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Help please - Cabmate cab hire company refusing to return deposit

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I will try and be as brief as possible with this.

 

My partner hired a taxi from a local cab hire firm back in July 2017.

He paid a deposit on taking the car.

The original car had a lot of problems and kept getting taken into the garage for repairs.

As it was licensed to another county, they could not provide another vehicle when repairs were being made and therefore could not work.

 

Another time with this particular car, was told it was repaired, filled the tank £50 and then it broke down again (no recovery or breakdown service offered either, despite paying £200 per week!).

 

They said they would get a replacement car, told it would be an Octavia - then given a Dacia Logan (may be fine for nipping around town) totally not cut out for taxi work! Still paying the same rent.

 

As he got licenced locally, he asked for a locally licensed car (to avoid past issues).

They dragged their heels with this and finally got given another Dacia in Jan 18 despite saying he didn't want another Dacia as it is majorly uncomfortable to work in.

 

Finally managed to get our own car plated so returned the car to taxi hire firm.

I emailed and checked account balance was zero and have email to confirm it was.

Contract states a period of 6 weeks for return of initial deposit.

 

Waited the six weeks, didn't get it,

I called and was told no it was 8 weeks and would be paid on a certain date.

 

Waited another two weeks, still nothing.

Called again and told the woman who deals with it is on holiday.

 

Chased again the following week to then get an email stating that as he did not keep the last car for 6 weeks that he would not be getting back his original deposit and also that he owed them about £150.

 

This figure is not correct and is due to their errors when car was taken in for repair etc half way through the week when rent was paid in advance.

 

I called CAB and they have told me to write letter to them with the argument that it was a continuation of the original contract as he had a car from them permanently from July 17 to Feb 18.

 

I just wondered if anyone can help me out with some wording for the letter to them.

I have heard that many other people have had trouble getting deposits back.

The company are highly unprofessional imo.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Edited by dx100uk
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I think that you should be recovering all of your losses.

Send them an SAR on Friday. Come back here when you have the data.

We can help you


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Ok thanks, should I not mention the return of the deposit in the letter? Just raise the SAR with them? I am not overly concerned with recovering other costs, just really want the deposit back. However maybe the threat of something larger may just make them cough it up....

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Ok, I posted the letter recorded delivery on 25 May. I basically outlined the reasons why they should not be withholding the deposit. I gave them the option to refund, if not reverted to the SAR. The letter was sent to the local office that we dealt with and also a copy to the head office. No response from either...

 

So they are already in breach. What is the best way forward now please? Thanks

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I understand that you sent your SAR off as part of a larger letter. That is a shame because it could be that the SAR element was obscured by the rest of the message. It would be helpful if you could post up the letter the sent in PDF format – redacted for identifiers.

 

Also please could you tell us what kind of value we are dealing with here please. Can you list out each element of your losses. Also, did you lose any taxi business as a result of this?

 

Because you are probably seeing as a business, the case would have to be heard in their local court. Where are you? And where are they?


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I will post a copy of the letter up.

I feel that the SAR element was quite clear with the way that I set out the letter.

 

The original deposit was £200.

Money was invariably lost due to the lack of ability to work whilst cars were taken into the garage and no replacement was provided.

 

However I have not worked out all the days that the car was off the road but then they could state that this was clearly an issue due to the fact that the car was hired from another office which made offering a replacement difficult for them.

 

They are in Bristol centre and we are in Bristol also.

Check out their reviews on google and you will see that this is a regular stunt for them to pull. Cabmate T/A Claremont Executive.

 

Cabmate (UK) Limited

Unit A

Totterdown Bridge Trading Estate

Albert Road

Bristol

BS2 0XH

 

 

25 May 2018

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Re: A N OTHER Client No: 12345/6789 – (ALL CAR REG'S INSERTED)

COMPLAINT REGARDING FAILURE TO RETURN INTIAL DEPOSIT

 

The deposit of £200 was paid to you on 21 June 2017 when I signed the contract relating to Volkswagen Passat (CAR REG INSERTED).

 

The deposit was paid in respect of this vehicle and on the original contract.

 

I had a car continuously from you from 21 June 2017 through to 7 February 2018.

 

Therefore this was a continuation of the original contract on which I paid the initial deposit.

 

I only changed from the original Volkswagen Passat due to numerous mechanical problems with the car which left me unable to work as you were unable to supply a replacement vehicle.

 

The last time that the car went in the garage (12 October 2017), I was told that the car was definitely fixed (as per text sent 12/10/17 at 14:54).

 

Following collection, I then filled the tank with fuel at Asda in Bedminster Bristol for an evening’s work (I have the receipt for this purchase).

 

The car failed yet again that evening and was returned to you with over £50 of fuel in the tank.

 

On 20 October 2017, I was then given the Dacia Logan (CAR REG INSERTED) with an empty fuel tank after being told that I would be receiving a dark green Skoda Octavia.

 

Had I have been informed in advance, I would not have agreed to receiving the Dacia Logan.

 

As this was brought from Newcastle, I either accepted this car or being left in a position where I was unable to work yet again.

 

I do not consider a Dacia Logan to be a car which is suitable for use as a taxi (new price of £6,995).

 

This is a budget car and not fit for purpose, the car had no central arm rest, no arm rest on the door, the seats were extremely uncomfortable, the suspension was extremely hard and whilst I had the car, many customers complained about it and it was even mentioned on my rider feedback on the Uber App and also had a reported issue about the car.

 

I found that I could not drive for many hours in the car as it was causing my back to hurt. For this reason, my partner ////// contacted STAFF MEMBER A by email on 11 & 12 December 2017 to request a different car, due to the Dacia Logan being so uncomfortable.

 

A replacement car was not provided until 9 January 2018, nearly a month after it was originally requested.

 

Originally I was told that you were replacing the Dacia with a grey Volkswagen Passat.

 

When I came to collect this car, I was told the mechanic was not there and the Passat had some problems and all you could offer was the white Dacia Logan (CAR REG INSERTED).

 

As this was a newer car, there would be a rent increase of £5 per week.

As this was slightly newer, I thought it may be better than the other Logan.

There was a slight improvement but not much.

 

With regards to the rent payments, as advised on a number of occasions.

All rent payments specified by STAFF MEMBER A were paid when due.

 

As rent is paid in advance, I had to rely on STAFF MEMBER A to confirm what payments were payable, this was due to the original problems and the sheer number of times the Passat was taken into the garage leaving me unable to work for extended periods.

 

This was also exacerbated by problems with your mechanic leaving and you needing to find a replacement as we were informed.

 

This caused further delays to the car being repaired, not to mention numerous times when incorrect insurance documents were provided or being provided late and in turn caused me further financial loss.

 

I enclose a copy of an email which ////////// sent to STAFF MEMBER A on 31 January 2018.

 

Her response on 1 February 2018 confirms that my account was all up to date aside from the payment which was due on 1 February 2018.

 

A payment of £200 was made after this email on 1 February 2018.

This meant that when the car was returned on 7 February 2018, there would have been a zero balance.

 

You will see from this same email that on 19 March 2018, my partner made enquiries about the return of the deposit as six weeks elapsed on 20 March 2018.

 

After the response from STAFF MEMBER A on 21 March 2018 saying that she would look into this, nothing further was received.

 

My partner then called and spoke to STAFF MEMBER B who confirmed that the deposit would be returned directly to his bank account on 3 April (8 weeks from date of return).

 

I waited until this date, no refund received so my partner called again on 5 April 2018 and spoke to STAFF MEMBER B, who told her that the lady who deals with refunds was on holiday and would be back the following week.

 

//////// asked that someone sort the refund out when the person returned to work and requested that someone call when this was completed.

 

As no call was received, she chased again on 10 April 2018.

 

I then received an email that there is an outstanding balance on my account of £129.33 and that I would not be receiving the return of my refund due to breach of contract.

 

Unless a new deposit is taken each time a new car is provided, this is deemed to be a continuation of the original contract dated 21 June 2017.

 

This states that the car must be kept for a minimum period of 6 weeks and I had a car from you continuously for a period of 33 weeks from 21 June 2017 to 7 February 2018 (aside the multiple times when you held the VW Passat in your garage for repair).

 

- I would never have had cause to change the VW Passat, it was the mechanical problems that prompted this change.

 

- The second car provided to me was not the car that I was told I would be receiving.

 

The Dacia Logan was not fit for purpose for the reasons outlined above and also the engine management light kept coming on.

 

This was confirmed verbally to STAFF MEMBER A also around the time a change of vehicle was requested..

 

- The third car provided to me was not the car that I was told that I would be receiving. This was also not fit for purpose.

 

I always paid the amounts stated by STAFF MEMBER A when requested (during the times when the car experienced mechanical faults) and rent payments were paid regularly in advance.

 

I have email confirmation from a member of your staff that my account was paid to date on 1 February 2018 and therefore I dispute that any monies are owed to you whatsoever.

 

Therefore I request that you return my £200 deposit without further delay.

Please refund this to my account as follows:-

 

A/C DETAILS INSERTED

 

PLEASE RESPOND WITHIN 14 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER. IF NO RESPONSE IS RECEIVED, THEN I REVERT TO THE BELOW SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST WITH A VIEW TO LEGAL ACTION BEING TAKEN.

 

GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS - SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST

 

Please supply me with copies of all the data which you hold on me in relation to any matter and in any form and for any period of time.

 

Please note that I require disclosure of any personal data which you hold on me for the entire period of my dealings with you.

 

This Subject Access Request includes

- but is not limited to any data you hold about me in respect of any matter and held in any form including; contracts, statements, notes, text messages, emails, screen notes, recordings, internal correspondence and external correspondence.

 

Please note that this Subject Access Request is not limited to the client number/registration references mentioned above but this information has been provided purely as a starting reference for you.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, and as stated above, this Subject Access Request requires disclosure of ALL personal data which you hold on me for the entire period of my dealings with you which spans from June 2017 through to February 2018 inclusive.

 

There is no applicable fee for this data disclosure – unless you feel that my request is manifestly unfounded, excessive or repetitive – in which case you have a duty to let me know without any delay.

 

Under the new GDPR regime, you must satisfy this data disclosure request as soon as possible and in any event within one month.

 

If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to my identity, please let me know by return however, you are not entitled to impose any formality upon me or to require that I complete any particular form or template before you comply with your statutory duty.

 

I also require you to confirm to me that you are processing my personal data, how you acquired it, for what purpose you are processing it and also to identify all the parties with whom you have shared it. You are required to provide this information regardless of whether you believe that the substantive disclosure satisfies the conditions which permit you to impose a charge.

 

I also require to know whether my data has been subject to any automatic processing which has resulted in decisions or suggested decisions being made in respect of me.

 

Also, has my personal data been used in any way to categorise me or to place me on any lists. If so, please explain.

 

Finally, I should remind you that you have a duty to make clear the meaning of any codes or shorthand which you use in relation to my personal data.

 

If I do not hear from you then I will assume that this Statutory Request is satisfactory and that the one month timescale has started.

 

If you fail to comply with all of your obligations, I will make an immediate complaint to the Information Commissioner about your statutory breach – and without any further notice to you. This may also lead to legal action in the county court.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Mr A N Other

 

Enclosure – Email transcription between ////// & STAFF MEMBER A (31 January-21 March 2018

 

cc. Claremont Executive Services Ltd t/a Cabmate – 233-236 Nestles Avenue, Hayes, UB3 4SH

Edited by dx100uk
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get out of private hire

you'll never make a bean.

 

been there done that.


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Well although it is an SAR, it's a great shame that you decided to integrate it into some larger letter. An SAR is an important statutory request and really should be made on its own in a separate envelope to avoid any confusion or risk that the recipient will claim that they were reasonable in not appreciating the nature of what they were receiving.

 

On the basis that it is an SAR, I would suggest that you make an immediate complaint to the ICO. However, I would send Cabmate a warning that they have not heeded your SAR sent on XXX date, that you are making a complaint to the ICO but that you advise them, Cabmate, to comply with their statutory duties without any further delay.

 

I suggest that you get those letters off today.

 

I think you got a good basis for suing them but I think you need to begin by itemising your losses.

 

Please could you list out what you consider to be your losses – including loss of income. Put in a bullet pointed list so that it is detailed and we can see item by item what you're looking for.

 

When you calculate any loss of income you should also take into account any expenses that you might have incurred such as petrol, any tolls – et cetera which you should deduct from your projected loss of income.

 

Also you should start looking up the steps to take when bringing a small claim in the County Court. It's very straightforward – but you will see well advised to understand basic things that you will have to do and the timescales.

 

Also you want to make sure that this is an action you are prepared to take.


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Have you actually sent a copy to Cabmates Registered Office Address as well as there Bristol Branch?

 

Cabmate (UK) Limited

3rd Floor

114A Cromwell Road

London

SW7 4AG

 

Company Number: 09154387

 

Companies House: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09154387

Endole: https://suite.endole.co.uk/insight/company/09154387-cabmate-uk-limited

Open Corporates: https://opencorporates.com/companies/gb/09154387


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On a separate note, when dealing with anything try to avoid a third party getting involved (partner)

Companies would happily speak to them but then scream "data protection " when challenged.

If they make a disclosure, most likely they would omit any communication with the partner (right or wrong)

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