Subject: Fwd: Fw: Payday firms face ban, Ombudsman slams council bailiff action, DWP admit to benefit targets, Fairer contracts for gym clubs, Benefit cap guide, Fake job offers lure low-income applicants, Claim for pothole damage, Tra
From: Tabitha
Date: 2/4/13 12:27 pm
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

The regulator revoked the company's consumer credit licence after it failed to improve its "unfair business practices", which included chasing non-customers for debts they had not taken.

(See below in relation to "MCO")



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Fw: Payday firms face ban, Ombudsman slams council bailiff action, DWP admit to benefit targets, Fairer contracts for gym clubs, Benefit cap guide, Fake job offers lure low-income applicants, Claim for pothole damage ... and so on ....
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2013 11:31:57 +0100 (BST)

Not sure if you are aware of this site.  A few interesting tidbits.


Here's the consumer email I receive which you might find interesting.


No trees were used in sending this email, but a few atoms were made to work.

From: "Consumer Action Group" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 09:11:07 +0000
Subject: Payday firms face ban, Ombudsman slams council bailiff action, DWP admit to benefit targets, Fairer contracts for gym clubs, Benefit cap guide, Fake job offers lure low-income applicants, Claim for pothole damage, Tra

march NEWSLETTER cag

You are subscribed as

Dear Darwin51

Payday loan firms face ban by OFT........

The Office of Fair Trading has told the 50 largest payday loan companies to clean up their act within 12 weeks or risk losing their licence to trade.

The OFT uncovered evidence of widespread irresponsible lending and failure to comply with the standards required of them.

Particular areas of non-compliance included:
  • lenders failing to conduct adequate assessments of affordability before lending or before rolling over loans
  • failing to explain adequately how payments will be collected
  • using aggressive debt collection practices
  • not treating borrowers in financial difficulty with forbearance.

Firms must demonstrate within 12 weeks that they are fully compliant, or risk losing their licence. Failure to cooperate with this process will trigger enforcement action.
Read more

.........OFT revokes MCO Capital's licence

The Office of Fair Trading has stepped up its action to curb rogue payday lenders by banning MCO Capital, which traded online as Help Loan.

The regulator revoked the company's consumer credit licence after it failed to improve its "unfair business practices", which included chasing non-customers for debts they had not taken.

Last August, the OFT found that MCO was failing to make identity checks on applicants, which led to it being targeted by fraudsters who used the personal details of more than 7,000 individuals to apply successfully for loans totalling millions of pounds.

The company was also accused of writing to people who it was aware may not have taken out loans, asking "unequivocally" for repayment. MCO ignored OFT requests to stop this practice.
Read more

Mark Hoban and DWP caught out on benefit sanction targets

The government has launched an inquiry after it was forced to admit that jobcentres have been setting targets and league tables to sanction benefit claimants despite assurances by the employment minister, Mark Hoban, to parliament this week that no such targets were being set.

A leaked email shows staff being warned by managers that they will be disciplined unless they increase the number of claimants referred to a tougher benefit regime.
Read more


Trace Lost, Dormant & Forgotten Accounts for free

Up to £645m in forgotten funds in bank accounts has been returned over the past five years through a free tracing service run by the financial industry.

Banks and Building Societies hold millions in dormant accounts money that people have forgotten about. Accounts are classified as dormant when no transactions have been made for a prolonged period or correspondence is returned as undeliverable. is a FREE service that brings together the three tracing schemes of BBA, BSA and NS&I into a single website.

All three provide comprehensive coverage of their respective areas:

* The BBA scheme covers 42 banks that take retail deposits in the UK
* The BSA scheme covers all 59 UK building societies
* The NS&I scheme covers all National Savings and Investments products as well as the old Post Office Savings Bank accounts.

You can use this to find lost current accounts, savings accounts or premium bonds simply by visiting and completing just one application form.
Read more

UKPC found guilty of trespass

Private car parking company UKPC Ltd issued tickets on a private development demanding £100.00 for each alleged breach of parking regulations.

Tickets were continually issued to cars parked not merely in an allocated bay, but on resident's own land, registered to them at the Land Registry.

Fed up with UKPC's behaviour, residents eventually issued a court claim for trespass.

They were awarded £150 damages for trespass, costs in the sum of £ 1280.26 and UKPC were forced to give undertakings to the Court not to enter their land and not to place any parking charge notices on their cars
Read more

University bans payday loan firms

Payday loan companies which offer short term, unsecured loans at high interest rates have been banned from advertising anywhere on the University of East London campus, including in magazines, on posters, or online.

UEL, which claims to be the first University to introduce the restrictions, is considering blocking access to payday loan websites, as it advises students to seek alternatives including debt counselling or credit unions.

Well done UEL, let's hope other Universities follow their lead
Read more

Apple To Pay $100m Over Kids App Downloads

Apple is set to pay out around $100m (£66m) to settle a US lawsuit which claims children were improperly charged while playing iPad and iPhone games.

It is alleged that poor safeguards meant kids were easily able to buy extra features for the free games without their parents' knowledge or permission.

So far this only applies to US consumers.

In the UK there are instances of children running up huge bills making in-app games purchases, over £3600 in one case.

So far Apple have refused to compensate UK consumers.
Read more

Lloyds snowed under with complaints

Last month Lloyds bank were fined £4.3m for being slow to settle PPI claims.

Now we know why. It turns out that even though overall complaints fell by 11 per cent, between July and December Lloyds were receiving 6000 complaints a day.

That's one every 15 seconds and 80% of these were about payment protection insurance.

No wonder they couldn't cope.
Read more

Payday loan crisis calls for help rocket

National Debtline received more than 20,000 calls for help with payday loans in the last 12 months - a 94% increase on the previous year.

In 2007 the charity took just 465 calls about payday loans, but now it's one of the most common debt problems people face.

The Money Advice Trust which runs the helpline has called on the OFT to use it's new powers to immediately suspend licences of lenders who persistently break the OFT’s own guidance on debt collection.

Labour MP Stella Creasy said "Despite review after review and recommendation after recommendation, these companies are continuing to get away with taking British consumers for a rough ride as the Government has yet to take decisive action to stop this spiral of debt."
Read more

Discretionary Housing Payments

It's not widely known that people claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, may be eligible for Discretionary Housing Payments, to help meet shortfalls in their housing costs.

They are intended to be short-term payments only and are not a permanent solution.

DHPs are not part of the normal Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit schemes.

As the name suggests, any payments are made at the Council's discretion.
Read more

Fitness clubs agree to fairer contracts

The OFT has forced health clubs to make it easier and cheaper for customers to cancel gym contracts.

David Lloyd Leisure, Fitness First and Bannatyne Fitness have agreed to change the ‘unfair’ small print that can lock members into deals as long as two years – and make it difficult for them to quit without penalty fees.

The changes will mean that members will not have to keep paying fees if it becomes difficult or unaffordable for them to continue using the gym - for instance if they lose their job or suffer an injury.

The clubs must also be more transparent when signing up new members and explain their cancellation rights upfront as part of the sales process.
Read more

The Benefit Cap – what you need to know

From April 2013, and later in some areas, there will be a limit on the amount of benefit you can get if you're of working age. This is called the Benefit Cap.

Some people will get less benefit than before, although at first, this will only affect you if you're getting Housing Benefit. Later, it could also affect you if you are getting Universal Credit.

Some people won't be affected by the cap at all, for example, if you qualify for Working Tax Credit or you're on some disability benefits.

It's important to know if you'll be affected, so that you can plan ahead. If the cap affects you, your Housing Benefit will go down from April 2013.
Read more

Fake job offers lure low-income applicants into money laundering

Students, people on benefits and new entrants to the UK are being recruited as money mules for criminal gangs abroad.

The fraudsters contact likely targets by sending out mass emails offering employment, or after sifting through CVs posted by job seekers on employment websites.

It looks like a proper job offer, but the real purpose is to channel cash from criminal activity through a person's own bank account, making them the fraudster's money mule.
Read more

Pothole trouble on the increase

Potholes are estimated to cause as many as 1 in 5 mechanical failures on UK roads and cost motorists an estimated £370 million every year.

Local councils have a duty to maintain the roads, but with budgetary cuts they are increasingly failing to maintain their roads.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you make a claim if a pothole has damaged your car.
Read more

Tesco Price Promise: How does it compare?

Tesco has launched a new price comparison and voucher scheme to ensure customers are automatically compensated if they could have shopped at a rival for less.

The new 'Price Promise' will compare the overall cost of a basket of shopping against the same or equivalent products sold by Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.

If the products could have been bought elsewhere for less, Tesco will automatically issue a voucher at the till for the difference in price, up to a maximum of £10.
Read more

20m calls go unanswered at HMRC

HM Revenue & Customs’ customer service target has been branded “woefully inadequate” by the Public Accounts Committee after 20 million phone calls went unanswered in 2011-12.

A report published by the committee found that it cost callers £136m while they waited to speak to an HMRC adviser last year.

It also revealed that against its target of responding to 80% of letters within 15 days, the department managed to reply to just 66%.

Not to worry though, if you can't get through on the phone, you could always pay them a visit.

Except that you won't be able to since HM Revenue & Customs is closing all 281 of its enquiry centres next year.
Read more

Judge reduces £25k debt to £1

Following an application by a debt collecting agency for a Charging Order, a judge refused enforcement & any future enforcement attempts.

But a prevously awarded CCJ was to remain in place, as the debt did exist.

At a hearing 4 years later to remove the CCJ, it transpired that the DCA had never had the debt officially assigned to them.

The judge reduced the £25k debt, which had never been denied, to just £1.

He made the debtor hand over a £1 coin and the DCA had to sign, in front of the judge that the £1 was accepted as full and final payment.
Read more

Council forced to refund bailiff fees

A report by the Local Government Ombudsman has lambasted the LB of Redbridge in relation to the enforcement of PCN where notices were sent to previous address.

The Ombudsman found the Council to be at fault in that -

(a) The bailiffs acted incorrectly on behalf of the Council when they found that the address on the warrant they held was different from the address the motorist lived at;

(b) It relied on repealed legislation to reject a request for a refund;

(c) It did not consider the complaint carefully and constantly placed the blame on the motorist for what had happened;

(d) It was not willing to accept it was at fault.

The Ombudsman decision makes it very clear
that Councils have to take responsibility for their bailiffs’ actions.
Read more

Have you had problems recycling your old phone?

There are dozens of websites offering to buy your old mobiles, but some don't seem to live up to expectations.

A common problem appears to be that the initial attractive offer is drastically reduced when the phone is sent to them and the seller is then required to pay up to £12 to get their phone back.

If you have suffered from 'bait and reduced' offers, we'd like to hear of your experiences.
Read more

Bailiffs pursuing Consumer Debt such as pay day loans.

We are seeing a few people report that they are receiving letters from bailiffs in respect of defaulted pay day loans or other consumer debt.

If you have received communication from a bailiff company and it is not in connection with a warrant / fine / court judgment / council tax, we'd like to hear from you.
Read more

Bosch dishwashers recall

In July 2011, a product recall was issued for a fault in a batch of 632,000 Bosch dishwashers sold between 1999 and 2005, which, in some circumstances, can cause fire.

To date only 25% have been traced meaning that 478,940 remain unaccounted for and are still potentially dangerous.

Check to see if your model is affected.
Read more


You are receiving this Newsletter as a registered CAG user. We have over 341,000 registered users.

Unsubscribe me from this mailing list

Reclaim the Right Ltd. – reg. 05783665
Reg office: - 923 Finchley Road, London NW11 7PE


Always Record Your Phone Calls

Important Warning

Never speak to your creditors on the telephone unless you're recording your call. Otherwise you will end up receiving explanations or promises that later on you are unable to prove.

On the other hand if you record your calls, then you will be able to take advantage of any admissions or stupidities which they tell you over the phone.

TrueCall (see panel below) is by far the best, but there are plenty of cheaper recording devices on the market.

On the forums there are numerous examples of people who regret not recording their calls. Don't let this happen to you.

Stop Nuisance Telephone Calls with Truecall
You should always record your calls when dealing with suppliers, services or speaking to a company in respect of your finances.

You do not have to give a warning that you are recording if it is for personal use.

CAG is no longer able to supply Truecall and the CAG offer of the free truecall memory card has now expired.

Amazon has the TrueCall package at the best price. Click on the link to read the reviews.
...Read more

How to....

Below are links to useful guides:

Applying for a set-aside

ATOS Complaints Procedure

Banking Conduct of Business -BCOBs - The Hidden Rules

BCOBS - Common Examples of Unfair Treatment

BCOBS - Force Your Bank to Play Fair

BCOBS - Protect Yourself from Unfair Treatment

Become Debt Free in 10 Steps:
1. Don't Panic
2. Priority and Non-Priority Debts
3. Personal Budget Sheet
4. A Safe Bank Account
5. Priority Debts
6. Non-Priority Debts and Self-Negociation
7. Non-Priority Debts - Repayment Options
8. Non-Priority Debts - Repayment Options2
9. The Perils of Consolidation
10.Frequently Evaluate Your Situation

Charging Orders

Continuous Payment Authority - How to Stop Them

Credit Card Holders Rights

Debt Threats- A Quick Self-Help Guide

Distance Selling Regulations

ESA50 Guide

Eviction or Repossession Guide

Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

How to Complain - A Comprehensive Guide

Mental Health and Debt Guide

NEW!! OUT NOW - BAILIFFS: The Law and Your Rights


A consumer friendly guide to dealing with bailiffs, at a consumer friendly price!

JUST £13.95 (plus £2 p&p).
Buy now

Links to the Forums

The Consumer Forums Main Board
All the Consumer forums at a glance.

The Library
Template letters, videos and other useful material.

Consumer Mall
Come here if you are new.

Community Centre
Off topic chat

Banks, Loans & Credit
For problems with your Bank, Building Society, or any other Financial Institution

For disputes not involving sales or debt.

Retail Goods & Services
For problems you are experiencing on the High Street or Online

Debt problems
Including Debt Collectors and Bailiffs.

Latest Consumer News
The latest consumer news stories here.

Work and Social
Employment and benefits

Review Centre
Your opinions on Products and services

Including Parking, DVLA and Garage services.

Regular updates of relevant articles and video guides.

Join other Caggers in the blogging community.

CAG Goes Mobile

We now have a lightweight style for mobile phones.

If you are on the move, you can access the Consumer forums from wherever you are.

We've also just activated Tapatalk on the forum. So if you download the app, it should make us more accessible

Please let us have feedback as to how it all works

Click here

Record Your Mobile Phone Calls
Total Recall is a mobile phone app that allows you to easily record all or just some of your calls

You should download the trial App first and try it out for the trial 30 day period to make sure that it is fully compatible with your telephone and that you are happy with the way it works. We would encourage you not to buy it without having tried it first.....
Read more

CAG Bookstore

A selection of publications to help you assert your rights, including the new 2010 edition of Patricia Pearl's excellent County Court Guide...Read more

Stop Nuisance Telephone Calls with Truecall

You should always record your calls when dealing with Suppliers, Services or speaking to a company in respect of your finances.

You do not have to give a warning that you are recording if it is for personal use.

Amazon has the TrueCall package at the best price. If you link to this via CAG's Amazon link, this will benefit us. Click on the link to read the reviews.
...Read more

Help CAG - Download our Toolbar

Would you like to help us?

Merely by installing our toolbar and using our search box for all of your searches, you can help us a lot ‑ and it won't cost you anything.

Whenever you use a sponsored link we will get a few pence. It's as easy as that.

It’s compatible with Internet Explorer and with Firefox and will also help you to keep an eye on your CAG messages

You can download the CAG toolbar here

Bailiff Law

These are now back in stock, but this is a very popular book and selling fast. Please Note: This Special price is Unique to CAG and time limited.

Once you have done this, your prices will be held at the rate you were paying before the price