May 28, 2013

Advantis Credit Limited – debt collectors for HMRC

HMRC outsource some of their debt collection to private companies, not least of whom is Advantis Credit Limited.  In January 2012 one of our number had a letter addressed to him at our offices, asking him for his “whereabouts.”  The letter did not disclose why Advantis was interested in him other than stating they, “provide professional services to a number of large organisations within the UK”

Needless to say the journalist did not contact them but there followed a number of letters addressed to our office.  The letters were followed by a number of telephone calls.  Eventually, the journalist contacted Avantis and learned they were trying to collect £1,700 owed to HMRC.

Ironically, the journalist did not owe HMRC a penny and was due a tax refund, amounting to many thousands of pounds.  He referred Advantis to HMRC for confirmation of the situation.  However, the advice fell on deaf ears and Advantis continued to hound him by letter and telephone calls (their telephone calls are recorded).  In desperation, on 13th February 2013, our staff member completed a Section 7(1) Data Protection 1998, subject access request.

By law, irrespective of the subject matter, if personal information (data) is retained by any organisation, the data subject (you) has a right to have “facsimile” copy of that data.  In short the organisation or person holding the data, has to provide you with everything they have on record.  Despite repeated attempts to Advantis, they have yet to provide the information our journalist requested.  A complaint has been made to the Information Commissioner to force them to comply with the law.

If you have had dealings with Advantis Credit Limited or if you have worked for them, we would like to hear from you.  We would like to know more about their collection methods.


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