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    • Hello, I'm reading this as I have a similar problem - booking.com are refusing a refund and the accommodation are not replying to my emails. I have found the details for the CEO of booking.com but not the UK director of customer services. Please could you share this with me? Thanks. 
    • Did you send the note giving them the extension of time? When does the extension expire/date for issue of claim? I see that this thread started on 25 October. I have to say that when it started I thought it was going to be a quick fix and hadn't bargained for virgin's ineptitude which has certainly made it a lot more interesting but I'm hoping that March is going to be the month that it will finally all get sorted out. Surely someone responsible within Virgin has got to start taking a look and understanding the extraordinary mess that they have built for themselves and want to sort it out.  
    • Dispute with Vodafone and get copy invoices last invoice 2016 no balance on old number I have invoices upto nov16 showing no balance brought forward just before upgraded.   you say above you have all the bills that state a zero balance up until nov2016 are they in the SAR return too,? and all the ones after nov 2016?   the account number in the poc is this the same number as on those bills you have? and the number on the pages of the comms log you uploaded? as the comms log appears to show payments were being made right through the period you say the bills you have all show £0? then being transferred to other invoice numbers  , do these invoice numbers the payments were transferred too match the invoice numbers show £0 balance you have?          
    • no go back and read my guide earlier CAREFULLY...
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    • I sent in the bailiffs to the BBC. They collected £350. It made me smile.
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
      In the third call the mediator said that they would offer the full amount. However, he said that Hermes still thought that I should have taken the case against Packlink instead, and that they would try to recover the court costs themselves from Packlink.
      To be fair to them, if Packlink wasn't based in Spain I would've made the claim against them instead. But since they are overseas and the law lets me take action against Hermes directly, it's the best way of trying to recover the money.
      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
        • Thanks
    • Hermes and mediation hints. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428981-hermes-and-mediation-hints/&do=findComment&comment=5080003
      • 1 reply
    • Natwest Bank Transfer Fraud Call HMRC Please help. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428951-natwest-bank-transfer-fraud-call-hmrc-please-help/&do=findComment&comment=5079786
      • 33 replies

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I got an email just over a week ago from '[email protected]' informing me that my email address is "currently registered against an active UJ account"


"It's been a year since you accessed the account and used it to search for jobs. If you would like to keep this account please take a moment to log in. If you do nothing the account will be disabled within 4 weeks".


It has actually been over 2 years since I accessed my UJ account but I do use it for job searches without logging in to it, so they got that part of it wrong.


At the bottom it says:


"UJ helpdesk,

Do not reply to this email unless you are directed to do so as we will not be able to respond. Please use the 'Contact us' facility if you have any further issues or to report this email as suspicious. We will never ask you for your password in an email".

©2013 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)


I have been to the Jobcentre to sign on since receiving this email and not a peep was said about it. I do not intend to take a moment to log in, or to contact them. I intend to do nothing about it and they are more than welcome to disable it, and the sooner the better.


Just wondered if anyone else received such good news, or is this some sort of a cunning plan.

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what's the situation with UJ accounts now - are you required to have one when job seeking, or is it not a requirement now?

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

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Here is the argument I used for not using Universal Jobmatch:


There is no law, clause of a law, statutory instrument, or regulation that requires a claimant to open a Universal Jobmatch (UJ) Account. In fact there is no mention of UJ at all in any legislation.


The only statutory provision that the DWP can use to impose, or attempt to impose, the opening and use of a UJ Account on a claimant is Section 17 (3) © of the Welfare Reform Act 2012:




17. Work search requirement


(1) In this Part a “work search requirement” is a requirement that a claimant take—

(a) all reasonable action, and

(b) any particular action specified by the Secretary of State, for the purpose of obtaining paid work (or more paid work or better-paid work).


(2) The Secretary of State may under subsection (1)(b) specify the time to be devoted to any particular action.


(3) Action which may be specified under subsection (1)(b) includes in particular—

(a) carrying out work searches;

(b) making applications;

© creating and maintaining an online profile;

(d) registering with an employment agency;

(e) seeking references;

(f) any action prescribed for the purpose in subsection (1).


(4) Regulations may impose limitations on a work search requirement by reference to the work to which it relates; and the Secretary of State may in any particular case specify further such limitations on such a requirement.

(5) A limitation under subsection (4) may in particular be by reference to—

(a) work of a particular nature,

(b) work with a particular level of remuneration,

© work in particular locations, or

(d) work available for a certain number of hours per week or at particular times, and may be indefinite or for a particular period.



This clause has enabled them to come up with, introduce and enforce the use of Universal Jobmatch Accounts.


Any claimant who wishes to can register with most general employment or recruitment agency sites, there are plenty to choose from. They can then post a CV with profile on the site.


Thereafter, regular visits to the site, tweaks to profile as and when required, is all that is necessary. The claimant has thus created and is maintaining an online profile as the law requires without even thinking about UJ. Most of those sites also facilitate the instant application for the jobs they carry.


So, even under a fully fledged Universal Credit CC, far less a JSA/CC, any request, of any shape or form, to open a UJ account, far less allow access to one, can be ignored by the claimant if s/he takes the trouble to provide for themselves an alternative to UJ of their own choice.


Another important factor to consider is that a UJ Account can't be opened unless you open a Government Gateway Account first. The site that facilitates this, the Government's own site says somewhere in the rules that it would be illegal for Government to compel the citizen to open such an account. I believe the ECHR has something to say about this as well.


If you want chapter and verse on all this check out the GG site and the ECHR Articles for yourself. I'll try and get everything together in one post as soon as time permits.


Another thought just occurred: If they close my UJ Account without my consent, does this mean that they are closing down my GG Account? And, if it is illegal for them to make me open a GG Account, would it not be illegal, having opened one, for them to close it down without my consent too.

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Another important factor to consider is that a UJ Account can't be opened unless you open a Government Gateway Account first.


Another thought just occurred: If they close my UJ Account without my consent, does this mean that they are closing down my GG Account? And, if it is illegal for them to make me open a GG Account, would it not be illegal, having opened one, for them to close it down without my consent too.


If you set your computer up to reject cookies, you will get a wonderfully cryptic error message that makes no mention of cookies (or it did last time I tried). Print out a screenshot of the error message and present this a evidence of attempting to use UJM if it is asked of you.


As for closing a UJM account. Banks do this all the time with dormant accounts, and it wouldn't be unreasonable for the DWP to do the same with a UJM account. It certainly saves on the amount of data they have to store and reduces the number of errors when trying to match a claimant to an account when a JCP adviser needs to raise a benefit doubt.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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UJM is a Government site, part of Government Gateway, that holds information which must by law be accessible to the citizen on request. There is no law that compels the citizen to subscribe to or register on that site, but if the citizen chooses to access the information held on that site there is no law that can stop him from subscribing or registering if that is what it takes to access the information held on it.


The term 'Account' in the context of UJM and GG is nothing like the meaning that the term has in the context of 'Bank Accounts'.


Furthermore, banks do not close dormant accounts all the time as you suggest, they would be acting illegally if they did.


The Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Act 2008 says it can't.

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Actually lasped the 2008 act allows banks to close dormant accounts in fact its specifically for that. It doesn't mean the customer cant get the money back because it is transferred to a reclaim fund which takes on the obligations of the institution and absolves the originator of responsibility. However the customer would still deal with the originating bank who are expected to act for the fund.



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My point was that the example of bank accounts is inappropriate and has nothing in common with UJ accounts, and that banks do not close accounts down just like that all the time. There is a legal process involved.

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