Forrester UK Holdings LLC / Harrassment for non-existent debts
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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