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    • HB, is the Kent/France issue related to current arrangement with French border officers in Kent and UK border officers in France ?   Not sure whether this  arrangement will change from 1/1/21, if there is no deal.   Given previous actions by French farmers and industrial action by others, then with UK out of the EU, I can see problems ahead. Could there be blockades at French ports, with UK unable to exert much pressure through EU ?      
    • Very good, UB.   I'm not clear on the status of Kent now. People are talking about it being part of France, etc, but how is tht when the 'border' only applies to lorries?
    • Campaign starts ? Independence for Kent, so it becomes a separate customs area and can charge a tariff on goods transported through its territory.  With the money raised, citizens of Kent might then have little or no income taxes to pay.   I could see this campaign being started and it could grow in popularity.   Would be funny if Brexit led to break up of UK and break away by some English counties. 
    • SERCO seem to be a default company that Government use to perform contact centre type tasks. So any department faced with a problem, say a sudden increase in incoming phone calls, which they cannot handle, because they are dealing with more immediate issues such as making payments to the public, may in the short term involve SERCO.   SERCO seem to employ a lot of security cleared, DBS checked, financial checked etc employees, so they seem to be equipped and ready to manage tasks on behalf of Government departments.   No idea just how much work SERCO does on behalf of Government, but I should imagine it makes up a sizeable chunk of their business.   Public Health departments may want to perform the work themselves, but given the number of employees required, the recruitment process involved, the hours of work 24/7 and just how quick they need to be set up to perform the work, I question whether they are better placed to do so.   I would always prefer public sector employees over outsourced contracts, but I can understand why Government uses companies such as SERCO. 
    • Well, we’ve found something we agree on.   you’ve described the unfairness, but haven’t said what (realistically!) you feel your options are.
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    • I’m in desperate need of help
      I bought some clothes online in may through Evans and paid through PayPal
      returned them all seven days later
      I waited the 14days for my refund and no refund came
      I put in a dispute through PayPal but I didn’t get any emails to escalate the case - PayPal closed it. 
      evans said they couldn’t refund the money because PayPal have cancelled the refund because of the open dispute
      I contacted PayPal
      they said the dispute had been closed but Evans at no point had attempted a refund.
      fast forward to today
      I’ve got copies of numerous messages sent to and from twitter messages as it’s the only way I can contact them
      I’ve also contacted their customer service too
      all I get is PayPal have cancelled refund because dispute is still open.
      I have proved that the dispute is closed
      I have got an email saying that if Evans sent the refund they would accept it
      but up until the date I got the email they have not once attempted a refund .
       I have sent them a letter before court email
      I have even offered to have the full refund as a gift card just to get this sorted !
      I’m literally at the end of my tether and don’t know where to turn next !
      i suffer with mental health issues and this is affecting my health and I’d saved the money for a year to buy these clothes as I’m on a low income .
    • In desperate need of help. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/425244-in-desperate-need-of-help/&do=findComment&comment=5067040
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Hi all,


I am in the worst position ever...


Last week I took the bus and thought I sweep the card on the reader but it apparently did not work...

The controlers then said that my card has not been validated and asked for my details which I honestly gave (thought they would ask for proof!)

Anyway today I received a letter from TFL prosecution saying that I may be prosecuted and taken to court!! I have to explain what happened. I said I did not do it on purpose, thought I validated my ticket but it apparently did not work.

I went to Internet and saw that I will have to go to court and will get a criminal record?! For a bus ticket?!

I am French and will leave the UK in 3 weeks as I found a job in banking in Switzerland. I have just posted my contract back to my new employer but I am scared that they will find a criminal record and withdraw their offer.

Please could you let me know how fast the process for court and criminal record goes? Is this internationally recognised?

What can I do to avoid that? Does that mean that I won't get the job in Switzerland?

What is the best solution??

I am desperate and scared...


Thank you so much for helping me out

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Swiss banks are unlikely to withdraw an offer of employment to a Frenchman caught without paying a bus fare using an Oyster card. They were not very choosy about accepting deposits from people who got it from all manner of crimes including genocide.


In terms of where your 'offence' could end up, I think you are probably in time to pay some form of out of Court settlement.


If it does end up in Court, it may be an 'unrecordable' offence that simply does not appear on the criminal record. If it does find its way onto the criminal record, it will be recognised for what it is, a very low level offence, not worth losing an employee who presumably has passed a series of stringent tests and interviews.


I recommend that you reply to letters, explaining that you are a foreign visitor to this country, that you thought your Oyster had worked. You might end up having to pay some form of administrative penalty.

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Thank you so much for your reply.

A friend told me I should also call them directly to explain the situation. Do you think I should call them? Will they be able to tell me immediately if we can close the case by paying a penalty only?

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