A claims management company that left automated calls to consumers, offering to help clear their debts, is being investigated by the Ministry of Justice, following hundreds of complaints.
Northamptonshire-based Park Lane Services International (PLSI) has been the subject of much wrath on consumer forums, as disgruntled former clients tell of how they handed over upfront fees ranging from £250 to £1,000 and never heard from the company again – let alone got their debts cleared.
The website of PLSI has been taken down and replaced with a line stating “we apologise for any inconvenience caused”, along with a helpline number, asking people to call and leave a message.
One consumer left the following comment on the MoneySavingExpert forum: “We have been trying to get a refund since January, every time I phone they tell me that it is still with the finance dept and no-one can tell me exactly when I will get my money. Now I see they have ceased trading. I will phone the MOJ again tomorrow. They owe me £995. I know it’s not mega amounts but it’s still my money.”
The company has reportedly been around since October 2008, and also seems to have gone by the names First Step Debt Elimination and 1st Step Solutions.
One customer, 57 year-old Edwin Jones, from Blackburn, told the Lancashire Telegraph that he called the company as he was having trouble in paying off an £18,000 loan.
He was contacted by an automated message left on his home telephone, and was told that PLSI could help him with his debt. After giving the firm £250, which was apparently required for “legal reasons”, he has not heard from them since.
Mr Jones told the paper: “I feel very upset about what happened to me. I was having money troubles and this firm said it could help get rid of my debts. As soon as I handed over any money I lost contact with them.”
The Ministry of Justice has said that PLSI has now voluntarily surrendered its authorisation.
No-one from PLSI was available for comment.
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