Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail’s chief investigator on Sunday, battling the reader’s corners, revealing the truth behind closed doors and gaining victories for those who haven’t made money. Read below how to contact him.
MW writes: I am repeatedly harassed by delivery company FedEx, its collection agency Control account and its attorneys Ward Hadaway, to pay money that I do not owe.
The last contact is a letter from the solicitors asking for £179 but with no contact name, no signature and no address to respond to.
I’ve been bombarded with bills and threats, but the £179 was paid months ago.
Pressure: FedEx delivery company bombarded Mr. W with threats for money he doesn’t owe
Tony Hetherington replies: Without hesitation, you gave me proof that FedEx had already paid £179 in February of last year. But the demands and threats continued, with Control Account saying, ‘Act now, this isn’t going away.’
And Ward Hadaway weighed in on a threat of legal action, saying: “Our client would be entitled to charge interest at 8 percent from the date the invoice fell due. You would also be liable for costs and fees.’
You told both the lawyers and the collection agencies that the FedEx bill – which you did not dispute – was actually paid. But you told me, ‘Nothing makes a difference. The invoices and threats of legal action just keep coming.’ It seems neither of them asked FedEx to check what you said. It was easier to bully you for six months hoping you’d pay again.
Two days after I contacted Control Account, I was told, “As a result of further investigation by our customer FedEx, Mr W’s payment has been found and reconciled to his account. We sincerely apologize to Mr W for any inconvenience or inconvenience. FedEx has now withdrawn its instructions and the account has been closed.” The collection agencies have also sent you an apology letter.
Attorneys Ward Hadaway responded just as quickly, but on behalf of FedEx rather than themselves. They told me that FedEx now admitted that you paid the £179 in February, adding that FedEx would contact you to apologize and remove your personal information from the database.
Sure enough, FedEx confirmed this to me. It explained, “Excellent customer service is a top priority for FedEx, and we recognize that we fell short on this occasion.”
Well, not just this occasion. That FedEx statement was on July 22, more than three weeks ago. I published this before because I wanted to see if FedEx would offer anything to compensate you for six months of mental torture and threats that came close to demanding money with threats. And FedEx has failed on all fronts. No apologies to you. No offer. Actually no contact at all.
What can you say about a courier company that can’t provide a simple apology to someone who falsely accuses it of being a bad debtor? A few days ago, FedEx told me, ‘The FedEx customer team is now arranging contact with Mr. W to apologize directly’ – which is roughly what they said last month. FedEx has taken a bad situation and made it worse.
Expensive phone calls can’t be mine…
Ms GM writes: My recent phone bill from EE has added £40.80 related to calls to numbers starting with 084 and 087.
The first call lasted 46 minutes, at a time of day when I know I was picking up my grandson from school. The other two short calls were on a day when I was in the hospital.
I’m 78 years old and severely deaf, so I only use my phone line for texts and emails.
Out of character: The two short calls were to a number used by a travel agent for timetable inquiries
Tony Hetherington replies: I called both numbers that are on your account from EE. The two short calls were to a number used by a travel agency for timetable information.
The very long call played an indistinctly recorded message about telephone services, congratulating me on being eligible for an upgrade. It’s hard to understand why anyone – let alone someone who is deaf – would listen to a recorded message for 46 minutes, so I asked EE for comment.
The company was quick to respond, “We are very sorry that Ms. M’s experience was not up to the high standards we set for our customers. We have refunded Mrs M the call charges and provided a permanent contact person if she had any other questions.’
Good luck! KPMG implements this compensation scheme
AM writes: I once had funds in the Derbyshire Building Society (Isle of Man), which was acquired by Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander.
I think I owe a payment from the Manx Depositors’ Protection Scheme after the collapse of KSF.
I made inquiries and got encouraging answers but now the schedule is not responding to emails and the phone number goes straight to a recorded message.
Sadly: Isle of Man scheme payments are in the hands of accounting giant KPMG
Tony Hetherington replies: You will certainly receive compensation, but the Isle of Man scheme payments are unfortunately in the hands of accounting giant KPMG. I could say that KPMG has a mixed reputation, but that would be optimistic. His reputation is not mixed, it is terrible.
Last year, UK accounting firms faced fines totaling £46 million. Just over half were fines imposed on KPMG, and a few weeks ago it was fined another £14million after misleading investigators probed the accounts of collapsed construction company Carillion. KPMG has created forged documents and four of its top employees have been banned from the profession.
On April 13, writing on behalf of the Compensation Scheme, KPMG confirmed that you owe a payment and asked you to notify us if you had not received anything before June 5.
You have not received anything and on June 7, KPMG told you that ‘you should receive a check within a few weeks’. Again nothing came.
I gave KPMG your signed authorization so it could talk to me, but it claimed ‘we can’t verify the signature’. All KPMG will say is that ‘any outstanding payment will be paid as soon as possible’.
I wonder why the Manx authorities employ them?
If you believe you have been the victim of financial misconduct please write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the large number of questions, no personal answers can be given. Only send copies of original documents, which unfortunately cannot be returned.
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