You would think that, if you fulfil your three months’ notice on a piece of equipment (in this case a refuse compactor) because you are leaving retailing and, if, crucially, there was never a contract in the first place, they wouldn’t set the debt collectors onto you. Wrong.

Ex-retailer Chris Mitchener, who now devotes his time to his other business, Licensing Solutions, left Swan Street Stores in Hampshire several months ago. By September the company, QCR, still had not removed its equipment, and debt collectors Financial Recoveries Ltd had chased Chris on six different occasions, threatening legal action and demanding £1,838.94 from a business that no longer trades and which settled the required notice.

Chris wrote to Financial Recoveries: “The equipment was in situ for over seven years with monthly payments of £85 odd plus Vat, so well over £7,650 net of Vat has been paid to your clients.” He also pointed out that the initial contract was with Mil Tek Direct not QCR; no contract had ever been signed with QCR and he had taken legal advice. This all appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

As I observed to Chris, debt collectors just drive steamrollers; they don’t listen, ever. I’ve told this tale before… but for those of you who missed it… my handbag was stolen years ago and it took me 12 years to get the debt collectors (various) off my back. The crooks used my cheque guarantee card to open a Sony account and ran up a £1,000+ bill. Sony’s finance company chased me via a debt collector (and I lost my credit rating – my MP got it back for me). Each time I got rid of one debt collector, they illegally sold it on to another company. 

Then I got a Statutory Notice in my name. That isn’t just aggro, that’s serious as it could bankrupt you and a solicitor’s letter was needed to solve it.  I have been ‘debt-free’ as it were, for two years now.

I hope this never happens to anyone reading this, but wanted to warn you all that you can have all kinds of right on your side and the bastards will still come after you.