16 Feb 2006

hi velocity adsl provider (incompetent invoicing department)

i was customer of hi-velocity (hi-velocity.it) between december 2004 and august 2005. i chose that ADSL provider because at that time we did not have a one year lease on our flat, so we chose the one provider that would allow a short contract with a reasonable price. many other ISPs on the market were one year contracts only.

we never had much trouble with the service. note that even though their domain name is in italy, they are a UK ADSL provider! figure that one out.

anyway, ever since i moved out of that place and cancelled the service, they have been occassionally hassling me to pay them for a mysterious invoice that i never received. in fact, i had to do my own research to track down which invoice they hadn't sent me and were asking me to pay. they kept on insisting that i hadn't paid an invoice in july, even though i had. i was only after some investigation that i discovered i never received an invoice in may. subsequent contact with them regarding this have proved fruitless because they keep on insisting that i pay the same invoice twice. since then, they have been threatening that they'll unleash debt collectors on me because of their own incompetence.

to setup the story, here are the details. monthly fee is £23.99 for 2Mbps ADSL. i was disconnected on the 28th august 2005. here are the exchange of emails since my notice of cancellation on the 27th july 2005:

From: "James White" <----@hi-velocity.it>
To: "'Alastair Tse'" <----@cam.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: Cancellation of ADSL Service
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 04:27:14 +0100

Dear Alaatair,

Cancellation has been requested.

I have attached your the invoices that need to be confirmed as paid.

Many Thanks,


[Attached are three invoices -- june, july and august.]

so i replied to this email saying:

From: Alastair Tse <---@cam.ac.uk>
To: James White <---@hi-velocity.it>
Subject: Re: Cancellation of ADSL Service
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 10:29:28 +0100

Dear James,

I thought I had paid the June invoice already? It should have gone
through on 23rd June 2005. Could you please check this? I'll pay the
other the July and the August one immediately.



i never receved a reply from this "James" about this query. in fact, thinking back, i had never received a reply from their accounts department every directly to my emails. so 10 days later, i get another email from them repeating that i hadn't paid. it is as though they have never read my email:

From: "Accounts" <----@hi-velocity.it>
To: <----@cam.ac.uk>
Subject: Hi-Velocity
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 17:25:18 +0100

Dear Alasair,

Can u please confirm payment of your final invoice or invoices.

Many Thanks.

amazing, notice that they managed to spell my name incorrectly in both emails in a different way. what a feat! bravo!
of course, i replied and told them i had paid the ones that i know are outstanding:

From: Alastair Tse <---@cam.ac.uk>
To: Accounts <---@hi-velocity.it>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 17:27:54 +0100


I have paid the invoices on 3-4 August.



notice that i replied to them within two minutes of receiving their email. imagine the surprise i when i receive an email on the 27th of september, a full month after i had disconnected from their service and 2 months after i had sent the first email asking them to clarify which invoices i hadn't paid:

From: "Accounts" <----@hi-velocity.it>
To: <----@cam.ac.uk>
Subject: Urgent Confirmation Required
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:07:27 +0100

Dear Alasair,

Can you please confirm payment of your outstanding £47.98 on your

This is very urgent so your prompt response would be appreciated, please
note that failure to reply may resolve in legal action being taken to
recover monies owed to us.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Many Thanks,

Invoicing Department
Tel: 0870 770 6919
Fax: 0207 231 6444

imagine the surprise i had when i saw this email saying that i had owed them nearly double of what they claim i owed them previously. i immediately replied asking for clarification:

From: Alastair Tse <---@cam.ac.uk>
To: Accounts <---@hi-velocity.it>
Subject: Re: Urgent Confirmation Required
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:29:45 +0100


I've responded to this before. I have paid the balance of the account
2 months ago. If you have any problems, I need you to tell me which
particular payments you have received and which bills you think I
haven't paid so I can verify.



shortly after, they send a clarification email saying they made a mistake, in fact i owe them £23.99 instead:

From: "Accounts" <----@hi-velocity.it>
To: <----@cam.ac.uk>
Subject: Urgent Confirmation Required
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:07:27 +0100

Dear Alasair,

Please ignore the previous email sent to you.

I can confirm that your July invoice for £23.99 is the only invoice

Can you please confirm payment.

Many thanks.

Invoicing Department
Tel: 0870 770 6919
Fax: 0207 231 6444

alright, so they have their head screwed on correctly today. annoyed by their persistant vagueness of the claim that i own them some money, i spent half an hour going through the my emails digging out which emails i had and also going through my online banking account to confirm the payments, something that they should have done rather than me. nevertheless, i thought this would help their incompetent staff figure out what they really needed to send me so i can pay it. i'm not going to pay twice for the same invoice:

From: Alastair Tse <---@cam.ac.uk>
To: Accounts <---@hi-velocity.it>
Subject: Re: Email sent in error
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:47:45 +0100


I've just been through my records, and I've realised what has
happened and why you claim that I have not paid the July invoice when
I did so on 3rd August.

I've gone through my emails and discovered that I never received the
invoice for May.

According to my records I've received and paid for the following

23 Feb: Received 3 invoices for (December, January, February)
02 Mar: Paid 3 invoices December, January and February
10 Mar: Recieved March Invoice
15 Mar: Paid March Invoice
15 Apr: Received April Invoice
03 May: Paid April Invoice
08 Jun: Received June Invoice
23 Jun: Paid June Invoice
06 Jul: Received July Invoice
03 Aug: Received June, July and Part August Invoice Again
03 Aug: Paid July and Part August Invoice

So there seems to be an invoice missing which I don't have and I
didn't realise was missing. So I guess the best way to settle this is
that you send me the May invoice again so I have it on my records and
I will pay that.



i thought i made myself pretty clear there what had been paid and what i never been billed for. i didn't receive the invoice for the month of may so i never paid it. i hadn't even realised this omission since i just pay the invoices as they come in, only when i looked back through my records did i discover that there was an invoice missing.

after i sent this email, there was no reply. no legal action. no nothing. i couldn't just pay them without having an invoice, that would of been wrong on my counts. they never emailed me back with the right invoice and so i thought they realised their mistake and were so sorry that they would give me one month free.

only i was wrong because today i received an email, more than 4 months later that apparently they going to unleash a can of whoop ass on my with debt collectors:

From: "Accounts" <----@hi-velocity.it>
To: <----@cam.ac.uk>
Subject: Hi-Velocity - Outstanding Invoices
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 12:19:52 -0000

Dear Sir/Madam,

Can you please confirm payment of the attached outstanding invoice(s) as a
matter of urgency.

If we do not receive confirmation this account will be passed to our Debt
Collections Agency.

Please contact us as soon as possible.

Many Thanks,

[Attached was the July invoice]

so their valentine's day present to me was to give me a threatening email -- note that i have be demoted from the misspelt "alasair" to sir/madam. i suppose its an improvement as they spelt that right. i was so amused by the fact that it was a MATTER OF URGENCY that i replied immediately. in fact, it has been so urgent that they have been sitting on this for nearly 6 months since i disconnected from their service. here's my reply:

From: Alastair Tse <---@cam.ac.uk>
To: Accounts <---@hi-velocity.it>
Subject: Re: Hi-Velocity - Outstanding Invoices
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 12:37:08 +0000

Dear Hi Velocity.

Just to be clear in case I get another email 2 months down the road
that tells me I haven't paid something that I was never asked to pay
(half a year ago). How many invoices should be in this email and for
what dates?

I find it amusing that you state this as a "matter of urgency", yet
it took Hi Velocity 6 months to actually send me an outstanding
invoice. As I wrote in an email on the 27th September 2005 with the
subject "Re: Emails send in error", I had listed the invoices that I
had paid and the ones I had never received. If you acted on that
email back in September, you would have got your payment immediately
then, so why threaten me now.

Please note, in my email I listed all the invoices I had received and
paid for, and in that list I had paid for the July invoice that is
attached in this email. Please verify which invoices you haven't sent
carefully and send me the correct one. Once I get that I will pay it
immediately. To be clear, that is the one that was never sent to me
for May.

If you need me to send in all the PDFs or the invoice numbers that I
have received, please let me know as I would be happy to oblige.

Below is also a list that I am copying from my previous email back on
the 27th September of the invoices that I have already paid and the
one invoice I never received but only alerted to after I received a
previous threatening email 5 months ago.


Alastair Tse

[Attached was the email I sent on 27th September detailing what I had
paid and what I had received]

i don't expect them to reply to his email as they haven't done with the last 4 i have sent them. it is funny how easy it is for them to get my money, they just have to send me the right invoice with a different number than all the previous ones they sent me. yet they just insist on sending me the same one over and over again.

i'll post more updates as this happens. in short, don't do business with hi-velocity until they sort out their billing department. hope this is as amusing to me as it is to you. i'm also hoping that enough people will read this and enough bots will read this that google will start to index this near to top of the hits when you search for hi velocity.

You can reply to me about this on Twitter: