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Hi everyone.

 

I am sorry to make what appears to be another one of many threads on this same topic but I would appreciate your advice all the same.

 

Recently my friend and I made a very stupid mistake.

We were detained for shoplifting in Superdrug.

I make no excuses for it on my end because it was incredibly stupid and risky and I know this.

We both have been having financial troubles as we’re both students.

Not an excuse of course, but I suppose we had a moment of madness.

 

I was found with an item worth about £8 and my friend was found with goods worth about £49.

Police were NOT called.

 

We were ushered into the back room by two security guards and a store worker.

No mention of CCTV evidence or anything like that was made so I’m not sure if they have any or what it would show.

 

We handed over our names, addresses and gave them proof of both which was NOT photocopied.

We were made to sign something, I think it was an admission of guilt (I can’t fully remember as I was not holding up too well) and acknowledgement of an exclusion notice we were given.

 

Then we were told we would receive a letter in the mail about fines.

We were specifically told NOT to ignore the letter else we find ourselves in court and told that if we couldn’t afford the lump sum, we could pay in instalments.

 

My friend asked how much to expect for her fine and was told over £200 or something in that ballpark. I was told to expect around £100, maybe more.

 

I know I don’t have much of a leg to stand on but that price seems incredibly steep and I can’t afford to pay that right now. I don’t have that kind of money.

 

I’ve seen on this forum that you frequently advise people to ignore the letters but outside of mail, what other action can they take?

 

Can they send people to our address (friend and I currently live together) to demand payment?

I would really like to avoid that since we live with others who have no idea this incident occurred.

 

How can I prevent debt collectors from turning up at our address?

 

When the letter comes, would it be worthwhile (or wise) to write them back?

Maybe asking them to explain how they decided on the fines and to potentially negotiate a lower price.

 

Will our details be kept on any kind of database or file?

 

The exclusion notice served to us states “details of the service of this notice are retained for use in any future court proceedings against you in respect of any subsequent offences you may commit in or on the premises or areas of members displaying a Retail Crime Operation Logo” which lead me to believe that they might.

 

Finally, what are the chances that they might decide to take either of our cases to civil court?

 

We obviously returned all the items.

The item I had was worth less than £10 and not damaged.

A security sticker was removed but other than that it wasn’t tampered with.

 

The items my friend took were worth just under £50, and she had tampered with the packaging of some of them, so in the security room they stressed that many of them were not in resealable condition and that it took their staff ages and loads of effort (they were gone about two minutes so I think this was a scare tactic) to figure out the costs of the goods because the tags had been removed.

 

I am sorry for the incredibly long rambling read but I would appreciate any help you could give me!

 

ETA: Just wanted to add that I have never done anything like this before and certainly never been caught committing any kind of offence. I have a clean record if that helps anything here at all.

Edited by dx100uk

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Hi and welcome to CAG. Please see my responses below

 

 

I’ve seen on this forum that you frequently advise people to ignore the letters but outside of mail, what other action can they take? Can they send people to our address (friend and I currently live together) to demand payment? I would really like to avoid that since we live with others who have no idea this incident occurred. How can I prevent debt collectorslink3.gif from turning up at our address?

 

 

As far as I am aware (and I deal with lots of these cases) no one has ever received a home visit. Debt collectors won't visit either as it costs them with no guarantee of a result

 

When the letter comes, would it be worthwhile (or wise) to write them back? Maybe asking them to explain how they decided on the fines and to potentially negotiate a lower price.

 

 

 

NO! Writing to them ensures they think they have got a mug.

 

Will our details be kept on any kind of database or file? The exclusion notice served to us states “details of the service of this notice are retained for use in any future court proceedings against you in respect of any subsequent offences you may commit in or on the premises or areas of members displaying a Retail Crime Operation Logo” which lead me to believe that they might.

 

 

 

 

 

More on this issue below

 

Finally, what are the chances that they might decide to take either of our cases to civil court? We obviously returned all the items. The item I had was worth less than £10 and not damaged. A security sticker was removed but other than that it wasn’t tampered with. The items my friend took were worth just under £50, and she had tampered with the packaging of some of them, so in the security room they stressed that many of them were not in resealable condition and that it took their staff ages and loads of effort (they were gone about two minutes so I think this was a scare tactic) to figure out the costs of the goods because the tags had been removed.

 

 

The chances of this going to court is zero. More on that below

 

 

 

 

This database the claim they have is run by a separate company, Cireco but they are still RLP in disguise. This database is full of alleged shoplifters and cannot be used without your permission. Also, as it is alleged and not proven cases, RLP may get into trouble for releasing the information. They do claim an exemption based on the prevention and deterrence of crime and as you haven't been convicted of a crime, releasing the data 'may result' in a breach of the GDP regulations. This needs to be tested before it can be stated as fact.

 

 

 

 

In 2012, a retailer [along with RLP] took court action against two teenage girls and tried to justify the amounts claimed. They failed to prove as fact that the bill was a reasonable estimate of their costs. Since that time, no other cases have been heard which is why I can state that you have a zero chance of this going to court.

 

 

You can't stop the letters but you can ignore them. One other thing with debt collectors. IF a miracle occurred and someone actually did turn up on your doorstep, they are not allowed to disclose the reason for visiting to anyone but you. If they did, they would be in serious doo doo.

 

 

It should go without saying that you won't be making this silly choice again, will you!


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Thank you so much for the welcome and the response.

 

If I remember correctly, I read on here that a debt collector showed up at someone’s address. I will have another look for the thread but the person wasn’t home at the time and their mum answered the door and told the collectors that the person in question no longer lived there (if that rings a bell for anyone reading this). It was the first I’d ever heard of anything like that happening too but it was extremely worrying. Would you be able to point me to any legislation that might explain the debt collector non disclosure bit you mentioned? Or anything I could search to read more about it?

 

How long do they send letters for? I move out of my current address in a little less than a year. Would they have given up by then?

 

You are quite right. I have never even skipped tapping in and out on the underground so I’m still wondering what possessed me to think this was a good idea. Never again. Thanks again for the response!

Edited by Andyorch
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debt collector turn up ?- no powers tell them to leave the property forthwith - end of or as in the old days wee pot and pour out of the window oppssss


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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There are a couple of other companies out there, DWF and CRS who do similar things to RLP. As I cannot recall which thread you are referring to, I would assume that it was one of these two.

 

 

 

RLP deal with all cases by letter. I have never heard of them ringing anyone and also not sending debt collectors. RLP have used many debt collection firms in the past. Most get paid on results and as we keep saying, debt collectors have absolutely no power over you. If, on the off chance, I am wrong and one actually turns up, you are quite within your rights to tell him to 'jog on' and refuse to talk to him/her. While I'm sure this won't happen, record the visit on a mobile phone. Debt collectors use tactics to put pressure on people to pay which can be unethical. Protecting yourself by recording the visit is always best policy.

 

 

 

 

Now, assume you have a mobile phone contract. When you ring them, they have to go through security to ensure they are talking to you and not anyone else. This is a requirement of the General Data Protection Regulations and this applies to any one who has access to your personal information. They MUST NOT disclose anything personal about you without your personal permission. If they did, he/she would be in breach of the GDPR and the company would get fined and the collector likely sacked.

 

 

All the information you could read is here along with links

 

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?404-Data-Protection

 

 

Having explained all that, you have no need to worry about RLP or any debt collector. They have no power-ever. If (BIG IF) any court action were to be thought of, it would be by Superdrug, not RLP and it would cost them far more than they could ever get back so they don't bother.


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No one has ever had a dca at their door on an rlp 'debt' as there is no debtt!!

 

Stop worrying about it all

No one can do anything at all.

 

Ignore

Go get on with your life without shop lifting!!


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Consider the consequences of repeating your actions, many universities and colleges throw students off their courses if they engage in criminal activity so think about who you want to hang around with and what you do if you want to stay in education.

Having said that RLP and the other companies that do the same work have nothing to do with anything so ignore them. Then ignore them some more if they continue to write. It is done and dusted so keep focused on the future and avoid such silliness again.

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