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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
      • 31 replies
    • Hermes lost parcel.. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422615-hermes-lost-parcel/
      • 49 replies

Virgin, an extra line and SAR problems.


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Well you made a threat and set a deadline. They have not met the deadline – so what do you think comes next?

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Letter sent recorded delivery. Today I will be registering on Moneyclaim and start preparing- the last 2 days have been getting the shop shut down for lockdown so now that's dealt with I have plenty m

These are the two incidents from Virgin Chat where their Live chat has informed me of the 'only 3 months' decision.... 15 April was the date they acknowledged receipt of my SAR.   Apparently

Okay. As I suggested, post your draft particulars here. It only needs to be very brief. Also, could you just give a few details of how this is affected you. Because you are claiming compensation

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Just making sure all ducks in line-I don't want to find out there's a vital thing missing that I should have done before claim goes-it will be dispatched as soon as Moneyclaim gets itself sorted out-apparently it's unavailable due to updates for the last couple of hours or so. 

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Okay, post up the final particulars of claim once you have issued the claim.

I'm just having a little doubt about the £200 – and maybe it should be more moderate – maybe £100 would be more reasonable and understandable. I'm afraid is very difficult to gauge these things so I'm sorry for being equivocal about this

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Is there any reason to be so conservative, other posters have indicated the "going rate" for compensation awarded in relation to a breach of GDPR is £500. I would move that if the breach of statuatory duty has led to further distress beyond simply that of having ones rights denied the amount claimed can be justified.

 

In this case the breach of statuatory duty could easily lead to the op undergoing further distress due to lacking the necessary information to dismiss an unsubstantiated debt, information which should have been readily available.

 

In any case the experienced and impartial authority will soon correct any award if they deem it to be excessive, provided the underlying cause is sufficient which in this case it clearly is I highly doubt the amount claimed for would undermine that in any meaningful way.

Edited by Intrepid
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Well it's winged its way off this morning maintaining the original £200 as the figure and the original POC that BankFodder outlined in post 21.

 

Particulars of Claim

Quote


I had an account with the defendants reference number 078xx xxxxxx[redacted] On 13 Apr 2020  I submitted a subject access request pursuant to the Data Protection Act 2018. The Defendants breached the statutory deadline of 30 days and failed to make the disclosure and this failure is continuing seven months later. The defendants' breach of their statutory duty and my inability to access my personal data has caused me serious issues and distress. The claimant seeks damages for distress £200.

 

 

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It would still be prudent to do the necessary research on these forums and else where to see what has been awarded in the past and whether in this case the statuatory breach is comparable or more egregous when compared to what was awarded in other succesful claims.

 

One of the first hits on google is on a website duly named data breach compensation which leads to an address of a solicitors. They indicate that low risk breaches typically settle for between £750 and £1000.

 

Again I would stress the importance of researching similar cases so that answering the reasonable question of "How do you justify this amount" does not come as a surprise and can be readily answered.

Edited by Intrepid
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Virgin have sent a lovely standard boilerplate letter. So generic they couldn't even be bothered to put the date on it...

letter.pdf

 

Just bumping to say this has not been forgotten-nothing has happened except for the tumbleweeds passing. Virgin have until 12 December to reply to the claim-if there's no reply by then I can request judgment.

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Shouldn't it be the 10th?

If you happen to get judgement then put in the bailiffs straight away and send them another letter of claim for the continuing breach of statutory duty

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Friday 11th by 4.00pm. Claim issued 23rd plus 19 days from and including 23rd

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There we are, my site team colleague crossposted.

We will have to work out a slightly different letter of claim if it comes to that. They still have a long time to react

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Correct.  If the breach of statutory duty continues then you issue another claim.  The distress you are claiming for is only the the distress you experienced up to the issue of the first claim.

 

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It seems someone has woken up from hibernation and I have received an email from Stuart at the Executive Resolutions Team who wants to call tomorrow to speak about the complaint. As I've learnt from other bods on here, if I do speak to him on the phone I shall 100% insist on everything being in writing too so there can no room for any 'mistakes' or 'misunderstandings' about what has been said.

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I'd go a step further - refuse to discuss the issues by phone at all and insist they deal with the complaint in writing only, by email or by letter, their choice.

 

As an aside, well done for even getting this far in terms of contact - after a complaint to the CEO, I got a call from a regular call centre rep looking to resolve the CEO complaint.

 

They really are awful in terms of customer services/complaints. It would be great if they could deal with customer complaints as well as they supply Fibre BB speeds.

We could do with some help from you

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I agree with my site team colleague @slick132 but with variations.

These people have been leading you around and causing you serious harm in terms of the amount of effort that you have been put to as well as the damage to your credit file. You have been given all sorts of different stories and also been misled by them as to their statutory obligations in respect of data disclosures.
It has taken the issue of court claim to get them to make any move.
You have taken control of the situation and it is you who has the whip hand at the moment.

They are now proposing to telephone you to discuss the matter in some way – but you have no idea. Also, you have no idea who you are going to be speaking to and whether they have authority to commit Virgin to anything at all.
If you agree to this phone call then you are at risk of handing control back to them because they will partly ask you to withdraw the action and they will also offer to make a payment as a "gesture of goodwill".

Now that you have attracted their attention and they realise that something needs to be taken seriously, I don't think you should let go of the initiative.

Please can you post up the email which you received from them. Who was it from and what is that person's role within the company.

I think you should write to them and refuse the call and tell them that you are happy to discuss matters but you will want to know what it is they think they have to discuss and who will it be who will be phoning you – and will that person has any authority to make decisions.

Tell them that you want an agenda and it should be treated like a telephone meeting.

I think you should also emphasise to virgin that they are already in breach of their statutory duty. That if they decide to file a defence that they will have to sign it is a statement of truth subject to a sanction for contempt of court and that as they are clearly in breach of their statutory obligations, it would not be possible for them to sign off such a statement of truth and if they do, then you will bring the whole thing to the attention of the court and invite the court to express their own opinion on the matter.

I think it's very important that they tell you in advance what they propose to discuss. I think you should tell them that if they're not prepared to disclose the purpose of their phone call and the points that they intend to cover and if the phone call is not made by somebody at a suitably elevated managerial level, then you are not prepared to discuss the matter.

I'm afraid that I'm struck by the innocence of this statement

Quote

 if I do speak to him on the phone I shall 100% insist on everything being in writing too so there can no room for any 'mistakes' or 'misunderstandings' about what has been said.

which I suppose is intended to be assertive.

 

Haven't we reached a point yet where you understand that you can't trust these people and although you may discuss various things on the telephone, if they then are required to minute the conversation and provide you with the resume of the discussion, you are handing them carte blanche to present the conversation in a way that suits them together with nuances included or removed, and generally slanted in their favour. They might not – but you are certainly opening up the possibilities and if that's what they do, how are you going to counter them and say that they have not correctly recorded what you discussed and agreed?
You seem to be doing everything you can to keep on handing the baton back to Virgin. I have no idea why.  What have they done to make you so trusting? I'd love to know

You should not get involved in any telephone conversation unless you have first read our customer services guide and you are recording the call for your own benefit. If you cannot do this or you are not prepared to do this then don't take the call at all.

Please will you post up the email that you have received, let me have your comments on what I've posted here and if you agree we will draft a response. You might like to start.

Apparently they are proposing to telephone today and so we need to get a move on. If they happen to telephone before you have received a written reply to your message, then you should simply tell the caller that you are still waiting for their response to the email which you sent a little while earlier and you're not prepared to discuss anything until you have their written reply to that.

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Quote

 

Virgin Media Executive Team <Executiveteam@virginmedia.co.uk>
Thu 12/3/2020 12:45 PM
To:[redacted]
COM:[redacted]

My Name is Stuart, 
I have been asked to contact you regarding your Virgin Media Mobile Phone services. 
We would like to speak with you regarding your complaint.
 I can be contacted on 0800 052 0264 -Lines are open 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Kind Regards
 
Stuart
Executive Resolutions Team,Virgin Media

 

 
 
 
 
I was basing my approach on a previous attempt before I was with CAG when I had multiple problems with a telephone company-once the executive level got involved and they could see I had a fully corroborated account of all the problems, they caved immediately and admitted full responsibility and offered substantial compensation which I got in writing. Like Candide, I was hopeful that the same approach would have the same results here but perhaps I just got the one company that had the common sense to realize their wrongdoings and not put up any resistance.
 
I still learnt to document everything and make sure everything is accounted for in writing, but am happy to take the advice of the various Panglosses who have seen more of these cases than I have and have met more intransigent or underhanded companies. 
 
Having read through BF's advice, I think the starting point will be to send an email asking them to set an agenda of what they wish to discuss and what if any offers they are prepared to make. Once that's set in writing, the various excellent brains here can consider whether it would be an acceptable offer. It will also set down any excuses they will be raising to try and justify their behaviour, so they can be dealt with then and doesn't give them the chance to try and excuse themselves later.
 
 
 
 
 
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I had understood from your original message that they were going to call you. I now see that they are asking you to call them.

I think you should ignore the message. Let them call you. Let's see if they have any further messages for you.

I don't think you should answer to their beck and call

 

Apart from anything else, we are inching towards the day on which you can apply for judgement – or the date by which they must issue an acknowledgement and then maybe go on to defend. It will be interesting to see what their defence might be.

You've invested the money in the claim – you might as well get your monies worth

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Stuart from the Executive Team called and was told that I would only discuss items in writing once the agenda had been set. If they had an offer, they could send that in writing and I would consider it.

 

Their first offer was

£250-£204 for the handset, £18 for the money that's still been taken out via DD for line rental, £25 for the cost of the claim and the rest (£3!!) as an apology.

That received a snort of derision and they were told to try again with a half sensible offer.

 

I have now received an offer by email for:

£500-  £204 for the handset,£18 for the money taken out, £25 for the cost of the claim, £200 for the value of the claim 

and the rest(£53) as the apology. The other line would be cancelled. There was no mention of making my credit files right or compensation for the distress I have suffered as a result of the incorrect markers on my file.

 

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Do I understand that they are saying that they will cancel the second line as a condition of you accepting their offer? This is the second line which they have foisted on you as part of their data mixup?

 

Was there any reference to satisfying your SAR?

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No reference at all  to the SAR- it's a little difficult to tell from the wording if it will be cancelled and cleared regardless or if it's part of the offer.Here's the exact wording 

 

 

 
Quote

 

Virgin Media Executive Team <Executiveteam@virginmedia.co.uk>

Hello <redacted>

Thanks for your time earlier, it was a pleasure speaking with you.

 

<redacted> is the other number on the account. It will be cancelled and the bill cleared.

With regard to the issues on the account, I have offered £500.00 to cover the loan agreement, the £25.00 paid and the £200.00 requested.

 

If you accept this offer, it would still leave you open to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This service is free for you to use. Full information will be forwarded if you accept the offer.

 

If you reject the offer, you will still be sent the Financial Ombudsman Service contact information.

The new complaint reference is <redacted> and the number for the Executive Resolutions Team is 0800 052 0264.

 

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kind regards

Stuart

Executive Resolutions Team,

Virgin Media

 

 

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Okay well it's an interesting offer because partly it deals with some of the issues and also settles your claim in full. Also, it doesn't pretend to be full and final settlement and they are saying that even if you accept the offer you are still open to going to the ombudsman. It is not asking you give up your rights. This also means that it doesn't prevent you from beginning a further legal action – which I would probably suggest that you should do.

The SAR is still outstanding. The damage to the credit file is still outstanding and very serious – but at least it puts an end to the second line et cetera and also means that they are now listening to you and taking you seriously.

I have to say that I object to the idea that they are going to "cancel" the account – because the account was never opened in the first place. I realise that they can only do things according to their procedures – but it means that effectively they are still saying you had a valid account which they are prepared cancel.

At the moment also, they haven't said that any payments are a gesture of goodwill – but of course we haven't seen the final letter that they will send.

If you accept this offer, then please could you list out very briefly the issues which are outstanding – and what you think the value of the might be in terms of compensation.

Also I would certainly suggest that if you do accept this offer, that you accept it on condition that they provide you with a draft of the letter which they propose to send to you outlining the settlement.

You will be wanting to check it to see that it doesn't suddenly say something like it is in full and final settlement. I would also object to it being paid as a gesture of goodwill – but that is probably just a matter of Face.

What do you think the outstanding issues are?

 

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I'm looking at this again. I see that in your first account of the the message you received, you referred to "an apology". Yet in the email that you reproduced, there is no reference to any apology or anything approaching it.

Was the word "apology" used in a telephone conversation or do you have it in writing? If you have it writing then please could you reproduce it here.

And incidentally, the fact that they say apology one moment and then later on make a rather more formal offer – avoiding that word, or avoiding any other sort of admission and in fact indicating that there is still a dispute because they are suggesting the ombudsman route, just shows how you have to record everything, get everything in writing, protect your backside at every step.

They will reformat the conversation to suit their needs and then swear blind that that is exactly what was said.

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19 hours ago, BankFodder said:

I would also object to it being paid as a gesture of goodwill – but that is probably just a matter of Face.

 

Would you mind providing more detail on how and why you would dispute this action? I understand the principle that any payment should be as recourse for wrong doing not as "good will payment" but am unsure how you would address this with a company and how to hold them accountable if you decline it on that basis.

 

Would it for example require demanding in writing that they indicate the payment is for correcting a specific list of mistakes that are itemised.

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Any further thoughts on this please?

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