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Hi everyone. I've recently received a letter from the RLP, claiming £87.50 for a [edit: a very low value product]. It seems so stupid now - I had lost my wallet and [edit] so out of frustration I just took them. Looking back on it there were probably more sensible ways to obtain a [product], but what's done is done.

 

Anyway, the security man grabbed my arm as I walked out of the shop and took me into the back of the store asking to check my bag. He promised that if I behaved myself he wouldn't involve the police so I made no objection. I will point out now that he was true to his word and involve the police at any stage.

 

Then he started saying that he needed to check the value of the item and something like "you might be lucky". It came out as [a small amount] or there abouts, the result - unlucky. He said that it meant he would be filing for Civil Recovery. Presumably he was implying that they had some kind of threshold for the value of goods stolen to which they pursue civil recovery. Apparently quite a low threshold.

 

I asked him several times how much the civil recovery would cost me or if he could roughly estimate it but he just kept saying that he doesn't know but 'it won't be much' because the value of stolen items was small. I was somewhat reassured by this and thought, 'oh well - this could have worked out a lot worse'. I certainly did not expect to be receiving a bill for almost 90 quid!

 

When he was taking down my address I worried that I might receive a letter through the post with CIVIL RECOVERY written all over it, or else unsavoury looking in some other way. So in a panic that my mum (who I currently live with) would see it, I opted to provide my father's address (who I have lived with previously). He's much more lenient and understanding than my mum about this kind of thing. I now see this as a bit of a mistake because I don't have access to any letters they send me, and he's going to start wondering what's up. It'd be very preferable that neither of my parents knew.

 

So anyway, I've read a few similar cases on this forum and I think I've answered my own questions to be honest, but I thought I'd share my story and see if anyone had anything to add. This is what I've concluded:

 

  • The RLP have no legal entitlement to claim money from me.
  • If I ignore the letter I will just keep receiving more letters.
  • Since the Police were not involved at the time, I don't have to worry about that side of things. The RLP & Superdrug will not contact the police from now on.
  • It seems that the RLP have no known history of actually taking people to court. Is this correct?
  • There is no way I can get the letters rerouted to here or another address where I could just ignore them. Now they have my father's address they won't drop it.
  • I will begin to receive many angry looking letters from the RLP/debt collectors which will **** my dad off and look very bad for me.
  • Ultimately the choice I have now is to ignore the letters and risk my the likely outcome of my dad finding out or pay the £87.50 and wash my hands of the situation. There is also an option to negotiate the settlement, so I could try that.

 

Ultimately I guess I have to decide what's more valuable to me: 90 quid (/whatever I may be able to negotiate) or my dad not knowing.

 

Thanks for reading. Does anyone have anything to say that they feel is relevant? Do you think my conclusions look accurate?

Edited by ScarletPimpernel
Remove detail that might help tiresome spies.
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The RLP have no legal entitlement to claim money from me. Exactly.

 

If I ignore the letter I will just keep receiving more letters. Yes. They will be increasingly frantic and demanding, but have the same legal status as lavatory paper.

 

Since the Police were not involved at the time, I don't have to worry about that side of things. The RLP & Superdrug will not contact the police from now on. There's nothing to stop them doing this, but the police are likely to take a dim view of failure to report it earlier, and an even dimmer view if the report was made as a method of trying to get money out of you. I don't tink you need worry about it.

 

It seems that the RLP have no known history of actually taking people to court. Is this correct? RLP don't take anyone to court, because they have no cause of action, and they aren't solicitors (despite all the legalese drivel in their letters). Very, very occasionally a retailer has taken someone to court, but in the only case we're aware of that was properly defended, the retailer lost and RLP's modus operandus was shown to be questionable to say the least.

 

There is no way I can get the letters rerouted to here or another address where I could just ignore them. Now they have my father's address they won't drop it. They'll send letters - but that's all they'll do.

 

 

I will begin to receive many angry looking letters from the RLP/debt collectors which will **** my dad off and look very bad for me. The envelopes give no clue to the content. The contents are actually quite amusing once you realise that RLP, like all bullies, threaten lots but can do nothing.

 

Ultimately the choice I have now is to ignore the letters and risk my the likely outcome of my dad finding out or pay the £87.50 and wash my hands of the situation. There is also an option to negotiate the settlement, so I could try that. We recommend that you send a short note to RLP as follows:

 

Any liability to you or any company you claim to represent is denied. No further correspondence will be entered into.

 

Don't add anything else.

 

We do not recommend either paying or negotiating; for RLP some money is better than no money, but look at it this way: if you pay them anything at all you are legitimising what they do. Personally I think £87.50 (which does not in any case represent the retailer's actual loss), is a lot to pay just to stop someone sending silly letters.

 

After sending the denial of liability letter (get proof of posting), the only time you need to consider doing anything is if you get a genuine court claim from the retailer. The chances of this happening are extremely remote; if it happens we will help you.

 

Finally, RLP are known to read this forum and have on occasion tried to use people's posts against them. This is neither big nor clever, and it shows what an absolute shower they are, but you should be aware of it. Consequently, to avoid giving them any hints, I have edited your post to remove some detail. For your part, there is no need to post the detail of each of their tedious letters, but if you have a question, ask it.

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Hi everyone. I've recently received a letter from the RLP, claiming £87.50 for a £2.40 packet of plasters. It seems so stupid now - I had lost my wallet and my girlfriend cut herself so out of frustration I just took them. Looking back on it there were probably more sensible ways to obtain a plaster, but what's done is done.

 

Anyway, the security man grabbed my arm as I walked out of the shop and took me into the back of the store asking to check my bag. He promised that if I behaved myself he wouldn't involve the police so I made no objection. I will point out now that he was true to his word and involve the police at any stage.

 

Then he started saying that he needed to check the value of the item and something like "you might be lucky". It came out as £2.40 or there abouts, the result - unlucky. He said that it meant he would be filing for Civil Recovery. Presumably he was implying that they had some kind of threshold for the value of goods stolen to which they pursue civil recovery. Apparently quite a low threshold.

 

I asked him several times how much the civil recovery would cost me or if he could roughly estimate it but he just kept saying that he doesn't know but 'it won't be much' because the value of stolen items was small. I was somewhat reassured by this and thought, 'oh well - this could have worked out a lot worse'. I certainly did not expect to be receiving a bill for almost 90 quid!

Of course he knew! The thresholds are published in stores! Under £10.00 = £87.50, £10.00-£99.99 = £137.50, £100.00-£199.99 = £187.50 and over that = £250.00

 

When he was taking down my address I worried that I might receive a letter through the post with CIVIL RECOVERY written all over it, or else unsavoury looking in some other way. So in a panic that my mum (who I currently live with) would see it, I opted to provide my father's address (who I have lived with previously). He's much more lenient and understanding than my mum about this kind of thing. I now see this as a bit of a mistake because I don't have access to any letters they send me, and he's going to start wondering what's up. It'd be very preferable that neither of my parents knew.

 

So anyway, I've read a few similar cases on this forum and I think I've answered my own questions to be honest, but I thought I'd share my story and see if anyone had anything to add. This is what I've concluded:

 

  • The RLP have no legal entitlement to claim money from me. They have every entitlement to ask you, but a very shaky case to DEMAND that you pay. I could ask you nicely to pay me £87.50, but could I demand it?
  • If I ignore the letter I will just keep receiving more letters. Yes
  • Since the Police were not involved at the time, I don't have to worry about that side of things. The RLP & Superdrug will not contact the police from now on. Correct
  • It seems that the RLP have no known history of actually taking people to court. Is this correct? Wrong! - they have taken people to Court, but usually only after Police involvement or in cases of employee theft and where the amounts involved are more substantial. Actually it wouldn't be RLP themselves, but the retailer concerned - RLP cannot take action for they were not the 'injured' party. Most retailers wouldn't take action for such a small theft - the costs are significant and there are too many risks of not being successful - especially with a robust defence, and particularly in the light of a recent case where RLP and a retailer who did take action had the case dismissed on the grounds that the amount claimed was not realistic based on the facts in that case. A retailer can only reclaim DIRECT costs incurred as a consequence of the act, so would need to demonstrate that your actions diverted staff from a revenue generating function and that this was for a significant period of time in order to come up with a figure of £87.50. RLP would (and indeed WILL) claim that they successfully prosecute many many cases, but this is not borne out by facts and the majority of successful cases involve default judgments, habitual shoplifters or employee thefts.
  • There is no way I can get the letters rerouted to here or another address where I could just ignore them. Now they have my father's address they won't drop it. You could (and many people say that you SHOULD) write a simple letter of denial of liability - stating that you acknowledge no debt to either RLP or any company that they represent, and that you will not communicate further on the subject. Add to this letter that they have an out of date address for them, and that any further correspondence, whether you choose to respond to it or not, should be directed to an alternative address.
  • I will begin to receive many angry looking letters from the RLP/debt collectors which will **** my dad off and look very bad for me. Correct. The letters will contain many legal sounding threats including words like debt collector, bailiff etc. They will probably then get a debt collector to write, who will then refer it back to RLP who will tell you that they are recommending that the retailer issues proceedings. The retailer in most cases won't and that will be the last that you hear from them.
  • Ultimately the choice I have now is to ignore the letters and risk my the likely outcome of my dad finding out or pay the £87.50 and wash my hands of the situation. There is also an option to negotiate the settlement, so I could try that. In most cases we would tell you to ignore. To issue demands for such large sums rather than actual costs is wrong whichever way you look at it, and to make threats based on extremely dubious legal grounds is even more so. Whether you negotiate is entirely down to you and your own circumstances, but I certainly wouldn't be offering anything in excess of the security guard's time and the costs of any postage used to write to you! The goods were presumably recovered in a saleable condition anyway?

 

Ultimately I guess I have to decide what's more valuable to me: 90 quid (/whatever I may be able to negotiate) or my dad not knowing.

 

Thanks for reading. Does anyone have anything to say that they feel is relevant? Do you think my conclusions look accurate?

 

RLP are avid readers of the forums (Good Afternoon Frogboy & Co) and take delight in lifting cases from the forum and then writing to explain why any advice received here is very bad and is the result of a vendetta against them (poor souls). They use very obscure and often irrelevant legal arguments to justify their position - which is of course that they receive the lion's share of any 'settlement' that they make with you. Your choice of course what you do, but if I had wronged a store, I wouldn't want somebody else to profit from it as well.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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^^^

 

Basically what SP said - but he beat me to it!

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

DONATE HERE

 

If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

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First of all - thank you, you guys are fantastically knowledgeable and helpful and have certainly saved me a lot of stress.

 

I'd just like to ask a couple of last questions please.

 

The envelopes give no clue to the content. The contents are actually quite amusing once you realise that RLP, like all bullies, threaten lots but can do nothing.

 

In a house I previously lived in we used to get a lot of letters with big red writing all over them saying 'URGENT' and 'FINAL NOTICE'. Clearly the previous occupants had left with a lot of debt unpaid. So just to confirm, the RLP & debt collectors aren't known to send letters with this kind of thing printed all over them? Presumably it's just blank envelopes like the first one I got.

 

The letters will contain many legal sounding threats including words like debt collector, bailiff etc. They will probably then get a debt collector to write, who will then refer it back to RLP who will tell you that they are recommending that the retailer issues proceedings. The retailer in most cases won't and that will be the last that you hear from them.

 

I was wondering if you might have any idea how long this process is likely to take. Have you noted any typical time frame in previous cases from the first letter to the last?

 

RLP are known to read this forum and have on occasion tried to use people's posts against them. This is neither big nor clever, and it shows what an absolute shower they are, but you should be aware of it.

 

Thanks for the heads up. I did wonder if they would ever browse this forum, but never expected that they'd actually link specific cases and include information gathered here in their letters to individuals. That's quite shocking! I now feel like maybe I should delete this post soon so they don't take threatening writing on the outside of letters as a good idea to encourage payment.

 

I PMed you by the way ScarletPimpernel

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I think it's unlikely that they'd put anything on the outside of envelopes; remember that they can't act independently and what they do is as agents of retailers. A harassment case against a jointly liable retailer and RLP would have a negative effect. Not that RLP are strangers to own goals, as evidenced by their recent spectaular demonstration both of the Streisand Effect and their own pathetic impotence - as featured in Private Eye.

 

It's difficult to give a timeframe. You might get an idea by reading some of the threads here, but RLP don't seem to operate like other companies that send out x template letters then give up, like private parking companies. What we do know is that engaging with them, other than the denial of liability letter (which I hope you've sent!), only encourages more of their literary diarrhoeal outpourings.

 

It does sometimes appear that their delusions of importance and authority, neither of which they actually possess, leads them to be so affronted that their silly demands aren't taken seriously that they persist even when common sense should tell them they're onto (another) loser. Whether this behaviour is due to greed, pride stupidity or a combination of the above, is anyone's guess.

 

If they involve debt collectors - and they usually start near the bottom of the barrel with JB Debt Recovery of Glasgow, though we've seen the equally dire Scotcall make a recent appearance - they go away very quickly, perhaps because trying to collect debts that have never existed is a serious breach of the terms of their consumer credit licences. If you do hear from either of these, or any other DCA, do let us know - the OFT's Licencing Fitness Team are interested.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys. I've recently returned home after a couple of weeks away and upon visiting my father I've read another letter from the RLP. Just like you said, they have been on this thread and quoted it heavily. They must watch this site closely to have seen it before you edited out the tell-tale information. Well thanks for trying to protect me from this all the same. The letter is quite old now so I assume I will be receiving a follow up shortly.

 

I was just hoping you could tell me if their knowledge of this thread affects my position at all? I presume not.

 

Also you had suggested that I could send a denial of liability letter. I had opted not to because I had feared that it might lead them to this site, amongst other reasons. I see that in a later post you said you hoped I had and so now I regret not doing so. Is there a value in doing this now? I will write one ready to send on your recommendation.

 

Let me know if you would like to know any more specifics of the letter for any reason.

 

Thank you for your kind help.

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If you can post up a PDF scan of the letter, suitably anonymised, it would be interesting. I doubt, though if there's anything new.

 

It is quite astonishing that RLP spend their time trawling these threads. How very petty, and perhaps it shows that they aren't as big as they imply they are.

 

As for the denial of liability letter, we can advise, but it's up to you to decide whether to take the advice or not.

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