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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.
       
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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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Hi

 

 

Please don't judge me, I honestly cannot take anymore!

 

 

In 2012 I applied for DLA on the advise of my GP, I had (and still have) urinary incontinence and inability to know when I need the toilet due to a back injury sustained at work. I also am in extreme pain whenever I move (but I guess this may be different to the level of pain another person may have with the same condition), can't get dressed, in or out of bed, need supervising when I first take my painkillers (about 20-30 minutes after), struggle to get out of chairs (need someone there to make sure it doesn't tip most of the time, sometimes needing to be assisted out of it), and also have to frequently stop when walking, about 200 meters before I can't walk anymore for between 3-5 minutes rest.

In addition I can't bend to wash my legs or feet so have support here, cannot sit for long periods, or stand so frequently alter my positions. I also cannot get on or off toilets, so this with not knowing when I need to go means I temper my drinking.

 

 

The DWP wrote to my GP for his opinion on my condition, and his report was sent back. I didn't know about this until the whole DWP investigation started last year. They used this to form the basis of the award for high rate mobility and middle rate care.

 

 

I had been working in a nightclub but couldn't do this, so took a job as a supervisor in a restaurant, mainly meeting and greeting customers and directing people to their tables. They were fully aware at interview of my problems. I had time off due to my back (about 3 months) which is when I applied for DLA. I went back to work after having an operation on my back, and had a return to work interview. All was going well, customers helping me (I have copies of online discussions with a customer who knew about my back and mentioned how much I was struggling. I was then dismissed after a customer complaint about how slow my service was!

 

 

I then took a job as an assistant manager in a pub, which was due to be closed for refurbishment might I add, and was there 2 months, during which they were closed for 6 weeks. The other 2 weeks I was expected to once again meet and greet guests for breakfast, put their order through and so forth. 8 rooms and NEVER had more than 8 guests, and I was never working on my own. During the refit I was responsible for the paperwork side of the business, phoning potential clients and filing all paperwork.

 

 

I left there and went to work for a building society as this was more sedentary and my back was still really unreliable. I drove my nephew in most days and he walked slowly with me to the building, and on days when he wasn't with me there were always people around on the pedestrianized areas- I need to have someone around in case my right leg gives was which when it does always results in a stumble and fall, from which I cannot get up. This does not have to be someone I know, as DLA pays if I need someone not necessarily have someone right? I left there in January last year just before this investigation started.

 

 

The DWP are alleging that I lied on my initial application form as nobody watches over me for the whole day (I have stated that I need help early morning and late at night, if I go to the toilet, and to help with chairs and to help me get up if I fall, not that I need continual supervision) and have statements from people I work with saying they either didn't know about my disability, even though I have emails saying differently, or facebook conversations to again show they did. They have a statement from a neighbour saying she apparently saw me out walking to the shops (I have a car and if it was just before the investigation it was winter so why would anyone walk?) and a statement from the investigating officer saying that I walked on my own to the interview room at the Job Centre. I questioned this as I was with my solicitor but they responded and said he didn't support me, his letter written on my behalf states he did hold my arm to steady me.

 

 

The DWP have not sent CPS any of my medical evidence they are in receipt of (original GP information they requested, Harley Street consultant, Pain management specialist, Capita medical orthopaedic surgeon, 2 ATOS medicals for my IIDB (apparently not affected despite the two forms being filled out with the same details!) and a letter from my current GP stating how my disability affects me. They have also said to the CPS that the award was made solely on the details on my claim form, and signed to say they have not held anything back from CPS. Except they have. They have negated to inform them I lodged an appeal against their decision over 6 months ago, have supplied evidence the investigating officer has admitted tampering with, and also altered a statement that in the bundles sent to the appeal judge was 2 pages but said it was one, it now says it is two. DWP were aware of this issue as I complained as it made me question if the statement had been added to. They also sate that I said in my IUC that my condition had improved (I have the tapes and I didn't) but then go on to say I state that it has worsened. Confusing!

 

 

I'm pleading not guilty, as my condition is worse (they now think I have ankylosing spondylitis) and without my interference (as the DWP have alleged) my GP fully corroborated what effect my disability has on me. The DWP have said they are not denying I have a disability but surely by saying that it doesn't affect me at all, they are!

 

 

Their key evidence appears to be facebook posts I made (and supplied to them) where I said that my Mum's dog had managed a full walk home with no pulling and I wondered if he'd do the same the next day, and a second saying I loved late night walks with the dog - my Mum was walking him both times, and I was sat in the car watching the last one. I have explained this but it is irrelevant apparently.

 

 

I asked the DWP to obtain CCTV from places I had worked to prove I wasn't lying, this was not done and the time frame for CCTV gathering ran out - how is this fair? I can't obtain it due to the DPA, but they could have!

 

 

I guess what I want to know is what happens next? I am seeing a solicitor 18/03/15 and will be taking ALL evidence, including the bits the DWP have negated to supply to CPS (or have ignored their use of) but do I have a strong defence? Would a Magistrate be interested in the errors they made in the investigation resulting in evidence that in my opinion would have exonerated me?

 

 

Thank you for any help in this matter - I am stressed beyond belief and had an ambulance called to me last night with me having chest pains. I am doing a Uni course that would result in me being a teacher, but if I get a guilty conviction I am screwed!

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i assume the dwp decided to withdraw your dla, if so what was the date of the decision?

 

have you taken any steps to challenge the decision?

If you have found my post useful, please click on the star at the bottom of my post and add some reputation points.

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i assume the dwp decided to withdraw your dla, if so what was the date of the decision?

 

have you taken any steps to challenge the decision?

 

They revoked it in June last year and I asked for an immediate mandatory reconsideration. This was returned in September with the response that my medical evidence was circumstantial so I lodged an appeal with the tribunals service. They told dwp that they were wrong to say I hadn't disputed the overpayment as the appeal in total was appealing that, and due to the complexity of my case it is still with the judge awaiting a date for hearing.

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Who helps you at work with getting out of chairs and off of the toilet?

 

Who provides your care at home?

 

Why do you need to supervised with morning medication?

 

Did you put you could walk 200 metres on your claim form?

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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The DWP are alleging that I lied on my initial application form as nobody watches over me for the whole day

 

The help you need has to be reasonable. You don't have to be getting or want the help. It just has to be reasonable to suggest that you need whatever help you say you need.

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Who helps you at work with getting out of chairs and off of the toilet?

 

Who provides your care at home?

 

Why do you need to supervised with morning medication?

 

Did you put you could walk 200 metres on your claim form?

 

I had help from people I worked with which was shown on the cctv the dwp failed to Obtain. It was also evident at my IUC when my solicitor steadied the chair. I monitor my intake of fluids so as to avoid the toilet, and have made this obvious from day 1. Even my doctor is aware and we have discussed this at length

 

My mum is my help at home, and she is the one who helps me with my medication. Oxycodone makes me really spaced out and I have no sense of danger for around the first half hour after taking it, so she prevents me from doing dangerous things.

Yes I put 200 meters

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Sorry getting really worked up here - I put 200 yards, which is more than I can walk, and yes I mean yards as that is what the form asked form. I can walk about the length of a tennis court before I need to stop.

 

 

I'm so stressed I just want to drive my car over the nearest cliff and do the job the DWP are trying to do for them!

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Hello there.

 

Please try not to get stressed, we're trying to help you. We've had plenty of successes, please listen to the guys and we'll talk you through this. The system is hard to get to grips with, but people here have done that.

 

Keep talking to us. :)

 

Hugs, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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You need to get an experienced welfare rights adviser to help with your appeal. Solicitors are good for the criminal case, but you need someone experienced in fighting a civil case at Tribunal.

 

The argument may need to be on several fronts:

 

1 - Prove you need the help you stated you needed on the application.

 

2 - Argue that if the award given doesn't tally with stated needs - for instance the distance you stated you can walk should not qualify you for high mobility - then the Tribunal judge should consider that any award in excess of your stated needs is official error and therefore not recoverable. You would, however need to make an excellent case of proving your needs as stated on the application.

 

3 - Get any criminal proceedings put on hold until after the civil hearing - the civil hearing is EVERYTHING, if you win at the hearing then there is no criminal case to answer, so it is most important to get help with it.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thank you honey bee. I made the mistake of googling all this and it has terrified me - I've never even had a parking ticket.

 

 

They are charging me under sections 1 and 3 of the Fraud Act, but how can this be when a GP they paid also agreed with all the details put on the form? I just cant take anymore. The DWP have put me through a year of hell and I honestly just want to tell them to shove it all, but I know I haven't done anything wrong!

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You need to get an experienced welfare rights adviser to help with your appeal. Solicitors are good for the criminal case, but you need someone experienced in fighting a civil case at Tribunal.

 

The argument may need to be on several fronts:

 

1 - Prove you need the help you stated you needed on the application.

 

2 - Argue that if the award given doesn't tally with stated needs - for instance the distance you stated you can walk should not qualify you for high mobility - then the Tribunal judge should consider that any award in excess of your stated needs is official error and therefore not recoverable. You would, however need to make an excellent case of proving your needs as stated on the application.

 

3 - Get any criminal proceedings put on hold until after the civil hearing - the civil hearing is EVERYTHING, if you win at the hearing then there is no criminal case to answer, so it is most important to get help with it.

 

 

Hi.

 

 

I can prove through medical evidence I needed the help stated, and through information from my Mum and friends who are wonderful in helping me (apparently they are biased though)

 

 

How do I get the criminal proceedings put on hold, is that something my solicitor can do? I have been using Wiltshire Law Centre for the appeal as the person there did his law degree under the man who set up the appeals process and knows it inside out. I tried speaking to CPS on Friday but even thought they said they had no notice of an appeal being started it made no difference.

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Yes, the solicitor should be trying to delay the court case.

 

He should be preparing your case for appeal with you as quickly as possible and when ready, should be requesting an expedited appeal. Does he understand DLA regs? Does he have any knowledge of upper tribunal decisions that might be relevant to your case?

 

There is a welfare benefits adviser at that law centre. Ask to see them and see what they have to say.

 

CPS will want to push forward as an appeal decision has the possibility of impacting their case and making it moot.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Yes, the solicitor should be trying to delay the court case.

 

He should be preparing your case for appeal with you as quickly as possible and when ready, should be requesting an expedited appeal. Does he understand DLA regs? Does he have any knowledge of upper tribunal decisions that might be relevant to your case?

 

There is a welfare benefits adviser at that law centre. Ask to see them and see what they have to say.

 

CPS will want to push forward as an appeal decision has the possibility of impacting their case and making it moot.

 

Thank you so much. I will ask my solicitor to do all this on Wednesday. Worst part of all this, apart from the potential custodial sentence, is my condition is made worse by stress. Guess I've got a lot more of that atm than I need!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all.

 

 

Well my solicitor tried to delay the case, on the day of the plea hearing. CPS were having none of it and aside from not having printed their paperwork for my solicitor and the judge, just generally faffed around whilst watching me in the court waiting area. I was due to be seen first as I find standing or sitting for long periods difficult, they made me wait from 9:30am until 12:30pm! Suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

 

 

I now have 9 pieces of medical evidence in support of my claim, including being recently placed into the support group for ESA - although I'm guessing that as this is after the original claim it will be ignored?!

 

 

The judge was horrible (possibly because it had been a long morning I guess) and basically implied I should be pleading guilty despite not having any of my evidence in front of him, I cried the whole way through and also couldn't deal with the pain enough to be able to concentrate.

 

 

HOWEVER, despite having been bailed for a case review on 7th May,I got home to find a tribunal date of 5th May - brilliant as this is before the case review and trial. I guess if I win that this whole mess goes away??

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Yes, if you win, then no case to answer.

 

Your solicitor sounds incompetent. Trying to get a case postponed on the day of the hearing won't succeed unless of some emergency circumstance (for instance hospitalisation). It needs to be done as far in advance of the hearing as possible, to be successful.

 

What has justice come to? It shouldn't be the judges role to try to force or encourage the defendant to a guilty plea.

 

ETA: On your appeal submission, be sure to request that if in any way possible, a decision could be given on the day, due to criminal proceedings several days later. Also get someone who knows what they're doing to prepare your case and work with you .

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

Just keeping you all updated. I have employed a new solicitor, and want to say it went well, but it didn't. As the DWP have 6 statements from people I worked with or knew then she seems to think they will win. Regardless of who I call was the impression I got. I should add that is is purely from 3 places, and I may have two witnesses to counteract two places fully.

 

I just feel like totally giving up.

 

In addition the new solicitor said that even if I win the appeal then the criminal case will still go ahead. I'm so confused and really don't know what to do!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all

 

 

Sorry for the late reply. All this left me on the brink of suicide. If it wasn't for my wonderful insightful friends I would no longer be hear.

 

 

Ok, so the Thursday evening before my appeal I had all my paperwork returned by my local law centre saying they no longer had the resources to represent me. With bank holiday the following Monday and the appeal hearing on Tuesday at 9:30 am it left me the impossible job of finding representation at short notice. The bar pro bono unit couldn't help and neither could my local CAB. However the CAB told me it was their belief that the law centre had declined to represent me as they felt the case was too string in favour of the DWP. Nothing like having all my paperwork for 3 months and then deciding this!

 

 

Ok, so representing myself I headed to the tribunal knowing I could always appeal the decision on the grounds that I had no legal representation. An adjournment was declined by the courts. I took my mum for support, turned up and there were two people from the DWP - the investigating officer and a 'legal representative' as he described himself. Turns out he works for the DWP and not as a legal person!

 

 

So in court the judge berated the DWP for launching legal proceedings before the outcome of the appeal. The judge wasn't informed about the criminal side until the day before the hearing, and I pointed out CPS were not informed until I did so. He also was not happy that the DWP had negated to collect evidence I had asked them to, such as CCTV evidence, and that over 2 months had elapsed since the request until they informed me they hadn't gathered it. Their excuse of being out of time did not wash when I pointed out the letter from my ex employers showing that during this time the DWP had never attempted to gather this.

 

 

The judge was also not happy that the DWP had not taken into account the fact during the alleged fraudulent claim time I was placed into the support group for ESA. The DWP produced this evidence on the day, despite me being on it for 18 months. The judge made his feelings very well known on this.

 

 

The 'legal representative' was muttering snide and rude remarks all the way through and in the break mentioned he was going to keep his 100% win rate - he obviously didn't read my file showing I can lip read. I also managed to overhear exactly what they wanted to avoid discussing, such as the stuff discussed off tape at my IUC. In the hearing the DWP blokes could only point out a few small details, such as when I said on Facebook about going to make soup - I had mentioned moments before to the disability expert that when doing this I put a knife through my hand. Silly DWP obviously weren't fully listening.

 

 

One other point the DWP mentioned was about my Mum's DLA. She's on it due to arthritis in her hips and knees but decided to question me about it, and even though my Mum was sitting between us declined to mention it to her. Mum however seized upon this and addressed the judge herself. The judge rightly pointed out this had no bearing on my case, neither did my claim for physiotherapy to my shoulder after a car accident (provided by the third party insurance). They were trying to make out we were money grabbers!

 

 

Ok, so the hearing ended and the judge told the DWP they would have the decision emailed to them and directed them to ring me that afternoon to inform me of how it went. However Tuesday afternoon came and went and I heard nothing. I phoned the courts service and they informed me the decision had been made but could not tell me over the phone. I panicked thinking the DWP were stringing me along as they had won.

 

 

Wednesday I had a call from my criminal solicitor who told me the criminal case had been discontinued. I then found out the appeal had been allowed and found in my favour. The DWP rang me Wednesday afternoon and when I told them I knew the decision the pone was quickly put down! Surprise there then.

 

 

I know the DWP have two months to appeal in, but there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. I still feel anxious, suicidal and very, very low about all this, but I can start to rebuild my life. I nearly quit my training course as I thought I would lose!

 

 

Thank you all for all your support, it means so much that throughout all this there were people willing to give me help and support. The criminal side awarded me full costs, and they currently stand at £4000 for legal representation (my Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit took me over legal aid threshold, ironically they have now stopped this as they believe I have an underlying musculoskeletal condition causing my back injury that the past two years they have decided it is solely due to the accident (no underlying condition according to my medical records either!!)).

 

 

I would like to say to anyone going through similar that they should never give up, it is what the DWP bank on. The DWPs infinite resources are nothing against the truth!! As Partridge said 'Illegitimi non carborundum'!

 

 

xx

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Great outcome, and well done for seeing it through. sadly most solicitors are incompetent when it comes to benefit matters, but you showed them! :)

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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