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Shell Energy - Failure to disclose data


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Thank you, in that case I propse the following particulars:

 

Quote

1.On 20th July 2021 a Subject Access Request was submitted to the defendant pursuant to the Data Protection Act 2018. The defendant made a partial disclose of data, which upon review it was incomplete.

 

2. The defendant has breached their statutory duty and continues to do so. The defendant’s breach of their statutory duty and my inability to access my personal data in full has caused me distress.

 

3 .The claimant seeks relief of £100 for distress.


4. On 31st March 2021 Shell Energy were lawfully instructed to cease and desist sending harrassing text messages to my personal mobile.

5. Shell Energy breached this lawful instruction on 11th November 2021, again on the 12th November 2021 and have not agreed to discontinue their campaign.

6. Shell Energy's campaign of harassment is causing me distress.

7. The claimant seeks relief of £100 for distress under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

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I have received a response from a second SAR sent to the Energy Ombudsman on 14th October 2021.

 

When the Energy Ombudsman changed their ruling to my case they stated the following:

"We will be dealing with the remedies outside of the normal process through direct messages with Shell Energy due to the case being closed on our system."

 

As I predicted the Energy Ombudsman has failed to disclose any of the direct messages they may have used to deal with the remedies.

 

I believe this is what the crux of the argument will focus on regarding the claim that the Energy Ombudsman's data disclosure was incomplete. I am now able to build a case that the Energy Ombudsman and Shell Energy have likely been communicating using a systems referred to as "Forsetti" and also using direct messages.

I believe I am entitled to review these messages and review in detail how this system was used to handle my personal data when the Energy Ombudsman communicated with Shell Energy regarding my case(s).

 

I predict that the Energy Ombudsman will refute that this data is liable to be disclosed to me for "confidentiality" or other bogus reasons.

 

It is a fine point but Shell Energy undertook the remedies that were outlined only via the messaging service between myself and the Energy Ombudsman, so either Shell Energy have access to the messaging system between myself and the Ombudsman (without my knowledge) or what I believe is more likely, that the Energy Ombudsman communicated the remedies using a direct message service as indicated above and refuse to disclose the contents to me.

 

 

Edited by Intrepid
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As I review the data further I see the Energy Ombudsman are now disclosing some e-mail correspondence they had with Shell Energy that should have been disclosed under the first SAR they received 20th July 2021. I believe the evidence is mounting that they failed entirely to make a full disclosure.

 

There is some further information regarding the use of the term "Forseti". An e-mail from Shell Energy to the Energy Ombudsman states the following:

"The Ombudsman have a 'flag' for duplicate cases on Forseti when a customer raises numerous cases at the same time, we can see that Axxxxx Mxxxxx, who's an admin for Ombudsman Services has 'approved' the cases to come to us following the duplicate being flagged up."

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I believe I am now in what BF may refer to as slam dunk territory with regards to the defended claim vs Ombudsman Services awaiting allocation.

On 16th August 2021 I sent the following e-mail to Ombudsman Services following their incomplete disclosure:

 

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"Dear Ombudsman Services,


The disclosure you have provided is incomplete.


The Ombudsman was instructed to specifically provide all the data held regarding my complaints including any correspondence between the Energy Ombudsman and Shell Energy.


Can it be understood from the incomplete disclosure that the Ombudsman had no contact whatsoever with Shell Energy regarding my complaint?
Sincerely,


Intrepid"

 

For the avoidance of doubt this is some of the wording that was used when making the subject access request:

"This Subject Access Request includes - but is not limited to any data you hold about me in respect of matters concerning Shell Energy held in any form including; statements, notes, screen notes, recordings, internal correspondence and external correspondence.
 

This Subject Access Request includes - but is not limited to the disclosure of any and all correspondence between the Energy Ombudsman and Shell Energy concerning my account, any matters relating to the account as well as any matters relating to the complaints raised against Shell Energy."

 

I did not receive a reply to the e-mail I sent in quotes above and now in the second disclosure I received today, e-mails have been disclosed between the Energy Ombudsman and Shell Energy as I specifically referred to in the e-mail above.

 

Ombudsman Services did not reply to my e-mail above, nor did they reply within the deadline I set in my letter before claim. As a result I think I will now move to make an unreasonable costs order in addition to the original claimed relief.

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Warning the following post contains copies of substantial correspondence:

 

Ombudsman Services have been discussing the issue of their incomplete disclosure, Eleanore Beard is the Ombudsman Services head of legal and will be one of the two persons listed to attend the hearing in defence of Ombudsman Services. I predict the other attendant is Charlotte Cowley who provided the original incomplete disclosure or the Ombudsman Services - Data Protection Officer.

 

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From: XXXXXXXX <[email protected]ombudsman-services.org> Sent: 08 September 2021 13:14 To: Charlotte Cowley <[email protected]ombudsman-services.org>; DPO <[email protected]ombudsman-services.org> Subject: EG053256-21
Hi Charlotte,
I am sorry to email you directly. I was not sure what email address to send the attached to.
C has responded to the sar to say that it is missing all contacts between OS and Shell Energy. He has submitted a complaint to the ICO.
Please let me know if I have sent this to the wrong email and I can redirect. I have not responded to C as I am unsure if you want to address this directly.
Kind regards,
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX
Enquiries Officer

 

 

From: DPO Sent: 08 September 2021 13:37 To: Charlotte Cowley <[email protected]ombudsman-services.org> Subject: FW: EG053256-21
Hi
Can you just go through the SAR and ensure that everything has gone (there are a lot of file with Shell) – then send a letter to him clarifying that all information has been provided and that all correspondence between all the parties has been provided – there are some disputes – so maybe direct him to the relevant sections where the interactions are. Any problems give me a shout.



From: Charlotte Cowley Sent: 08 September 2021 14:22 To: DPO <[email protected]ombudsman-services.org> Subject: RE: EG053256-21
Hi,
Yeah I’ll go through it, but everything we have on file was sent to him…
I’ll have a look now though.



From: Charlotte Cowley <[email protected]> Sent: 08 September 2021 15:40 To: DPO <[email protected]> Cc: Eleanore Beard <[email protected]> Subject: RE: EG053256-21
Hi El,
I’ve checked through all cases and I’ve definitely sent him everything that he has sent to us… There are only a few documents that we have received from Shell on a couple of cases as most of them are OTOR. All the correspondence on the cases are things C has sent in and its all duplicates.
Thanks.


Ombudsman services were clearly under the incorrect impression that they only needed to send me what I have already sent to them...

 


Below the Ombudsman Services discuss the handling of my complaints with Shell Energy and also indicate they have discussed my complaints via telephone, of course there will be no detail of this discussion forthcoming.
 

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From: XXXXXXXXXX < [email protected]> Sent: 08 June 2021 10:56 To: XXXXXXXXXX < [email protected]> Subject: Duplication / Triage - Continued case escalation C; Intrepid
Hi XXXXXXXXXX,
We seem to be having a few difficulties surrounding this customers complaint escalations;
There have been more which have been shown as 'closed' by the Ombudsman before they've been sent to us.
The Ombudsman have a 'flag' for duplicate cases on Forseti when a customer raises numerous cases at the same time, we can see that Axxxxx Mxxxxxx who's an admin for Ombudsman Services has 'approved' the cases to come to us following the duplicate being flagged up.
#7627977 - EG006118-21 - 18 January 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
This one was his first case and went through the Ombudsman process with Final Decision on 24 February 2021 and closed on 28 February 2021.
#8118240 - EG033169-21 - 19 March 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
Regarding meter readings not being used, successfully disputed on 29 March 2021
#8197396 - EG037660-21 - 29 March 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
Successfully disputed in relation to Aziz's case as under 8 weeks on 23 April 2021
#8460479 - EG051506-21 - 4 May 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
Successfully disputed as duplicate of EG053256-21 on 19 May 2021
#8481033 - EG051678-21 - 6 May 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
Successfully disputed as duplicate of EG053256-21 on 19 May 2021
#8487290 - EG053256-21 - 6 May 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
Disputed as duplicate of Sue's original case, this was declined on 18 May 2021 but has been disputed again
#8620200 - EG061292-21 - 24 May 2021 - XXXXXXXXXX
Active dispute as duplicate of EG053256-21, awaiting dispute outcome.
--
XXXXXXXXXX
Vulnerable customer & External stakeholder manager
We care. We Evolve. We Embrace Differences. We Deliver.
Shell Energy Retail Limited, Shell Energy House, Westwood Business Park,
Westwood Way, Coventry, CV4 8HS
E [email protected]
T XXXXXXXXXX



From: XXXXXXXXXX < [email protected]> Sent: 16 June 2021 10:28 To: XXXXXXXXXX < [email protected]> Subject: FW: Duplication / Triage - Continued case escalation C; Intrepid
Hi XXXXXXXXXX,
Hope you are well.
Are you able to ask one of your team to review the below for me please? Shell have raised a number of cases, from the same complainant, that are duplicates.
It appears the cases are moving into ‘check for duplicate’ are being pushed through to PC as ITOR, PC then dispute and are being accepted.
It would be helpful if someone in the team can take a look and let me know any findings?
XXXXXXXXXX
Partnership Manager
Regulatory Affairs
XXXXXXXXXX



From: XXXXXXXXXX< [email protected]> Sent: 16 June 2021 15:56 To: XXXXXXXXXX< XXXXX[email protected]> Subject: RE: Duplication / Triage - Continued case escalation C; Intrepid
Hi XXXXXXXXXX,
So there is nothing to stop a consumer attempting to raise a complaint on our system. The submission flow will prompt the customer to input dates/information and if this meets our terms of reference it will be accepted.
The system does, however, recognise if a customer has entered the same information on multiple cases and will hold the case for it to be checked (to see if duplicate).
On the cases below it appears a number have fallen into the check duplication status and have been accepted. SERL have then disputed the case and have been successful.
I have asked the team to check these cases to see if the information provided matched the original complaints and should in fact have been closed without SERL having sight of these.
Hope this makes sense. We have a call on Friday so can chat through further.
Many thanks
XXXXXXXXXX
Partnership Manager
Regulatory Affairs
XXXXXXXXXX




Ombudsman services also discussed attempting to fob me off under their Unacceptable Actions Policy. Apparently engaging with them to ensure they correct their flawed invesitgations is in their eyes "Unacceptable" and prefer to refer to me as a "serial complainer". Despite the fact three of the four complaints the Ombudsman Services bothered to investigate were upheld in my favour and the first was discontinued after the first "PC" (Which clearly means Energy or "Paid Up?" Company) offered a settlement prior to investigation.
 

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From: XXXXXXXXX <[email protected]> Sent: 01 September 2021 09:23 To: Daniel Jackson <[email protected]> Subject: RE: Case review EG053256-21
Hi Dan,
I have a full comprehensive summary of this case now, does my IO need to call the C or is this ok being messaged on CMS? There isn’t much post decision action, apart from ensuring the PC use the reads the C provided but everything else looks covered within this complaints detail. It does appear that this is a serial complaint raiser with very similar grounds with different PC. Please let me know which course of action you require us to take and I will ensure the IO provides the post decision review, however the C has declined the decision so unsure what steer we go with on this? Whether we go down accept through messages or just advise that the case is now closed?
Thanks,
XXXXXXXXX
Dispute Resolution Coach
Operational Support Unit



From: XXXXXXXXX<[email protected]> Sent: 02 September 2021 14:23 To: Daniel Jackson <[email protected]> Subject: RE: Case review EG053256-21
Hi Dan,
The IO has now sent a post decision investigation report to the C. I have advised however that this is a final decision and no further action can be taken, given the timescale on remedies to be implemented if they accept. I would like to ask though about UAP and whether we can use this if we continue to get messages after this? I am concerned that my IO’s are ring fenced on POPLA and we cannot provide any further time on this case.
Thanks,
XXXXXXXXX
Dispute Resolution Coach
Operational Support Unit

 

The second e-mail above indicates that the Investigative Officers of the Energy Ombudsman also form part of POPLA or they are at least borrowed or leased out between each organisation. This goes a long way to explaining why the Investigating Officers handling the cases I raised had such a woefully inadequate understanding of the issues concerned.

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I don't think it's a good idea to mix up the two actions.

On the data access breach, you have a win. On the harassment claim I have grave doubts.

I would go for the winner first – see what further data is produced and then go for the harassment if it seems a reasonable sure thing

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Could you please elaborate on those doubts?

 

Shell Energy were provided a lawful instruction not to contact me via text message regarding the disputed account balance as it was considered a form of harassment.

 

It is at the liberty of the individual to assess what is harassing not the abuser.


They breached this instruction twice.
 

I understand your concerns may relate to the lawful right to pursue a debt - a debt in this case which is in dispute. However they have not been prevented from contacting me and rather actually prefer to ignore my written communications on the matter.

They have simply directly ignored my instruction and chosen to communicate via the one method which causes me distress and I consider to be a form of harassment.

 

 

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It was awful for you to give the instruction but I'm not aware that your instruction was legally binding per se.

Also so far as I'm aware, failure to obey an instruction does not constitute an element of harassment.

If you begin this action then I think you will lose. It if you if you associate it with your data protection action then you will undermine its credibility. The larger picture here is their statutory breach in failing to disclose and also apparently their statutory breach in respect of inaccurate data processing – which is something that you will deal with later when you get more information.

 

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Thank you,

PFHA 1997

1 Prohibition of harassment.

(1)A person must not pursue a course of conduct—

(a)which amounts to harassment of another, and

(b)which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.

 

The instruction was sent in order to remove any doubt that they knew their campaign was harassing. Without being informed they could probably reasonably declare they didn't think it would be an issue. Informing them removes the requirement for the court to assess whether Shell Energy knew their actions amounted to harassment. They were directly informed, therefore they knew.


(3)Subsection (1) [F4or (1A)] does not apply to a course of conduct if the person who pursued it shows—

(a)that it was pursued for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime,

(b)that it was pursued under any enactment or rule of law or to comply with any condition or requirement imposed by any person under any enactment, or

(c)that in the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable.

I think it is unreasonable to continually send text messages to a persons phone after they have requested you to stop. I think it is even more unreasosnable to do this while continually ignoring communication using the other agreed mediums such as e-mail or post.

Edited by Intrepid
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I appreciate the input from the site team, as you can see there are differing opinions on how to proceed.

 

I understand that focusing on the disclosure issue helps keep the issue consistent.

I have considered I may run the risk of being accused of being vexatious.

This shouldn't matter if the cause for action is sufficient however in the real world I can see how it may prejudice - even though it shouldn't - the outcome.

The options at the moment are:

A. Issue a combined claim.

B. Issue two claims, one for the incomplete disclosure and another for their harassment.

C. Issue the claim for disclosure and instead send a LBC regarding their harassment.

I consider that C means I will have now sent 4 LBC to Shell Energy, on the other hand I think sending a second LBC regarding their harassment gives them a reasonable opportunity to respond rather than simply launching a claim against them following a LBC that was sent approximately 6 months ago.

 

I think C is the most reasonable course of action.

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I have just now received a 3rd text message from Shell Energy after e-mailing them last week that they have breached their instruction. I now consider A to be my preferred course of action and will issue at end of day.

 

As an aside it is noteworthy that Shell Energy didn't disclose any of the data concerning how they communicate with customers for an alleged debt.

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I am considering whether to amend point 7 of the particulars to the following:

 
Quote

7. The claimant seeks relief of £50 per message received on my personal mobile device for distress under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (Currently £150)

 

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I don't think I can comment any more or add any more.

Obviously we wish you success and would like to follow your progress on this and maybe we can chip in with some useful advice – but other than that I think I've said all I can on this issue.

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Thank you I understand this. I will continue to update this thread with the progress and gratefully receive any pointers along the way, especially with regards to particulars or witness statements if you see any glaring errors of fact or misconstruing of the law.

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The combined particulars were in excess of the 1080 character limit when using the MCOL interface. In order that I can complete the claims online I decided to separate them and have issued them both accordingly.

 

I decided to lower the amount claimed per message received to my phone to £30 per message and therefore issued a claim for £90.

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Good news regarding the claim issued against Ombudsman Services. It has been allocated to my local court.

 

While I currently have a slam dunk case against Ombudsman Services which will become apparent to them when I issue my witness statement, I suspect the location may induce them to settle the claim rather than send two employees far away from Warrington for the day.

 

The case in my opinion is so clear that they should in reality not aim to defend the claim once they receive my witness statement and should they choose to I will request costs for unreasonable behaviour.

 

Only yesterday did I first learn that Ombudsman Services is reviewed on Trust Pilot. It reveals clearly how they systematially work against apellants in favour of industry and had I not experienced reasonable outcomes in the past I would certainly not have bothered with their "service".

The veil has been lifted, County Court is where your case is more likely to receive a fairly adjudicated decision from a learned professional and no doubt it is more troublesome and costly for the defendant than their paid up subscription service that repeatedly decides in their favour.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Shell Energy have filed an AOS for both claims including a claim for the incomplete disclosure and the other for harassment.

 

I have received approximately 10 text messages so far from Shell Energy to my personal mobile phone, and as of today (25th November 2021) Shell Energy have breached the advice as outlined on Citizens Advice website where even if (which it is denied) a creditor has the right to contact a debtor they may not do so several times per day. Today I received two text messages.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I received the first signs of life from Shell Energy's "legal counsel" regarding the 1st claim and default judgement awarded against them.

 

I have attached a redacted copy of the letter where they indicate they look forward to receiveing a letter of confirmation.

 

I am confident I know why they have sent this request and more importantly how they intend to use any response.

 

I have prepared two options.

 

1. Ignore their letter (This is probably the best option).

 

2. Reply succinctly.

 

Quote

Dear Mr Shotton-Oza,

 

I am confident that I have been compliant with the directions from the Court regarding my claim.


It was made clear to Shell Energy Retail Ltd that your attempt to offer the cheque as a gesture of goodwill and settlement for your on-going breach of statutory duty was rejected in full, including the untrue assertion that the payment was in any way discussed.

 

Please do let me know if you wish to draw any of the other claims raised against Shell Energy Retail Ltd to a close.

 

Sincerely,

 

Intrepid

 

Shell Energy - Warrant of Control Response - Redacted.pdf

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I think it would be a mistake not to respond. Although the circumstances were pretty different, we are dealing with a case elsewhere on this forum where somebody decided not to respond to an email and they ended up in subsequent proceedings paying quite a heavy bill of costs.

I thought it was unfair and rather Draconian decision of the judge – but it shows that it can happen.

It's clear that you will have to accept the money is satisfaction of judgement.

However if you want to play them a bit then I suggest

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Dear XXX

 

Reference number XXX

I was not aware that the cheque to which you refer was in satisfaction of a judgement. The message which accompanied the cheque made it quite clear that it was a gesture of goodwill on your part.

If you would like to confirm that this was in satisfaction of the judgement which was obtained against you in respect of your breach of statutory duty then I shall be happy to inform the court immediately.

Yours sincerely

 

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Thank you BF, I am aware of that thread and that was exactly my concern.

 

We clearly think alike as I had already sent words to that affect weeks ago, below I have posted the communicaton sent and received so you can understand exactly where we are at and how best to respond.

 

I have already banked the cheque and informed the court that the warrant was satisfied after Shell Energy continued to ignore my correspondence.

I am 99% sure I am under no obligation to share my communication with the Court with Shell Energy and they are simply fishing for the same reasons as the Defendant in the other thread or are clearly being inconveniened by visits from the bailiff as a result of the Court not reading their e-mails.

 

I have worded my proposed response above carefully to ensure that it is clear to any reader that any delay is a result of their subversive attempt to settle the matter rather than simply pay the judgement.

Response to their GOGW.
 

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Dear Shell Energy,

 

Thank you for your letter dated 1st October 2021 and the included cheque.

 

I must make it clear that I do not accept the cheque as a gesture of goodwill for your poor level of service.

I am still awaiting payment for the claim that has been awarded against you and the subsequent warrant of control it was necessary to issue in order to receive payment.

 

If you wish for the cheque to be accepted as payment for the above please confirm this immediately.

 

If you do not wish to confirm this then the gesture of goodwill is rejected and I will inform the court that no payment has been received and that they should continue to enforce the warrant.

 

For the avoidance of doubt my account balance is still in dispute and has yet to be corrected in full.

 

Sincerely,


Their reply:
 

Quote

Dear Intrepid,


Thank you for your email. I can confirm that the cheque for £218 is in relation to the courts judgement. This should conclude the matter.

 

Our document,Listening To Your Concerns - Our Complaints Handling Procedure, outlines in more detail the steps you can take to share and escalate any issues. And more importantly for you, it explains what we’ll do and how we will keep you informed as we work to sort it out.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Aashish
Shell Energy:Customer Resolution Manager

 

My final response to which Shell Energy did not reply.

 

Quote

Dear Shell Energy,


Thank you for your reply,

 

Our dispute is in no way resolved. In order to unburden the court, I am willing to accept the cheque you have sent me as payment only for the judgement awarded against you as well as the issued warrant of control.

I reserve the right to bring a further claim for the on-going distress you cause me by continuing to fail to provide me with a complete disclosure of the data you hold on me, as requested and acknowledged by you on 28th April 2021.

 

Should you have any objections to this please let me know within 7 days of receipt of this e-mail.

For the avoidance of doubt my account balance is still in dispute and no solution has been forthcoming as to how you wish to correct this.


Sincerely,

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@BankFodder If you have the time to review what I have posted I above I would be grateful.

Otherwise I think I better respond to the letter I received as outlined in post #144.

While I believe I am under no obligation to respond to them whatsoever, it may be unreasonable not to do so.

Edited by Intrepid
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I'm afraid that because of a quirk of the forum software – your number 144 may be different to my number 144.

Could you post a link to the post in question – or else quote it

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Thank you for your quick response hopefully the link below works:

 

If not I will quote it again verbatim

Ok that did not work, it is no more then 5 posts above and begins with "Thank you BF, I am aware of that thread and that was exactly my concern." it now shows as post #146

Edited by Intrepid
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