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Freemans PLC and Lowell

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  • Freemans PLC and Lowell

    I am after some advice as I am now at my wits end with Freemans PLC and Lowell, to cut a long story short I ran up a debt of £332.89 with Freemans for stuff ordered from their catalogue, I suffer from Bipolar and mental health issues. Before I defaulted I tired to contact then and sort things out, but they kept insisting I phone, which I can not do because of my anxiety and mental health, I wrote to them, emailed them and provided them with a doctors letter etc, but they kept sending letters etc to phone and I even spoke to them on live chat who said I need to phone, I then made an official complaint which they upheld, I still have the letter but it says

    "In my previous letter, I promised to provide you with a full response to your complaint as quickly as I could. I am now able to do so. I am pleased to inform you that, having considered all the matters raised, I have decided to uphold your complaint in full.

    After we sent you letters asking for you to call us in November 2018 and you contact us Via webchat to advice you were unable to talk on the phone, the advisor should have then passed your details to the relevant department to contact you by email, however this was not done, I would like to apologise and I have arranged feedback to the relevant team manager.

    With regard to your letter and attached documentation, I can confirm that your account has been closed under a code of severe illness. The account will remain as an unpaid amount however we will not pursue the account and no further collections activity will take place.

    Having regard to the legal requirements as they apply to the investigation of complaints, i must inform you this is my final response. If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, free of charge, but you must do so within six months of the date of this letter. If you do not refer your complaint in time, the Ombudsman will not have our permission to consider your complaint and so will only be able to do so in very limited circumstances."


    I then get a default notice and closing statement from Freemans, which is fair enough as they said it would be closed but remain as an unpaid account. However a couple of weeks later I got another letter saying they had sold the debt to Lowell and then Lowell got in touch. So at this point, I raised a complaint with the Ombudsman Service. I have still not heard from the Ombudsman apart from an email acknowledging my complaint and giving me a reference number. I then let Lowell know that I had raised a complaint and sent them a copy of my final response from Freemans saying the account is closed and they will not purse the account and no further collections activity would take place. They responded to say they would query this with Freemans and then today I got a letter from Lowell saying.

    "We can confirm our Customer Support team continue to manage your account, this team works closely with customers facing difficult circumstances. We have investigated our investigation. Based on careful consideration of the information provided, we believe this account is valid and owned by you.

    The reason for this decision is:

    Freemans have advised that they have not sent you a letter to your advising the account would be closed
    Freemans have also confirmed they are unable to locate any additional accounts under your address, could you confirm if a different address could have been used? We also kindly ask if you are able to provide us with any references or account numbers.
    Freemans has also requested a copy of the letter that you have received dated the 15/01/2019

    We've placed your account on hold for 30 days from the date of this letter. This will give you time to review the findings of our investigation and let us know if we've missed anything, or if you have further questions. If we don't hear from you within this time, we'll get in touch.


    My main gripe here is, I have already sent Lowell a copy of the complaint letter from Freemans dates the 15/01/2019, I mean I don't mind sending it again, but Freemans are outright saying they have not sent me a letter saying the account would be closed when I have it in black and white. The stress of all of this is making my mental health worse and I have already sent them a letter from my GP saying this as well as that I have difficulty in prioritising things and organising things but no one seems to be helping, I just don't know what to do, I have seen my GP who is referring me to my local mental health team because he is concerned about my deteriorating mental health and I just do not know what to do anymore, any advice would be most welcome.

    Thanks
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