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I have today received the second increase in my parking charge from Collect Services Ltd.

 

This is something of an ongoing issue so please bear with me.

 

They contacted me on 22 May asking for just over 92 pounds to offset a parking charge, I stupidly had done nothing about the charge for various reasons, mostly involving debt elsewhere. I received the letter or 27 May and sent a cheque on 28 May for the correct amount (it should be noted that their letter stated that cheques should be made payable to them and that there was a charge for debit card payments so I assumed this was the prefered method of payment). Stupid mistake number two was that I didn't register the letter and so when they didn't receive it I got a call from their bailiff.

 

I explained my situation to the bailiff, I contacted Collect services and they advised me to put my issue in writing which I duly did. In mty letter I explained the situation, explained the time delay involved in sending the letter and explained why it was that I didn't know that the cheque had not been cashed (basically if it had been cashed the first I would have know was that this would have happened on the day the bailiff arrived). I signed off by asking for confirmating if this wasn't acceptable, enclosed a cheque for the original amount, marked it for delivery and sent it to Collect Services.

 

Collect Services cashed the cheque and didn't respond so I assumed that had accepted my response and that all was ok.

 

That was until today when another bailif had been to my house demanding more money. Now the original fine was 92 pounds, they added a further 132 to that for the bailif making a call and have no increased the outstanding amount from 132 to 174.25. When I told the bailiff that I had expected confirmation if my offer wasn't acceptable (especially as the cheque had been cashed and so a letter had been received) he told me that I would have received confirmation that the debt was closed but not if the debt was still open.

 

Do I have a leg to stand on here, is there anybody I can go to with a complaint and are these, admitedly rough, amounts correct. It seems a bit steep to increase a fine by over 100% on a first visit and I've never come accross a company that thinks it's ok to not respond to a letter and think it's ok to increase the charge.

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I would suggest sending a letter to the company to advise them that you intend taking a complaint about this practice to both the local authority and the Office of Fair Trading.

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