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    • Ok, thank you for the responses. I have just finished my letter now and hopefully it's good enough.   Dear Gladstones Solicitors,   Much appreciated in providing me with a letter before claim, it’s helped me understand how to fight against these types of con artists for the future.   Just to be clear, I have no interest what so ever in paying the £155 since it is a made-up ridiculous fee with no explanation behind the justification of this ludicrous sum of money you are trying to rob from me.   Photographs of the poorly maintained site with the poorly placed written signs have been taken by the driver and will be confidently provided for evidence in court. The driver did obey the best a person could to your client’s badly written signs. There seems to be no planning permission by the council either for the ANPR cameras to be installed in this area.   First it is a criminal offence, which means your client has failed at the first hurdle of their Code of Conduct- that they must comply with all laws relating to the running of the car park. It also calls into question their ability to be able to collect data from the DVLA.   They are in breach of the Town and Country [advertisements] Regulations 2007 by not having the necessary permission despite the fact that it is illegal not to have permission and a contract cannot be formed from an illegal act. However the offence is also covered by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 - Section 5 Misleading Actions [3] ]b]     Always give crooks long enough rope to hang themselves with. I look forward in seeing how your clown scam tactics play out in court.   (only include reference number and full name here?)   I can only respond through Gladstone online Reply Form unless I request a paper version of the Reply Form instead. Should I get the paper version so I can use Royal Mail to send the letter that way?
    • So I had my mediation with Hermes and it was not successful i.e. we couldn't come to an agreement to settle out of court.   This was my mediation process:   First call from the mediator was received at 1:03pm which was close enough to the start of my alotted time of 1pm-4:30pm. The mediator introduced themselves, confirmed the intention of the mediation and asked if I could provide a short summary of my claim and any points I would like to raise with Hermes. I mentioned the claim amount and raised the argument that Hermes inherit the liability under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act even though I booked through Packlink and that there is a systemic problem with Hermes and their business model. The mediator said they will take this to them and call back after discussing with Hermes. Call ended 1:09pm (lasted 6 minutes).   Second call from the mediator was received at 1:15pm and they said that Hermes' stance is that my contract was with Packlink and not with them. Hermes mentioned they had investigated with Packlink and that I did not pay for insurance for my item but they were willing to offer me the standard claim amount of £25 plus £2.86 postage = £27.86. Of course I did not entertain that offer and I said that the whole point of having to pay extra to insure my item against their own negligence is absurd. Hermes also stated that this item was on Packlink's prohibited list. I replied that this so called list was not made clear to me when listing my item on ebay or purchasing the label through Packlink (which is ebay's affiliated choice for purchasing postage) and I would bring up the whole question of prohibited items for consideration by the judge if it goes to court. The mediator asked what I would be willing to settle at. I said I am not willing to budge from my claim amount of £357.84 which includes court costs. They reminded me that they don't see Hermes willing to accept that and that the whole point of mediation is to be willing to be flexible. I stood firm and said I am not budging from this amount and that I am being flexible by not taking Hermes to court and willing to settle now. The mediator said they will discuss with Hermes and call back. Call ended 1:27pm (lasted 12 minutes).   The third call from the mediator was received at 1:32pm and they mentioned that Hermes were willing to offer £300 as a goodwill gesture plus the £2.86 postage costs = £302.86. They said £300 is the maximum they can offer to settle for this process. I stayed resolute and asserted I am not willing to go any lower than my claim amount. I said it's not so much about the money and reiterated that the routine denial of liability and having to pay extra for insurance is a systemic issue with Hermes and that I have evidence that many other customers face the same problem when using Hermes which I am willing to present to the presiding judge if this goes to court. Only if they were willing to pay me back the full claim amount then I would drop the case. The mediator did mention that taking this to court I may also lose which would mean losing further court fees (£55 I believe they mentioned as the fee) as well as time and effort in preparing for the case. I repeated that paying the extra costs and risking the money is not so much of an issue to me. I also added in there that a national newspaper are sniffing around at this story and if a judgement goes against them then I won't hesitate to share with them and across social media a copy of the transcript. The mediator asked if they were happy to share this detail to Hermes which I agreed. They said they will discuss with Hermes and call me back. Call ended 1:36pm (lasted 4 minutes).    Received the fourth and final call from the mediator at 1:39pm and they said that Hermes were not willing to improve on the offer, reiterating they would argue to the judge that my contract is not with them and is with Hermes so this case cannot be settled through the mediation process and I would receive further details on the next steps. Call ended 1:40pm (last 1 minute).   I am somewhat surprised that Hermes were willing to offer up to £300 plus postage costs given their arguments but would not settle by offering my full claim costs.   In terms of the mediator's attitude, they did add a bit of pressure in trying to get me to be flexible i.e. settle for a lower amount. I suppose it is their job to get this settled out of court. They did also mention on a couple of occasions that it may be months before this case is looked at, with the covid situation it may not be in person and that I would have to go through the motions and prepare which would take time and effort on my behalf. However as noted above in this thread I wasn't willing to settle for a lower amount so let's see how it plays in court.   Any advice on the next steps BankFodder?  
    • all uploaded images merged and vastly reduced in size full DQ above.   you should have room now to upload the rest of the required docs but not all single pages please!   dx  
    • woe slow down put them ALL in ONE multipage PDf please   use pdfreducer and merge pdf if you have too.   cant be here all day downloading single pages. read upload carefully   claim no in 1st page removed. dx  
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Locked in car park


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Hi, A good friend of mine has asked me to post his experience on the forum and ask for advice. Almost 3 years ago, he had attended a Saturday morning class at his local College, Plymouth College of Art. On returning to the college car park, he found the barrier was down and he couldn't get his car out. He walked around the area looking for someone from the college to open it up for him, but no-one was there.As he had a long drive home and didn't want his car stuck there till Monday morning, he decided to see if he could lift the barrier himself and managed to do so.

A few weeks later he was arrested and charged with criminal damage, for which he accepted a caution.He asked for the CCTV cameras to be looked at because they would show that he had not used excessive force and had tried to find assistance,but it was claimed that the footage was lost or wiped. He was adamant that he had not done any serious damage to the barrier and he should know because he had previously worked as a service enginneer for car park barriers.

Some months later he received a demand from solicitors acting for the college, (Lyons Davidson) for almost £4000 and claiming he had wrecked the barrier which had to be completely replaced. There were other claims made also to the effect that notices were provided giving instructions as to what to do in the event of getting locked in. I actually went with him to take photographs of the entire car park and there were absolutely no such notices. It was obvious though that a flashy new barrier had been installed to replace the old, rusty one.

He wrote back demanding proof of the damage caused and a breakdown of costs, but nothing was forthcoming and everything went quiet until this week, almost 3 years later.

Now he's had a new demand for payment with threats of court action etc.

Can anyone throw any light on what his rights are in this situation please?

He's certain a new barrier wasn't necessary and the college were definitely lying about the circumstances. Also does anyone know when such a claim becomes statute barred?

Any advice would be very welcome.

Edited by Patma
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A couple of things,you state that he accepted a caution,if he was not guilty of anything then he should not have accepted it.

Secondly he should have made a subject access request for the CCTV images under the data protection act.

The request to provide the information regarding damages etc was a reasonable one.

Pre action Court protocols demand that you be given information to enable you to properly defend any court action.

My guess is that this debt/alleged debt has been sold on.

Can you say who are the DCAs /Solicitors involved ?

 

Finally have you kept a log of actions and copies of letters sent asking for info ?

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Thanks Martin, Yes I thought it was a pity he accepted a caution too. It didn't seem right to me either, but he said he was overwhelmed by the whole thing and it seemed like the easy way out, at the time. Now he regrets it for sure, especially having his DNA taken.

 

The solicitors are Lyons Davidson.

Yes he has kept a proper log and copies of correspondence.

Thanks again for your help.

Edited by Patma
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ok no problems.I have a letter which will assist-will let you have a copy once things are a bit more clearer-but needs to be sent out ASAP.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Hi again,

The solicitors are Lyons Davidson.Thanks very much for your help and for the offer of the letter, Martin. It's much appreciated. If there's any more detail you want, just let me know. My friend is in a bit of a tizwoz about it all and I didn't really know what to advise him.

All the best, Patma

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Patma - trying sending Martin a PM or email - he may not be picking up that you need his help.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Pm landed-will sort something for you when I have finished what I am on now.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time ran out to send a reply so I suggested my friend more or less reiterate his previous letter which kept them quiet for 2 years or so. Basically he pointed out numerous inaccuracies in their letter and asked for proof of the damage they claim was done and a proper breakdown of costs.

We now await their response.

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Hi there,

 

Over the years i have had my fingers in many pies. The thing i'm on with now is electronic security (including access control, i.e barriers)

 

Legally i don't know where you stand, but i can tell you that £4000 is very excessive. I pay £800 for at the most for barriers (top end at that), at worst all you're friend did and would be physically cable of would be bending or breaking the boom. Possibly loosening the case fixing bolts.

 

I charge less than £4000 for a complete new install, i.e new motor, gearbox, casing, boom, warning lights, saftey photocells, saftey induction loops, intercom, access control, 10 rf phobs, rf reciver card, tilt support etc. . all installed and supplied and mains power installed and certificated. All from scratch.

 

A 8 meter boom (largest on most standard barriers - 2 4 meter booms bolted together) costs at trade £100 + vat - Call-out is £295.00 + vat

 

I'd tell them to shove the £4000

 

I suggest you friend phones a few companies (not telling them the story) and asked for a quote for a vandilised barrier - I gaurantee every company will give you a call-out price and a cost for boom without needing a site survey (remember - they will mark up boom so it will be more than £100)

 

I am no expert but i assume if it goes to court, the judge wont look kindly on this company having there whole system upgraded due to your friends unfortunate situation, especially as he has been more than co-operative.

 

Just my 2p

 

Good look

 

Chris

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Agreed - this smacks of betterment. They found someone stupid enough to accept the accusation of criminal damage and went to town. This would have more properly dealt with through the council's insurers, who would then look to him for repayment of repairs but NOT replacement.

 

Because it is a public body, he can make a Freedom Of Information Act request, requiring sll details of the use and costs of this barrier and the actual costs of its installation and replacement.

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Thankyou Chris and Buzby for your thoughts.I really appreciate them. I'll pass on all the info and suggestions. I think you're both right about the overcharging. We were thinking that too, but it's really encouraging to get confirmation and some solid facts to back them up.

The Freedom of Information request is brilliant idea too. Will keep you posted. Thanks again for responding, Patma

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  • 3 months later...

Well, I have an update. After hearing nothing all this time, a court summons has arrived today.

As soon as I can get sight of it, I will post the details.

All advice/suggestions very gratefully received. My friend hasn't a clue how to defend a court summons and neither have I, apart from reading about other people's experiences on the CAG forums.

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Do make sure it has the court stamp - otherwise it is fake. How did you get on with the FoI request? If you didn;t get a response, nows the time to pursue it, as you'll need this for any defence.

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Thankyou Buzby for responding. We had hoped this matter had gone away again when the last letter was ignored, so it was a bit of a shock when the court papers arrived.I'll be checking the documents carefully for the court stamp when I get to see them today and I'll post more details asap. Nothing forthcoming as far as FOI request, so I agree it's time to pursue that more vigorously.

The date of the actual incident was 3 years ago exactly(4th March). I'm curious as to whether there is a three year deadline in cases like this. Does anyone have any idea about that?

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If they are pursuing you for money, then they have 6 years from the date the costs were incurred. If they're pursuing you (or your insurer) for the damage to the barrier with no cost of restitution, then I would think they'd be well out of time - but I'm not up to speed on English Law.

 

As a side issue, you could pass this on to your car insurers (at the time) but they may obkect if you hadn't forewarned them of this.

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Thanks again for your input Buzby. The summons definitely seems genuine now that I've had a good look at it.

I'm desperately trying to find out what the procedure is to fight this now.

First of all, the summons has come from Bristol and our nearest court would be Plymouth, so can anyone tell me whether it's possible to get it moved and if so at what stage that needs to be done?

On the acknowledgement of service part of the paperwork there's a box to tick to say whether you dispute the jurisdiction of the court, so I was wondering if that should be ticked or not.

Also how much detail does my friend need to go into about his defence on this initial form.

The particulars of the claim as given by the claimants are very inaccurate and contain a lot of false statements. So does he need to challenge them at this stage?

We really need some advice please from those of you who have experience of courts.

I will gladly post any parts of the summons that would help in giving advice btw

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The statements of Claim may well be inaccurate, but the time to challenge this is when the case calls as you'll be rejecting their claim anyway. As for the court procedures with such a claim, I only have experience of the Scottish system, so other CAG members might be better placed than I to advise you on this.

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Just for my input, I am not sure if I am missing something here. Are you intending to defend the entire claim, or merely question the value of the claim? As I would have thought a defence to the entire claim would automatically fail, as the person in question has admitted to the criminal offence where the requirement for evidence is much more stringent.

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7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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In other words, to my mind as the person has accepted an offence of criminal damage, there is no question to be answered in court that this person is liable for the costs as a result of the criminal damage - there is only a question of the value of these costs.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Thanks for that, Mr Shed. My friends thinking so far is that he is willing to pay the reasonable cost of any damage he may have done, but that the college has failed to provide any proof or information as to what damage he allegedly caused.

 

Last year he re-visited the police station where he was cautioned and discovered that the police had taken the word of Plymouth College of Art and had seen no evidence of damage themselves. He also spoke to a solicitor and it was suggested he may possibly have a case for getting the caution set aside.

I guess this complicates everything even more, but for now it may be best to take it a step at a time and deal with the current court summons. Plymouth College of Art and their insurers, Royal and Sun Alliance have failed to respond to three written requests for information and proof of what they are claiming. He also wrote to the company who were named as having done the work, Universal Security UK Limited and they ignored his request for a breakdown of what was done and why.

 

I don't know whether this thread is in the right place now that court action is happening, so could a mod or someone who knows please give me some input on whether I need to start a new thread and/or get this moved.

Edited by Patma
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