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incorrect Dart Charge PCN & Enterprise Admin fee


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Hi folks,

 

I hired a car from Enterprise on 02/04/15 for a trip the following morning from Kent to Leicestershire. As this journey involved using the Dartford crossing I went online on the morning of 03/04/15 and paid the Dart Charge toll, and received an email receipt (03/04/15 at 9:19am).

 

Today I received a letter from Enterprise informing me that they had received a PCN for using the crossing without payment on 03/04/15 at 10:21am, and including a copy. They, quite rightly, passed on my details to the DOT and are charging me £35 admin fee as stated in the rental agreement.

 

I have to wait for Dart Charge to reissue the PCN to me, and will obviously be challenging it when they do. Will I be able to claim a refund from them for the Enterprise penalty that they have lumbered me with?

 

ta, B

 

ps: the PCN is all in order (correct car, date, time etc., barring the small matter of my having PAID)

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This issue was on Watchdog recently - there might be something on their website that would be useful.

 

Since it is clearly a mistake, I don't see why you can't reclaim the admin charge.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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I just got the same letter from enterprise... £35 for them to lick a stamp?

 

Dartford crossing people admitted their mistake and assure me finance are going to sort it, they have asked me to send them a letter directly regarding the admin fee.

 

Dartford crossing customer services could not guarantee me that they would make the refund of the admin fee, I will not be pleased if they don't...

 

I'd be interested to know how you get on Ben, I couldn't find anything on watchdog so if anyone has links please share!

 

Thanks,

D

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I agree that Enterprise's admin charge seems a bit high, but it was in the agreement I signed, and I they're not the ones who have messed up.

I'm waiting on Dart Charge to reissue the PNC to me so that I can challenge it (I want to keep everything in writing, so won't be calling their customer services). From what I've seen on Watchdog (episode from Monday just gone - still on iplayer) & read around the interwebs their systems are utterly useless.

 

I've just checked their website (it was down for 'maintainance' yesterday) and according to that I have made two crossings, and paid for both of them, and I have my receipt, so there's no chance of my losing an appeal. I'm sure they'll try to wriggle out of reimbursing me for the Enterprise fee, but they haven't got a leg to stand on.

 

In the end my using the crossing is going to cost them at least £32.50 (assuming they don't PCN me for the return journey as well). There shouldn't really be a charge anymore anyway, it was supposed to end when the building costs had been recouped, and that was in 2002!

 

B

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an update:

 

I'm still waiting for the PCN to be reissued, and decided to go over my evidence just to be 100% sure of my position. Anyway, I looked again at the info on the Dart Charge website and it turns out I misread it previously.

 

According to them I paid £5.00 on 03/04/2015 (CORRECT)

 

This paid for two crossings:

 

Southbound on 06/04/2015 (CORRECT)

Northbound on 26/02/2015 (INCORRECT)

 

So it seems I have found their error, although I can't understand how they've credited the February journey to my payment, as that should have already been subject to a PCN if it wasn't paid for at the time! I also don't understand why they are claiming that the journey in between these two is the one that wasn't paid for. That just makes no sense at all.

 

B

 

ETA: Dart Charge page just updated, now the two crossings are in chronological order, so at least I'm not being accused of time travel!

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  • 4 weeks later...

The PCN has finally arrived, so now I can start arguing with them!

 

There's a line in the accompanying 'warning letter' that amused me:

 

"...if you receive a PCN for a crossing, that crossing has not been paid for." (their underlining and bolding).

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  • 5 weeks later...

No, I have no proof of that. I'm not sure that I would be able to get that, as I'd need to know who was renting the car at the time and their payment reference number, none of which info I am privy (or entitled) to.

 

By the way, it's over three weeks now since dart charge recieved my representations (they signed for it on the seventh of this month) - does anybody know if there is a timescale in which I should expect a response, or is it a case of waiting indefinitely?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I have found the answer to my question: according to The Road User Charging Schemes (Penalty Charges, Adjudication and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013 , paragraph 8(9)(b),

 

"(9)*It is the duty of a charging authority to whom representations are duly made under this regulation—

 

... (b)within the period of 56 days beginning with the date on which the representations were served on it, to serve on that person notice of its decision as to whether or not it accepts—

 

(i)that one or more of the grounds in paragraph (3) has been established; or

 

(ii)that there are compelling reasons why, in the particular circumstances of the case, the penalty charge notice should be cancelled."

 

I make that the 2nd of October, so I guess I'll have to be patient a while longer!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had a reply from Dart Charge:

 

"...Dear XXXX,

 

Notice of Acceptance

 

Thank you for your recent representation against the issue of the above mentioned Penalty Charge Notice(s) (PCN(s)).

 

Following an investigation of the points you raised and after checking our records, we accept that an administrative error occurred which led to the incorrect issue of the PCN(s).

 

No further action will be taken in respect of the above PCN(s) and we apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Charlene Park

Dart Charge Customer Service Representative"

 

So no mention of the £35 that their "administrative error" has cost me, or the fact that I requested that they reimburse me for it.

 

Time for another letter!

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'Dear Ms Park,

Since you have admitted the error by Dart Charge, I look forward to receiving reimbursement of the £35 charge as previously detailed within the next 7 days. Should payment not be received within this time,

(delete as appropriate)

a) the charge will double to £70

b) your account will be passed to a debt collection agency and your credit file may be affected

c) I'll set a bailiff on to you

d) (probably the most sensible) a claim may be issued to recover the outstanding amount'

 

I'd have thought the refund would be a no-brainer as they've admitted it was their fault, but you may have to be fairly insistent before they accept that you mean it.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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You would not be able to use b) and c) until you had issued and won a claim as per d)

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Ok folks, how's this?

 

"RE: PENALTY CHARGE NOTICE NO. XXXXXXXXXX

 

Dear Ms Park,

 

As you have accepted (in your Notice of Acceptance of September 14th 2015) that the above PCN was issued in error I am writing to reiterate my request that I am reimbursed for the £35 charge I incurred as a direct consequence of said PCN, as detailed and evidenced in my previous correspondence (05/08/2015).

 

I look forward to receiving this payment within the next 14 days*.

 

Yours Sincerely..."

 

Also, do you think it's worth CCing the Sanef Operations CEO (Charles Hewson) and/or Highways England Project Director (Nigel Gray), or would that be going in too heavy too soon?

 

B

 

*I'm feeling generous :)

Edited by bentilley
wrong date
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  • 2 weeks later...

Minor update:

 

I posted the above letter on 28/09/15 1st class signed for, and as yet it has not been delivered. :frusty:

 

I have contacted RM about this, to find out whether they've lost it or if there's been a problem with getting a signature (this would be odd, as I used the same postal service for my initial appeal, and that arrived and was signed for fine). No reply as yet...

 

Obviously the letter arriving late would give Dart Charge some leeway as regards the time limit I put on the reimbursal (not sure if that's a real word), but shouldn't give them any reason to refuse outright, as far as I can see.

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  • 1 month later...

An update:

 

I was all set to send off a new copy of my letter to Dart Charge (RM having lost tne first one, and further delayed by my being briefly overseas) when I recieved another letter from DC.

 

The content is identical to their previous one except for being signed by a different service rep, and including this paragraph at the end -

 

"We note that you have been charged an administration fee by your hire firm. We regret that we are unable to refund this fee and would respectfully suggest you contact the hire firm directly to discuss this."

 

I have no intention of trying to reclaim the fee from Enterprise, as they made the charge legitimately as per the contract between us. It's my contention that the fee was directly caused by DC's erroneous PCN, and there is no reason why either I or Enterprise should be out of pocket as a result. Time to draft a new letter, and to copy in the CEO, I think.

 

ETA: I just noticed another difference - the "date representation received" has changed from 07/08/2015 to 29/09/2015. I assume that this means they received my letter after all, although RM still list it as being "progressed through our network"!

Edited by bentilley
noticed a thing
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My experience of "still be progressed through our network" that they have delivered it, but couldn't be arsed to get a signature.

Sam

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I have no intention of trying to reclaim the fee from Enterprise, as they made the charge legitimately as per the contract between us. It's my contention that the fee was directly caused by DC's erroneous PCN, and there is no reason why either I or Enterprise should be out of pocket as a result. Time to draft a new letter, and to copy in the CEO, I think.

 

 

If Enterprise charged you and you paid Enterprise, has Enterprise passed that £35 onto Dart ?

If not, then it is Enterprise you must claim from, if yes, have you paperwork showing that ?

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Hi Conniff,

 

The money I paid to Enterprise was the Admin fee they charge for processing any traffic violations incurred, not toward the PCN.

 

While this is a bit steep, I was aware of, and did agree to it when I signed the contract. They did what the fee was meant to cover - returned the PCN to Dart Charge with the my details as hirer (not sure if that's spelled right, looks very odd).

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How about investigating the prospect of a small claims action.

 

If enterprise will not refund the fee (And chase dart charge pple) then you could name them both joint defendents?

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It wouldn't hurt to write to Enterprise asking for the fee to be refunded on the grounds that the PCN was issued in error. They might refund as a gesture of goodwill. If they don't then pursue Dart Charge with a vengeance.

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A consequence of Dart's error.

If they don't accept this, armed with their acceptance the cancellation of the charge due to their mistake I would threaten a County Court claim - and if they refuse to settle, follow it through.

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