent a copy of my termination to their head office in America. After a further 9 months of arguing over whether I owed them anything, which I believed I didn't as the monthly payments had been taken and as I had the machine for over 8 years I did not owe them a termination fee, I did agree to make a final payment. This I did in September and the cheque was presented and cashed by Forresters. Since then I have received at least one phone call daily from their American call centre (which I do not answer) stating it is in connection with my hypercom lease, ASt first I did answer and inform them that I no longer have a lease nor any of their equipment nor do I owe them any money and requesting them to up date their records and remove my name and telephone number from their list. That was in October, this week they have filled my answering machine with their stupid calls. I have written again to them having to use recorded delivery as otherwise they say they haven't received anyh mail instructing them that shjould I receive any more calls from them I shall be instructing my solicitor to sue them for harrassment.

    I am sick to death of hearing the american drawl telling me about their toll fee number. During one call my husband actually picked the receiver up only to find it was a recording at the other end.

    If anyone has any ideas on how to deal with these ###s please let me know.

  • Bu
      24th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    Same experience in almost every detail as the others. Small business; LloydsTSB Business A/C; Hypercom Terminal; proper cancellation (after nine years) of equipment as instructed. Still receiving demands from Forrester.
    I have referred the matter to the Financial Ombudsman and informed Forrester as such.

  • Pe
      3rd of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    BEWARE Having just read some of these letter's regarding Forrester uk holding's i to am a victum of these calls & threats for money, i cancelled my terminal contract on the 22/7/2007 correct forms sent of which i have had for over 4 years and returned the equipment to a uk address at west drayton recorded delivery.I had to do this 2 times over several month's before it was signed for.the last payment to them made on 28/1/2008.Then the calls keep coming from the Idiots in America asking for the where abouts of eqipment & so on, several times over since 2007 and also asking for money i so called owed of which i did not and have proof of all payments made of which i also sent to them more than once.On Saturday 31/1/09 i recieved a final demand from Sloane Portland Associates which is a litigation service acting on forrester's behalf in Cheltenham telling me to pay outstanding amount of £158.64 within the next 7 days otherwise costs will be added to the amount & a county court judgement would be obtained with all relevant spill regarding this.I contacted these people for advise as Forresters have taken the big Brother attitude, i explained my situation and was advised to pay a reduced amount of £120.00 by debit card, with the rest being written off.which i have at this moment in time to stop any of these potential court action's being started as i could not take that risk.I told them that it is my intention to seek legal advice to claim this money back & incuring cost's.Has any body else had this problem from Forrester's and how do we stop it! It seems to easy for the big company's as of recent on Watchdog to take these action's on small business & individual.s.I also intend to contact watchdog with all my details of this forcfull abstraction of money.

  • Dr
      30th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Thank you all so much for your postings and comments.
    I have just had a round with Forresters, of automated phone messages saying I owed them money and of 1 call from the States and my 2 phone calls to the States.
    What emerged was they were trying to collect another round of payments (although I cancelled my contract, direct debit and returned my terminal in March), on the basis that they collected payment in arrears. Since they collect payment in advance, I suspected that this request was somewhat of a fraudulent nature.

    The first call to the States was taken by someone who appeared to be 'customer challenged' and was very rude. The second call was taken by someone quite polite, but whom I caught out on several points, confirming to myself that something was definitely amiss. I have all my paperwork, proof of payments and proof of the return of the terminal, so I was in no mood for someone trying it on.

    I feel that Lloyds need to come clean about this and offer support for those caught up in this harassment and threats.

  • An
      13th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Wow, In one way it is very comforting to know I'm not on my own. I have just on Oct 11th 2009 cancelled my contract with Forrester holdings. I too was a LLoyds customer and inherited them when hypercom transferred their business to them. However due to postal problems here the first correspondence I received was via a phone call I believe from India from a lady on November 12th demanding money over £120, which was extremely excessive in fact 6 months rental.I had cancelled my d/d and in my closing letter requested a bill for the 11 days in November. In their own contract which I never signed they clearly state if you have been with them less than 4 years this is due, I had been with them 6. Furthermore the machine was returned once they gave me the address via registered delivery with a payment for £10 to cover the days of November that had not been paid for, I also knew the machine itself was discontinued and was of no value to them. We ended our conversation both guilty of being shall we say cross with each other. The out come was that if the machine was returned by the end of November I would only have to £20.03, I agreed to pay £10 I was told this would not be accepted.

    Amazingly a letter arrived a few days letter from the same assistant demanding £120. then it was followed by a phone call from a gentleman wanting to resolve the situation. He stated the machine had been received but still wanted me to scan and email him proof of posting and he would then try and bring closure. This I duly did on November 20th. Only yesterday December 12th 09 I received a demand for£110 or they would persue me, charge me interest and take me to court. They had deducted the £10.

    Thankfully I have a good paper chain of letters. but now feel that I will send them £10.03 for payment to end of November as that is all they would get even if they did take legal proceedings. Surely they would have to take me to a small claims court. It does howeverscare me.

    I do feel too that LLoyds have some responsibility here as I was their customer and my terminal processed transactions that made them money. When i cancelled card net at the same time I had no problems what so ever.

    This is disgraceful excessive bully boy tactics.

  • An
      17th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I decided it was time to give as good as i was getting:

    The company, Forrester UK Holdings LLC and now First Collect International, (on their behalf), have been chasing me for a debt that does not exist for over a year now. The amount is a measly £190, or 'Final Settlement' of 'JUST' £63. They never answer the phone, don't open their post and they certainly don't have any email address's or regular contact names. In plain terms it is a scam, we have been sold out by Hypercom who sold on the leases for the Cardnet terminals recomended by Lloyds TSB. Interestingly, Lloyds no longer recommend this criminal outfit.

    Just take a look at the Google search results to know that we are not alone: Google: UK Forrester Holdings for the best results and you'll see what i mean.

    Should it go to court i am confident it will be laughed out of the building. They operate a policy of no-contact so you will have to tell them exactly how far you are willing to take it and, by recorded post too, to prove it even got there. I would rather die than pay these criminals.

    I have today sent them both this letter as i have now reported them to the FSA, I will also take the matter up with both my MP and the Press should they continue to harass me:

    (Contact Names should you need them are: Derek Johnson and Ms. Angel. Frankly i don't know how they get out of bed each morning.)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am not going to waste my time on either First Collect International or Forrester UK Holdings LLC any longer. You only have to look at the dates of the enclosed letters to deduce that neither ‘Company’ knows what they are doing. At least if you are going to operate a scam together, do it properly. What you are attempting, knowingly outside of UK regulations, won’t work on me.

    I have today registered a detailed complaint with the Financial Services Authority and also agreed to talk to the media, (about both companies)). I should warn you both now to choose your fights more carefully. I am good with a pen, I have all the time in the world and my partner is a Solicitor in a very large London firm. In effect I have a free Legal Team, do you? I am also today sending the Financial Services Authority further details of our correspondence along with a colourful selection of other people’s complaints.

    I should make you aware that I am now considering a case against you. I have suffered considerable stress because of your continued harassment. Stress that I can prove I have suffered, in court, and with GP letters/documentation. If you think all the costs you have already incurred, the postage costs, the man hours, (not to mention the possible legal fees), are somehow finally going to be worth the measly £62.96 “settlement fee”, (fees you have been trying to extort from me for over a year now), you couldn’t have been more wrong.

    I have now moved from my former address and so will now, thankfully, not even receive your ridiculous letters. My temporary telephone number you somehow procured goes dead in three days. As far as I am concerned, that is the end of it. You too would be wise to consider this matter closed. It is now in the hands of the FSA, and should you want it, the press.

  • An
      19th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    NEW CONTACT TO VENT YOUR FRUSTRATIONS!

    Alexandria Aponte Tel – 001 212 457 8438

    Email AlexandriaAponte@forresterukholdings.com

    GIVE HER HELL,

    X

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