L is more than 70 years old and was born in Sudan. He had recently received a letter from a debt recovery firm stating that he owed them more than £50, but not telling him why.
L does not speak perfect English, and was extremely distressed at this unknown debt that the firm were making it clear they would go to great lengths to recover.
MRSN acted on his behalf and first rang the debt recovery firm, who told us that the debt was passed to them from a phone company. We then rang that phone company, who claimed that L had purchased a sleek new smart speaker on a contract back in 2018, a speaker that L had of course never heard of before!
We asked for more details of the contract signed, but the phone company said that they didn’t keep such information and L would have to ask the store he purchased it from. So, we rang that store and explained the ridiculousness of the claim, how it was likely to be a massive mistake made by one of the many companies involved, and L’s debt was then cancelled.
It was eventually accepted by all companies that he bore nor responsibility for the costs.
This distressing scenario can happen to so many elderly people, and it can feel just as overwhelming or more so when you are not fluent in the language and don’t have family with you to help.
This is just one of the many stories of people we have supported through our projects at MRSN.
In order that we can do more to help people through this project, we need to continue to raise money through regular giving or one off donations.
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