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Lowell county court claim - Defence

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  • Lowell county court claim - Defence

    Hi all,

    I have received a county court claim form from Lowell for the amount of £277 which includes cost. This debt has been passed on from BT for internet service. The thing is i don't owe the money, the particulars state that

    The defendant failed to maintain the required payments and the service was terminated.

    I was out of contract with BT at this time, looking for another provider as monthly bill went up to £53.49 per month.

    The last payment i made to BT was on the 4th of September 2016 for £53.49. I believe each payment is in advance for the month ahead?
    I then signed up with Talk Talk on the 17th September 2016. I subsequently attempted to cancel my service with BT however my call was put on hold twice for a very long time and then terminated.
    I then tried Live chat and explained i have signed up with Talk Talk and want to cancel, they told me this has to be done by phone. So again I tried and explained to the agent i keep having my call ended, only for him to terminate my call after saying he was transferring me.

    Absolutely fed up I decided I'd done my best so stuff them. I went live with Talk Talk on the 5th October 2016.

    However i received another two bills from BT the following two months despite being with Talk Talk and not them. Then I received my first letter from Lowell.

    Where do i stand with defending this claim, as firstly i was not in contract at the time so no cancellation fee, how could they bill me for a service I was receiving from another provider?

    Talk Talk also told me they would let BT know i had switched as I told them I'd tried to cancel but my calls were ended.

    I have all the emails for payment dates and the date i switched to Talk Talk.

    What's the first step to take? Any advice appreciated

    Thankyou
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Bump

    Can anyone advise if I should just like my defence online and will that mean a hearing will be scheduled or do they just decide based on this?

    The online system doesn't seem to give the option of attaching files.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hiya xxx

      There's a bit of a process to go through, what file are you trying to attach ? Have you already written a defence ?

      You just want to acknowledge the claim for now ( with intent to defend in full), then gather some information to assist with your defence. A Subject Access Request (Letter ) to BT would be a good start to find out the background to the debt.

      i received another two bills from BT the following two months
      Do you still have those? If not they should come up in the SAR response.

      If you can type out the Particulars of claim from the claim form too you will be able to request any documents mentioned in that.

      Had you received a letter before action from Lowell ( would have been just over a month ago ? )




      “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

      Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

      Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

      If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

      Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi thanks for your reply

        I went on the money claim site and chose defence I started it but haven't completed as I wanted advice first. I probably did receive that letter from lowell as I'd received many and ignored, i was intending on writing to them but clearly not in time.

        Particulars are

        The defendant entered into an agreement with BT PLC under account reference ****** ('the agreement')

        The Defendant failed to maintain the required payments and the service was terminated.

        The agreement was later assigned to the Claimant on 22/02/2018.

        Then just the amount that was owed £188.27 plus costs

        I received this letter dated 24th January.

        I'm stumped by how they can say the service was terminated as I failed to maintain payments when I was with Talk Talk at this time, personally I cant fathom how they could win this case.

        I wanted to attach the emails of when i switched provider and the bills I received from BT the following two months

        So first step acknowledge claim with intent to defend? Can I do that without filling in the defence?

        That site is very temperamental also kept logging me out but rather that than by post

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          YEs acknowledge the claim with intent to defend in full - it's not binding and then your defence will be due 33 days from the Date of Issue printed on the claim form, if you decide to defend after gathering some info.

          You wouldn't attach emails at this stage in any case, they'd come later on when it comes to exchanging Witness Statement and exhibits. Gives you a bit of time to work out what the actual position is, and then if you figure out it is owed, you can try to settle it outside of court without getting a CCJ against you ( presumably that's the aim as having a CCJ against you for the next 6 years is probably worse than paying the £200 debt even on principle )

          so SAR ( letter below) to BT

          CPR 31.14 to Lowell - ask for agreement, notice of termination/default and notice of assignment. ( they have tried not to actually 'mention' any of them but still ask for them anyway ) I'd also put on the letter that you'd appreciate a full breakdown of the account from the xx/xx/xxxx ( put the approx date you tried to cancel with BT ) to date.
          CPR 31.14 Request
          Subject Access Request Letter


          Actually as you mentioned TalkTalk were supposed to deal with the switchover - might be worth sending them a SAR and limiting it date wise to the date you started with them for the next 3 months or something ( just so you aren't overloaded with pointless info )

          So there is a bit of a process to the court claims;

          Acknowledge claim - extends time to get docs and consider defence to 33 days from date of issue
          Once a defence is filed the claimant has 28 days to respond.
          Receive a directions questionnaire from the court, which you complete and return. This tells the court where to send the claim (ie your local court).
          Probably have a mediation appointment by telephone - good point to settle out of court if needed.
          Your local court contact you in a few weeks after they get the files and give directions as to the next steps - normally to swap witness statements and evidence, and then give you a hearing date ( normally ends up being 5/6 months from issue of the claim ).
          Have the hearing.
          Then you have 28 days to pay in full if you don't want the CCJ registered for 6 years. ( so if you want to defend fully it's worth saving up over next few months to ensure you can pay it off in one go if it all goes wrong )
          “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

          Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

          Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

          If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

          Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for your help!

            I have acknowledged claim with intent to defend in full on the website, so that gives me 28 days?

            I will get both of those letters sent off asap.

            What if, which I'm guessing may well happen, i Don't receive the information back in time to complete my defense, can I ask for an extension?

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi just to update, i have today received a reply from the SAR to BT, it states

              Whilst we normally aim to respond within one month of your request, we are currently receiving an exceptionally high volume of requests and we therefore need extra time to be able to respond.

              Then goes onto to say within 3 months. Obviously this won't be in time for my defence so do I just state this on my defence?

              Now just waiting on response from Lowell after CPR

              Comment


              • #8
                No need to mention the SAR in the defence, really its for your own info and to use to kybosh any incorrect assertions made by the claimants.

                Your defence is due in by 26th Feb at the latest I think ( issue date 24th Jan ?)
                “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh okay yes that's correct, so just await Lowell's response and then think of drafting up a defence? I will do that on the money claim site and by post just to be sure

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lowell solicitors received CPR letter on monday 4th of Feb, no reply as of yet, if i don't receive anything do i just mention this in my defence when the time comes?

                    Thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes On the previous question - whether or not you get responses from Lowell you need to file your defence before the 26th xxx

                      There is an example here for amendment Example Defence

                      “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                      Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                      Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                      If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                      Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Reply from lowell solicitors re CPR letter

                        This matter relates to a former BT plc account opened on 13 October 2014. The last payment of £53.49 was made on 4 September 2016 and the account defaulted around 29 March 2017.

                        Then goes on to say as this is a former telecommunications matter it is not regulated by CCA

                        We have asked our client to provide us with a copy of your statement and we will contact you once we receive a response

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They said what I knew anyway, the last payment is correct so i dont understand their claim, I will start working on the defence to post of Monday

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "wanted to attach the emails of when i switched provider and the bills I received from BT the following two months "

                            What do those emails and bills say? ( so we can include in defence )
                            “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

                            Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                            Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps

                            If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                            Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They are the standard monthly bill emails from BT saying ''You're bill for this month is now ready please log in to your account to pay"

                              The emails from Talk Talk are confirmation of when i signed up with them and when i went live with their broadband.

                              I will attach on here later x

                              Comment

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                              SHORTCUTS

                              Pre-Action Letters
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                              Check dates
                              Income/Expenditure
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                              If you received a court claim and would like some help and support dealing with it, please read the first steps and make a new thread in the forum with as much information as you can.


                              NOTE: If you receive a court claim note these dates in your calendar ...
                              Acknowledge Claim - within 14 days from Service

                              Defend Claim - within 28 days from Service (IF you acknowledged in time)

                              If you fail to Acknowledge the claim you may have a default judgment awarded against you, likewise, if you fail to enter your defence within 28 days from Service.




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