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    • Hermes lost parcel.. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422615-hermes-lost-parcel/
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    • I came across this discussion recently and just wanted to give my experience of A Shade Greener that may help others regarding their boiler finance agreement.
       
      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
       
      After a summer of discontent with ASG I discovered that if you have paid HALF the agreement or more you can legally return the boiler to them at no cost to yourself. I've just returned mine the feeling is liberating.
       
      It all started mid summer during lockdown when they refused to service our boiler because we didn't have a loft ladder or flooring installed despite the fact AS installed the boiler. and had previosuly serviced it without issue for 4yrs. After consulting with an independent installer I was informed that if this was the case then ASG had breached building regulations,  this was duly reported to Gas Safe to investigate and even then ASG refused to accept blame and repeatedly said it was my problem. Anyway Gas Safe found them in breach of building regs and a compromise was reached.
       
      A month later and ASG attended to service our boiler but in the process left the boiler unusuable as it kept losing pressure not to mention they had damaged the filling loop in the process which they said was my responsibilty not theres and would charge me to repair, so generous of them! Soon after reporting the fault I got a letter stating it was time we arranged a powerflush on our heating system which they make you do after 5 years even though there's nothing in the contract that states this. Coincidence?
       
      After a few heated exchanges with ASG (pardon the pun) I decided to pull the plug and cancel our agreement.
       
      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
       
      You only have to look at TrustPilot to get an idea of what this company is like.
       
      • 3 replies
    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
       
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
       
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
       
      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
       
      They are not your friends and you owe them no loyalty or moral duty, that must remain only for yourself and your family.
       
      If it was me I would send them all a CCA request.   I would bet that not one will provide the correct response and you can quite legally stop paying them until such time as they do provide a response.   Even when they do you should check back here as they mostly send dodgy photo copies or generic rubbish that has no connection with your supposed debt.
       
      The money you are paying them should, as far as you are able, be put to a savings account for yourself and as a means of paying of one of these fleecers should they ever manage to get to to the point of a successful court judgement.  After six years they will not be able to start court action and that money will then become yours.
       
      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
       
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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Court Case SSAA 1992


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Fitz, Thanks up to a point. CAB pointed me at the form filling solicitor.

CLAS and Community Legal Service Direct are not worth the effort they are state funded call center clerks.

 

"Failing all else, I at least recommend paying for a half-hour consultation with a local solicitor."

Well that is it as a 'rich' person I have to pay to defend myself from the state.

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CLAS and Community Legal Service Direct are not worth the effort they are state funded call center clerks.

 

I found Community Legal Service Direct very helpful. Their advisers are legally trained and the woman I spoke to was very informative and certainly not a government lacky. I think they are worth calling.

 

As I said, you can omit to mention your savings if it slips your mind. You stand to gain by calling them, and have nothing to lose.

 

Since you are not entitled to legal aid you have the options of employing a lawyer or defending yourself in court. But not having a lawyer in court does not stop you consulting one beforehand.

 

I do not believe that a £70 or so consultation with a solicitor will seriously dent your savings. The one-off fee should be weighed against your defence of a claim of about £2700 owed for income support 'fraud' plus any court fees you may be charged if you lose the case.

 

That is a classic example of a risk-reward ratio. You need to decide for yourself how likely a £70 legal consultation is to help make the vital difference to fend off a claim for £2700.

 

If, for instance, you assess your chances of successfully defending the claim without any legal help as 75% and guess that the legal consultation will improve your chances to 85% then the money is well spent.

 

That's just an example. You will have to weigh up the odds yourself.

 

If I were in your position I would call CLS Direct. If they did not give me satisfaction I would most likely pay for a consultation with a solicitor experienced in welfare law. I would ask him for options on just giving advice or representing me in court.

 

I think you are probably a good barrack-room lawyer and so can represent yourself. But I also think you will benefit from professional advice before going into the bear pit of an English court with experienced DWP lawyers against you.

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How sickening is this: R v Bennett and Bond ex p Bennet 1908 [72 JP 362]

 

A solicitor would be useful in terms of the contract

 

Part 18 Declaration

...

if appropriate my claim for Income Support will be treated as an application for child maintenance

Part 21 What happens next

If you are entitled to Income Support we will write to tell you how ....

If you are not entitled to Income Support we will write to tell you why and what to do if you disagree with the decision

 

You see the reason for the chat with the Job Centre was to tell them I now had residency of my dear little angels.

When the paperwork finally got sent it wrecked the existing Carer's Allowance and took until to October to fix up as the summer was consumed with the CSA taking child maintenance from me in error.

 

My thinking today is: to prepare the case, show it to a solicitor for an hour, re-write based on chat, show it again before hearing (second hour), get solicitor to do the court thing at the hearing (hours).

As in putting my money where my mouth is

 

The magistrate would then have to ponder, if this guy is guilty how come he paid for his solicitor¿

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Is CLS Direct means tested then?

 

Yes.

 

They give assistance under the Legal Help and Help at Court Scheme. Kouros is ineligible for free advice because he has more than £1000 in disposable capital.

 

The LH and H at C Scheme provides a couple of hours free advice to people on low income and savings. Most people on benefits are automatically eligible unless they have over £1k in savings.

 

The scheme does not extend to representation in court.

 

I think the route that Kouros is now taking is the best.

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My thinking today is: to prepare the case, show it to a solicitor for an hour, re-write based on chat, show it again before hearing (second hour), get solicitor to do the court thing at the hearing (hours).

As in putting my money where my mouth is

 

The magistrate would then have to ponder, if this guy is guilty how come he paid for his solicitor¿

 

I think it's wise to consult a solicitor. If you win the case he should be able to ask the court for costs.

 

There will be three magistrates, guided in their decision making by the clerk of the court; but the fact you have a solicitor will not sway them one way or the other.

 

It's the evidence, and the merits of the case, that will be the basis for their judgement. If the DWP have made a mistake then obviously that's the point to press and to prove to the court.

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Huge story in the Daily Mail today about a judgement in the Appeal Court:

 

Today's ruling came after a two-year legal battle in which a poverty pressure group challenged attempts by the DWP to claw back money overpaid to claimants. ...

 

Those who deliberately lie on benefit claim forms to get more money can be prosecuted for fraud.

 

But the 1992 Social Services Administration Act does not give the DWP the right to demand the return of money wrongly paid because of blunders by its own staff. ...

 

The Appeal Court judgement said the complex machinery of social security law should be enough to deal with the problem of overpayments and that it was wrong to threaten claimants with the civil courts as well.

 

Child Poverty Action Group lawyer Graham Tegg said: 'That amounted to double jeopardy. The DWP was saying, heads I win, tails you lose.'

 

'We brought this case because we know that letters sent to vulnerable claimants threatening court action if they do not repay have caused considerable distress.

 

'We are delighted with the ruling that the DWP cannot recover these overpayments through the courts.'

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1220364/Thousands-benefits-claimants-1bn-overpayments-judges-rule.html#ixzz0TwbJlGU3

 

* * *

You said you are being prosecuted for fraud but are defending yourself on

the grounds 'It was a mistake by the DWP to record the benefit as IS when it should have been CA ...'.

 

So this new ruling could be very helpful if you can show error by the DWP. It's definitely worth checking with a solicitor to see how the new ruling will affect your case, esp if it can be thrown out of court.

 

I suggest putting in a SAR to the DWP asking for a 'full audit trail' of your account. This should give a detailed record of benefits paid.

 

I hope the appeal court judgement will help you. Good luck. :)

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  • 7 months later...

I 'won' or more to the point the DWP sent a letter to court saying they were offering no evidence. I turned up AGAIN, DWP did not turn up AGAIN, the case was dismissed and I was found not guilty as if it had gone to trial. All my expenses were repaid within fourteen days.

Life is too short and I decided against taking the DWP to court for damages.

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