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Equitas Ridiculous Charges and constant lying


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I have copied this over from another Thread:

 

This is a letter I sent to equita regarding my problem yesterday, today the bailiff tells me the woman who I sent the letter to has left the company, but when I called them they said she still works there.

These people will lie through their teeth to get as much money out of you as possible. I have spoken to the OFT about my case and they are very interested and say eveything they have done is wrong even TFL say the same.

 

 

Dear Ms ********,

I am writing to you regarding my case with your Company and the problems I

am encountering.

I have never had a problem owing my penalty charges but due to

circumstances have had a problem with paying them and that is where this

situation has gotten totally out of hand it seems.

Back when you first sent the bailiff (Mr. ******) round to clamp my car he

claimed that approx £493.00 was owed on each fine, being there are 6 of

then, this would total nearly £3000.00!

This amount to me seemed excessive so I applied to the courts for it to be

looked into, I admitted that I needed to pay the original fine but

couldn’t pay your fees which even the Judge agreed seemed excessive and

asked TFL to look at it.

TFL just sent it back again to you and I spoke to a guy called **** at

Equita about it, he said that if I paid the original £155.00 on each one

the original debt to TFL would be paid and the account held until we

sorted out the Fee situation. I paid the amount by Debit card and he

apparently set up a payment plan to be taken from my card without my

permission.

I then spoke to a lady last week who told me about this payment plan,

which I cancelled and she told me to contact yourself and I sent you a

letter which has not been replied to.

She also said the amount seemed a lot and said that without a bailiff

calling there is a nominal charge of £13.00 on each amount which I am more

than willing to pay to settle this as my letter explained.

Then today I get a call off of **** from your company saying that it has

been passed to another bailiff who will add more charges and the amount I

paid previously never paid off the original debt as promised but went to

yourselves.

He told me the bailiff will charge an extra £200.00 per charge (£1200.00!)

on top but no one seems to be able to give me an answer to how these fees

are justifiable. I also spoke to Mr ********** who claims this is how

much it costs to send out an automated letter and send a bailiff around

once.

I have also spoken to ***** *** who is now dealing with this who tells me

the amount owed is £1710!

I honestly don’t know what I am paying for and how much and no one seems

to be able to give me a true and honest answer!

I have contacted The Office of Fair Trading who told me that the fees are

excessive and owed they also say that you should never have set up a

payment plan without my actual permission I also spoke with TFL who also

agree this is not right.

Please would you contact me tomorrow so that we can sort this situation

out amicably for once and for all.

My phone number is ************

 

Yours Sincerely

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Plus reply to Tom Tubby on this Issue:

 

TomTubby, thanks for your reply, They refuse to give me a breakdown over the phone and have not replied to my letter. Their reasoning is that they are a big company and this is what it takes to cover their overheads, complete B******T as far as I can see all they have sent me is an automated letter for each fine and the bailiff attended once to clamp my car. Does anyone have any info on the fact this was done at 6.30am ish without knocking on my door first and on private property.

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B.A.T

 

To be exempt from seizure, you will need to provide evidence that the vehicle is necessary for work. For instance if it had the name of a courier company, electrician, plumber etc you can normally argue the point quite easily. However just needing the car to get to work will nearly always lead to the car being taken.

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  • 1 month later...

At last i have some Kind of update, and If i could pick the brains of a few of you it would be much appreciated.

I sent a SAR with £10 and a self adressed envelope on the 21st sept, I still have not recieved aletter back although equita say it was sent out on Monday, 2nd class even though i sent a 1st class stamped envelope.

Does the Law say they have to get back to me within 40 days, as in, I have to have recieved it in person within that time , not just them sending it.

Meanwhile the 30 days they put the account on hold for expired yesterday and the bailiff is threatening to return again.

The lies continue, they tried to tell me a bailiff attended on the 3rd of Oct which i am being charged for, i then reminded them that the account was on hold then and they said it was a mistake on their system and they would remove it.

Hopefully the SAR letter will come to me today, but I don't want to pay anything until i see it, and they are saying my car will be clamped.

I have read they can only charge £24.50 for a first visit £18 for a 2nd, if I tell them this will they just deny it?

Should I just call a Solicitor now to deal with it?

 

Mny thanks in advance for any help

Jamie

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Jim

 

You really do need to ring Equita and ask where the breakdown is. You should do this today.

 

Do you have the name of the bailiffs dealing with your debt. I see from your post that various bailiffs have been instructed. If you have names please send me details by PM only so that I can check if they are certificated.

 

The fees quoted by you are wrong. The amonts os £24.50 and £18.oo relate to the collection of COUNCIL TAX ONLY.

The fees scale for road traffic debts is very different.

 

Let me know what Equita say and I can respond further.

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These charges are excessive.

 

You have six outstanding. It seems they are charging you 2 visits plus an Attendance to Remove on each warrant. This is illegal and if the warrants are for Tfl Congestion, inform them and they will investigate.

 

They will charge you (equita) around £350 - £500 for the first warrant and then can only charge you £222.84 each on the other 5 warrants.

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Using the information commisioner to enforce subject access requests

 

have you seen the court order avenue?

 

Data Protection Technical Guidance

Subject access requests and legal proceedings

 

If a data controller refuses to comply with a subject access request, then the applicant may complain to the Information Commissioner and / or apply to the Court for an order under section 7(9). Under section 40, the Commissioner has discretion to serve an enforcement notice requiring a data controller to comply with section 7.

In practice, subject access rights are often used by individuals who are in dispute with the data controller. In many cases, they may intend to begin or have already begun legal proceedings against the data controller and see section 7 as a way of obtaining additional information to assist in such proceedings.

It has been suggested that recent case law, and in particular Durant v Financial Services Authority [2003] EWCA Civ 1746, provides authority for data controllers to refuse to comply with a subject access request where the applicant is contemplating or has already begun legal proceedings.

The Commissioner does not accept this proposition. He takes the view that failing to comply with a subject access request in such circumstances will, unless an exemption under the Act applies, amount to a breach of the Sixth Data Protection Principle. The right of subject access is one of the cornerstones of Data Protection legislation. If a data controller were able to avoid complying with a subject access request in circumstances where the data subject was contemplating or had begun legal proceedings it would seriously undermine this fundamental right.

However, the courts do have discretion as to whether to grant an order under section 7(9) and may be reluctant to exercise that discretion where it is clear that the purpose of the request is to fuel separate legal proceedings and, importantly, where the discovery rules under the Civil Procedure Rules would provide a more appropriate route to obtaining the information sought. The Commissioner is also likely to take such matters into account when considering whether to exercise his enforcement powers under section 40.

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Ok, I have now recieved a reply to my SAR, which is basically a list of their actions, but hardly the information the SAR letter asks for.

No VAT breakdown

Funnily enough it says I paid 5 amounts of £30 that I never did and finally an offer to reduce the amount once the original fine is paid.

Thing is I have already paid £150 off of each PCN and the offer is only on one of them.

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  • 1 year later...

You would have thought I had learnt my lesson, but due to circumstances I hadn't paid my congestion charge on time ( Personally I think TFL are as Criminal as the bailiffs for the lack of time they give you to pay before putting on a fine, but that's another story).

Again Equita are trying it on, first a letter claiming I owed £261.13 which I found suspicious anyway as it seems they had already added a levy fee without attending, this letter was sent on the 19th March and arrived on the 24th.

I was going to deal with this the following day but the Bailiff had already attended at 6.30am and "siezed" my vehicle using a Sticker!

The removal letter arrived that afternoon dated 20th March asking me to call them and if they did not hear from me that bailiffs would attend our property between 8am and 8pm. Obviously none of these times dates add up and I had no chance to call them before they had attended.

I called the Bailiffs number, which wasn't actually his phone but no answer and left a message asking him to call me back.

He called today the 26th and told me I had to pay

 

£185 - original Fine

£11.20 - First letter

£55.85 - Levy fee (for the sticker I presume)

£150 - Attendance fee

Total £433

 

I told him these costs were ridiculous and that he had not given me sufficient time to respond and he was at my address within the hour

 

He gave me the notice of siezure which said I had to call by 10am, which I had and a removal notice saying that if I did not contact him within 24hrs they would tow the vehicle.

I explained how I felt about the costs and that I was willing to pay the original fine but not the rest until I had spoken to their office, but he would not have it and called the Tow truck which was going to cost a further £240.

I told him he could do what he wnted I refused to pay and was going to lock the gates to my property and could he please leave and park outside.

He rfused I locked the gates and he called the Police to apparently say I had Kidnapped him!

I called the Police to ask them to come as well which they did and I explained the situation.

They basically said there was nothing they could do, that it was I civil dispute and that the vehicle would be towed leaving me with no choice but to pay it.

So now I need to try and get the money back, any advice would be appreciated.

 

Bailiffs certified numbers were - 0354 & 0389

 

I am going to send a SAR out today with the £10 cheque

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  • 1 month later...

I sent off a letter of complaint to equita about this to which they replied it would be dealt with within 14 days.

21 days past and just as I was leaving for the post office to post another complaint my own post turned up with a letter from equita.

 

They say

 

Having noted the contents therein and given the close proximity between our dispatching our notices of the 19 and 20 March and the Bailiff allocation I have taken the decision to review the cost element incurred to you.

At the time of despatching the aforementioned notices the outstanding balance to pay our company was £261.13. in consideration of the circumstances I have arranged for you to be refunded the sum of £172.50 being the sum incurred as a result of Mr X and Mr Y's involvement. The amount of £261.13 as well as the credit card processing fee of £1.00 has been retained.

I am sorry that the conclusion of the warrant has not been as straightforward as one would have liked but hope that by applying the refund you can be assured of our best intentions.

The card used will be credited within the next 14 days.

 

Ahhh, what nice people, and whilst I'm happy to get some money back it still doesn't add up.

Should I be happy with what i got or go in for the rest too, I might even give the bailiffs who visited another call and ask for an apology being that the letter states they were in the wrong, I would love to see them squirm a bit.

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