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  1. This is an excerpt from Form EX301 which is one of the associated advice forms connected to making a small claim through the courts on a government website. This kind of advice is what made me think that the Ombudsman was the way to go with my ruined meat issue. I wish I had found this before I found you because now I have to go through with it and if the Court thinks I haven't made sufficient effort to resolve this then I stand a chance of still having to pay court costs. Form EX301 Do all disputes have to be settled in court? No. Going to court should always be a last resort. It can be expensive, stressful and can take a lot of time. Before going to court you should always try to reach an agreement. For example, if you are in a dispute with an organisation, you should use the organisation’s complaints procedure before thinking of making a claim through the court. If you make a claim through the court without making any effort to reach an agreement first, you may find that the judge will hold this against you when considering paying the costs in the case. You may not get your costs back, or the court may order you to pay the other party’s costs, even if you win the case. Other ways you might try to reach an agreement include processes like negotiation, mediation and arbitration. They are often more informal than the court process. Can I sort out my dispute without going to court? There are many ways you could try to sort out a dispute that do not involve going to court. The method you choose will depend on what sort of dispute you have, and how you want it dealt with. These methods include the following. • Negotiating an agreement – where you deal direct with the person, company or organisation that has caused the problem. You can do this yourself, or you can get a representative (such as an adviser or solicitor) to do it for you. Negotiation is often a good first step. Page 3 • Using an ombudsman – ombudsmen are independent ‘referees’ who deal with complaints to do with public and private organisations. You should only involve an ombudsman if a complaint cannot be sorted out through the organisation’s own complaints procedure. • Mediation – where an independent person (someone who won’t take sides) will help you and the other person or company find a solution to the problem. The people involved in the dispute, not the independent person, decide what will happen and the terms of any agreement. However, any agreement reached is voluntary so you cannot force the other side to stick to it. • Arbitration – involves an independent arbitrator who hears both sides of the disagreement and makes a decision that will solve the problem. It is sometimes described as a private version of going to court. Arbitration is usually binding on both sides, so you can’t take your case to court after the arbitrator has made a decision. • Regulator – this is an independent body set up by law to regulate the activities of utility companies and investigate complaints in the telephone, water, gas and electricity industries. Regulators also deal with issues such as landlines and mobile phones, and the internet. You should only contact a regulator if a complaint cannot be sorted through your utility company’s own complaints procedure. Why choose these other ways to settle a dispute? These other ways to settle a dispute are not meant to replace the courts, but they can have advantages over going to court. They will usually: • be more flexible; • solve your problem faster; • be less stressful; and • cost you less money. If you’re having regular problems with a person, company or organisation, for example, an ongoing dispute with a neighbour or a company you deal with, you might find that mediation could bring about a better, longer-lasting solution to your problem. Page 4 Using an alternative method could also help you get: • an agreement over a debt; • a change in the way a person or organisation behaves; • an agreement that a person or company won’t do something; • something fixed or replaced; • an apology; • an explanation for what happened to you; • a mistake corrected; or • compensation.
  2. Thank you stu007 but I'm not sure what to do with this information nor do I understand the significance of looking at their website or group structure. If it's obvious, I'm not seeing it. I do note that the address on their letterhead which is the one they gave me to complain to is different to the ones you have given above.
  3. Thank you Aburobert, I am sure to need my LBA improving upon. No I have every intention of seeing it through, after a month of negotiations with the company I know they don't want to give me anything back.
  4. Ok BankFodder, I probably am jumping the gun but when I was searching for who to complain to the Ombudsman seemed to be the best option, I was staying away from Courts as that seemed a bit daunting. Despite how I am obviously coming across I don't need to be handheld, and definitely am not looking for someone to do it all for me. My main reason for coming on here has already been answered as in yes I should feel entitled to a full refund and now I know to direct it to the County Court. As you suggest I'll start familiarising myself with your website. Thanks for all your help and advice.
  5. Ok thank you BankFodder, I'm not bluffing, they have not treated me well over this and I do want my money back. So I essentially sent them a letter before action but without calling it that and I referred to reporting it to the Ombudsman and not the County Court. I'll send another letter today doing both those things. I gave them till 1st January before I did anything but thats a bank holiday so two weeks from now is 4th January. And would now be the time to add that I am claiming interest at 8%? What I have been doing is sending a letter via email but pressing for confirmation of receipt which I have mostly been getting. I know that legal advice always advises to send it as a signed for delivery to ensure receipt but I'm trying to keep all costs down. If I have proof of receipt by email surely that is sufficient? And if not, then I guess I have to post it.
  6. Thank you JoeyJoeyC, they did tell the Courier and my delivery note has 'special'instructions' but Farmers Choice are now saying, despite what they claim on their website, that they cannot be held responsible for where the courier leaves the meat and even went as far as saying that FedEx encourage their drivers to use their iniative and maybe they deemed that my safe place was not safe enough! I'm clear in my mind that Farmers Choice have disregarded all their supposed policies but even now they are still claiming that they stand by their FAQ's on their website and will not take responsibility in a delivery perishing. They say they have put in a claim with FedEx and are waiting for a response and I have responded to that that whether they get compensation or not from FedEx should have no bearing on me being compensated without delay. So it looks like a small claims is the way to go? I wasn't sure I could bother s court with a small amount such as £180 although £90 of that should be a straightforward return to me.
  7. Hi everyone I'm having a battle with my meat company and am not getting anywhere. They are refusing to accept responsibility and won't refund me for the cost of the ruined meat and are holding on to my credit balance when I cancelled the account one month ago and whilst I am convinced I am in the right I don't know that I am. What happened was that during the summer the courier left my meat order with neighbours that I am not very friendly with and on that occasion they signed for the meat and promptly went out for the rest of the day. After that I asked the meat company to please ensure my meat was never left with those particular neighbours. In addition the company ask for a safe place to be designated. I have a wonderfully safe place in my rear garden shed, which is completely hidden from the street, and the company claim to honour your chosen 'safe place' but all of this year FedEx have only once bothered to go to my garden shed and have persisted in leaving it with those neighbours. I started only booking in a delivery when I knew I could wait at home all day but last month my work was postponed by a week and I was left with no choice than to not be at home. On this day FedEx delivered my predominantly fish and chicken order to those blacklisted neighbours and then FedEx did not leave me a delivery note to tell me that is where it was. I emailed the company at 7pm to say I had not had the expected delivery and the next morning I had to call the office again as they had not responded. They then told me that the meat had been left with those blacklisted neighbours and as I was working an hour away from home I could not go to the neighbours until the evening when I got home - which was 7pm again. I went to the neighbours house and they had kept my meat in the living room for some 30 hours and the room was like a furnace it was so hot. All the meat had defrosted. £91 worth. The neighbours knew it was meat but clearly didn't feel any responsibility for it even though they had signed for it. Ultimately I hold the meat company responsible because they knew I did not want my meat being left at that house. They are saying that they can't be responsible for their courier, they say that on their website. But I think its unlawful because I provided a safe place with excellent instructions (and they also say on their website that they will leave it at any safe place of my choosing and so being out need never be a problem!) which they ignored. I specifically requested that my meat never be left with these particular neighbours because of previous problems and they told me on the phone that they understood this but have done nothing to stop it happening again. I have told them I was not left a note and FedEx is saying they did! I have been sending them regular emails over the month and last week I wrote to them to tell them that if it was not resolved, and me fully refunded by 1 January 2016 they I would complain to the Consumer Ombudsman. Even if they don't want to refund me the meat, surely they should have returned the £90 that I was in credit by in my account before I closed it? Please can anyone advise if the Ombudsman is the way to go and if I should feel entitled to a full refund? Thank you
  8. If you are asking me why there was no intervention by Aviva, I feel qualified, based on my own experience, to categorically say that there is no Aviva support for any of the numerous Quote Me Happy complaints. Only when I finally wrote Aviva's Managing Director with all accompanying correspondence, my own set of accusations about the dubious QMH business activity and promises of reporting this activity to Trading Standards did anything get done. Every time I left a comment on one of their rather odd marketing blogs the blog in question just disappeared off the internet and was replaced with another phony write up. They even have their own feedback site which surprisingly is 100% positive as opposed to all the other feedback sites which are 100% negative. They are not above board - Aviva has to know this - and if I can play a part in just one person steering clear of them, then I've done a good deed in leaving that bad taste!
  9. Ok will do - thank you for you help.
  10. Alright Mapadale thank you for responding. Yes I cancelled my DD two days later and my bank also put a stop on any further withdrawals from Q.M.H. Are you advising that I actually do report it to Trading Standards?
  11. I tried to cancel my car insurance policy 2 days after I joined them. Their website instructions directed me straight to cancellations and then sent me around the houses but ultimately is set up to not accept a cancellation of policy - not within the cooling off period anyhow. I then wrote them emails - I have proof of sending three. They just responded to my cancellation emails by sending me a template informing me that I could cancel my policy free of any charges and get a refund if it was within the cooling off period but in order for me to incur no charges I must do it on their website. I replied that their website wouldn't accept my cancellation and so I was asking them to do it and just kept getting the same template email back from them - in effect they were not acknowledging my cancellation. Now they have send me a Default Notice under Section 87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 telling me that I have one month to pay my direct debit sum and reinstate the Direct Debit Mandate or they will charge me a further £53 and hand me over to a Debt Collector Agency. My Dad is advising me just to ignore them because I have done everything correctly, but I don't think this is the best advice for me. I'm sure that Quote Me Happy know exactly what they are doing and know that they are within their legal rights at the moment. I don't really get how a company that's associated to a giant like Aviva is permitted to behave like this because there are really a lot of historical complaints about them. Does anybody know what I can do to stop this?
  12. I hadn't thought of taking that angle so I could do that. As it is Southern Water have been waiting for my tenants to call in a second metre reading since 12th December. I left the managing agent to handle things and it turns out that he didn't bother telling Southern Water at all that there was any kind of problem here. I've got a feeling that he really should have. I was assuming that any mess the managing agent made, then he will have to clear it up but I'm not so confident now that it will pan out that way. BTW do you mean that if I need to have work on my pipes via access from the pavement then I must pay a licence but any contractor who carries out work on behalf of utilities or council does not? A KCC licence is £300! Completely separate issue but why would anybody go and tarmac over a metre?
  13. Hello everybody If anybody has advice of what to do in my situation I'd really appreciate it. I rent my house and so I'm not in UK. A leak developed in December and the first my tenants knew of it was when a bill for over £500 turned up in early December. My managing agent arranged for the leak to be fixed by a local public works contractor. They turned up and instead of providing us with an estimation of works as they were instructed to do, they just went ahead, got a KCC licence and did the job. The invoice for 6 hours of unapproved work comes in at £960.00. In the meantime they (contractor's) decided there is a problem with the metre and Southern Water probably needed to replace the metre and so they would leave back filling the trench for that purpose. Anyway, they obviously changed their minds on that score because they returned two days later to fill in the hole. Between Friday 10th to Friday 17th December, somebody (and the original works contractor says it was not them!) came to the house and completely tarmacked over the water metre. The contractor says it must have been somebody under instruction from Southern Water. Southern Water say it wasn't. My Southern Water bill is being kept on hold for the moment, and I am intent on not paying the contractor's their invoice until somebody takes responsibility for the metre. In all of this my managing agent seems to have done nothing for the last two months, other than query the invoice and ask the contractor's who filled in the hole (for which his answer was that Southern Water must have done it). I have asked him to officially document all of this in writing to both Southern Water and the local contractor's he got onto the job. He prefers to meet with Southern Water at the site of the filled in water metre. Does anybody know where I stand in all of this and what course of action I should be taking? I know that companies do not hesitate to bung you over to their debt collectors and I really don't want that. Thank you for any advice at all! Julia
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