I recently wrote a post about a complaint I sent to NCO Europe. I won’t go over the details again but you can read the original post here. They have issued their final response which means that I can take up the complaint with the Financial Ombudsman. Here is what NCO Europe said in reply to my complaint.
The Response from NCO Europe
I have now completed my investigation into your complaint originally raised with us by email on the 30.7.2013.
You stated you were unhappy with the following:
- Being informed by Westminsters Solicitors that the account was received by them on 23.7.2013 but you were enquiring about a letter received from them on 31.8.2012. It gave the impression that NCO Europe sent a letter threatening legal proceedings with Westminsters Solicitors name on it;
- As a consequence of the previous bullet you contend that NCO has:
- Failed to communicate in a clear and transparent manner;
- Falsely represented itself and its legal position;
- Engaged in physical / psychological harassment;
- Not been truthful in its dealings with you
- Failed to respond to communications from Step Change regarding their management of your Debt Management Plan; and,
- You requested a copy of the NCO complaints procedure.
Summary of Investigation
I have reviewed your account history on the NCO systems and also discussed the liaison between the client (Orange), the supplier (NCO) and the legal progression providers (Westminsters). The businesses are closely linked as can be demonstrated in the responses below.
I have the following responses:
- The Westminsters letter you received dated 31.8.12 is a pre-legal action letter generated by NCO. This is the reason the Westminsters employees were correct in confirming that it was only formally escalated to them on 23.7.13. In the period between these letters NCO has issued collection letters under its own letterhead.
- I can understand the claim at the second bullet point of clear and transparent dealings but the legal providers are a separate entity and I rebut the harassment and truthful contentions as the clarity aspect is just an outcome of the involvement of 3 separate organisations and is not a premeditated issue;
- NCO has not received any communication from Step Change regarding your account so it would be beneficial if you could advise them that the account is currently with Westminsters; and,
- I attach a copy of the NCO Complaints Policy.
I therefore am able to uphold some elements of your complaint. I hope that this now satisfies the enquiry you made due to the facts as stated above. This letter is the Final Response in this matter, however you have the right to pursue your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service should you remain dissatisfied.
Concluding this Post
The last part of the letter talks about the Financial Ombudsman leaflet that was enclosed with the letter. Anyway that’s as far as I will take this complaint for now. At least they acknowledge some of what was said. I still need to look into if it is acceptable for a Debt Collection Agency to send a Solicitors Letterhead threatening legal action. I will find out and report back in a separate post soon.
Have you had any dealings with NCO Europe? If so how did they treat you?