In one of our forum under Banks - Satander: -
I have noticed that there doesn't seem to be a lot of information about Viking on this Forum and what is here is not 'filed' under Viking as a main Debt Collector Topic. Hopefully Ceylon or another moderator can sort that for us.
So, I thought I'd attempt to provide some more comprehensive information on them, with the objective of calming a few nerves of those who are having to deal with Viking.
An increasingly common thread with Debt Collection Companies is that many of them are registered as 'Dormant' companies (at Companies House: http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/
), i.e. they are not trading or executing any type of business activities. At least, that's the theory!
So, if Viking really are 'Dormant' and are not trading, why have I received three separate letters from them in less than a month? - all signed by M Galloway, the Viking Collections Manager! (btw, you can view his Linkedin public profile here: http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/mark-galloway/16/330/911
If you do a check on http://www.companycheck.co.uk/
, you will see that Viking has four registered Directors (and, therefore, only four 'employees', as the company is supposedly 'Dormant'). Mark Galloway is NOT one of them. But then - silly me - according to his Linkedin Profile (as at today), he's the Operations Manager at Santander (Geoban) !
Maybe, he's been 'seconded' to Santander from Viking (or maybe he's just a 'ghost writer' for the letters!) But then, he mentions that he's accountable and responsible for a number of Viking activities (here's an example: "... Responsible for controlling the communication of all Viking related processes and information within the Collections Contact Centre.") - How can a 'Dormant' company have processes or a Call Centre?
The four Directors are: Mr Francis Eugene Armour (6 active Directorships), Mr Callum Hamish Gibson (11 active Directorships), Mr Adam Nicholas Mussert (11 active Directorships), and finally, but by no means least, is Mr David Martin Green with 124 registered Directorships, about 61 of which are with 'Active' companies. He must be a busy man! He must work out!
Most, if not all, of the companies listed are part of the 'web' of Santander companies.
Anyway, my overall point of all this is: Remember that the tactics employed by these Debt Collection companies (and the major financial organisations behind them) are nothing more than bullying and intimidation, designed to scare us into submitting and handing over more of our money to them, to help fund the continuation of their fraudulent activities (and their luncheons in the City!)
In another thread that I found on moneysupermarket.com (cough!), there was a post from a member of staff who said:
"I work for Santander Cards on collections and I'm quite happy to let people in on our system. Heres advice and tips. Basically Viking is the last chance you get before we sell your debt on to a debt collection company. We pretend we've already sold it on and call ourselves Viking. Santander/Viking will not take you to court, send balifs round etc, that make us look bad. Instead it get sold on to another company at a discounted price, we swallow the loss and let them chase you for it...."
So, there you have it - Santander just try to get what they can for the debt when the Viking 'process' fails (as it always should if you follow the advice of the Get Of Debt Free web site); and another toothless, unwitting DCA may get involved... only to fail themselves and lose their 'investment' too!
So, don't be scared - stand up to them, play the game and have some fun. Viking are 'Dormant'. They have no teeth, so they can't bite!
Another example is Mercers Debt Collections Limited (operated by Barclays Bank) - see my post on them here: http://www.getoutofdebtfree.org/forum/v ... 34&t=31238
In that post, I also suggest that as many of us as possible report these rogue 'dormant' Debt Collection companies to HMRC using their Tax Evasion Hotline. I have done this already - see the post for details.