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mortlake

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About mortlake

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  1. A friend had this problem - still unsolved. Any complaints just get stonewalled: never lease, particularly from this bunch. I scanned the contract's 5pt type into a type reading program to get a proper look at it. The paragraph at the bottom of the first column doesn't link to the paragraph at the top of the second: it's clear that nobody could have read this document in detail when signing, or they would have said "why doesn't this make sense?". Even if they do read it, it doesn't mention the whole palava of private or vaguely public documents about wear and tear. 0.1.4 If the Vehicle is not in good condition, repair and working order when it is returned to us, or if any additions, alterations or replacements have been made which we reasonably consider affect the value of the Vehicle, then you will have to compensate us for any loss that we suffer. In such circumstances, we will obtain estimates for the cost of any works of repair or replacement which we reasonably consider are necessary to restore the Vehicle to the appropriate condition. We will then be entitled to choose whether to carry out some or all of these works, in which case the actual costs which we incur will be immediately payable by you. If there are any works which we do not carry out, you will instead be liable to pay us the estimated cost of those works as agreed compensation for the consequent reduction in the sale value of the Vehicle. This is absolutely nothing like the system they're imposing on customers http://bit.ly/financecompanyaskforthis . I don't know if a judge would agree with me as my friend is out of contact anyway and not getting their letters, but I'd like to know if anyone else has more luck. Just in case it's useful to anyone, this is part of my last letter to them. I don't see Mr X's signature on the return standards http://bit.ly/financecompanyaskforthis which seem to be a public but internal document from the finance company, while the scale of repair charges seems a private internal document. In place of a scale of charges there is a warning to customers not to attempt repairs pre-return and a threat that they might be done again. It is really a document that says a finance company can charge what it likes. I consider that buying brand-new lamp clusters, bumper & bumper spray-painting is not an industry norm in the second hand motor trade when restoring old limousines. There is a glut of them. They are only worth £3,000 in the trade before questions about bumpers & lamp lenses. There are obviously second hand parts available for most 7 year-old cars & old limousines more than most. About servicing - the same point with different detail. Mr X paid a freelance mechanic to service the car, keeping receipts for parts. These were in the bag no BO3579 signed-for on return of the car. I can provide copies if needed. There's also evidence that the car had two MOT tests a year as part of its use as a London cab. Unfortunately Mr X wasn't in the country to track-down the mechanic and get the car log book stamped, but I think this counts as "reasonable" care under the words of the contract; there is nothing in the contract about updating a record on car's computer, which this mechanic could not do. Evidence for "missing service history" quoted with the invoice is simply a photo of the car's dashboard showing error messages from the car's computer; there's no reference to paper evidence sent with the car. A pity the letter hasn't worked: I thought I was doing quite well! John PS The company keeps changing its name but not its postcode, which makes it expensive to find judgements against them. Now, why would anyone want to do that? company number 2472364 at Burystead Court 120 Caldecotte Lake Drive Caldecotte MILTON KEYNES MK7 8ND 00/00/0000 MERCEDES-BENZ FINANCE LIMITED 04/01/2000 DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DEBIS) LIMITED 13/08/2001 DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES UK LIMITED 14/02/2006 DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED 01/04/2008 MERCEDES BENZ FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
  2. Does anyone know any law on this, or no-win no-fee lawyers? An ex lodger has been charged over £3,000. The contract states that it is exempt from consumer protection legislation. Repairs are charged at any figure Mercedes chooses - hundreds for a bumper. My dad had this the other way when he ran a hire purchase firm in the 80s, but all the work he did was heavily regulated: these folks seem to have found loophole in the law - or have they!
  3. [/url]I hope this isn't intrusive or confusing a forum for job worries. HMG - Your Freedom have some threads about consumer action including banks, employment tribunals, employment law - type it into the search box and somthing might come up. My hobbyhorse is unions. There are the usual views and some in the middle. As this bit of the forum is for people who have trouble with employers or employees I thought some people here might like to know they can comment on the ideas in the middle or give them star ratings, or suggest others. Not all the debate is at the extremes Sale of services: clarity on legal insurers & unions — HMG - Your Freedom -for members complaining about bad trades unions Allow electronic voting in trade union executive ballots — HMG - Your Freedom -for electing better union executives Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 — HMG - Your Freedom -for electing better union executives Help at work / union transparency / Foster v Musicians Union case law — HMG - Your Freedom -for getting some believable accounts into the open
  4. In my discrimination case there was a let-out for a series of acts of discrimination counting as one long single one, so if the chair agrees you can sue for the beginning within three months of the end. ACAS phone help line might know of any other let-outs, or Co-Op legal helpline if you join free. From my experience and the next one to sue Foundation66, "just and equitable" means anything but: the next person told the chair he had had to learn the law while working as a builder and moving between several different bedsits and chasing mail. The chair said "those are very good reasons but not the reasons in case law".
  5. Hi I don't know if UDW are ex T&G: I just came across a new web site of theirs today and checked it out. They seem to be two or three regular part-timers and some volunteers. United Independent Union in Scotland are ex T&G staff sacked after running a postal ballot that was handled by the candidates, which sounds just like the T&G I got very bitter about after being let down a few years ago. Just wondering whether to go-on about my usual gripe before going down to dinner. The problem isn't about the self-help and volunteering part of trades unionism, it's just sad that when linked to the big famous merged unions, there's a really huge gap between the £120+ a year paid in subs and the amount of lawyers (except no-win no-fee paying commission to the union) and the amount of officials (except a tiny ratio of official's time per member - just enough to co-ordinate volunteers). Public sector quango employers like the one I had are happy to spend most of their time plotting against their employees and have nothing much else to do except fiddle the grant proposals, so if there's not a lot of professional help to write a tribunal bundle or advise members day-to-day about the gamesmanship while the other side have an human resources department and guaranteed posh legal help however weak their case. The whole thing gets unbalanced, even when the law is on the member's side. Junior staff have to do the difficult jobs while keeping track of employer's games, and junior staff have to do it in the lunch break if they get one. The same sort of complaint could be made about private legal insurance - that it tends to use no-win no-fee lawyers and pay everything to the broker - but in my experience the T&G south london branch, the region's official that they passed messages to and the no-win no-fee lawyer the region allocated were so bad that the system looked beyond mending. I suppose I can say without anyone threatening the web site owner that the lawyer was Edwards Duthe, and that Thompsons now do the work. ED could say they were put in an impossible position being asked for too much cashback and that they're not bad lawyers, or some such and the union could say they are in the process of merging into a more efficient structure. Anyway, I've gone-on a lot. If you set-up a proper union I'd be interested in joining Mortlake
  6. iw61 good to see someone interested in employment rights. There's a new union called UDW.org.uk that might be good. But the problems listed on employees.org.uk apply widely and I guess that's why unions are out of fashion. For example their political party doesn't require them to sign-up to the financial services authority, have a contract, keep clear accounts etc. This doesn't stop volunteer work between colleagues but it tempts unions to behave as in spicester's post on this thread. It's also quite difficult to have an internet thread about unions because un-backed assertions like Silou's below come round and round again. cheers Mortlake PS Just seen there's an advert for travel insurance next to this post. It says something when people are willing to advertise pet insurance and travel insurance commercially, when union services that are helped by volunteer stewards and member good will can't even get around to advertising
  7. Almond: If it wasn't for the recession I'd suggest laundering your CV: taking the reasons for leaving off your CV (maybe mentioning it in an agency interview but not in the CV you write), somehow getting a few bits of temp work or self employment, until eventually no new employer will bother taking a reference off the one you sued. Hope your line of work is one in which this is still possible. BunnyBoo: Saddened by your post without knowing an answer. I tried going to an MP but she just forwarded letters everywhere without reading them and got either no response or a sarcastic response wherever. I don't think the read the letters inbound or outbound and I just didn't have time to follow it up. The letter from the South London Circuit person who's chief tribunal chair was sarcastic "unable to understand ... constituent appears to have misunderstood purpose of tribunal ... please convey this to your constituent ... etc". MP was more interested in the tiny minority of consituents who are called "local people" and campaign against shops, planes, housing, mobile phone masts etc. I suppose it might be more possible with her help to get more detailed reasons for judgement and at least make this chair think about her actions a bit more clearly. Apparently the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to judges notes because it might "undermine confidence"! I wish I had done a Freedom of Information Act request to find out how many people sue this company before seeing her: I might have interested her more and a contact might do it anyway, just out of curiosity. There is meant to be a new compaints system for chairs / judges who act in a bizarre way. I haven't tracked it down and it's probably more aimed at judges who are drunk or such than ones who mis-handle cases. As for appeal, you could try Which Legal Services' advice for how to work the system. The system sounds like one geared to getting through cases as quickly as possible, staffed by people used to too much power who sometimes don't believe that employers can spend so much time lying and scheming against hard working employees. I signed something to say that I shouldn't mention an old employer, but I met an old colleague recently from Alcohol Recovery Project who had a similar experience, firstly on all points being ruled out of time without the right questions being asked and then on an appeals system designed to fob-off and discourage any attempt at appeal. He tells me that he thinks the company have plotted unfair dismissals against one person after another - basically everyone, even if there were perfectly fair ways to dismiss them or at the other extreme if they were the most productive employee in town. Hope that your attempts to seek justice and others like them have a good effect on the world nevertheless and glad to hear that people like you have done so much work to make things better. Oh: just Googled: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article2091909.ece and http://www.judicialcomplaints.gov.uk/ - a distraction from appeal and a second stage of complaint, but maybe interesting to someone who reads this thread. First stage might be a request for notes made at the time, possibly forwarded by an MP. span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }
  8. That's really useful - I'll look Hugh James up: thanks! There used to be a Comissioner for the Rights of Trade Union Members, which the Labour government abolished a few years ago. I don't know how to find out which lawyers they used in the small number of cases they took on. There's been one recent case of an ex union member suing the NUT for membership dues back under (I guess) an implied contract to provide the services that most people join for, under the sale of goods and services act. The report was originally in a Coventry News and Star and then transcribed to Employees.org.uk - trade union failure and what to do about it There have been a couple of cases of people alleging discrimination to an employment appeal tribunal, which seems to hear cases of discrimination by unions against categories of members. In both cases the unions have won by saying "we're bad: tough" (Unison) or "our rule book gives you zero rights, sucker". (University and College Union)They're both referenced somewhere on the same site - one has its own page - from transcripts on BAILII - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal ...a search for "union" might bring up similar cases. If the union's defence is that they reasonably thought they should not devote an official or a paid lawyer to the case, and, if wrong, it is fair to make mistakes, then I guess it's untrue: some unions have admitted to using no-win no-fee lawyers and charging them referral fees. Maybe a freedom of information act request to the Certification Office could get them to produce detailed accounts? Or BERR, the government department that hands out Union Mordernisation Grants? Just a thought. Hope it goes well John
  9. http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_application/subject_access_-_guide_for_data_subjects.pdf ...is the leaflet from the data protection registrar. From memory, a phrase like "organised data" is vital for what you have a right to and if they dispute it there's some sort of case law about the "temp test" where you have to imagine a temp given the task of getting the data on her first day in the office. I tried asking for "emails including my name" and "supervision notes" but I never complained under the data protection act when refused so never discovered what happens in practice. Direct government employees (eg health trusts but not housing associations) can ask under the Freedom of Information Act too. good luck
  10. LAG.org.uk/ have this survey on their front page: Online Surveys | Zoomerang Their axe to grind is about law-centre funding and access to justice. Mine is that large trades unions are often just claims management agencies for no-win no-fee lawyers, worse than useless in complex cases and getting-away with business practices which are probably illegal but which members are too tired and skint to sue them for after being let-down. I hope one or two other ripped-off union members fill-in the survey. (if you google "employees.org.uk" you'll see why some people are cross with unions - I don't mean to start a thread with this and repeat what's been said in others, just to publicise someone's survey) Replies on paper are welcome at Legal Action Group, FREEPOST LON 6469, London, N1 9BR Survey on availability of advice Legal Action Group and the Access to Justice Alliance have designed this survey to find out how easy it is for members of the public to get advice. We do not give legal advice. We are interested in knowing about the experiences you have had in the last year. We are conducting this survey so that we can better influence Government policy on providing funding for advice services. This questionnaire is short and it is likely that only one or two sections will apply to you. In using the information you give us, we will not use your name or any details that might identify you to a third party. Filling in the questionnaire Please answer all questions in Sections A and B as fully as you can. Section C (Contact details) is optional and you do not have to complete this if you do not want to do so. You can complete the survey online www.lag.org.uk/advicesurvey. Thank you for completing the survey Please now return it to: Legal Action Group, FREEPOST LON 6469, London N1 9BR Section A – Your experiences 1. If you had a problem in the past year about your rights, please tell us what it was about. If you had more than one problem, please tell us about the most recent problem. Consumer Neighbours Money/debt Employment Personal injury Housing Welfare benefits Relationship breakdown Divorce Children Clinical negligence Domestic violence Discrimination Unfair treatment by police Homelessness Mental health Immigration Community care Other (please specify) 2. Did you try to get advice on your rights about this problem?  Yes  No (please go to Question 19) 3. Did you try to get this advice:  Over the telephone  In person  In another way (please specify) 4. If you tried to get advice, were you successful?  Yes  No If no, why was this? 5. If you did get advice, did it help you to deal with the problem?  Yes  No 6. When did you last try to get advice about this problem?  Within the last month  One to two months ago  Two to three months ago  More than three months ago  If it was more than three months ago, when was it? 7. How many organisations did you approach when trying to get advice?  One  Two  Three or more 8. Which was the last organisation you approached?  A Citizens Advice Bureau  Another advice agency  A Law Centre  A firm of solicitors  Other (please specify) 9. Did you get to see somebody?  Yes  No 10. Was the person you saw:  An adviser  A solicitor  A trainee solicitor  A barrister  A receptionist, secretary or admin worker  Don’t know 11. Did they give you some advice about your rights?  Yes  No 12. Did they help you further – by writing letters on your behalf, taking on your case, or representing you?  Yes  No 13. Did they do everything you wanted them to do?  Yes  No Please explain 14. Did they help you to resolve the problem to your satisfaction?  Yes  No 15. If not, why do you think the adviser was unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction? 16. How, if at all, did you pay for the legal advice you received? I went to an advice agency that gives free advice I paid for all the advice myself The advice was covered in full by the legal aid scheme I paid for part of the advice – the rest was covered by legal aid The advice was provided through a trade union or insurance company scheme I had a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement Other (please specify) 17. Would you recommend the organisation to a friend who had a similar problem?  Yes  No If not, why not? 18. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your case and how it was dealt with? Section B – Background 19. Which of these age groups do you belong to? Under 17 17-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65 or over 20. What is your gender?  Male  Female 21. Do you have any long-term illness, health problem or disability that limits your daily activities or the work you can do?  Yes  No If yes, you have the option to provide details. 22. What is your ethnic group? White Indian Pakistani/ Bangladeshi Chinese Black Caribbean Black African Mixed Other ethnic group, please specify 23. What is your employment status?  Self-employed  Employed full time (30 hours or more per week)  Employed part time (8 – 29 hours per week)  Not working (less than 8 hours per week)  Retired 24. Can we quote your comments in this survey to support our campaign, provided that we do not use your name or any details that might identify you to a third party?  Yes  No 25. Would you be happy for us to contact you to discuss your answers further?  Yes  No Section C - Contact details (optional) 26. Please provide your contact details below. Please note we will not pass on your details to anyone outside of Legal Action Group or the Access to Justice Alliance or use these for any purpose other than those specified without your permission. Name Address Telephone Email Legal Action Group (LAG) is a national charity committed to improving access to justice, particularly for the vulnerable and socially excluded. We believe that equal access to justice is a fundamental democratic right. We believe that access to proper legal advice is essential to enable people to obtain access to justice. The Access to Justice Alliance (AJA) is supported by community groups, national charities, lawyers, advisers and others who feel strongly that justice should remain accessible to all. We believe that the funding crisis facing legal aid cannot be ignored any longer.
  11. That's interesting to know. The same threat that hangs-over claimants when a tired tribunal judge says "you could appeal but there is a risk of costs being found against you", meaning "go away: I can't be bothered to do my job". I meant something different about lawyer's costs. Tribunals are allowed to think what they would have awarded, and then add something like 20% for the lawyer. It's a figure agreed by the law society. That's how no-win-no-fee lawyers can advertise "you get 100% of the claim", which wouldn't make sense otherwise, nor the firm that does lucrative road traffic accidents called something like "RTA 110%" which will pay 110% of what the court awards in a traffic accident case. I'm digressing because traffic accident cases aren't held in tribunals but it's the same system.
  12. I read that the Scottish Legal Aid Board now funds the most complex cases by people with least money - unlike the legal aid board in England. I only saw a government press release on Google and it quoted a small budget, so probably hardly anyone qualifies. No-Win No-Fee employment lawyers are allowed to charge the other side a small extra cut on top of your winnings, maybe enough to let them spend a small amount of time on an open-and-shut case if you've done the work, they're close to the tribunal, and you've approached them directly, but, as you said nearer the top of the thread, that's not when you need a lawyer! Maybe it's a way of negotiating, though. You could say: "if you keep it simple and straightforward I won't need a no win no fee lawyer and that will save you a percentage if you loose".
  13. I'd like a thread which was specifically for discussion of bad unions, with the union's fault taken for granted, like the threads for discussing banks. At the moment it seems that only those who have been ripped off by a big union know how bad they are, and we're unlikely to be MPs, lawyers, or news editors who depend on each other to make the laws. Also, if there could be something like a facebook group for people interested in joining a good union then maybe one would come-along and sign us up! Spectralis: good luck recovering. From experience I doubt there's a slower way to do it than to suffer the same messing-about from another organisation. In contrast, self employment on lower pay doing simpler work is great, but I still rant and get suddenly angry sometimes, just thinking about a face or an injustice. Thanks for putting your experience in public where it might make a difference.
  14. Are his initials G-Z and is he on the South London circuit? My guess is that society generally, and government courtiers in particular, are getting more snobby and less interested in equality before the law. Options: Appeal. But my judge was careful to cover his tracks, making it look as though most of the claim was out of time and not letting me know what was going-on until he made his judgement. You could check your judge's name for previous appeals against his judgements on BAILII - United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal (easiest) Employment Appeal Tribunal > Search Judgments (most up to date). If your case is finished and you are wondering whether to appeal, it might look a stronger case if your judge has had his judgements overturned for the same reason before. And if you're still at the first hearing, the judge might give more time to issues where he's scared of a second appeal being made against his judgement for the same reason as before. Sanity check your case with Which legal services, who are only £12 a quarter and will discuss a case from before you joined-up. They might help find the wood for the trees and help you rehearse an argument a bit. Also sanity check grounds for appeal and whether there's much chance of costs against. It sounds like there's no time left and the hearing is over, but if not there might be a no-win no-fee employment lawyer close to the tribunal who is willing to sit-in with you and discuss your case in the waiting room, giving advice as you go but letting you do the talking in the tribunal. The lawyer can then claim standard extra fees from the other side if you win and has only lost a day or so if you loose. And the judge might not take advantage so much if there is a witness. I don't know if this is common but have heard of trades union lawyers doing-it. If a lawyer can't come then any witness might make the judge less willing to cut corners. If you can't appeal, complain to the regional chairman perhaps getting an MP to forward a letter. I got an extremely rude response from the man but a very careful and detailed response from the judge himself, so it shook them up a bit. There was even some attempt at giving me a time limit to go to the government's new quango for dealing with judges who do strange things - sorry I forget what it's called. Would be interested to read how it went. Some employers have got nothing better to do than plot constuctive dismissals. The last thing anyone wants next is a judge who doesn't believe they exist and has probably never done an ordinary job in his life. Good luck! John ( j o h n a t e m p l o y e e s o r g u k )
  15. I'd love to agree but the free accounts at Certoffice.org don't add-up for my T&G section of Unite. There is a big heading for legal costs, but in an interview their legal director seemed to admit it was no-win no-fee so that's a black hole in the accounts. Then I saw somewhere they have 400 staff for 750,000 working members, so the money isn't going on staff - no wonder they are too busy to help members. In theory the union is democratic but they seem to keep to a legal minimum of proper votes. Recent election results from Electoral Reform Services published by DearUnite.com show less than 10% turnout and an Executive Council member (or some such) on the Urban75 message board mentioned that nearly all the elected are members of an internal political party: those who protested about let-downs like the Swissport branch have lost their seats. I quite agree with the good intentions of those who write to say that most unions are efficient and exceptions are rare, but wish they'd set-up a new union or find the existing ones that are any good. Maybe we should have a survey on this site: who has used a union legal service for employment, which union, and was it a last-minute no-win no-fee [problem]?
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