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  1. Frankly I feel that it's probably a bot. I don't know if there's a real Katie Chamberlain or whether they have simply picked some name out of the blue and I can't see what it has to do with smile cloud services Anyway, here's the recording of an unsolicited call. call_16-52-49_IN_01130859953.mp3 Internet searches seem to show that this is not an isolated case. If anyone has further information as to how it works then please post it here. This call was recorded automatically on an android mobile phone. Read our customer services guide
  2. Hi folks and thanks for taking an interest. I have a consumer issue which I would like some opinions on please? Please forgive me if this is in the wrong place. On 18/07 I selected and booked accommodation for two nights via the Booking.com website for a place called Juras Mols in Bigauņciems Latvia. I was hoping for a few days away from consumer related hassle, ha ha, must have broken a mirror recently. The website clearly says on the accommodation page: 2nd Paragraph: “Guests can enjoy a sauna and a heated indoor pool. ….” 4th Paragraph: “Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are available. …” My children very much enjoy swimming pools when they’re not on the internet and my wife also enjoys saunas and so I booked on the basis of the information supplied. The general facilities tab for the accommodation shows: Pool and wellness • Swimming Pool • Indoor pool (all year) • Fitness centre (Additional Charge) • Sauna Internet • WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge. All rooms include: “Private bathroom, Hairdryer, Ironing facilities ….” From the rooms available at the time I booked a “Standard Quadruple room with Balcony” containing 2 single beds and 2 bunk beds at a total price of €138 which I paid via a Visa Debit card though the web site. The description of the accommodation and facilities along with the claim on the web site of the 2nd best hotel in Bigauņciems gave me good expectations that the accommodation would suit our needs for an enjoyable break. (laughable really as when I got there, I found there are only 2 hotels in that location ). On arrival we were met by a member of staff, who showed us the common dining room and kitchen and took us to room Num 3 where we were shown the door to our ‘balcony’. This was in fact a metal fire escape leading to the ground. It had close growing conifer trees and overlooked the ‘hotel’ junk yard which I obviously photographed for the record. We asked about the “pool” as we could not see anything that might be a pool and were told that there was no pool and no sauna available. My wife later discovered on the second evening while having a conversation with a member of staff in Russian that there was a sauna in a room marked “Private”, but that (paraphrased), ‘we don’t use it because we have so many guests’. Later we were allowed to store our luggage for a couple of hours between check out and departure in the same Private room. We saw that it was being used as a store room with mattresses and bed linen and was obviously not available to guests. The staff clearly didn’t want us to photograph this room. The only sign of any ‘pool’ was an empty circular ‘plunge pool’ of not more than 1m diameter. Wifi: The facilities says, “WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.” The normal expectation of a reasonable person would be that this would provide access to the internet. (Isn’t there something about internet access being a basic human right?). In truth is was sometimes possible to get a Wifi connection, but it did not give Internet access in most parts of the building that I tried. It was useless to us, unless we were in the common dining area on the ground floor. Not a complete disaster, but certainly not what was advertised. We returned from the beach on the first evening around 9 p.m. we found the shower was broken, and judging by the condition of the broken fitting, was of a long standing nature. Not the biggest problem in the world to hold the shower head up, although more difficult for the children to shower on their own, but certainly not a quality experience. Soon thereafter my children complained to me that the hot water in the shower had gone cold. I checked and there was no hot water from the shower or sink. I went to the reception and was told that it was because too many people had used the shower and that the accommodation’s boiler wasn’t able to make enough, but that it would be ok in about an hour. We ate and I checked the water on several occasions up until midnight and it was always cold. I checked again in the morning when it was at best tepid. So I ‘enjoyed’ two invigorating cold showers. I checked again in the late evening following our return from a day trip and again the water was cold. I spoke with another guest who said that they had never had hot water on any evening of their stay. – I took their name and address. This property and the facilities available to guests had clearly been misrepresented. Due to the lack of the advertised facilities: Wifi, proper balcony, indoor pool and sauna etc., I photographed and noted all of the problems and kept a copy of the website pages. I contacted the booking .com customer services on my return and informed them that I considered them to be in breach of contract due to their misrepresentation of the hotel and requested a full refund and claimed damages by way of the cost of a trip to the nearest indoor swimming pool with a sauna. I said that: I believed it was an express term, of the contract for services, that the facilities described would be provided as part of my booking at this hotel. It was also an implied term that the service provided would be done so with reasonable care and skill. Under UK law there are a number of pieces of legislation that provide consumer protection from unscrupulous or negligent traders, namely the: Misrepresentation Act 1967, Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (amended 2014), Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and most recently the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I note now from their website that they disclaim liability for pretty much everything and state that “any dispute arising out of these general terms and conditions and our services shall exclusively be submitted to the competent courts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.” I said I would be most surprised if there was not similar provision for consumer protection from misrepresentation by a business under the Dutch Civil Code. I also believe that Article 6 of EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DIRECTIVE 2005/29/EC – the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive covers misleading business practices (“A commercial practice shall be regarded as misleading if it contains false information and is therefore untruthful or in any way, including overall presentation, deceives or is likely to deceive the average consumer, ….”), is generally applicable in this instance. And in any event the Consumer Right Directive 2013 should still apply. First off they claim to have not received my email. Then they offered 25 Eur compensation without acknowledging or answering any point of my claim. Next they said that it was difficult after the event and again offered 25 Eur. They now claim that: it’s nothing to do with them as they are just an ‘advertiser’, that the hotel does not accept my complaint and again they offered 25 Eur. I have raised the matter on the ODR platform for what it is worth. I have asked Visa about a charge back and they have said, “It’s a very weak claim, but if you want to submit it we’ll take a look.” Misrepresentation of the fraudulent kind is fairly clear in my eyes. I’ve taken a look at the Resolver web site, but that talks about legislation relating to package holidays, which I don’t believe is appropriate for room only bookings. So, please: 1 Am I barking up the wrong tree or being unrealistic in expecting things to be as described? 2 Anybody know about the ‘harmonisation’ of consumer laws across Europe or the Dutch Civil Code? 3 Which is the most appropriate legislation? 4 Anybody had experience of the “European Small Claims Procedure” (I hope I've included the relevant link) Thanks in advance for any info. Dave
  3. Hi everybody. Love this forum and thank you so much in advance for any help. I've tried my best to dig deep here and elsewhere as to make this as easy as possible for you to advise on. A bailiff took my car this morning for an unpaid moving traffic PCN with an overall fee of £513 for release. The PCN was sent to my old address days before I moved house. I appealed from the new address (putting my new address on the form) and followed up via email (again informing of my new address) to ask the status of the appeal and received no correspondence. I updated my driving licence with the DVLA days after the move but – as seems common on this forum – not my V5C (which I have done now just two weeks ago but not at the time of the PCN or subsequent appeal in October 2017). I have downloaded the PE2 and PE3 forms to take to Barnet County Court tomorrow morning (I booked an appointment for 10am) to have witnessed and then sent to TEC. I would love any feedback on the below proposed PE2 statement for "reasons" and also any insight as to what might happen next. Does it look all right? I was half tempted to pay the £513 as I use the car a lot and it is of great inconvenience and obviously I wouldn't like it sold. I gather regaining the funds (if I'm entitled to them and if the appeal is successful) is quite lengthy. Any idea how long it might take to regain the vehicle with the PE2 and PE3 process? Do you think it likely the PE2 reasons are satisfactory or do I not really have a case and should just pay up? Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and for your help! "Dear Sir/Madam, I have been unable to submit a statutory declaration in the normal time allowed because I did not receive a rejection notice and was unaware the PCN appeal had not been accepted until 31/07/2018 when bailiffs removed my vehicle. I made representations about PCN xxxxxx within the 28 days of the penalty charge notice (on 11/10/2017) but did not receive a rejection notice. I made the representation after moving house from xxxxxxx to xxxxxxx on 30/09/2017. I have attached my tenancy agreement as evidence. On my appeal document I stated my new address (xxxxxxxx). I also updated my driving licence with my change of address with the DVLA on 4/10/2017 shortly after moving. I have attached the updated driving licence as evidence. Additionally, I contacted Barnet council twice requesting an update on the appeal and informing them of my change of address (I have attached screenshots of these emails). Unfortunately, it seems that the relevant statutory documents were issued and delivered to my previous address. Had I received a rejection notice – or any other correspondence regarding this matter – I would have accepted the rejection of the appeal and not hesitated to pay the balance requested in a timely fashion. I look forward to the opportunity of addressing and settling this matter of the original PCN. I politely request this time and consideration on the grounds that my original representation included the new address of xxxxxxxxx, that I did not receive a rejection notice and was unaware of this situation until 31/07/2018. I enclose copies of my tenancy agreement, driving licence, v5c logbook and emails. Thank you kindly, "
  4. I am currently in dispute with a builder over a patio - there have been several attempts to remedy the situation over the past 12 months the patio has been re-laid but there are still significant issues. Last time the builder was on site I unfortunately swore about the situation not directed at the builder. The builder became very aggressive and intimidating - shouting and swearing at me. I asked him to leave the house and he continued. Fortunately, at this point my wife came home with my daughters and she could hear the builder shouting from outside the house. I managed to get the builder into the front garden where he continued to shout and swear at me in front of my wife and 5 and 3 year old daughters. My wife asked him to stop multiple times. We got the children in the house and then he eventually left after a final tirade. In the evening the contractor sent a text to my wife rather than me acknowledging his behaviour had been inappropriate. He is offering to carry out further remedial work but we are obviously reluctant to have him back on site after this situation - he is a big guy. Where do we stand legally if we don't feel comfortable having him back on site?
  5. A new wall rendering and other exterior building works company FISHER RANDALL LTD is now trading. I sincerely hope that they are a good company and that customers who use their services get a good deal and that everyone benefits out of it. However, potential customers should realise that the director of this company is Micah Shaw who is the son of Harvill Shaw who has run a succession of wall rendering companies whose business model seems to have been to go into liquidation every two or three years leaving a lot of very unhappy customers behind with no redress. Harvill Shaw has been the subject of various pieces in the press and recently did some time in prison – probably because of his activities. The sole director of the new company FISHER RANDALL LTD , Micah Shaw was the director of one of Harvill's previous companies – but we aren't sure whether that was a genuine directorship or simply some kind of shield. As I have said, maybe this new company is under the genuine leadership Micah Shaw and hopefully it will trade properly, provide a good service, stand by its product, make good honest profits for its owners and its employees – as well as building up a reputation for high quality service and satisfied customers. However, we think it's important to bring this to people's attention. There were too many innocent victims of the previous operations. The repA_10639694_515-091524-14078366_1.pdf https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/investigate-caught-in-a-web-of-lies-510928 http://www.worcsregservices.gov.uk/news/2015/guilty-conman-jailed-for-two-years.aspx http://committee.cityofworcester.gov.uk/documents/g3966/Public%20reports%20pack%2022nd-Jun-2016%2016.30%20Worcestershire%20Regulatory%20Services%20Board.pdf?T=10 Thanks to Cagger: Chrisy for this information Pages from Public reports pack 22062016 1630 Worcestershire Regulatory Services Board.pdf
  6. Operational legacy investigations and inquests – help for veterans READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/operational-legacy-investigations-and-inquests-help-for-veterans
  7. I booked disability assistance in Stansted Airport. The driver and his colleague of the disability vehicle taking disabled passengers from the plane to the airport building acted unprofessional and reckless. When the car started driving (and speeding!), the driver left the door opened right next to where an elderly passenger sat, she was petrified. After some commotion the car stopped and they closed the door. Then the car started speeding again and then suddenly braked throwing me to the floor, I was wearing a spinal brace at the time. They were saying they drove into a chain that was supposed to have a sign on it and it didn’t, trying to justify that it wasn’t the driver’s fault (although, had they not been speeding, I believe they would've seen the chain and even if they had to break I would not have fallen). Despite the incident, I was not allowed a doctor, any medical help, not even a first aid box for a plaster, etc. When I asked to speak to a manager, I was told the manager wasn’t there. I wanted to log a complaint, but they wouldn’t allow me in any way to record the incident, for various reasons they made up. Absolutely everything was refused, apart from a glass of water. I was travelling alone, and I remember severely shaking at one point. All of this should be on CCTVs. I had refused to leave the airport until a complaint/incident was logged and a first aid box was given. The guy said there were no first aid boxes around, or to that effect, and there was nowhere to log the incident or complaint. As I refused to leave, he then paraded me around the airport in the wheelchair while he (non-enthusiastically) kept asking random employees for a plaster and how to log this incident, this took a long time and it was obvious he was trying to get me tired of this so I would drop everything and leave. It was a humiliation of the first order and I can’t begin to express how stressful this was. In the end, I wasn’t’ going to leave the airport, so he had no choice but to get me a plaster, which he found on a colleague, and apparently logged a report on their computer in the disability office. Still, I wasn’t allowed a copy of the report or a reference number. I was assured that someone would contact me about this. No one ever contacted me. As the result of this incident and how I was dragged around the airport my prebooked transport was already gone. This was not a difficult hour of the night and the airport would not help me with getting home. I had money for a bus that went to Victoria station in London, so I got that, but I have a huge memory blank of how I got home that night, I think I was so stressed or in shock I have a memory loss. For many months I was so stressed about this incident that I couldn’t even fly to my cousin’s wedding in Europe. I couldn’t face contacting Stansted airport to chase up this incident either as when I would think about it I would go breathless and my heart would go into palpitations and out of rhythm (I have a medical heart condition). Some months later, when I could get myself to do it, I wrote to Stansted airport to find out about that complaint someone was supposed to get back to me about. I learnt I was mislead in the airport and there was no complaint on the system. Then I sent them a fresh complaint by email, they accepted everything that happened, but blamed me for it as apparently it was my fault I didn’t put a seat belt on in the disability vehicle. (Note: as a result of my heart condition I often feel dizzy and faint so I can easily overlook things like seatbelts. I book special assistance in the airport to help me physically with basic things like mobility and seatbelts. I don’t understand why this is my fault). The complaint was also not accepted properly because I emailed them just over 6 months after the incident (-apparently what I logged in Stansted airport was an incident not a complaint – a technicality I didn't know about, and apparently I had 6 months to log a complaint – another technicality no one told me about). I felt like I was a victim of some sort of Stansted airport mafia. I found it impossible to complaint to Stansted airport. What can I do about this please? Is there anywhere else I can take my complaint to? Or is this all at the discretion of the airport? I feel the incidents that happened in Stansted airport, how they were handled, and how passengers like me are presented with barriers to complain about such events makes Stansted airport a very dangerous place for disabled passengers. Any advise or feedback is most welcome.
  8. I've posted on another thread about how I'm finally facing the payday loan mess I got myself into a few years ago. I've picked through the chaos and now have a picture of who I borrowed from and roughly how they were left – a lot of these loans were going on at the same time, and my credit file must have already been shot to bits as I was being approved applications. What I'm confused about however is how to proceed with an irresponsible lending complaint if there are still amounts outstanding, or if it has been sold on? It all seems so *messy* and as more time passes the foggier it gets??!! Would anyone mind lending a hand? PAY DAY UK Repeat loans / repayments over a period - one loan unpaid now at CCJ claim stage by BW Legal PAYDAY EXPRESS Repeat loans / repayments over a period - one loan unpaid now being threatened with CJJ by BW Legal (they might follow through as they have above) 1ST STOP Repeat loans / repayments / rollovers over a period – one loan resulted in a CCJ (still have to pay this) VANQUIS CREDIT CARD I settled/paid Lowell and default on credit file MR LENDER Unpaid - default on credit file and with DCA QUICK QUID Repeat loans / repayments over a period – one loan unpaid but I eventually settled/paid the DCA - weirdly nothing on credit file SUNNY Unpaid - default on credit file and with DCA WAGEDAY ADVANCE Repeat loans / repayments over a period – paid some/maybe all but unsure if there is outstanding amount left unpaid WONGA Repeat loans / repayments over a period – I had an email saying the amount was being written off and it dissapeared from credit file SWIFT STIRLING I'm finding it difficult to piece together what I borrowed with them but I think it was two or three loans – paid some/maybe all but unsure if there is outstanding amount left unpaid LADDER LOANS Several loans that were repaid in full Urgh, such a big depressing list. The list of doom! Any help where to start would be appreciated.
  9. Having so many Pay day loans (different thread already) and gambling I took stupidly on the same time unsecured Loan – contract with TM ADVANCES LTD. The interest its huge but when you are gambling you don’t think about now I need a help. They didn’t ask for Bank statement and I can see searches on my Credit file so was very clear how much debt I had already but I am not expecting that this one will be easy
  10. Here is a list of all phase II Universal Credit (UC) rollouts please see my attachments these are the areas that will be affected throughout 2015-16 please read the attachments to find out if and when you may be affected .... This will be from now until spring 2016 As most of you know UC means you only get paid once a month, you also get paid your HB as well. You will be responsible for paying this bills on time and making sure you remain in CREDIT with your rent as per T&C's of your tenancy agreements. (May vary between different Councils/Districts) Failure to pay your Council Tax on time WILL/MAY see a Liability Order (LO) issued against you in Court. If this happens you will face the prospect of losing personal property and paying huge fees. Please read some of the threads here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?168-Bailiffs-Help-with-Dealing-with-Bailiffs-and-Enforcement-Agents-including-HCEO to see what could happen if an Enforcement Agent (EA) is asked to collect the arrears of your CTAX There are two attachments for different dates so please read both and one regarding eligibility There is a video from the DWP here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-videos Council tax help is applied for separately to your local Council MM
  11. Sorry if this is long winded, will try to get all info here on 1st attempt 5 x creditors total outstanding approx. 46K Barclays loan with Cabot – debt purchased by Cabot Barclays overdraft with Barclays Recovery – debt still with Barclays Store card with Cabot – this one is clear, see below Mint card with Westcot – not sure if bought or just being collected Barclaycard with Mercers – not sure if bought or just being collected Store card with Lowell – not sure if bought or just being collected All were in default but now expired (2016) on credit report, which is going in right direction. Entered DMP with Financial Atlantic (FA) approx. 2008, paying £150 pm across all creditors, have been model client and paying regular. During this year’s DMP review, it was clear that FA would not entertain any CCA requests and would only negotiate F&F at rate of 40%, plus there 10% charge on savings made. After checking forums, I decided to go for CCA requests myself, letters sent 1 week ago, Cabot already replied for the store card debt and will no longer pursue the debt as cannot obtain CCA, £3.3K gone. I asked FA to hold all payments to creditors pending CCA replies, they have now advised my DMP account will be cancelled and to continue discussions myself with creditors, I guess they saw what I was doing and wanted no part of it. FA will write to creditors advising plan is cancelled. My option, as I see it, is await for CCA results, if no CCA, debt unenforceable, ignore, if CCA, then maybe go for F&F starting at very low figure, I am guessing for bought debt, I have paid more than the purchase price already, others were only on token payment, duration left for each as per my DMP between 8 and 15 years, one (Barclays loan has 38 years at current payment) I understand these debts cannot be put back onto credit file as once defaulted that’s it, am I correct here? Has anyone done similar, what was result and how should I play this now.
  12. The Great Repeal Bill – which does the opposite of what it says http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-great-repeal-bill-parliament-brexit-negotations-deal-a7837616.html One of the key points in the Brexit referendum and since has been the returning of power to the elected British Parliament YET the great repeal bill - includes a part which effectively gives absolute power to the PM and a handful of her senior ministers COMPLETELY bypassing the British democratic process. "The Great Repeal Bill proposes to delegate power to Government in the form of a Henry VIII clause which will enable Government to change all EU-derived primary and secondary law by means of a secondary act (usually a statutory instrument) with limited or no Parliamentary scrutiny or oversight. In the second of her two posts on the Bill, Joelle Grogan argues that this runs counter to democracy, legal certainty, the rule of law and the ultimate supremacy of Parliament itself." http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/06/05/the-not-so-great-repeal-bill-part-2-how-henry-viii-clauses-undermine-parliament/ This should be opposed with your every breath whatever your beliefs on Brexit or ANY other subject. I have no real issue with the main part - bringing required EU legislation into British Law, ONLY with the complete negating of British democracy which May has bolted on to it - Which I unequivocally oppose.
  13. Have you ever tried to make a subject access request to Lloyds bank and been told that they don't keep data longer than six years? Well basically it's a lie – but you wouldn't expect anything else from Lloyds bank. They use an archiving service in Andover and you can get data going back at least 2001. Their address is: – DSAR Unit Lloyds TSB Customer Service recovery Charlton Place C46 Andover SP10 1RE And they even have a telephone number: – 0345 0707124 Although I don't know whether people are prepared to speak to you. Apparently the same archiving service is used to store data relating to TSB, Lloyds TSB, RSP, Halifax Bank of Scotland. In other words all the usual suspects who have ripped you off over the years and then try to obstruct you from getting a full data disclosure. You should still contact their head offices or your branch for your data disclosure, but when they come back to you and say that there is only six years then that is the time to start objecting and to make complaints to the information Commissioner. You can make an SAR request directly to the data centre as well, of course.
  14. Scottish Power Scottish power causeway Wilderspool causeway Warrington WA4 6QD This is not the head office of ScottishPower – but it is the address of a major customer service centre with at least 100 customer service operatives and over 50 other support staff. If you have made your energy contract in England/Wales and you live in England/Wales then you can sue ScottishPower in England/Wales if you have an address for service within the jurisdiction. This address in Warrington will be fine. Don't worry about having to sue out of the jurisdiction in Glasgow or any other thing like that. A few more people suing these inept and irresponsible energy companies like ScottishPower and npower will do the whole of the consumer environment a lot of good. So come on people – bring it on.
  15. READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/royal-navy-statement-20-july-2016
  16. If you buy an item online and pay with Paypal they have a promotion where if you change your mind they will pay the return shipping costs. It runs to the 31st August and can be used 4 times up to a value of £15 each time. You need to opt in and it appears to be valid for all Paypal users. https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/refunded-returns Terms and conditions: https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/refunded-returns/general-conditions
  17. Hi I’m new to this forum so ‘hello’ & I’d be very grateful for any thoughts that people have. In summary I’m in dispute with a local Estate Agency. I allege that, in July 2014, employees of the agency caused £300 of damage to the bodywork of my car. Initially the agency did not respond to my complaints & requests for compensation. Eventually they contacted me by ‘phone to deny liability and refuse to put their position in writing. I referred the matter to The Property Ombudsman Service (TPOS) who was able to conclude that the agency had failed to respond properly to my complaints, but they were unable to conclude that the agency had caused the damage to my car based on the documentation I provided. At that stage the agency made me an offer (via TPOS) of £150 to settle all aspects of my complaints. To date I’ve not taken-up the offer because it doesn’t cover my losses. So I’m currently deciding what to do next. A few weeks ago I sent a carefully worded ‘Letter Before Action’. The Estate Agency replied (i.e. their first written response to me) to once again deny all liability for the damage caused to my car. They failed to refer to any of the specific points in my letter and simply defended themselves by way of a statement to say their staff are fully security-checked professionals who would never behave in ‘that way’. They also stated that the offer of £150 was purely in relation to their mishandling of my complaint. They also stated that my claim seemed opportunistic. They also stated that they’d be referring the matter to their solicitors. I was intending to make a claim against them which would hopefully proceed through the small claims process. I’ve discussed this course of action with TPOS and with legal advice/advisors via my Trades Union both of whom were broadly supportive based on the evidence I could provide. I’ve already drafted the claim form and was going to submit it last week but then I got cold feet and decided to check whether I’d done enough and got enough evidence to make my case as strong as possible in court. I’ve now used the permitted amount of legal advice I’m entitled to via my Trades Union so am now a bit stuck for further advice. Hence I’m making this post. So, my questions can be condensed thus... 1) Are there any other avenues that I should pursue before proceeding to make a formal claim/court action? I’ve tried to follow pre-action protocol by attempting to settle the matter directly with the defendants and attempted mediation via TPOS. The defendants have had plenty of time to respond fully. I’ve considered arbitration which it seems would be too expensive given the amount I’m claiming for (i.e. £300). The ADR specialists I’ve spoken to have suggested further mediation (at £100 +VAT for 2hrs) but the matter has already been mediated by TPOS without successful resolution and as far as I know I may be offered free mediation by the courts later in the small claims process (which I would happily participate in). I suspect we’re at an impasse that can only be broken by a judgement by someone with authority. 2) Is my case strong enough to present convincingly at a court hearing? I have photographs of the damage to my car. I have a reliable witness (who’s given a witness statement) who saw my car being manhandled roughly by 2 of the Estate Agency workers. The snag is that no one actually saw the damage being done – they’re simply able to say that they witnessed the car being treated in a way that could have definitely caused the damage. Also the Estate Agency have not admitted in writing that they touched my car (although they have done so verbally) – my fear is that in a court hearing they could simply deny ever having touched the car and then it’s the word of my witness against theirs. A bit more info. to put all this in context... I live in a house that’s been divided into flats. One of the flats is let to the aforementioned Estate Agent and they use it to house social tenants temporarily. Back in July 2014 the tenant in this flat was a hoarder who failed to pay his rent and was evicted by the Estate Agent. During the eviction all of the tenant’s hoarded possessions were placed on the driveway of the house alongside my car (which was untaxed, uninsured and SORN at the time). The Estate Agency hired a skip to clear–up the hoarded rubbish. I returned from work one evening to find that my locked car had been dragged from its position on the driveway and left on the side of the road. The skip had been left in its place. There had been no communication with me about this beforehand (although 2 days later one of the agency staff told me that they’d moved my car – I pointed-out the damage which he denied doing – accusing me of lying that it wasn’t there beforehand – I do have some blurry photos taken beforehand which show no signs of damage). So my car had been left untaxed & uninsured on the public road with £300 worth of new dents in the bodywork. I was fuming! I’ve received a fair amount of legal advice about the matter and essentially it seems that all my evidence is circumstantial and any ruling would be on the basis of probabilities. My witness is one of several neighbours in the street who saw my car being manually bounced, pushed & dragged across the road by 2 men working for the Estate Agent’s property management team (at one stage they asked him whether they could borrow a jack from him). I’ve been advised that the photos and the witness statement should be convincing enough for a magistrate. .. but recently I’ve been afraid that the Estate Agent is going to deny that their workers ever touched the car and I’ve actually got no written proof that they did. They’ve tried to blame it on the skip company but there’s no evidence to support this and surely if the skip company were working under the direction of the agency and the agency workers were present when the skip was put into position then the agency are still liable as it was their ‘project’? thanks for reading if you’ve got this far – any informed thoughts or constructive comments would be warmly welcomed! JulianS
  18. Well there you are again – Vodafone is at it. Same old story same old villain same old problem same old rubbish – same old gesture of goodwill. A woman who apparently cancelled her Vodafone contract in about 2011 and has been billed all that time. She eventually stops the direct debit and of course suddenly Vodafone leap into action and get the debt collectors onto her case. Will Vodafone begin a court case and have the whole thing ahead before a court of law in front of an independent judge? No, of course not. Vodafone merely prefer to instruct debt collectors to harass people and to browbeat people and to blight their credit files to a point where those people just eventually give up and pay up in order to get a quiet life. Vodafone again. This time, because the BBC got involved Vodafone agreed to write off the debt – as a gesture of goodwill. This lady was on the verge of giving up and thought that she might have to pay. By the way, although Vodafone have been taking her money for years, it was only for the last two months during which the direct debit had been stopped that they were seeking payment. She simply objected to that and also objected to the fact that they hadn't registered her cancellation and that they had trashed her credit file. She wasn't even trying to get her money refunded all the way back. She had effectively written off because she felt she didn't have a hope – that's how desperate Vodafone customers can eventually become. Apparently we have a customer services rep on this forum somewhere called Lee – I'm not too sure where he is but maybe he would like to comment on this Lee?
  19. There is an announcement about this at the top of each forum but if anybody wants to discuss any concerns or flag up any problems that we have not yet become aware of, then please do it here on this thread.
  20. Child Identity Theft – How Safe is Your Child’s Identity ID theft is not just limited to adults. Children are just as much at risk of having their identity stolen. Unfortunately theft of a child’s identity can go undetected for years, which is why children can be a tempting target for identity thieves. In America, the Federal Trade Commission found children make up the fastest growing segment of identity theft victims.* The UK does not experience this crime to the same degree as our personal data is protected by the Data Protection Act 1998, however with the rise of social media children are increasingly susceptible in cyberspace. What is child identity theft? Child identity theft occurs when an identity thief steals a child’s personal details to commit fraud and other types of crimes. It is easy for criminals to set up new accounts as children tend to have clean credit records. This type of identity theft is not usually reported because parents have no suspicion their child’s identity has been taken let alone the child themselves which allows the criminal to use the information for many years. How do I know if my child’s identity has been compromised? Your child gets a bill for something they haven’t ordered. They get emails from an organisation they don’t recognise. They receive letters regarding government benefits or tax payments. They begin receiving credit applications and credit card and bank offers under his or her name. Your application to open a bank account for your child is denied due to poor credit history. What can my child do to protect him/herself when going online? Make sure you teach your child about privacy and that they aware of the information they must not reveal, such as name, address, phone number or school. Be careful of what they share online and with whom. Ensure they don’t accept friend requests from strangers on popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. If your child goes on chatrooms encourage them to stay anonymous as they may find themselves to talking to people they don’t know. What can I do to protect my child’s identity online? Check the privacy settings on any online social networking sites your child’s is signed up to and don’t forget to also check the device settings on smartphones or tablets that they may use. Monitor what information is being shared and made public through simply checking search engines for your child’s name. Be vigilant and monitor their social media and chatroom use, such as only allowing them to use it your presence and looking over the chat room before your child joins it. Block pop ups, to prevent your child being tempted to click on them and potentially release malicious software. If your child’s identity has been stolen they must change their passwords to any online sites immediately as well as any security questions. If they have become a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud. http://www.blog.noddle.co.uk/child-identity-theft-how-safe-is-your-childs-identity/?utm_campaign=Noddle+Newsletter+100815&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=
  21. A marston agent attended my property and wrongly executed a warrant that had been dealt with by the issuing court. The court in question had not relinquished the warrant but I had all the relevant paperwork to prove it had been dealt with but the bailiff refused to take that s proof or let me call the court for them to clarify. I was not at home at the time but my heavily pregnant partner was, by the time she called me she was hysterical and in floods of tears. The agent had terrorised her with threats saying that he was going to remove goods unless payment was made in full and that he was not going to accept the paperwork that proved the warrant should not have been executed. I spoke to him and explained that it had been dealt with in court and a call to the court would get it rectified but he point blank refused and said that if I didn’t make payment now he would get the removals van. I felt that I had no choice as I was extrememely concerned about my partner’s condition being so heavily pregnant. I paid over £1000 over the phone and when I got home a quick call to the court proved I was right. It has now taken since January 12th 2015 to this day, still with no proper investigation or response from Marstons directly answering my complaints that I find myself at my wits end with them. I have 2 active complaints which are currently being ignored by their ‘customer care’ team, I have written and emailed their board and I am still to get any kind of response. I have notified CIVEA and they are fully aware but won’t act until Marstons have exhausted their 3 stage complaints procedure. I really do not know what to do now. All I want is my money and compensation for what I have reasonably incurred due to them not refunding my money and the financial distress it has caused me and my family. Can anybody help?
  22. One of the people that we are helping here on this forum wrote a letter to their member of Parliament about the problems they were having with npower. Understandably, the recent election caused a delay in the response. However, remarkably quickly after the member of Parliament was returned, an excellent response was received offering to make representations and asking for further information. We think that this could be a very good move forward. It is a very simple matter to write to your member of Parliament and if people were prepared to let us know that they have written and also to publish the responses here, we could take steps to flag up to each member of Parliament which of their colleagues were also concerned about npower's shenanigans. I think that it would only take a few members of Parliament to realise that they were not alone and they would publish set up some correspondence or even a meeting and then the matter of npower might be raised in the House. If you have a problem with npower then I would suggest that you write your member of Parliament and use this thread to tell us about it. I would suggest that you update your own thread with the letter that you have written and also with the response you get. I would also ask people to post the letter in this thread as well along with the response so that we have them all in one place. The Consumer Action Group will then be pleased to act on all of your behalf's flagging up the issue to all the various members of Parliament – and also maybe to the national media as well, who I am sure will be extremely interested. We do not believe that asking for help from a member of Parliament should be used as an alternative to legal action. If a member of Parliament makes representations, it will not obtain any compensation for you. You should begin your legal action as well and maintain it all the way through.
  23. Has anyone read this yet? https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-legislation-the-taxation-of-pensions-bill
  24. About 1430 hours today, Monday 22 December 2014, a Glasgow City Council bin lorry was travelling north on Queen Street when it appeared to strike pedestrians outside the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) before continuing to travel towards George Square, when it crashed at the Millennium Hotel on Queen Street at George Square. Read More Here: http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2014/december/264461 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/road-and-rail-transport/11308468/Glasgow-bin-lorry-crash-live.html Very sad news especially at this time of year. I would like to wish those injured a speedy recovery and my heart goes out to those that sadly lost loved ones condolences.
  25. In late 2007 when our business failed we were left owing nearly £100,000 – partly on a business loan and business credit card, but a lot of it was in the form of personal (unsecured) loans and credit cards that we had mainly used to support the business. I was advised that bankruptcy was not a good option as I have a large personal debt that would not be eligible to include in a bankruptcy. CCCS were unable to help us even with the personal loans and credit cards as our income was insufficient to cover our living expenses – still had children at home then. I wrote to all our creditors (by this time mainly DCAs with full details of the situation and offering token payments of between £1 and £10 depending on the size of the debt. Some accepted and some didn’t. Those that did accept we set up DDs to pay every month and those that didn’t accept got nothing. As far as I am aware none of them bothered with CCJs. I am now trying to get on top of the situation and have been checking the bank account and going through paperwork. It seems that 2 of the DCAs, after taking their payments every month for 5 years or so, stopped taking anything about a year ago. The DDs are still active in the bank account but no payments have been taken. Only 3 of the original debts are now claiming these token payments. Another 3 are I think probably statute barred by now (one of these has just started sending chasing letters again). Where do we go from here?
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