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    • Future Comms issues. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/416504-future-comms-issues/
      • 3 replies
    • This is a bit of a lengthy one but I’ll summerise best as possible.
       
      THIS IS HOW THE PHONECALL WENT 
       
      I was contacted by future comms by phone, they stated that they could beat any phone contract I have , (I am a limited company but just myself that needs a business phone and I am the only worker) 
      I told future comms my deal, £110 per month with a phone and a virtual landline, they confirmed that they could beat that, £90 per month with a phone , virtual landline  they also confirmed they would pay Vodafone (previous provider) the termination fee. As I am in business, naturally I was open to making a deal. So we proceeded. 
      Future comms then revealed that the contract would be with PLAN.COM and the airtime would be provided by 02, I instantly told them that this would break the deal as I have poor 02 signal in the house where I live as my partner is on 02 and constantly complaining about bad signal
      the salesman assured me he would send a signal booster box out with the phone so I would have perfect signal.
      so far so good.....
      i then explained this is the only mobile phone I use for business and pleasure, so therefore I didn’t want any disconnection time in the slightest between the switchover from Vodafone to 02
      the salesman then confirmed that the existing phone would only be disconnected once the new phone was switched on.
      so far so good....
      • 14 replies
    • A shocking story of domestic and economic abuse compounded by @BarclaysUKHelp ‏ bank complicity – coming soon @A_Gentle_Woman. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/415737-a-shocking-story-of-domestic-and-economic-abuse-compounded-by-barclaysukhelp-%E2%80%8F-bank-complicity-%E2%80%93-coming-soon-a_gentle_woman/
      • 0 replies
    • The FSA has announced large fines against DB UK Bank Limited (trading as DB Mortgages) - DeutscheBank and also against Redstone for their unfair treatment of their customers.
      Please see the links below for summaries and full details from the FSA website.
      It is now completely clear that any arrears charges which exceed actual administrative costs are unfair and therefore unlawful.
      Furthemore, irresponsible lending practices are also unfair and unlawful.
      Additionally there are other unfair practices including unarranged counsellor visits - even if they have been attempted.
      You are entitled to refuse counsellor visits and not incur any charges.
      Any charges for counsellor visits must not seek to make profits. The cost of the visits must be passed on to you at cost price.
      We are hearing stories of people being charged for counsellor visits for which there is no evidence that they were even attempted.
      It is clear that some mortgage lenders are trying to cheat you out of your money.
      You should ascertain how much has been taken from you and claim it back. The chances of winning are better than 90%. It is highly likely that the lender will attempt to avoid court action and offer you back your money.
      However, you should ensure that you receive a proper rate of interest and this means that you should be seeking at least restitutionary damages - which would be much higher than the statutory 8%.
      Furthermore, you should assess whether the paying of demands for unlawful excessive charges has also out you further into arrears and if this has caused you further penalties in terms of extra interest or any other prejudice. This should be claimed as well.
      If excessive unlawful charges have resulted in your credit file being affected, then you should take this into account also when working out exactly what you want by way of remedy from the lender.
      You should consult others on these forums when considering any offer.
      You must not make any complaint through the Ombudsman. your time will be wasted, you will wait up to 2 yrs and there will be a minimal 8% award of interest and no account will be taken of any other damage you have suffered.
      You must make your complaint through the County Court for a rapid and effective remedy.

      http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Communication/PR/2010/120.shtml
      http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/final/redstone.pdf
      http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/final/db_uk.pdf
       
      http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/consumerinformation/firmnews/2011/db_mortgages.shtml
      Do you have a mortage arears claim to make? Then post your story on the forum here
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HelloDarkWorld

Westminster Housing Options – is it a sham? (Choice Based Lettings)

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After spending some time trying to get housed through Choice Based Lettings on medical grounds, and getting an unfair sense of things within the lettings (after I learnt my top-level Choice Based Lettings bids were not being honoured), me and friends started digging around a little deeper. And the results appear to be disturbing. While it is impossible to share all of our findings on a single forum post, I’ll share some examples. Any advice, opinions, suggestions, etc. are most welcome!

 

The Allocation Scheme states (s.2.7.8 and s.2.7.9):

 

"It is likely that Property Mobility Category 3 properties will be unsuitable for Mobility Category 1 and 2 applicants and that section 2.2.14 will apply. Subject to that, those in Mobility Category 1 will have priority over those in Mobility Category 2 and they will have priority over those in Mobility Category 3 who will have priority over those in Mobility Category 4.

 

When persons within the same Mobility Category bid for an advertised Mobility Category property, priority will depend upon who has the most points and, if equal, whose application is the earliest in time."

 

These rules set out in the Allocation Scheme are not being followed and properties are allocated purely on decisions of the lettings mangers. This is why when I placed my bid for a Mobility 3 property, I was not invited for viewing or contacted about the property despite being in position 2, with mobility 3 priority and 200 points. The property was allocated to a bidder with 150 points instead.

 

Lord Scott - Ahmad case (R Ahmad v LB Newham [2009] UKHL 14) – states:

 

"To allow the choice to depend upon the judgment of a Council official, or a committee of officials, no matter how experienced and well trained he, she or they might be, would lack transparency and be likely to lead to a plethora of costly litigation based on allegations of favouritism or discrimination."

 

We requested for bidding data under the Freedom of Information and we found that people with top priorities are waiting for many years while applicants with Mobility 4 priority and lower points can selectively get housed into Mobility 3 properties within as little as one month! See sample stats attached (go straight to page 2 of the attachment).

 

[to be continued...]

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A case study:

 

During 'Week 23' 15 flats in a new development (Lavington Buildings, Ogle Street, London) were advertised on the publically accessible flyer as available for bidding.

 

The one bedroom flat that was falsely advertised on the flyer on Tuesday 03/09/2013 onwards was supposed to be available for biddings on the Wednesday 04/09/2013 (biddings open up on Wednesdays). But while the flat was advertised on the flyer, the flat disappeared from the biddings system.

 

I phoned up about the flat and kicked up a bid of a fuss about it. I was then told the flat was withdrawn for a severe disability case surrounding a lady in a wheelchair. I did not believe the Council much as they clearly state no Mobility 1 or 2 properties suitable for wheelchair users will ever be advertised on Choice Based Lettings.

 

After raising a number of complaints, I found the property re-listed on the flyer on 02/10/2013 and it was now available for bidding on the Choice Based Lettings.

 

Amazingly, data received under the Freedom of Information unveiled that the property was in fact allocated to a Mobility 4 applicant (an applicant without mobility issues) who was on the Housing Register for 1 month; approved for the register on 04/09/2013 – one day after the flat was originally advertised on the flyer before it went missing on the biddings system. The winning applicant was technically in 37th position. This was a Mobility 3 property but was not allocated to any of the 11 Mobility 3 bidders. See bidding data attached ("bidding data - lavngton. pdf" page 1.

 

So far Westminster Council are failing to address this incident or my complaint about their failure to follow the allocation scheme in my Stage 2 complaints. I requested for an oral hearing but was told I cannot address the allocation scheme or my housing application (which is another interesting story!)

 

According to the data we received under the Freedom of Information, only flats 1, 2, 3, 5 and 9 of Lavington Buildings have been listed within the bidding data – that’s 5 flats of 15. Who knows what happened to the other 10 flats that were advertised on the flyer.

 

When I placed my bid for the one bedroom flat at Lavington Buildings, my bidding position was published for my attention on my biddings account - I was supposedly in position 16 out of 50.

 

However, when I received the bidding data I calculated my position in accordance to the rules set out in the Allocation Scheme and my position was actually 7! The Council had withheld my actual bidding position! When applicants think they are in position 2 or 3, they could actually be in position 1 and not even know about it. I think this is outrageous.

 

The system also shows estimate bidding positions, and obviously having inaccurately calculated estimate positions (estimate positions are calculated on the same principal as the actual bidding positions) it influences the actions of the bidder. IMO displayed bidding positions should be accurate.

Edited by HelloDarkWorld

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In addition to this it seems a bidding restriction can be placed/lifted on bidders as per and when Housing Options please without former announcement or reason.

 

There seems to be an immense amount of manipulation within lettings and information the Council provide to me as a bidder is frustratingly misleading.

 

They also have introduced a quota that allows only 4 medical priority applicants to get housed into one bed flats per year, meaning Category A waiting list is restricted from bidding. Although that is dubious as well as I was told 'Cat A does not exist'...

 

I was told I have to expect to wait 10+ years as a medical priority applicant. It seems even if I bid when the restrictions are lifted I have no chance of getting rehoused until the lettings managers decide to 'favour' me. Hmmmm... Seems odd to me..

 

Any comments? Thoughts on my posts above?

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I have been having problems with Westminster Housing Options too. They are a bunch of idiots.

As the council has a duty to transparency, could you get a list of reasons for awarding each flat to the person who got it? Freedom of Information request?

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I have been having problems with Westminster Housing Options too. They are a bunch of idiots.

As the council has a duty to transparency, could you get a list of reasons for awarding each flat to the person who got it? Freedom of Information request?

 

You should be able to get information on how they allocate generally, but I should think individual cases would be covered by data protection.


 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

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:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Once personal details (e.g., name and address) are removed, I guess the decision could be published.

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What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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"Some information may not be given to you because it is exempt, for example because it would unfairly reveal personal details about somebody else."

Are you referring to the above sentence? As you can see, it says it would be exempt only if "personal details" about someone else would be revealed.

As per my previous reply, I am suggesting editing out those details so that the reason for the council's decision would be known while no one would be identified.

They may argue that's not always possible and refuse your request, but that's just because they probably do not want you to know how they allocate their properties and try and use an ambiguity to their advantage.

I would think that if someone is determined to get such information, they could put an argument forward that if the data is sufficiently edited, then there would be no risk of ever identifying anyone. But then, the council might just edit it to the point that it becomes useless.

Basically, they are nasty (and possibly corrupt) characters.

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I can't find anything about quotas in the Housing Allocation Scheme, nor any discretion to ignore priorities in the bidding process. If they told you that they have such an internal policy, it's unlawful.

By law (the Housing Act), they must follow their Housing Allocation Scheme, once it's framed.

I can't remember which section of the Housing Act (latest version) it is, but it's definitely in there.

So, if you can prove that they have not been following it, you can take them to court.

Each time you bid for a property (i.e., once a week, presumably) and they decide who to allocate the property to, their decision can be challenged in the courts.

If you are on benefits, you can get legal aid for it.

Cuts to legal aid for challenging Local Authority decisions have been reversed after the goverment were defeated in the High Court in march this year.

Choose a firm of solicitors with a Public Law contract (check the Legal Aid website) and ask them if they can help you. It will throw Housing Options staff into disarray and they deserve the headache.

If you lose, you won't have to pay their legal costs (if you are getting legal aid) but the council will have to pay yours if they lose.

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Housing Act 1996 (As Amended), Part VI, Section 167 (Allocation in accordance with allocation scheme)

(8)A local housing authority shall not allocate housing accommodation except in accordance with their allocation scheme.

You can read the whole section 167 on this page (towards the end): www(dot)legislation(dot)gov(dot)uk/ukpga/1996/52/part/VI

Housing Options seem to be quite happy to act unlawfully in probably everything they do, but they don't have to get away with it. The courts can sort them out.

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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The Public Law Project could help too. They are a charity that challenges unlawful practices by central and local government affecting disadvantaged groups.

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Hello there.

 

I've flagged this for the site team for comments.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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