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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.
       
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    • 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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Hello there.

 

Which aspects of your case are you looking for advice with please?

 

HB

 

Thanks honeybee,

Basically I have a application of costs hearing and I need to know what happens, they have said its a public hearing and I'm really scared. I don't know what to expect or what will happen.

I am starting to write my statement now. Will the other side be able to bring witnesses, do I send off my statement and bundle before hand?

Thanks in advance

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hi there I have my court case for the 25th October,

Any advice would be great!

 

There's an article here about the new rules:

----------------

The new rules, in force since 29 July 2013, have seen a change in terminology in relation to both scenarios. While the circumstances in which a costs order must be made are no less onerous, the scope for a tribunal to exercise its discretion and award costs in other cases could be said to have been increased.

The original test of a party having acted vexatiously, abusively etc. remains but is now accompanied by an option to award costs where any claim made in the proceedings by a party had no reasonable prospect of success. Furthermore, costs may also now be awarded against a party that has been in breach of any order or practice direction or where a hearing has been postponed or adjourned on the application of a party (usually at short notice).

-----

http://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/client-resources/legal-updates/Employment-tribunal-costs-difficulties-of-recovery-6164.aspx

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There's an article here about the new rules:

----------------

The new rules, in force since 29 July 2013, have seen a change in terminology in relation to both scenarios. While the circumstances in which a costs order must be made are no less onerous, the scope for a tribunal to exercise its discretion and award costs in other cases could be said to have been increased.

The original test of a party having acted vexatiously, abusively etc. remains but is now accompanied by an option to award costs where any claim made in the proceedings by a party had no reasonable prospect of success. Furthermore, costs may also now be awarded against a party that has been in breach of any order or practice direction or where a hearing has been postponed or adjourned on the application of a party (usually at short notice).

-----

http://www.shoosmiths.co.uk/client-resources/legal-updates/Employment-tribunal-costs-difficulties-of-recovery-6164.aspx

 

hi there, thank you I am aware of the above and the chances of costs been awarded because of the postponement and withdrawal of the claim.

To be honest I do have all supporting evidence and I went through my bundle yesterday and can put forward a strong case.

also I dont think its as cut and dry situation where you postpone and withdraw you will get costs awarded as in derwents case.

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Hi claireloupul,

 

Technically all Employment Tribunal and all court hearings are public (unless there is an order to the contrary). Realistically this does not make much difference for standard cases. This is nothing to worry about, it is pretty unlikely anyone will be sitting in on the case. You sometimes see law students and the like though I doubt they would be interested in a costs hearing.

 

Have you received any directions from the ET about filing evidence/statements/bundles?

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Hi claireloupul,

 

Technically all Employment Tribunal and all court hearings are public (unless there is an order to the contrary). Realistically this does not make much difference for standard cases. This is nothing to worry about, it is pretty unlikely anyone will be sitting in on the case. You sometimes see law students and the like though I doubt they would be interested in a costs hearing.

 

Have you received any directions from the ET about filing evidence/statements/bundles?

 

Thanks for that.

I received the et letter with the date on and stating if I wish to send a bundle I must do before 7 days of the trial.

Thanks

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Hi claireloupul,

 

it might be worth establishing whether your hearing will be heard under the old rules or the new rules especially if the new rules give the Respondent a little more chance of success. (I'd imagine it might be under the 'old' rules - but the Respondent's might try it on with the new rules if it gives them a competitive edge).

 

With regards the bundle - do you and the Respondent have to agree one for this hearing or can you submit your own bundle? (I don't know).

Edited by SweetLorraine
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....another thought (seeking advice from those with a legal background really),

 

the Respondent's apparently 'warned' claireloupul about a costs application before the second hearing, yet did not supply the claimant with any information on figures etc; before the hearing. Surely that cannot be considered reasonable behaviour (i.e. a valid warning) if the figures have not been supplied beforehand?

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Hi clareloupul,

 

it might be worth establishing whether your hearing will be heard under the old rules or the new rules especially if the new rules give the Respondent a little more chance of success. (I'd imagine it might be under the 'old' rules - but the Respondent's might try it on with the new rules if it gives them a competitive edge).

 

With regards the bundle - do you and the Respondent have to agree one for this hearing or can you submit your own bundle? (I don't know).

I asked the tribunal and I just have to take my bundle and copys on the day.

its going to go on the new rules.

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clairloupul Other than reminding the tribunal they have the prerogative to take your means into consideration if they decide costs are applicable, then there is not a lot more you can do. You could still continue to offer the other party, say £500 in instalments as a fair compromise, which they might accept if they think they might get nothing at all. Don't forget to mark it 'without prejudice save as to costs'. This is a safety net if they try to add on £1,500 for going ahead with the costs hearing. You can then reveal the offer to the tribunal on the grounds you made a reasonable offer based on your means, to avoid the costs hearing and therefore the additional claim should be disallowed.

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clairloupul Other than reminding the tribunal they have the prerogative to take your means into consideration if they decide costs are applicable, then there is not a lot more you can do. You could still continue to offer the other party, say £500 in instalments as a fair compromise, which they might accept if they think they might get nothing at all. Don't forget to mark it 'without prejudice save as to costs'. This is a safety net if they try to add on £1,500 for going ahead with the costs hearing. You can then reveal the offer to the tribunal on the grounds you made a reasonable offer based on your means, to avoid the costs hearing and therefore the additional claim should be disallowed.

 

thank you thats really good advice.

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I have actually emailed them today including copies of fathers sick notes for cancer, my work schedule and also a document explaining about leave.

I have also included a copy of my DMP so they can see how much debt im in and also that I have no means to payment so they also have that information.

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Hopefully, they will have a heart. Appearing at a cost hearing can be hugely embarrassing and traumatic in that you have to reveal your private financial affairs to complete strangers and there is no harm in wanting to avoid it.

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Thanks for that.

I received the et letter with the date on and stating if I wish to send a bundle I must do before 7 days of the trial.

Thanks

 

Anything which you want to be available for the Tribunal to look at needs to be in the bundle - this should include evidence of the illness, evidence of your financial circumstances and so on.

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Could I ask for some advice just here?

 

'Without prejudice, save for costs' - a phrase that is often used - but what does it mean in layperson's terms please? What are the benefits and implications of using this phrase?

 

'Without prejudice....' - One side (using this phrase) can make an offer, or send some correspondence and the other side cannot use it's contents against their opponent in a hearing/court?

 

'....save for costs' - ???

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Could I ask for some advice just here?

 

'Without prejudice, save for costs' - a phrase that is often used - but what does it mean in layperson's terms please? What are the benefits and implications of using this phrase?

 

'Without prejudice....' - One side (using this phrase) can make an offer, or send some correspondence and the other side cannot use it's contents against their opponent in a hearing/court?

 

'....save for costs' - ???

 

I was reading that as well that the prejudice to save costs cannot be used in court.

So if I did make a offer how can I prove to the judge that I have tried a remedy before hand and the case

Still went to court.

 

Also the respondant made a offer to me that wasn't a prejudice to save costs I imagine that they intend to use it in court like the costs warning.

 

Thanks for asking that.

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Without prejudice as a standalone title is rarely used. I would always mark it either "save as to costs" or "subject to contract" after the WP title.

 

That way WPSATC correspondence can be used in support of a costs application as it becomes relevant at the costs stage and can be viewed in court. It just can't be viewed when determining liability.

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Without prejudice as a standalone title is rarely used. I would always mark it either "save as to costs" or "subject to contract" after the WP title.

 

That way WPSATC correspondence can be used in support of a costs application as it becomes relevant at the costs stage and can be viewed in court. It just can't be viewed when determining liability.

 

Thanks for that it makes sense

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There is a general legal principle that settlement offers cannot be used in evidence when the court is deciding on liability. The public policy behind this is that parties should be encouraged to negotiate settlement ofe their disputes without the need to go to court, and that these negotiations should be honest and conducted without people being afraid that statements made in negotiations will be used against them.

 

This principle applies whether or not the letter is headed 'without prejudice', although a proper heading should be used to avoid misunderstanding.

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Thanks for the clarification becky2585 and steampowered.

 

Hi claireloupul - have the respondent's sent you their schedule of costs yet?

 

No sweetlorraine not as of yet.

I'm not entirely sure if they have to do they?

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No sweetlorraine not as of yet.

I'm not entirely sure if they have to do they?

 

I don't know if they are required to provide the schedule before the hearing )but how else could you be afforded time to inspect/challenge the aggregated total figure?) Perhaps this is another point that other caggers could please clarify?

 

Also there has been some advice along the lines that respondents can either apply for the cost of external legal advice, or internal legal time spent preparing for the hearing, but not both sets of costs. It might be worth knowing for the hearing which rule/procedure sets out that distinction - could other caggers advise please?

 

Your hearing is on Friday 25th isn't it? How are you shaping up - feeling OK?

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