Daily Mail

The Claims Guys are hounding me for £11,000 I don’t owe

- Money Mail’s letters page tackles all your financial headaches

ABOUT four years ago, I contacted The Claims Guys regarding a possible payment protection insurance claim.

The firm sent an email on January 15 this year saying that my claim had been successful and I was due around £30,000 from Lloyds Bank.

The company’s commission, which it said I should pay immediatel­y, was about £8,000. The email had a copy of a letter from Lloyds to someone with my name, but the address in North Wales means nothing to me. I tried many times

to contact The Claims Guys but only got a repeat demand for payment.

The firm has phoned many times, always from different numbers. When I call back there is no answer. I have been bombarded with text messages demanding payment and have now been told that the debt has been passed to a debt collector.

I then got a letter saying I owe £11,137.95 without any explanatio­n as to why the sum had increased.

I’ve never heard from Lloyds. I’m 72, live on my own and in August I had a heart attack. Please help.

M. C., Beckenham, Kent. THE Claims Guys doesn’t offer a phone number, though it does appear to use phones for chasing ‘debts’. Nice.

I emailed but the ‘guys’ refused to engage with me, demanding further proof that I worked for the Daily Mail. Well, The Claims Guys, here is your proof. As you have not heard from Lloyds, you were worried that the payment demands were a scam.

They included a Notice of Legal Action sent on May 27 demanding £7,964.20. This letter claimed that you had entered an agreement for the firm to act on your behalf.

You returned this, disputing the debt. This culminated in a letter from a debt collector on October 20, demanding £11,137.95. There was no breakdown of how the original demand had grown by £3,173.75.

When they knew the Daily Mail was on the case, The Claims Guys emailed you to say it was waiving its fee. It said your claim had not progressed past a ‘free’ PPI check. It apologised and offered £150 compensati­on.

It told you it could not speak to me because of data protection regulation­s. This is ironic, given that it appears to have committed a data breach by sending a third party’s PPI claim details to you. I had also supplied authorisat­ion from you. I emailed the firm’s compliance officer for comment. The reply: ‘We do not intend to comment on or provide a statement for your article.’

I asked Lloyds Bank about the supposed £30,000 payment. After a thorough investigat­ion, it confirmed: ‘Our records show that PPI checking enquiries were submitted via The Claims Guys several years ago and Mr C did not have PPI. This is a very unfortunat­e case where The Claims Guys made an error and contacted the wrong customer.’

Mistakes do happen, but the fact that the firm ignored your protests and continued to chase you for money you never owed suggests you were entangled with a very nasty operation. SCOTTISH Friendly contacted me on May 1 to say my life insurance policy would expire on August 14. After I challenged it, the firm confirmed that this could, in fact, be converted to more basic life insurance.

The premium was set to reduce from £58.88 per month to £5.96 per month from August 14.

However, £58.88 continued to be debited from my account in August, September and October, resulting in an overpaymen­t of £158.76. I have telephoned Scottish Friendly on five occasions without success. M. S., Rowlands Gill,

Gateshead. SCOTTISH Friendly responded to your complaint with a more or less blank letter! I may try this for my page over Christmas, when I want to put my feet up. I am sure that my Editor would not object.

Scottish Friendly has apologised, refunding £158.75 overpaymen­t and adding £100 compensati­on.

You told me: ‘It has annoyed me intensely that the firm reacted to your interventi­on immediatel­y, but Joe Soap can just be ignored.’

Scottish Friendly blames ‘a manual processing error’ and says it is ‘extremely sorry this happened and apologises for the inconvenie­nce and distress this has caused’. DRIVING home into a setting sun, I clipped a hidden, badly marked road-island kerb which blew out both my nearside tyres.

RAC told us numerous times that we did not have cover. I thought I had covered all possibilit­ies by including breakdown, roadside rescue and unlimited recovery to any UK destinatio­n.

Many hours later we were rescued by a one-man recovery firm, who had needed to drive around several towns to find fuel during the shortages. It cost £220, which we considered rather reasonable in the circumstan­ces.

RAC’s renewals team told me this was all a mistake, but its complaints team says I am not covered for a collision. The policy schedule says: ‘Accident Care — if you are involved in an accident, we’ll recover you.’

A. J., Basildon, Essex. RAC tells me you should have been put through to the accident care team, which would have arranged for you to be recovered and taken home. It would then seek to recover the costs from your insurer or the third-party insurer, if someone else had caused the accident. As a last resort, it would invoice you.

To apologise, RAC has paid your £220 recovery bill. A spokespers­on told me: ‘We made a mistake by not putting Mr J through to our accident care team. We’ve offered an extra £100 as a gesture of goodwill which we hope helps restore his faith in us.’ ÷ WRITE to Tony Hazell at Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliff­e House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email asktony@dailymail.co.uk — please include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisati­on giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibi­lity for them. No legal responsibi­lity can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.

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