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Beware of J D Williams


morddwyd

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I have for some time had a customer account with Julipa, one of the J D Williams group of companies (on behalf of my wife I hasten to add, it’s a ladies’ clothing company!).

Recently had an arrears letter saying I had fallen behind with my payments.

I was a bit nonplussed because all my orders had been made using a debit/credit card and I had no recollection of ever applying for a credit account.

I asked them for a copy of the credit agreement, but they refused, saying that they were under no legal obligation to supply one.

I found that a bit strange –

“You owe us money”

“Prove it”

“We don’t have to”!

The saga then started.

To cut a long story short, when I looked into things there was no doubt I had received the goods, and my debit card had not been charged.

I suspect that then, while they had sent me statements, I had not been expecting credit statements from this company and I had put them straight through the shredder as junk mail without opening them (lesson to be learned here!).

After much to-ing and fro-ing they sent me a final statement and I sent a cheque by return in “full and final settlement” (including the interest, the overdue charges and reminder letter charge as these were clearly my own fault) which they cashed.

Two weeks later they sent a letter telling me that between writing the letter and my cheque arriving further interest charges had accrued, and I also had to pay for this further letter.

I pointed out that they had presented my cheque sent in full and final settlement and would they therefore please send me the address of the ombudsman and the help leaflet (for those of you who have not been down this road that is the way you have to do it).

I then got a letter saying they had decided to cancel the debt and my account was clear.

Yesterday I had a letter saying I owe them £22!

Sorry, further correspondence will not be entered into.

I know the FE is a bit wary of threads about individual companies, so I just present my own experiences; it is up to others whether they pay them any attention.

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Forum Editor

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Not to put too fine a point on it, that all sounds like an administrative cock-up. I can understand how you must feel.

I'm not averse to threads about individual companies, by the way - just to posts advising people not to deal with said companies because of one person's bad experience.

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morddwyd

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I didn't give the full exchange, but it was an administrative error (on my part too, of course) which involved debt collection agencies and the threat of Sheriff's Officers!

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dms_05

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I had exactly the same experience with this group. Exactly the same reasons as well (ie not expecting an invoice so their mountain of junk mail that seemed to arrive almost daily was destroyed unopened). It took years to sort out because they have hopelessly ineffective administration. I wrote to the Chairman of the group and he didn't reply, I took steps to find out individual Officers of the group and wrote to each of them and they didn't reply. Like the OP I was annoyed they (a) hadn't taken payment by CC as preferred method of payment (b) added additional charges at every turn. Avoid is the best advice.

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spuds

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As anyone thought about taking this up with the FSA or Trading Standards?.

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morddwyd

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FSA will not touch anything-of this nature until you have exhausetd the company's normal complaints system.

The companies know this and string you along, hoping you will back down until, as I did, you request a "final letter" which must contain advice on how to make a complaint to the FSA.

I suspect trading standards would follow a similar route.

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