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Bought used Vauxhall Corsa (from Forton Motors) - fault develops - trader does not respond

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I received them in a paper form but I don't have a scanner myself and the scans I made of these are done on a very old scanner that my partner has let me use. I could try later today at my workplace if its crucial to get them in PDFs

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You can buy an excellent scanner for £49 from PC World which will do everything you need and which will last for years.

The help we give you is completely free – but we expect at least that people can provide us with the information that we need in a reasonable condition.


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I will try to get them scanned later today on a better scanner

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Thank you. I don't think it's an unreasonable ask


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Thank you.

They've obviously taken some advice on the defence – or else they are very used to being sued.

Anyway, there is a lot of direct contradiction between what you say and what they say – and it needs to be sorted out – and quite quickly before you receive a directions questionnaire and you have to make a decision as to whether or not to put money into a hearing fee.

I suggest that you go through it and address each point and also let us know if there are any additional comments.

To get you started, here's something for you to work with

Quote

They say

You say

Additional comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At all times the Defendant undertook the business of retailing second hand motor vehicles

 

 

 

The Claimant purchased a used second hand Vauxhall Corsa motor vehicle on 25 January 2020

registration numberSK61 OPO (the ''Vehicle"}

 

 

 

At the time of the sale the Vehicle was over eight years old with a recorded mileage of approx.

75,968 miles

 

 

 

5. The Vehicle was subject to a pre-delivery inspection priorto purchase with no majorfaults found

(Appendix 1) ~

 

 

 

 

 

6. The Vehicle was retailed with the benefit of a full 12-month MOT Test undertaken by an

independent garage (Appendix 2)

 

 

 

7. The Vehicle was sold with the benefitofa 6-month warranty provided by an independent warranty

provider (Appendix 3)

 

 

 

 

8. The Claimant has stated in their Particulars of Claim that "On 26/02/2020 the vehicle has developed

a serious fault'' and that they contacted the Defendant with their wish to have the Defendant undertake a repair under the provisions of the Act

 

 

 

 

 

9. This was by means of a telephone conversation whereby the Claimant informed the Defen~ntthat

an engine management light had illuminated on his vehicle

 

 

 

 

10. The Defendant informed the Claimant that the light can come on for any number of reasons and to

have it investigated by his local independent garage in the first instance and to inform the

Defendant of their diagnosis

 

 

 

 

11. The Claimant informed the Defendant that he had already taken it to two local garages who said

that the vehicle management light was illuminated however the Claimant was unsure of their

diagnosis

 

 

 

 

12. The Defendant requested the fault code(s} that related to the illuminated light however the

Claimant was unable to provide full details and/ or a quote

 

 

 

 

 

13. The Defendanttherefore requested that the Claimant obtain the relevantfault codes from either of

the two local garages he had been to and to contact the Defendant with same

 

 

 

 

14. The Claimant was unable to provide these codes or a quotation for the work required

 

 

 

15. On 26th February the Claimant contacted the Defendant once again without the relevantfaultcodes

and was therefore informed to contact his warranty company for further advice

 

 

 

16. The Claimant contactedthe warrantycompanyon 26 February and informed them of the

illuminated warning light and was informed to ask his local garage to contact them with their

diagnosis (Appendix 4)

 

 

 

. The warranty company have confirmed that they have not received anyfurthercommunication from

either the Claimant or their repairing garage froF1126 February onwards (Appendix 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. The Claimant wrote to the Defendant by way of a letter dated 28 February exercising their rights

under the Act for a repair to be undertaken free of charge despite being informed of the correct

procedure to follow to permit the Defendant the opportunity of complying with the provisions of the

Act

 

 

 

 

19. The Defendant replied via letter dated 11 March 2020 once again requesting either his garages'

detailed report as to their findings or to return the Ve hide to the Defendants for them to investigate

the Claimant's concerns directly in order forthe Defendant to fulfil their obligations under the Act

 

 

 

20. This letter (Appendix4) was sent via Royal Mail Recorded Oelivery-number and was

delivered on 14 March (Appendix 5)

 

 

 

21. The Claimant has failed to state that they had received this letter and makes no mention of this

letter in theirParticulars of Claim

 

 

 

 

22. The Claimant has failed to state in their Particulars of Claim that they had contacted the warranty

company and had been informed of the claiming process

 

 

 

 

23. Instead the Claimant states in their Particulars of Claim that the Defendant dedined to comply with

their statutory requirements (and gives no details of how this has occurred) and therefore

proceeded to have the repair work completed under their own volition in direct contradiction to the

telephone conversations with both the Defendant and the warranty company on 2f1' February and

contrary to the Defendant's letter dated 11 March

 

..

 

 

 

24. The Claimant has therefore failed to provide any proof that the Defendant was negligent in any way

and therefore is put to strict evidence of proof of breach of any contract/ law

 

 

 

 

 

25. The Defendant believes thatthe Claimant has deliberately ignored all advice to obstruct the

Defendantsothatthe Defendant was unable to fulfil their obligations underthe Act and that the

Claimant has deliberately omitted vital evidence in their Particulars of Claim to show that the

Defendant has attempted to comply with their obligations under the Act

 

 

 

 

please start off by tidying up the leftmost column. Repair the line breaks and make sure that the text is correct.

Then go through – with not too much narrative and address each point they are making so that we can understand what your responses are .

This will also help you clarify things in your mind and give you a better overview as to your position and maybe the strength of your case.

 

 


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Thanks very much! I will get onto this tomorrow morning and post back my points.

 

 

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#

They Say

I Say

Additional Comments

 

2

At all times, the Defendant undertook the business of retailing second-hand motor vehicles

This is true

N/A

✔️

3

The Claimant purchased a used second-hand Vauxhall Corsa motor vehicle on 25 January 2020, registration number SK61OPO (the “Vehicle”)

This is true

N/A

✔️

4

At the time of sale, the Vehicle was over eight years old with a recorded mileage of approx.

75,968

This is true

N/A

✔️

5

The Vehicle was subject to a pre- delivery inspection prior to purchase with no major faults found (Appendix 1).

This is what I have been informed by Forton Motors at the point of sale orally. I have never been shown any inspection documents.

The Appendix 1 was missing from the mailed defence documents.

Have you asked for the missing documents? Have you sent an SAR?

6

The Vehicle was retailed with the benefit of a full 12-month MOT Test undertaken by an independent garage (Appendix 2)

I have been provided with MOT certificate for this.

N/A

you know which was the independent garage? Do you know if this garage is really independent? Do you know if this garage routinely carried out MOT is for this dealer?

7

The Vehicle was sold with the benefit of a 6-month warranty provided by an independent warranty provider (Appendix 3)

This is true. I have been provided with all the warranty documentation at the point of sale.

N/A

✔️

8

The Claimant has stated in their Particulars of Claim that “On 26/02/2020 the Vehicle has developed a serious fault” and that they contacted the Defendant with their wish to have the Defendant undertake a repair under the provisions of the Act

This is true.

N/A

✔️

9

This was by means of a telephone conversation whereby the Claimant informed the Defendant that an engine management light had illuminated on his vehicle

This is true, although there have been multiple telephone conversations I had with Forton Motors on the 26/02/2020

Approx. 2h after the engine light has come on, I have called Forton Motors to inform them of the fault & request inspection / repair. Forton Motors advises me to use aftersales warranty & contact a mechanic to identify fault.

 

Approx 1h after the phone call, I take the vehicle to a local garage to check the fault code. The fault code has been identified as P0017.

Mechanic informs me of the possible causes of the fault:

-          Sensors (cheap to fix)

-          Camchain problems (expensive to fix)

do you have any evidence of the telephone conversation?

Do you have evidence of any of the telephone conversations with them?
Do you have any evidence of this conversation?

 

 

 

 

Mechanic advises me that I should not be taking the aftersales warranty route and to exercise my rights under the Act.

 

Whilst at the garage, I contact Forton Motors and pass on the fault code together with likely fault causes provided by the mechanic.

 

Forton Motors advises the mechanic to call the warranty company to check whether I could claim the costs of fixing the vehicle. The warranty company requires further diagnosis. I decide to search for further advice next day in Citizen’s Advice Bureau

 

10

The Defendant informed the Claimant that the light can come on for any number of reasons and to have it investigated by his local independent garage in the first instance and to inform the Defendant of their diagnosis

As soon as I have informed Forton Motors of the fault code and possible causes outlined by the mechanic, Forton Motors representative has become adamant the problem “must be the sensors” and that I should contact the aftersales warranty.

I have consulted another mechanic via telephone by providing them with the identified fault code. I have been advised to cease driving the vehicle in order not to cause further damage to the engine.

 

I have also re-read the aftersales warranty booklet, finding that the “sensors” are NOT COVERED by the warranty due to them being a non- mechanical problem.

 

I inform Forton Motors of this via a telephone conversation. Forton Motors is insistent to get an independent full diagnosis by the mechanic and that: “in case it is the sensors, they will speak to the warranty company to sort it out”.

 

This is the point where I felt they are a bit fishy in the way they try to handle this.

Do you have evidence of the fact that they told you it was the sensors? And that you should contact the warranty company?

Now that they have the fault code, have Forton ever said that the vehicle should not be driven?
Have you checked with any other garage to see whether they would advise that a vehicle should not be driven if it displays that fault code?
Do you have evidence of this telephone call?

11

The Claimant informed the Defendant that he had already taken it to two local garages who said that the vehicle management light was

This is not fully true. I have informed Forton Motors that I have taken the vehicle for a single independent fault-code scan, which has identified the

N/A

 

 

illuminated however the Claimant was unsure of their diagnosis.

fault code. The mechanic has advised me that the fault code can indicate several problems with either the camshaft correlation or the sensors being broken.

 

In order to gain further advice, I have contacted another garage via telephone, providing them with the fault code and have been advised that the fault code indeed indicates problems with the camshaft and/or the sensors. I have also been advised to cease driving the vehicle in order to not cause further damage – which I complied with.

 

Is there anything to prove that you had a conversation with them but did not tell them that you had already taken it to 2 local garages?

12

The Defendant requested the fault code(s) that related to the illuminated light however the Claimant was unable to provide full details and / or a quote.

This is false.

I have provided the fault code identified by the mechanic to Forton Motors via telephone on the day of the fault occurring. In fact, I have reiterated the fault code on several phone conversations that day, each time being directed to the warranty company.

I have been informed by the mechanic that in order to fully identify the cause of the problems, the engine needs to be taken apart which will incur costs of ~£200.

Do you have evidence that you had already provided them with the fault code?

Do you have the dates and times at these telephone conversations were made?

13

The Defendant therefore requested that the Claimant obtain the relevant fault codes from either of the two local garages he had been to and to contact the Defendant with the same

This is true, they have asked me to provide the fault code during the initial phone conversation which I have obtained and provided them with during the second conversation (whilst at the garage)

 

✔️

14

The Claimant was unable to provide these codes or a quotation for the work required

This is false. I have have provided Forton Motors with the identified fault code, possible causes of the problems and potential costs of either of the sensor or camchain problems via telephone whilst I was at the garage.

I have also sent a letter on the 28/02/2020 with the fault code listed and potential causes.

What was the date on which they claim that you were unable to provide the codes or a quotation?
Do you have evidence that you did provide them with information as to the potential costs et cetera?

15

On 26th February the Claimant contacted the Defendant once again without the relevant fault codes and was therefore informed to contact his warranty company for further advice

This is false. The only conversation where fault codes were not provided was the initial one, before I took the car to the local garage. On all subsequent telephone conversations, I have reiterated the fault code P0017 to either of the 2 Forton Motors representatives.

N/A

do you have evidence of any of these conversations in which you reiterated the fault code?

 

 

16

The Claimant contacted the warranty company on 26 February and informed them of the illuminated warning light and was informed to ask his local garage to contact them with their diagnosis (Appendix 4)

This is true. Whilst at the local garage, I have contacted Forton Motors with the fault code.

They have advised me to contact the warranty company, which I did whilst speaking to the mechanic. The warranty company requested formal diagnosis of the problem by the mechanic. After the phone call with the Warranty company ended, I have been advised by the mechanic to not pursue the aftersales warranty route as the warranty provides me with lesser rights than I otherwise would be able to exercise under the Act

N/A

✔️

17

The warranty company have confirmed that they have not received any further communication from either the Claimant or their repairing garage from 26 February onwards (Appendix 4)

This is true, I have not contacted the warranty further based on the advice from 2 garages and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau

One thing that was rather odd is that Forton Motors sometimes referred to the Warranty company as “us”. I.e. “this is our warranty”. “We will sort the sensors issue out”. It sounded as if the warranty company is not fully independent from Forton Motors.

✔️

 

I'm not sure that the independence of the warranty company is especially relevant although it would be interesting to know if you can produce evidence

18

The Claimant wrote to the Defendant by way of a letter dated 28 February exercising their rights under the Act for a repair to be undertaken free of charge despite being informed of the correct procedure to follow to permit the Defendant the opportunity of complying with the provisions of the Act

This is true. I have sent the letter dated 28/02/2020 which outlined the identified fault codes and requested a repair free of charge, exercising my rights under the Act.

Not sure what they mean by “the correct procedure” as the only advice I got from them was to contact the aftersales warranty. Whenever I mentioned the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Forton Motor representatives said: “The warranty service is your rights, this is how you should handle things”.

✔️

 

We will have to ask them what the correct procedure was.
Do you have any evidence that they told you that the "warranty services your rights"?

19

The defendant replied via letter dated 11 March 2020 once again requesting either his garages’ detailed report as to their findings or to return the Vehicle to the Defendants for them to investigate the Claimant’s concerns directly in order for the Defendant to fulfil their obligations under the Act

Only partly true. Forton Motors have sent such letter on the 11 March, requesting quotations for the work.

However, Forton Motors have never indicated their willingness to accept the vehicle for further investigations, neither in the numerous phone call conversations nor in the letter dated 11/03/2020

On every occasion I have requested for them to accept the car so that they can investigate the fault and fix it, they have refused to do so, requesting me to perform my own independent checks at my own cost and contact the warranty company.

Do you have evidence of their refusal?

 

 

20

This letter (Appendix 4) was sent via Royal Mail Recorded Delivery

– number XXXXXX and was delivered on 14 March (Appendix 5)

The letter was delivered on 14/03/2020. However, the appendices they have provided in their defence are not correct. Appendix 4 is the conversation between Forton Motors and the Warranty Company. Appendix 5 is the aforementioned letter.

N/A

 

21

The Claimant has failed to state that they had received this letter and makes no mention of this letter in their Particulars of Claim

This is false. I have responded to Forton Motros with 3 subsequent letters dated:

-       16/03/2020

-       30/03/2020

-       07/05/2020

 

All via tracked/recorded Royal Mail postage.

Not sure what to say about the particulars of claim comment.

We will have to make a point of this

22

The Claimant has failed to state that they had received this letter and makes no mention of this letter in their Particulars of Claim

This is false. The letter dated 16/03/2020 clearly acknowledges the Forton Motors letter dated 11/03/2020.

Again, not sure what to say about the particulars of claim comment.

We will have to make a point of this

23

The Claimant has failed to state in their Particulars of Claim that they had contacted the warranty company and had been informed of the claiming process.

True, I have not included that in the Particulars of Claim

Again, not sure what to say about the particulars of claim comment.

The warranty company is not especially relevant as you are asserting your statutory rights and in any event, if it was the sensors then they are apparently expressly excluded

24

Instead the Claimant states in their Particulars of Claim that the Defendant declined to comply with their statutory requirements (and gives no details of how this has occurred) and therefore proceeded to have the repair work completed under their own volition in direct contradiction to the telephone conversations with both the Defendant and the warranty company on 26th February and contrary to the Defendant’s letter dated 11 March

I have proceeded to repair the vehicle as there was no response from Forton Motors to my 2 subsequent letters dated:

-       16/03/2020

-       30/03/2020

Both of which were sent using recorded Royal Mail postage, with the records indicating the Forton Motors have received and accepted both letters.

 

The final letter I sent to Forton Motors (dated: 07/05/2020) outlines the performed repairs (together with the receipt from the repair garage with the costs clearly outlined), providing a good-will opportunity to Forton Motors to handle the matters without the need for legal action.

 

Again, the letter was sent using tracked Royal Mail postage with

Again, not sure what to say about the particulars of claim comment.

We will have to make an issue of this

 

 

 

 

the records indicating the Forton Motors have received the letter. No response has been received to the aforementioned letter so far.

 

 

 

The Claimant has therefore failed to provide any proof that the Defendant was negligent in any way and therefore is put to strict evidence of proof of breach of any contract / law

Really not sure what to say to that…

N/A

I'm not sure they are getting at here

25

The Defendant believes that the Claimant has deliberately ignored all advice to obstruct the Defendant so that the Defendant was unable to fulfil their obligations under the Act and that the Claimant has deliberately omitted vital evidence in their Particulars of Claim to show that the Defendant has attempted to comply with their obligations under the Act

Really not sure what to say to that…

N/A

this doesn't really address the principal issue that there was something wrong with the vehicle

 

 

 


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#5:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Have you asked for the missing documents? Have you sent an SAR?

I have not, I received the defence yesterday and have been working on making counterclaims to their points. Not sure what SAR is

 

#6:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Do you know which was the independent garage? Do you know if this garage is really independent? Do you know if this garage routinely carried out MOT is for this dealer?

I know the garage:

- "J HOWARD MOT CENTRE, REAR OF 2 ALEXANDRA ROAD, SKERTON, LANCASTER, LA1 2DE"

It seems to be independent however I was unable to find their companies house entry for some reason...

I am unaware whether that is their default garage. The last 2 tests performed on the vehicle were from that garage. One fail, one pass on the same day (22/01/2020).

 

#9:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Do you have any evidence of the telephone conversation?
Do you have evidence of any of the telephone conversations with them?
Do you have any evidence of this conversation?

 
All I have are the phone records stating that I have made a phone call to Forton motors, also some notes I have made after the conversations. I don't have recorded conversations as in audio files.
 
#10:
3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Do you have evidence of the fact that they told you it was the sensors? And that you should contact the warranty company?
Now that they have the fault code, have Forton ever said that the vehicle should not be driven?
Have you checked with any other garage to see whether they would advise that a vehicle should not be driven if it displays that fault code?
Do you have evidence of this telephone call?

All I have is the notes I've made after the phone conversations. No recordings of the fact they said it was the sensors.

Forton Motors have said in their letter dated 11/03/2020 the following:

 - "Please be aware though that engine management lights can come on for any number of reasons and the manufacturers advise customers to stop driving the vehicle immediately in case they cause further damage which retailer cannot be held liable for".

- This is in response to my first letter dated: 28/02/2020 where I clearly stated the identified fault code and potential causes as per mechanics advice.

 

#11:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Is there anything to prove that you had a conversation with them but did not tell them that you had already taken it to 2 local garages?

Other than phone logs showing that I've made a phone call, there's nothing there that could confirm that.

 

#12:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Do you have evidence that you had already provided them with the fault code?
Do you have the dates and times at these telephone conversations were made?

I have formally informed them in a letter of complaint about the fault code on the 28/02/2020.

I have told them the fault code on the 26/02/2020 during phone call conversations however I have no tangible evidence of that other than phone logs.

 

#14

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

What was the date on which they claim that you were unable to provide the codes or a quotation?
Do you have evidence that you did provide them with information as to the potential costs et cetera?

I believe they are still referring to the 26/02/2020. At that point I was just getting advice from a local mechanic. In order to obtain an actual quote, I'd have had to pay the mechanic ~£200 to take the engine apart. However, on the 26/02/2020, I have had numerous phonecall conversations with Forton Motors, where I made it clear to them about the fault code and the 2 potential causes: Sensors (£150 costs), Camchain (£700 - 900 costs), as that was all the information I had from the mechanic without taking the car apart. I couldn't get a detailed quote without letting the car be taken apart.

Again, I informed Forton Motors about this during a phonecall conversation but I cannot prove in terms of the things that were said (if anything, I have the notes but I'm not sure they're admissable)

 

#15

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

do you have evidence of any of these conversations in which you reiterated the fault code?

Nope, only phone logs

 

#17

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

I'm not sure that the independence of the warranty company is especially relevant although it would be interesting to know if you can produce evidence

Don't think I can :(

 

#18:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

We will have to ask them what the correct procedure was.
Do you have any evidence that they told you that the "warranty services your rights"?

What would be the formal way to ask them about this? Or is that going to happen during the hearing?

Unfortunately no, I feel like that would have been a useful piece of evidence. Smartly, they have said all these things in the phonecalls which I have not recorded.

They have said in their only letter they have ever sent to me (dated: 11/03/2020) the following:

"We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 28 February and note your comments. As per our recent telephone conversation, you were going to have your vehicle looked at by your local garage so could you please forward their detailed report along with their quote for the repairs. Once we have received their quote we can then discuss this matter further. Alternatively forward the quote to our aftersales team at A1Approved for a faster response - claims@a1approved.co.uk"

Generally speaking, the only formal piece of evidence from them is the letter they sent on the 11/03/2020. The rest was in the phone calls.

I have responded to that letter with another 3 but never heard from them again, despite the fact they received them.

 

#19:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

Do you have evidence of their refusal?

Nothing written, but they refused in the phonecalls by saying that: "we do not handle the repairs, contact our aftersales team at a1approved.co.uk"

I am also taking their lack of response to my 3 letters after the 11/03/2020 as a form of refusal as there was 0 communication on their part after that letter.

 

#23:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

The warranty company is not especially relevant as you are asserting your statutory rights and in any event, if it was the sensors then they are apparently expressly excluded

I agree! The cover they have provided me with covers only mechanical faults which they knew full well. Yet during the telephone conversations they have been extremely adamant it "must be the sensors, it cannot be the camchain". They stuck to that spiel only after I provided them with the fault code. They were also adamant to contact the warranty and provide them with quote so that Forton Motors can speak to the warranty aftersales "team" and "sort it out for me", which I would say refutes their claims that I didn't inform them about it. Unfortunately, all of this was during phone calls...

 

#24.5:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

I'm not sure they are getting at here

Me neither...

 

#25:

3 hours ago, BankFodder said:

this doesn't really address the principal issue that there was something wrong with the vehicle

Very true. There was nothing to obstruct as they have made no efforts to continue communicating with me about the matter, apart from that letter on the 11/03/2020.

 

Could you elaborate on the comments you've made to points 21/22/24?

 

Thank you very much again!

 

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I have just received the Directions Questionnaire for the Small Claims Track and a Notice of Proposed Allocation to the Small Claims Track.

Could you kindly have a look at my previous message and comment on some of my questions?

 

Generally I'm really confused as to what happens now and what kind of things I need to send where.

I believe I need to fill in the Directions Questionnaire and send it both to court and Forton Motors?

 

Also, whether based on the evidence I have and don't have, there is a point of taking this to hearing?

 

Your input would be greatly appreciated.

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Hello again, I have realised something interesting...

They are fabricating evidence!

 

The letter they have sent on the 11 of March 2020 (the one I have actually received) - directs me to get a quote and pass it onto the warranty company or to them so they can decide.

They letter they have attached as an Appendix to the defence says they want the car returned for inspection.

 

How bad is this and how do I prove this to the court?

 

Best

I will send the scans of both letters later today

 

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I can't remember how long you have to respond to the DQ – but when you do, you will also have to send off your fee.

It is up to you to look at what they say – and what your responses are. Well done on finding a weakness in their story – the contradictory letters. You need to carry out a rigourous dissection of what they say and understand whether you are able to refute any of their points – and if you aren't able to refute it immediately – what do you need in order to manage that.

In other words you need to analyse the situation very carefully in order to weigh up the strength of your evidence and then make a decision as to whether or not you think it is worth forking out the fee.

It is entirely possible that the £900 they will put their hands up as you get closer to the court date – but the first test may well be that they want to see whether or not you are prepared to shell out the hearing fee.

If you do pay the hearing fee then that is pretty well all your risk factors taken care of. There won't be much more to lose – even if you lose the case, then you would have lost your £900, your claim fee, your hearing fee – and possibly their reasonable costs of travel to the court – but nothing else.

On the other hand, you stand to win your £900, your claim fee and your hearing fee plus your own reasonable costs of travel to the court.

So really the only figure which is up in the air is the hearing fee. I can't remember what that is for a claim of this value – you need to visit the County Court's website and consult the table there.

Maybe you can let us know what that figure is.

If you can show that they are telling porkies about one of the letters – you have suggested that there is a letter which is fabricated – then if the court accepts your evidence, it will go substantially to undermining the entire credibility of the defendants claims.

I think you should send them an SAR immediately. I'm rather sorry that I didn't advise you to do this at the outset. Send them an SAR. If you don't know what it is then find out. It's plastered all over this website and it only takes a little bit of enquiry to discover.

You've posted up some responses to my questions – but frankly it's a bit difficult to follow in the form you have presented it.

The easiest thing to do would be to continue the table that I've set out – and a another right-hand column and then put your answers in their so that we can read across from the left and see what they say, you say, your comments – my questions – and your answers to my questions.

Also, it would probably be helpful if you introduced a new column two into which you could insert dates that events happened – so that we have some kind of chronology as well.

So, what is the deadline for submitting the DQ? How much is the hearing fee? Do you think that you can argue your case efficiently that it is worth risking that final sum?


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2 hours ago, BankFodder said:

It is up to you to look at what they say – and what your responses are. Well done on finding a weakness in their story – the contradictory letters. You need to carry out a rigourous dissection of what they say and understand whether you are able to refute any of their points – and if you aren't able to refute it immediately – what do you need in order to manage that.

I can refute the points which are related to

(A): Anything they sent in the letter,

(B): Their claims that I did not communicate further after their letter.

Anything related to the phonecalls, I cannot prove in terms of content, only dates and times - could you tell me whether those are admissable as evidence?

 

2 hours ago, BankFodder said:

It is entirely possible that the £900 they will put their hands up as you get closer to the court date – but the first test may well be that they want to see whether or not you are prepared to shell out the hearing fee.

If you do pay the hearing fee then that is pretty well all your risk factors taken care of. There won't be much more to lose – even if you lose the case, then you would have lost your £900, your claim fee, your hearing fee – and possibly their reasonable costs of travel to the court – but nothing else.

On the other hand, you stand to win your £900, your claim fee and your hearing fee plus your own reasonable costs of travel to the court.

So really the only figure which is up in the air is the hearing fee. I can't remember what that is for a claim of this value – you need to visit the County Court's website and consult the table there.

Maybe you can let us know what that figure is.

As far as I know, the hearing fee is £80, which I'm ok with paying.

It works out better to me to try and win the £900 and risk £80 + £60 for the case and hearing fees than to discontinue the case.

In terms of risk factors: Looking at their defence (as you mentioned earlier), either they're consulting legal advice or its not their first rodeo.

In case I lose the case during hearing, am I liable for any of their legal costs associated with their defence?

 

2 hours ago, BankFodder said:

I think you should send them an SAR immediately. I'm rather sorry that I didn't advise you to do this at the outset. Send them an SAR. If you don't know what it is then find out. It's plastered all over this website and it only takes a little bit of enquiry to discover.

I will have a look for templates.

The earliest I can send the SAR is on Monday.

That gives them a month to disclose my data they hold (also see my point about the DQ below), but I'm wondering what is the use of SAR at this point?

Will it be useful once I submit the evidence to court or is it something to do with the letters?

On the same note, the fabricated letter situation worries me a bit.

Its probably not uncommon but makes me think what else can they pull off to not have to pay.

Clearly they're operating with malicious intent.

If I wanted to present this in court, how would I formulate this to the judge?

Put it plain old: "they're fabricating evidence"?

Do I send something beforehand?

 

2 hours ago, BankFodder said:

You've posted up some responses to my questions – but frankly it's a bit difficult to follow in the form you have presented it.

The easiest thing to do would be to continue the table that I've set out – and a another right-hand column and then put your answers in their so that we can read across from the left and see what they say, you say, your comments – my questions – and your answers to my questions.

 

Also, it would probably be helpful if you introduced a new column two into which you could insert dates that events happened – so that we have some kind of chronology as well.

I will send another PDF with the full table (could you kindly update your post with the table once I attach it, I don't think I'd be able to edit your post).

The chronology will be of what I have in my notes and documentation.

Their defence does not exactly state "what happened when" from their POV and seems to be rather all over the place in that regard.

 

2 hours ago, BankFodder said:

So, what is the deadline for submitting the DQ? How much is the hearing fee? Do you think that you can argue your case efficiently that it is worth risking that final sum?

Deadline for submitting the DQ is the 6th of July.

In terms of the SAR, if I have to send off the DQ by the above date, I'm guessing the SAR might not be useful, since they have a month (and will likely take a month).

The hearing fee is £80 as mentioned above.

I think I'd be able to argue my points clearly. The things that confuse me is what happens when after I send off the DQ, and what sort of documents I need to send to whom.

 

Your advice is great! Thank you.

 

(I'll work on the table today and tomorrow and post it here as a PDF)

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Firstly, what's wrong with sending an SAR? It's free – and even if you're not able to predict at the moment that it might contain something useful – you never know maybe it will.

Obviously you are going to have to decide to take a risk before you get the statutory disclosure – but if it produces something useful, then it won't all be wasted. For instance, if you happen to get information which shows that there is something else that they have said is untrue – then it's going to be extremely useful. I don't really understand why there should be a problem.

Are you saying that you only prepared to research things to which you know the answers already?
Here's an example – supposing they made a statutory disclosure in which they have to produce all personal data – but failed to produce a copy of the letter which you already have in your possession. This is definitely something that I would disclose to the court – and I certainly wouldn't raise the issue with them but rather I would take them by surprise during the hearing.

Also, if they failed to respond to the SAR – then that helps you as well. There is absolutely no downside to sending an SAR – except for the 10 or 20 minutes it takes to prepare and send it off.

Everything that you have will be helpful. Even if you have a log of times and dates of phone calls which they claim never occurred – that will be helpful. If you have a telephone statement showing a list of the calls that you made and that you made those calls to their number – that will be extremely helpful.
Where you are unable to score direct hits, then instead you build up a weight of evidence that tends to make your version preferable to theirs.

I've already pointed out your risk factors – they are that you lose the £900 (which is gone anyway). You lose your claim fee and you lose your hearing fee – and you may have to bear their reasonable cost of travel. How far are they away from your local court?

I'm a bit dismayed that you are still asking questions about costs when the rules relating to small claims are all over the place here – and I have a sense that you're not really reading round. You didn't know what an SAR was. You don't know what the small claims rules are. We are here to help you – but you have to take control of it for yourself. At the end of the day you're the one who's going to be in court – if it goes to a physical hearing.
You're the one who's got have to be familiar with the steps. You're the one who's got have to be familiar with the arguments.

In terms of organising your documents in your case – you might want to have a look at our advice on preparing your court bundle so that you can start to pull things together. Once again, this will help you to put together a structure which will facilitate an overview of your position and their position and how you are going to address what they say
in terms of sending something beforehand – yes at some point you will have to disclose the documents that you're going to rely on – but you leave this to the last moment. They also will have to make a disclosure – and if they are sensible they will leave it to the last moment as well.

Send the SAR – and as far as having to hunt around for templates goes, once again you aren't looking very carefully


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