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Author Topic: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius  (Read 11377 times)

MillyMollyMandy

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The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« on: January 22, 2013, 01:18:27 PM »
I thought the forum would like to read an official response to an email I sent to the Office of Fair Trading regarding Atradius:

Quote
Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the Act)
Complaint against: Atradius Collections Limited
Licence No:  Unlicensed
Thank you for your email of 18 January 2013 in which you raise a complaint against
the company above (Atradius), in respect of its debt collection practices. I
understand that the company is pursuing you for a debt on behalf of Getty Images.
You report that on notifying Atradius that you do not owe the claimed debt, you
were told that the debt could not be disputed.
Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, if a business wishes to be involved in
activities relating to consumer credit or hire, including debt collection and debt
management, they must have a consumer credit licence. The Office of Fair Trading
(OFT) has duty to enforce the Act, along with local authority Trading Standards
Services (TSS).
Upon checking the information provided in your email, it appears that this trader
does not hold a consumer credit licence. I would therefore suggest that you also
forward to your local TSS, who may be able to provide further advice, or you may
wish to consider seeking independent legal advice.
I hope you find this information useful.

I have the original response should forum moderators wish a copy  8)

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 01:22:57 PM »
this would probably be a worthwhile addition to our library of documents, I'll be sending you a PM with my email address, if you would be so kind as to scan and send me the entire document.. Perhaps you would also consider sharing your letter to the OFT as well, so it will be one neat little package..I will certainly redact any of your infomation ..
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

Mulligan

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 02:10:54 PM »
If I'm reading this correctly, Atradius Collections Limited is misrepresenting itself as being legally sanctioned to collect debts when in fact it is NOT licensed to do so.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 02:12:18 PM »
If I'm reading this correctly, Atradius Collections Limited is misrepresenting itself as being legally sanctioned to collect debts when in fact it is NOT licensed to do so.

Thats how i read it as well...shocking!!
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

I have a few friends around here..

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 03:57:54 PM »
I too find it rather interesting that Getty would use a company not properly licensed to do the job requested of them.

But then again remember that this is the company (Getty) who currently has a class-action lawsuit against them in Israel for using Marot Image to send out demand letters when apparently they had no right to do so as well as sending out demand letters for public domain images here in the states. With a history of unethical business practices this company has while it may be somewhat shocking it's not too surprising.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

nedmundo

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 05:57:03 PM »
@MillyMollyMandy

Excellent work!
I'm surprised they said the 'debt' could not be disputed. They usually deny that its a debt and instead say it's a claim.

Couch_Potato

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 05:50:03 AM »
Another forum poster here called them out on that already and their response was that they are simply pursuing you for copyright infringement on behalf of Getty rather than debt collection.

Regardless of the legality of their actions there is no question that if they cannot chase a debt then it is just a claim. Refusing to pay Atradius would not hurt any case that may be brought to court because they have no right to claim copyright infringement from you as they are neither the copyright holder or exclusive licensee.

As I've stated here before I personally would tell Atradius to go fuck themselves. What recourse would they have? They cannot take a copyright claim any further and I doubt Getty would finance pursuing you in spiteful revenge.

I would follow up as the OFT suggests and see where it leads. If what Atradius are doing is illegal it would also have repercussions for Getty who have employed their services although pursuing Getty would most likely have to be done yourself and they have considerable resources. At the very least we could link Getty to them and ensure that information is viewable in as many places as possible.

Flinky

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 11:01:47 AM »
Interesting stuff this!

Atradius are according to their own website represented in 45 countries...
They are a Dutch company operating, again according to their Irish website (I'm in Ireland), in accordance to Dutch Law... Hmmm... Is that even a legal possibility?

Could some legal eagle please have a look and comment?
I'm toying with the thought of reporting them to some office or other LOL...

In their recent letter to me (Re. Getty Images) they "hereby demand payment of the full outstanding amount within 5 days of the date of this letter..."

They also leave an interesting option towards the end:
"If you are experiencing any financial difficulties we are prepared to discuss the possibility of a payment schedule or reduced settlement upon reciept of evidence of your financial deterioration. Please contact us immediately with any payment proposal you may have.".

So, is this their adjusting for the fact that the Irish economy is so fried that most people are on the brink of ruin?

I'm inclined to just ignore this letter as well as the two I've already got from Getty Images since late 2011... I haven't traded properly since 2006 (stay-at-home Dad) and we're in a tight enough spot with three kids.

The image in question was sourced, according to my friend (a professional webdesigner) who threw together my single page webiste for me in 2004 or 2005... I can't even remember right now, from the public domain or somewhere where it was available for free download without license at the time. I believe him!

My site was never properly set up... I initially left it for a year or two with just my business name and details and his design which included two images, one of which was supposedly Getty's...
In 2006 I added some text and another 2 pics but had no business as a result... I got too busy to worry about business after our three kids arrived (within 13 months)  ;)

I'm already past their deadline (my laptop needed urgent service so I was unable to send an email in time) and I certainly have no intention on providing them any proof of our situation... I'll save that for court if they (Getty) want to bother...

Am I doing the right thing or?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:18:03 AM by Flinky »
_______________________________________
SS&S - Stay Strong and Stubborn  :D

Beanpole

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 06:09:21 PM »
There's an important point about letters from Atradius that people often overlook. They're only printed on one side, so you can use them as scrap paper rather than just throwing them away.

Couch_Potato

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 06:35:24 AM »
"If you are experiencing any financial difficulties we are prepared to discuss the possibility of a payment schedule or reduced settlement upon receipt of evidence of your financial deterioration. Please contact us immediately with any payment proposal you may have.".

This is a requirement of any company trying to collect a debt in the UK and possibly the EU (although I'm not well enough versed in EU law). Any company attempting to collect a debt must offer the option of a payment schedule for anybody in financial difficulty.

Not sure why they are offering it if they aren't pursuing a debt, but maybe they are. Nobody actually knows. They've created a deliberate grey area in their activities so it's hard to pin them to a set of regulations.

I'd still tell them to go fuck themselves.

kcgd125

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2013, 07:19:22 PM »
Hi,

I found this information whilst searching for information on Atradius and was glad I did.

I thought I would add a little bit of my experience with them although this is not to do with the Getty Images issues, but in context I thought it relevant to bring it as whilst there is a grey area (as to if they are debt collecting) they do actually collect debts as well.

I received two letters from Atradius and an email in relation to an alleged trade debt. The first letter arrived 2 days after the 5 day deadline. I'm quite immune to receiving letters like these. Having said that, I rarely receive them and after 4 years in business nothing really scares me or bothers me. The debt in question is one which I dispute, my business purchases supplies of almost £1m a year from various suppliers and never had an issue until a specific global brand.

I decided to reply to the email to dispute the debt as I was replying to them via letter when the email arrived. The great thing about Atradius is their incompetence which makes me smile :D. They didn't actually know the legal status of the company, a sole trader. Which in law has consumer protection, they also didn't know my name (and they still don't) they sent the email to an email address on our website with an unidentifiable recipient, as well as the official email give to for accounts.

It took them about three emails to realise I was a sole trader. They also continued to demand payment after I disputed the debt and did not provide proof of the debt. They are now going to see if they can find proof.

They are even telling me the debt is in Euros when I have never dealt with any company in this currency and the alleged debt is from a UK company.

They also are of course unregistered and unlicensed with the OFT, a legal requirement under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and a criminal offence to carry on the activities of debt collection in the absence of such a license. Maybe their license lapsed as they knew they might not get a new one? - This has up to a 2 year imprisonment for this breach.

They after three emails are now quite timid and still trying to "amicably" resolve the debt yet they haven't provided any proof, and it amuses me to continue replying to their email, not answering their questions, just as they do to me (as of course they can't confirm their consumer credit license number), with each email further breaches of OFT guidelines and laws are broken. It also appears they get slightly wound up by doing so, as gradually they become even more unprofessional in their wording which I sarcastically reference in my next email.

I will take pleasure in completing my complaint to the OFT. Certainly don't be scared into paying them or give in?



Angry Welshman

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Re: The Office of Fair Trading [OFT] Response re: Atradius
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 06:33:51 AM »
I would look carefully at the wording on this. You have not created a debt (therefore the reply from the oft about "debt" is irrelevant and I believe was only classed as such because of the op's wording to them). It is just an invoice which atradius can chase but can't really do anything else apart from bang the drums. Therefore they don't need a CCL (consumer credit license).

 

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