Saturday, 6 February 2010

How to Give Stroppy Banks the Big Finger

Mr. AB & Mrs CD Madeupname,
Dun Payin,
123, Bilkers Crescent,
Debtford Road,
DM1 – 2BB

6th February 2010

Your ref: 1234567



With reference to your demand for payment of a purported debt on behalf of HSBC – received here today - we would inform you this concerns a mis-sold PLP insurance policy product that is currently under investigation by the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Authority.

Thus while such is under adjudication we have informed HSBC this matter is in FORMAL DISPUTE and have suspended any and all further payments until the FOS’s decision is given.

In keeping with directives from the FOS we are instructed to pass on all demands and communications from HSBC , or its contracted / affiliated collection agents, to their offices.
All further communications from yourselves, including the most recent of the 30th January 2010, will thus be directed to their offices.

Further to this, and contrary to the time schedule mentioned in your demand, we received a Default Notice from HSBC on the 3rd February 2010 informing us we are required to pay what they claim is an outstanding amount by the 22nd February – whereas you are threatening legal action if the purportedly outstanding sum is not paid within seven days from the date of your letter – the 30th January – dated ‘a full seven days’ before we received your demand.

With regard to repeated and incessant phone calls from Metropolitan that commenced at 8:45 pm on the evening of the 4th February from your listed offshore South-East Asian 0500 992299 number to the personal and private mobile phone of Mrs. CD Madeupname – a new phone and number never provided to HSBC – and also to our BT home landline - these repeated calls constitute harassment and as threats have been made by verbally aggressive call centre staff regarding the disputed responsibility for payment of the outstanding loan premiums, these calls have been recorded and the matter reported to OFCOM and our local Suckerborough Police Service for investigation and action.

We thus call on Metropolitan Collection Services and their contracted call centre agents to Cease and Desist forthwith pursuing this medium of constant psychological harassment.

On speaking with Metropolitan’s listed 0500 992299 phone number we were met with an automated message of "Thank you for calling Metropolitan Collection Services Limited” but were surprised to find we were not connected to your listed Birmingham office but rather passed to a call centre operator in the Philippines - who then informed us we would have to call back later - when the supervisor was on shift (8 hour time difference).

Disturbingly this person had access not only to our names and addresses and dates of birth etc but also our bank account sort code and account number – but amazingly was not aware who they were actually working for – stating they were employed by – to quote – a ‘global service company’.

With the Republic of the Philippines being renowned for a culture of graft and corruption which permeates their society and all levels of a government system that has historically - and to the present date - constituted no more than a series of calamitous Kleptocracies, we question the sagacity and due prudence exercised by HSBC and their Metropolitan Collection Services department regarding the security of HSBC client’s personal details and affiliated data protection by the very fact they employ the services of unregulated Third World agencies.

Thus we consider it unsafe to communicate further with this call centre at the number provided by Metropolitan as the Philippines is in no way bound by UK data protection laws or banking standards and regulations.
Further, given that this 0500 992299 connects to a most dubious overseas-based call centre, we could well be speaking with a Nigerian 419 scam operator.

According to Companies House records ‘Metropolitan Collection Services Ltd’ is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the HSBC Group and not an independent service company as perjuriously professed and maintained by the call centre supervisor.

To close, if this initial representation by Metropolitan Collection Services is a prime example of HSBC’s ‘Customer Service’ policy, then we have seen better organized riots.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Arthur Madeupname
Mrs Chlamydia Madeupname

cc : Financial Ombudsman Service
: Financial Services Authority
: Office of Fair Trading / Consumer Direct
: Consumer Action Group
: Sir Irwin Bogbrush MP - Suckerborough
: Sue, Grabbit & Runne, Solicitors
: Ian Hislop – Private Eye magazine – ‘In the Back’ business section

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