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Everything posted by RT1970

  1. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. EE customer services were both candid and useless - the guy on the phone said it was clearly a [problem], probably because the salesperson was on commission, but then advised us to 'contact Ofcom and get a reference number from them to take to the shop' either not knowing or knowing but not caring that Ofcom would only refer us to OSC and they in turn would need a deadlock letter or eight weeks without a resolution. Anyway, we returned to the EE shop and confronted the manager about the second contract. I have to admit I expected him to give us the runaround or refuse to help, but to give credit where due he cancelled the contract straight away. My partner has a new phone from Argos with the original SIM on the original contract, so hopefully that's the end of the matter!
  2. Thanks for the quick reply! The second contract was taken out in store 3 days ago but it seems that cooling off period does not apply to in store sales. However, I really feel that the advice she was given was misleading - she was told she could not buy a PAYG phone and put the monthly SIM in it and that the only solutions were to take out a second contract or to buy a phone somewhere else (Carphone Warehouse was mentioned, but there was no branch in the same town). So I think this counts as mis-selling and she should be able to cancel for this reason. I will find out how long the first contract has been in force and will get back to you. But currently she is paying for two concurrent contracts.
  3. Hello everyone - I'm looking for some recommendations following a problem with an EE contract and phone. This is the current situation: My partner has a monthly contract with EE. Her phone stopped working so she took it in for repair under warranty. When it came back it was reported to be unrepairable due to water damage, even though it has been nowhere near water. She asked if she could buy a replacement phone to use with the existing monthly contract and was told by the guy in the EE shop that there was no way to do this because EE only sold phones for PAYG purposes not for monthly contracts. She was advised that the only way to solve the problem was to take out a second monthly contract to run concurrently with the first one, and let the first contract run out in due course. The second contract would come with a new phone. She felt pressured into doing this because she needed a working phone that day. My questions: Is it really not possible to buy a replacement phone from EE for a monthly contract? To be clear, she wasn't expecting a freebie and was willing to pay for the new phone. Even if for some reason it isn't possible to buy a replacement phone for a monthly contract, surely she could buy a PAYG phone from them and just transfer the 'monthly' SIM card? Is it usual practice for EE staff to advise customers to take out concurrent contracts? Isn't this mis-selling? Can we cancel the contract under the terms of the cooling off period? Thanks in advance
  4. Interesting post on the prankster's blog today: "To dissect their incompetence, Wright Hassall have started out by misquoting 9(2)(b), which states nothing of the sort. They refer to registered keeper, while the Act refers to keeper. The two are not necessarily the same, as the Act makes clear in 2(1). They then misquote 9(2)(e), somehow turning an obligation of the operator into an obligation of the keeper. Along the way, they once again mangle keeper into registered keeper, and state that a current postal address of the driver is required. This is wrong - the Act defines the requirements to also allow 'an address at which the driver can conveniently be contacted'. Next, 9(2)(f) is similarly reversed, magically changing from a operator obligation into driver obligation." I hadn't spotted that, but there it is in Sched 4(2)1: “current address for service” means— (a)in the case of the keeper, an address which is either— (i)an address at which documents relating to civil proceedings could properly be served on the person concerned under Civil Procedure Rules; or (ii)the keeper’s registered address (if there is one); or (b)in the case of the driver, an address at which the driver for the time being resides or can conveniently be contacted; So it seems that if you inform the PCC you were not the driver and offer to give them contact with the driver, even if you do not immediately provide the driver's full contact details, they are still obliged to then deal with the driver. Only if the driver denies being the driver can they use (5, 1b) to go after the keeper again...
  5. Sorry, my post was a bit ambiguous in that regard. Short answer: no. More precise answer: I replied immediately to the PCN to tell them I wasn't the driver and offered to send them the driver's details (I was actually expecting them to send me some sort of form to fill in - I was unaware at the time how these companies operate so naively I thought there would be a proper procedure for this). Then they replied a month later, upping the fine and inviting me to appeal directly to them, by which time I had read some of the threads on here and was a bit more clued up, so I wrote back and asked for sight of the landowner's authorization, breakdown of costs etc. I did not actually send in my friend's details, only an offer to do so. Do you think this is an important distinction? POFA 2012 Sched 4, 5(1b) states that they can only pursue the keeper if they are "...unable to take steps to enforce that requirement against the driver because the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver..." My reading of that is that by offering to provide his details I was enabling them to take steps (the next step being to accept my offer) whereas I guess a really strict reading of the same paragraph would be that if they don't actually have the name and address of the driver they can elect to take action against the keeper at any time. On a related subject, I find Sched 4, 5(2) similarly ambiguous: "Sub-paragraph (1b) ceases to apply if (at any time after the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice to keeper is given) the creditor begins proceedings to recover the unpaid parking charges from the keeper." What are proceedings in this context? One reading could mean serving court papers, but equally a company might say that by sending any letter or reminder after 28 days they are taking their own 'proceedings'. Cheers RT
  6. Absolutely correct. In my first letter to the PCC I informed them I was not the driver at the time of the alleged overstay and let them know that the driver was happy for me to supply his details so he could take over the correspondence with them. I'd lent my car to a friend while his car was off road, and when I showed him the NTK he agreed that I could send them his name and address and he would sort it out with them. But they ignored that information and waited a month to reply (just enough time to exclude me from POPLA, funnily enough!) and invited me to appeal to them directly, which is when I started dragging up all the other issues (no contract with landowner, mismatched sign/PCN, breakdown of costs, etc). My argument was that by providing or offering to provide the driver's details in my first correspondence with them, they were obliged to follow up with the driver under POFA 2012 Sched 4, 5(1).
  7. Thanks all, donation made Here's the redacted letter, obviously only suitable for those in the same situation although I guess bits of it could be used if appropriate for related scenarios. DRP Plus Ltd PO Box 411 Dukinfield SK14 9DD Your reference XXXX– Parking charge notice XXXX – Date XXXX Dear XXXX I have endured protracted correspondence with your company about the parking charge mentioned in your latest letter dated XXXX despite making it abundantly clear that I dispute the legitimacy of the charge and have no intention of paying it. My position has not changed over the last three years. The debt is denied. I do not owe you or your client any money, I reject your claim in its entirety and I will happily argue the case in front of a judge if you have the balls to try it on. When the alleged incident took place I was not the driver of the vehicle and I informed your client of this fact in writing when I received the original PCN dated XXXX. Notwithstanding your client’s duty under POFA 2012 to pursue the driver rather than the keeper they deliberately delayed their response to my letter until the 28 days allowed for POPLA appeals had expired, and then invited me to appeal directly to them, which is an abuse of the BPA code of practice. I received further correspondence from them addressed to me as the vehicle keeper and eventually letters from your company adding punitive costs and fees to the original charge, which contravenes Schedule 4 (Clause 4.5) of POFA 2012: “The maximum sum which may be recovered from the keeper by virtue of the right conferred by this paragraph is the amount specified in the notice to keeper…” The case of Parking Eye v Somerfield established that even debt collection costs of £60 are not allowable. In my earlier correspondence, I requested a copy of the agreement with the landowner at XXXX giving your client interest in the land and thus the authority to levy a charge, which was declined. I also pointed out that the charge stated on the signs in the car park differed from that on the original PCN, which makes the charge invalid because the PCN stated the incorrect amount, but that information was also ignored. I also asked for a breakdown of costs, which was not provided satisfactorily. Although your latest letter suggests otherwise, the fact that the ‘unfair contract terms’ defence was struck out in the Beavis vs Parking Eye supreme court case does not make me suddenly liable for this parking charge or the punitive additional costs you have arbitrarily applied, because the original charge was incorrect, I was deliberately denied access to the standard appeals process and the fees added for debt collection are illegitimate. In the spirit of fair play (not that either you or your client deserve it) I am prepared to offer you the opportunity to settle this matter by alternative dispute resolution and will even agree to using POPLA if that is your preference. If your client is not willing to use alternative dispute resolution then Mr XXXX please tell them that I will look forward to seeing them in court. I will look forward to making them look like the utter shambolic idiots they are, and I will extract maximum costs from them commensurate with the amount of hassle they have caused me during the last three years. If your client insists on this approach, bearing in mind that the court often applies sanctions if offers of alternative dispute resolution are unreasonably refused, then I will expect them to follow practice directions (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct) and I will bring to the judge’s attention any contravention of these directions which is deliberately used to misrepresent your client’s case. For further correspondence (and for issuing proceedings if your client elects to do so) please note that I have recently moved and have a new address, which is shown at the top of this letter. Please update your records and use my new address for any future communication. Yours sincerely
  8. Out of interest, I followed this line of enquiry and received the following reply from East Riding of Yorkshire Council: "A planning application was approved on xxxxx for the retention of a pole and 2 CCTV cameras. The documentation does show some signage and other signage on site would not likely require planning permission." I could not see any information in the documents about applications for specific signs on poles, so it seems some councils are less strict with their requirements than others.
  9. Blimey - I've just received an email from the BPA (to whom I copied my latest correspondence with Highview, along with a summary of all the reasons I thought the PCN was incorrect/unenforceable) and they say Highview have decided to cancel the PCN and have written to me to confirm this. It's a relief not to have to go to court, even though I think my defence is rock solid and they would have been stupid to try it on. I'm happy to post a redacted copy of the letter I sent if the wording would maybe help others in a similar position? I'd also like to make a donation to the forum running costs if a mod/admin can post below or PM me and explain what to do, because the advice received has (as always) been very helpful and reassuring. Thanks again to everyone
  10. I've done a bit of digging at the land registry tonight. The car park in question is operated on behalf of a well known supermarket, but neither Highview nor the supermarket own the land. The land is owned by a property company and the supermarket leases a unit from them. The lease presumably allows them to use the adjacent land as a car park. I have searched for the property company at Companies House and although their accounts are up to date they are listed as 'dormant'. BPA code of practice: "7.1 If you do not own the land on which you are carrying out parking management, you must have the written authorisation of the landowner (or their appointed agent). The written confirmation must be given before you can start operating on the land in question and give you the authority to carry out all the aspects of car park management for the site that you are responsible for. In particular, it must say that the landowner (or their appointed agent) requires you to keep to the Code of Practice and that you have the authority to pursue outstanding parking charges." So, it seems even if the supermarket invited Highview to operate the car park on their behalf they are not agents of the landowner (merely leaseholders, along with other businesses with units adjacent to the same car park) and cannot give them authorisation - no wonder they wouldn't send me the contract either! Am I correct in presuming that unless Highview can provide a bona fide copy of their contract with this property company (or an authorised agent) that was in force in 2013, then every ticket they issue on this site is invalid? I know this was an important factor in VCS v Ibbotson, but I'm not clear how it breaches contract law if the BPA CoP is voluntary....
  11. This might be my misunderstanding but I thought that the liability for a parking charge was always against the driver of the vehicle at the time of the incident and only after POFA 2012 were the companies legitimately able to pursue the keeper. (Until POFA 2012 it was possible to escape these charges simply by claiming not to have been the driver at the time and challenging the parking company to prove otherwise). If the companies can only pursue the keeper under POFA 2012 then they must be bound by that legislation, and if that legislation says they can only ever claim the amount on the PCN and no more, then on what legal basis can they add punitive charges? They could be prosecuted by Trading Standards for misrepresentation at the very least I would have thought.
  12. But that surely means that most if not all of these historic cases are unenforceable, solely on the basis of the additional fees, and further that the additional fees are illegal and the companies issuing them could be prosecuted?
  13. Thanks everyone for the advice so far. I have written to them today solely to make sure they are aware of my new address so they can't get a default by serving papers at my old address, and I have reiterated that I deny the debt. One thing I wanted to check out is the wording of POFA 2012. The letter I got demands not just the amount on the original PCN but also various late payment charges etc so is now double the amount shown on the signs in the car park. According to POFA 2012 Schedule 4 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/schedule/4/enacted): "(5) The maximum sum which may be recovered from the keeper by virtue of the right conferred by this paragraph is the amount specified in the notice to keeper under paragraph 8(2)© or (d) or, as the case may be, 9(2)(d) (less any payments towards the unpaid parking charges which are received after the time so specified)." Does that not mean that even if the original parking charge can be enforced, then the top-ups cannot?
  14. Ah yes... an honest mistake guv I will ignore the speculative invoice. Out of interest - what applicable laws or codes of conduct are they breaking by chasing up dormant cases?
  15. Thanks for the additional info. I've just had a quick look in the filing cabinet and in fact I do have the original correspondence. The sign in the car park said the charge was £85 for overstaying but the initial NTK demanded £90 reduced to £60 for immediate payment. Then there was no contract with the landowner produced on request although when I replied it was the Beavis defence I used. I will ignore. But, one problem I have is that they are writing to an old address. I moved in March so my 12 months of post redirection are almost up. Should I tell them my new address, just in case they do issue proceedings? I don't want to be one of these unfortunates who loses in court because I wasn't aware of the hearing. Cheers RT1970
  16. Thank you At the time they sent the initial notice I informed them that I was not the driver but they chased me anyway. I also raised the unfair contract terms defense and asked to see their contract with the landowner. I also asked the landowner for the contract. Neither replied. Also the signs mentioned a fine of £60 but the initial charge was £85. So for lots of reasons they were on a hiding to nothing. Under what terms do I report them?
  17. Hello all I will probably not be the only one to receive a demand from Highview/DRP for an old parking fine which they never followed through at the time of issue because I disputed the terms of the contract. However, in the post-Beavis era I guess they are now going through their records and restarting proceedings in dormant cases. So, quick question - for a parking fine issued in 2013 can they suddenly restart proceedings now (and demand payment in 7 days)? If they can, what is the best way to deal with them? I no longer have any of the original paperwork. I did inform them at the time of the incident that I was not driving the vehicle when it was parked but they continued to pursue me as the keeper in any case. If we can no longer rely on unfair contract terms (this was a free car park and a 10 minute overstay from what I recall) then what is the best strategy? Thanks for all help and advice. RT1970
  18. Sorry, to clarify, my business account is with another bank but I can only pay myself personally according to when customers pay the business, so my personal account also has to be quite flexible. Having spoken to Barclays about this, I was right about one thing but wrong about another. I was wrong about the advantage of a higher overdraft - the 1.5% annual fee for overdrafts >£15,000 is IN ADDITION to the other charges, so there is no advantage in taking a higher overdraft limit. (This is not clear in their information leaflet). However, I was right about the impact of the standard daily fee. If you are often more than £2000 overdrawn but you have a higher limit then you might as well party, because it won't cost you a penny more all the way up to £14,999. Effectively, if you would normally run your account a couple of thousand in the red you are better off going to your overdraft limit and putting the rest of the money in a high interest savings account, which is exactly what I'll be doing until I find a better service elsewhere. Bizarre but true.
  19. This is small comfort for those running small businesses who need to use their overdraft facilities regularly because they cannot predict when they will get paid. I have a £15,000 overdraft facility which I use regularly, and the interest charges before were based on the amount borrowed. Now it seems that anything over £2000 will cost £3 per day so there is no difference between being £2001 overdrawn and £14999 overdrawn. It means my overdraft will go from costing something like £300 per year in interest to nearly £1100. Surely this is not fair and contravenes BCOBS? Also look at the small print. If you have an overdraft limit more than £15,000 then your facility is charged at 1.5% p/a (i.e. £225). So if my overdraft limit was one penny more, I would be paying around £500 p/a for the same service. Or, the short version, GOODBYE BARCLAYS.
  20. Hello all I am in the middle of an argument with MBNA and would appreciate some advice. 1. I set up a direct debit on their advice many moons ago so that the minimum payment would be made on my credit card account as a backup if I forgot to pay manually or was working away and unable to get on the internet. 2. The direct debit is meant to collect the minimum amount due 3. This month, as in the past, I paid more than the minimum 10 days before the direct debit was due. The amount owing on the account clearly said zero. 4. Nevertheless they took the direct debit anyway. Because I had already paid there were insufficient funds so they charged me £12 for my trouble. And my bank also charged £8. 5. Both MBNA and my bank have agreed to refund the charges as a good will gesture. 6. But, MBNA say the DD was not paid so will continue to show as a default on my credit score. I really don't see how this is fair at all. I have now cancelled the direct debit and paid manually again this month so MBNA have (A) never at any point been denied the funds they are due and (B) the amount I paid this month is sufficient to cover the direct debit last month and pay this month's minimum and more on top. So they have never been out of pocket, how can they possibly hold that against me and mark down my credit score? All help and advice gratefully received!
  21. So, they have written again giving more time to pay, refusing to show me the contract with the landowner (no legal obligation to provide it) and listing their itemised losses. These include signage, employment of staff and (!!) membership fees for the BPA. The cheek! Or in other words, all tax-deductible business expenses that cannot possibly constitute a pre-estimate of loss for a staying a few minutes over in a 'free' car park, and clearly at odds with VCS vs Ibbotson. Other interesting points - NTK charged me £90 but signs in car park say £85. Is there any mileage in following that up? Finally, what relevance are the following cases? (edited to add: these were cited in the letter as reasons that I should give up and pay up) PE vs Somerfield 2011 CPS vs Dorrington 2012 Napier Parking vs Yau 2012 PE vs Shelley 2013 As far as I can see none of these are defaults and in each case the judge ruled in favour of the parking company. Are these special cases, bad luck or do they set a legal precedent for us? Thanks for any and all advice
  22. Hello all I have now got to this same stage with Highview Parking. Exactly the same letter from DRP Ltd with the same sender "Sarah Connor" - maybe the solicitor going to be called John Connor or Dr Silberman.... In any case, I'm sure "they'll be back". I've written to them telling them firmly that no debt exists until proven in court and that until such time as that proof arrives they must cease and desist from further communication or I will report them to the police under S1a of AoJ 1970 (distress and alarm) and also S1c (falsely claiming to act in an official capacity to claim and enforce payments). I'm going to complain to the OFT as well just to cause Highview/DRP as much hassle as possible. However, although I have looked through the threads on this part of the forum there are a couple of things that are not clear to me. I've told them that I won't pay because they have not demonstrated they have an interest in the land nor have they provided a breakdown to show how they arrive at their genuine pre-estimate of loss (of £90 for overstaying three minutes in a free car park). I've told them that if they won't show me this evidence then I will put them to proof of these aspects in court. They are definitely pursuing this as a breach of contract (because their signs say this). What I don't understand is how the recent HMRC appeal case in the upper tribunal affects the interpretation of these contracts. Do they (Highview) still have to prove an interest in the land or has this route been blocked off now because of the appeal. Also, what in the end was the decision on the VAT? Are parking charges liable for VAT? And if so, surely this means that all the 'speculative invoices' they send are in breach of POFA sect 9 for not showing the actual charge (which should be net of VAT). So can we not cause them lots of trouble be reporting them to HMRC each time they send a NTK? I know I should be ignoring their letters at this stage but it is too much like good sport to be poke them with a stick . RT
  23. Dear all The problem I have here is so complicated I don't know where to start. It involves British Gas and several contractors, various departments who don't talk to each other and a new boiler which didn't work for over a year. I hoped that someone, somewhere at British Gas would coordinate it and take a lead in solving the issues but after lots of nice people from different departments making sincere promises I'm still out of pocket, I have nothing in writing and I'm at my wits end with it all. Long story short: I had a new boiler installed in June 2012 which never worked. It was finally replaced a couple of weeks ago and now it seems to work fine. The boiler is meant to be the most economical on the market but my gas bill has increased from £75 to £132/month throughout the period when the faulty one was installed. It is meant to give me a feed-in tariff for electricity but this was never set up so I have never benefited from it. No-one at British Gas now responds to my calls or to my email complaints. I have written a draft letter which I will send off to their head office at some point in the next couple of weeks but I would appreciate advice as to what consumer protection legislation I should be citing to support me and how best to get through to the right people. I enclose the letter in full below. All advice and assistance is welcome - please help!!! Thank you RT1970 Dear Sir or Madam It is with great regret that I must now write to you with a final warning to address my numerous complaints and insist that you provide satisfactory redress or I will have no option but to pursue my claim through the regulators and ultimately through legal action. In May 2012 I was advised by a British Gas engineer during a standard annual inspection that my boiler was more than 10 years old and could do with replacement. I stress that there was nothing wrong with the boiler at this point other than its age, i.e. it was in perfect functional order. I was persuaded to have your latest generation of BAXI ecogen boiler installed at significant expense (approx. £9000), albeit with a 50% discount for switching to British Gas for dual fuel and for agreeing to participate in a usage monitoring program. I was persuaded because it was presented as significantly more economical for gas usage and would provide a feed-in tariff for electricity generation. The replacement program has been a debacle since day one. The new boiler never worked properly and was eventually replaced 12 months later after an immense amount of unnecessary arguing because BAXI refused to acknowledge there could be a fault and blamed the problems on the BG installation. I was never switched to dual fuel. I was never given a feed-in tariff. And the final insult, I have just received a letter informing me that my monthly gas direct debit will increase from £75 to £132 because of increased usage over the period the faulty boiler was installed, when I was unable to access the control panel to regulate the thermostat or timing. Throughout this long year I have been promised many times that my complaints will be addressed but there has been no follow up in writing to any of the issues I have raised. There seems to be no communication whatsoever between the various departments coordinating this program, and the level of service I have received has been nothing short of abysmal. I will not be satisfied unless the following issues are adequately addressed: 1. The boiler was eventually replaced in June 2013 after 12 months of complaints. I was verbally assured that the warranty on the first installation, which has now expired making me liable for any future failures and call-out charges, would be extended to run from the latest install date. I have not received confirmation in writing although I have received several letters warning me that my HomeCare policy needs to be renewed to maintain cover. You are in breech of a verbal contract to provide this warranty and I demand written confirmation that it is in place. 2. One key reason for agreeing to the replacement boiler was the feed-in tariff, which promised to reduce my electricity bills. Since the boiler was not working properly for an entire year and the feed-intariff was never set up, I have been left at a financial disadvantage because for more than one year I have not benefited from the tariff you advertised. I expect to be fully compensated for that. I also expect to be told why, a month after the replacement boiler has been installed, I have not been contacted to arrange this tariff despite several promises from your front line staff that this issue would be addressed. 3. Another key reason for agreeing to the replacement boiler was its apparent higher efficiency than my old boiler. The constant series of problems experienced with the original install meant thatfor nearly 11 months I was unable to access the control panel and control the heating and water. Since my demand for gas has not increased since last year, the near 80% increase in consumption suggested by the increased direct debit from £75 to £132 per month can only be explained either by the new boiler being less efficient than the old, or a malfunction that prevented control of the heating. I expect my gas bill to be recalculated based on the previous 12 months before the faulty boiler was installed. 4. I want a written explanation for why, even though dual fuel was a condition of the installation, I received two letters from British Gas commiserating me for changing my mind and returning to my original electricity supplier (which still stands today) when I made no such instruction. Despite many pleas to have the dual fuel account set up over the last 12 months nothing has been done. 5. I want to know why you can profess to have the competence and expertise to coordinate the installation program using private contractors, i.e. BAXI and the monitoring team, but when there are problems with the installation no-one steps in to claim overall responsibility and there is no single point of contact for complaints. 6. I want to know why you think it is acceptable to send engineers out to fix a problem who have not been trained to handle the system they are fixing, and why an average 10 day delay is needed before BAXI engineers can be called out to attend the job, and why it is the customer’s job to chase these appointments. 7. I want to know why you think it is acceptablefor British Gas engineers to turn up for a call and then, if the telephone is not immediately answered (perhaps because the homeowner happens to be urinating at that precise moment as was the case for myself) drive off and leave the appointment unfulfilled and complain that the homeowner was not at home when they arrived. Do you expect customers to 'hold it in' so as not to inconvenience your engineers for a couple of minutes? 8. I want to know why this complaint now presented in writing was ignored when I used your website portal to submit it, despite receiving a confirmation that the complaint had been received and that I would receive a response within 48 hours. 9. Finally, I want you to give me one good reasonwhy I should ever use British Gas again, or recommend this company to anyone I know. As stated above, I expect all these questions to be addressed fully and to my satisfaction by the end of July, otherwise I will have no option but to take the matter as far as is necessary to achieve the redress I deserve. I'm sure you are all well-meaning people, but the lack of overall control I've witnessed and the number of times I've heard your representatives say "I'm not trained to do this", "That's not my department" and "I promise to call you back" is beyond compare to any level of incompetence and bad organization I've ever experienced before. Please someone, somewhere, take responsibility for this and sort it out. Yours etc…
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