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Everything posted by Honorsmum

  1. Not sure if my experience is relevant, but towards the end of last year I received a poison pen letter through the post. Due to the contents, I had a pretty good idea who had sent it. I contacted the police, who said that even without concrete evidence, they could approach the individual and issue them with a PIN - an intention notice that they believed this person was about to commit a crime (2 occasions of malicious communication would constitute a crime). For various personal reasons, I decided against police involvement at that time. Perhaps you could talk to the police and see what they suggest?
  2. Hear, hear. Small claims aren't interested in the "he said, she said" rubbish. They will look at facts relating to the claim, ie did Halfords bodge your car or not. We had an issue last year with a tenant forging a tenancy agreement, to change it from 12 months to 6 months so that he could get out of it. We could prove it - my nephew is an IT expert and the agency that manages the property has electronic records if every document issued. We went to a solicitor to take things further, and at a lot of expense he advised us to concentrate on cutting our losses, getting our property back and moving on. You have posted on here throughout the year, presumably because the advice and expertise and experience offered on here has a value. Forget about not losing face, and take Halford' s offer.
  3. What is it you want to accomplish in court? Recognition of Halford' s liability? More money? You have been told by several posters that your best bet is to settle now. If you don't, you stand to lose. My experience that, even if you feel you have an absolutely water-tight case (we did), that is not a guarantee of you winning, nor is it a guarantee that you will be awarded all/any costs you feel are due. Read your letter to Halfords back again - you say that you recognise you are only asking £150 more than they 're offering; turn that around, and what you are actually saying is that you are prepared to carry on and fight to the death for the sake of £150. Are you really? You will lose a day's pay to go to court and will only get £80 back, even if you win...which is not certain. For the sake of £150, I'd take the money and get on with the rest of your life.
  4. Here's my take, having recently gone through mediation: Take the money. The saying, "a bird in the hand," springs to mind. In our case, we had to lose the cost of an expert witness and the cost of an electrician in order to "win" in mediation - costs of nearly £600 in a case that was originally worth around £1400. Yes, it feels unfair BUT you have no way of knowing which side the judge will come down on, and do you really want this hanging over you into the New Year?
  5. We contacted the mediation service, who simply suggested we go down the N244 route. By complete coincidence, the floor fitter who had issued the invoice contacted us to say that he was having all sorts of hassle from the defendant, demanding a more detailed invoice and explanation of the cost etc - clearly a ploy to try to get out of paying us. We sent him another letter, informing him we had spoken to the courts and would be issuing a N244 if we were not paid immediately. The defendant texted us, trying to claim it was the fitter delaying things by not issuing a more detailed invoice, so we simply repeated that we would be issuing N244 - a cheque arrived the next day. Thanks for all your help, Bankfodder.
  6. Thank you. I will go back and look over the mediation agreement again - I'm wondering whether she set down "on receipt of the invoice" as the payment period, ie immediate payment.
  7. Thanks, Bank Fodder. So, to clarify, should we now write again to the defendant and give him a further 10 days? Would the letter need to take the form of a LAB? Mediation doesn't appear to have set a more specific timescale than that he would lay us on receipt of the invoice. It does mention that the timescale of the whole case is 3 months, and if the court hadn't heard from either party during this time, the case would be closed. (that's the gist of it, as I understand it). I will ring the mediation service on Monday, as suggested. I wondered if payment in this case was subject to the same terms as paying an invoice, e.g. 28 days, 90 days etc?
  8. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?445928-What-does-it-mean-if-the-AOS-says-the-defendant-is-only-defending-part-of-the-claim-**-RESOLVED-** Original thread above. The defendant agreed to pay fitting costs of up to £300, on receipt of the invoice from the fitter. We sent copies of the invoice, along with a covering letter, by Royal Mail and by hand but haven't received any response from the defendant. How long should we allow before we take further action, and what should that action be?
  9. Thanks for your post. We have asked for the engineer's report, but the P.O would only quote verbally from it and the part they read out was in shorthand/tech speak, so meant nothing to us. It seems ridiculous that Ofcom will only look into complaints when they have enough to form a case, and even then, it is not on a case-by-case basis on behalf of individual customers. It's also ridiculous that Openreach won't actually deal with the consumer directly - so, even though we had an engineer attend our property and tell us there would be no charge, we have to deal with our provider when complaining about Openreach...and our provider simply puts the barriers up and refuses to discuss it.
  10. So, how do we get any further, ie our money back, and the box sorted, when the PO refuse to agree that we shouldn't have been charged? They will only send out another engineer if we agree that we may be charged...again! £320 plus vat for an external junction box?? Openreach "aren't a customer-fronting company", so we can't deal with them. Who is ripping who off here? - Openreach trying to fleece the PO? the PO trying to fleece us? The PO claim that the junction box is our responsibility, because it is on our property, external or not.
  11. In a nutshell: Last September, we noticed that the cover of the external junction box on our house was missing (presumably blown down in the high winds we'd recently had.) My husband called our home phone provider, the Post Office, who asked various questions, such as whether it was affecting the line etc. He was very clear that it wasn't, but he was concerned about the wires being open to the elements. The P.O arranged for a BT Openreach engineer to come out. He arrived, looked at where the box is sited (under the eaves of our house, over our porch) and said a cherry picker would be needed to get up there. Cherry picker duly arrived, the whole box was replaced with a new, modern one and the engineer told us we wouldn't be charged, as it constituted essential maintenance. Several months later, our phone bill arrives...with an additional £140 plus vat for the call out. According to the P.O, we are responsible for the external junction box, so we have to pay. Fast forward to last month, and the new junction box has come away from our property and is hanging in mid air, suspended between 2 cables. My husband has gone back to the P.O, saying that he is not happy to have to pay again for work carried out less than 10 months ago. The P.O try to argue that there is no such think as any kind of guarantee on work carried out by Openreach, and we would have to raise a complaint with them directly. Meanwhile, Openreach inform us that we should never have been charged for the call out anyway, as it was an external issue and not inside the property. Who is right? And where do we stand, now that the junction box needs re-attaching to the property?
  12. Thanks, andy. Yes, it was ultimately somewhat disappointing, because it feels like the defendant got pretty much what he wanted and called the shots - we perhaps gave away things, in the hope of getting leverage in other areas, but then he refused to move on those areas (eg we said we would remove the original floor at our cost, as a quid pro quo for him paying the exact cost involved in having the floor properly fitted, but he agreed to only £300 fitting costs, which will probably cost more AND he doesn't have to pay a penny of our court costs or the expert report cost - a total of about £500 ). It has been a steep learning curve, and not one I'd like to repeat.
  13. Thanks for all your help and input in this, andyorch. Mediation happened this morning, which involved my husband and myself on one side, and the defendant and his wife on the . I think it's fair to say it was pretty fierce - the mediator was very hard-core, initially, and her position was that we had come to mediation through choice and should be prepared to concede at least part of our claim. There was a lot of toing and froing, and the session actually over-ran the allocated time because the defendant had to make a phone call to the manufacturer in order to establish that he was in a position to make an offer he wanted to - so the final negotiation was rather rushed and not entirely satisfactory; we agreed that a new floor would be supplied, and our request was that the fitting should be paid by the defendant, at a maximum cost of £500 (since we know it will cost us more now to have it fitted properly, than it would have originally, given that there may be more prep involved and the fitter we will use isn't an add-on man, as seems to have been the case with the original fitters) - the defendant's agreement was that he knew the cost of fitting and he would only pay up to £300, and only if he received a receipt for the cost of fitting; if less than £300, that's what he'll pay, if more, he'll only pay £300. Can't say I'm thrilled with the outcome, as t has already cost us £500 to get to this point, plus time and stress, BUT at least a settlement has been reached and we can get on with our lives without a court case hanging over our heads.
  14. Really? Wow. I understood we should expect to concede some part of our claim, in return for not having to go through the stress and expense of a court case (although, obviously, I know we don't have to agree to settle at all in mediation).
  15. So, mediation is booked for Thursday. I've read the sticky post, and Patricia Pearl' s book, and got a "script" prepared for the mediator. Can anyone make suggestions as to possible settlements we should consider? In a nutshell, the cost of supplying and fitting the floor was £1375. In our claim, we requested this, plus court costs, interest and the cost of the independent inspection report. The defendant has offered to replace the floor, but we have rejected that because it was his lack of expertise and knowledge that led to the problems with the floor in the first place. Would it be reasonable to suggest he supplies a replacement floor and pays for the fitting by a fitter of our choice? Or should we expect that he will only offer to supply a floor and refund the fitting charges we paid originally? If he offers to refund the cost of the floor, would it be reasonable of him to take of a percentage of the cost, in line with the usage of the floor he may say we have had? Should we forget any idea of asking for half of the cost of the report? Our suspicion, from what he has previously said, is that he doesn't want to have to pay anything to us, but is happy to replace the floor because he would get it at cost/free from the manufacturers. (He has claimed that the manufacturers offered to replace it - an offer that was not made to us at the time he claims the issues became apparent.) In short, how much should we consider giving up?
  16. My husband called them today to make a complaint. Let's see what happens, but we will be changing our account to a free one, regardless.
  17. Husband and I were sold a Platinum joint account in November 2008, having previously had a Classic account. From memory, we had been invited to see our bank manager for a review, and were sold the new account on the basis that the overdraft interest was lower and the package benefits were worth much more than they would cost us. At the time, we already had AA cover (as noted in the paperwork the bank manager signed at the review) and explained that, with two children, 3 and 8 months, we hadn't travelled abroad for over 4 years and had no plans to. We have never registered our mobile phones. Shortly after the account was upgraded, the package fee increased from £12 to £17 a month - I can't find any notification of this (but it's possible it's been lost over the years). My husband has used the AA cover, but bearing in mind we already had cover at a cost of £120, this one benefit equates to a cost of £204 per year - definitely not a saving! Do we have a case for mis-selling, given the benefits were of no use to us - or does the fact we used the AA negate any claim?
  18. We put down the cost of the expert report in the POC, and detailed why we have had it done etc in the DQ.
  19. As a landlord, I'd also ask that the outgoing tenant pays the fees involved with signing up a new tenant - our agent charges £240.
  20. The claim in total is just shy of £2200. The cost of the expert inspection and report was £380. We approached the defendant before the inspection, asking to jointly appoint an expert in order to establish cause but he refused. We commissioned the expert anyway, because we needed to establish the cause of the issues before deciding whether we had a case for court action - the defendant has always refuted it was caused by incorrect fitting, but the report found it absolutely was. The expert contacted the defendant, informing him why, and the defendant answered questions and gave technical information that proved what the inspection showed - this is detailed in the report. If we are not allowed to use the report as written evidence, are we able to use the information contained in it in court, verbally?
  21. We've stated on the DQ that we have already had a report from an independent expert, and stated why, his name and qualifications and the cost of the inspection and report. I assume it's now a case of waiting to see whether the court grants permission to either party?
  22. So would you advise having ours made compliant? If allowed, the evidence it contains proves our case fairly definitively, but if the judge is going to ignore it anyway, might it be throwing good .money after bad? The point of the inspection was to establish whether we had a claim, in the hope that the defendant would settle without the need to go to court. We contacted several independent industry experts and all offered 2 levels of report - standard and part 35 compliant - for the same reason.
  23. Ours can be made CPR compliant for a further charge. Pretty much the only thing it is missing is the statement of truth in the format the court requires. At a guess, I would say the defendant' s is no more than a basic statement from a sales rep.
  24. That's not great news for us, since we DID get an expert inspection report done before starting action, because we were unhappy with the reasons the defendant gave for the floor failing. The report we have (and have requested to use) makes it clear it was a preparation and fitting problem - we wrote to the defendant, with the findings, in the hope of not having to go to court. It seems that he has sprung his "expert" report at the eleventh hour in the hope of over-riding ours.
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