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Ginger-Bones vs Egg

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Hi All,

 

I started my claim against Egg last year and received the usual request for id etc and the standard complaints letter. I completed my money claim online in March.

 

Last week I received their defence from the court and was expecting to receive an allocation questionnairre, however the Court has ordered that "the filing of an allocation questionnairre be dispensed with in this case unless the District Judge at the court of transfer orders otherwise", which it appears he/she has not.

 

Does anyone know if this is because my claim is under £1000 or would it be for some other reason?

 

Their defence also reads differently than the others that I have had from other companies. It has the usual admission that charges were levied against my account but that they do not agree that the charges were unenforceable. It also denies that section 15 of the Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982 applies in this case.

 

Point 7 of their defence then states that the claimant is put to proof that his loss as a result of charges is £179.26. (My claim was £726.49 inc int)!

 

Point 8 states that in the event that the Court finds that the default charges levied on the Claimant do constitute an unfair penalty and are thus unforceable, the Defendant asks the Court to assess the actual cost to the Defendant of dealing with the Claimant's breach of contract in failing to make his repayments..... (Would this be a counterclaim)?

 

I'd be grateful for any help..... sorry if my post seems vague? :(

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Egg lawyers come on strong if they sense their adversary in court is under-prepared.

 

 

In an Oxford court last November Egg came up against a CAG member who was a lawyer conducting his case. Egg was flattened into omelette. barcote settled retrospectively for £5 per charge item, but barcote was not keen to volunteer as a public battering ram -- as is his respected right completely. Subsequent to barcote's Australian and American charges costings, BBC Whistleblower programme on 21st March 2007 exposed Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks charge figures costed inhouse at £3 per item.

 

(A) If Egg wants to justify £16 charge they can be challenged in court (same as by barcote) to submit full stats quantifying their audited item costs after the event, i.e. not just quoting in court their "honest pre-estimate of £20" later revised to "honest pre-estimate of £16". OFT chased Egg for such accurate figures for over a year, but Egg remains coy. OFT staff would be most interested to gain access to such court evidence.

 

(B) If Egg wants to settle for something rather than nothing, e.g. a retrospectively set compromise figure of £5 per item, agreeable to both judge and claimant, Egg lawyer will have to turn up in court and plead their case. The court verdict could be flashed to a highly interested mass media the way it was not done by barcote. Following nationwide publicity Egg's "honest pre-estimate of £16" will need another public revision. The current nationwide takeup of reclaims from Egg, estimated at below 1%, could rise to 80% overnight following such a public denouement.

 

© If Egg wants a quiet life, and knows you know what to do, they may send you a letter refunding everything you ask, and hope you keep quiet.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/egg/48294-success-judgement-against-egg.html

 

………………..yesterday I am pleased to say a hearing was held and unsurprisingly (to my mind at least) the judge found against Egg and I was awarded costs of £80 in addition to judgement for attending to make a total of approx £570.00. Mr St Clair Nelson whose name many readers will be familiar with requested that the court consider the actual costs incurred by Egg. I made no objection to this as this would have been pointless and after both my and his submission, the judge decided £5 to be a fair amount.

…………………………

2) The OFT have done the hard work here for you. Refer the judge to this report £12/£16 and make sure you stress that the OFT stated that just because a charge is below this level does not make it fair but merely that the OFT would not take action themselves. Make it clear that your view is the real cost in your case to the bank is very low. In Egg’s case, I stressed the lack of overheads – branches etc. and the high level of automation.

 

3) Sort of hand in hand with 2 here. I note Bankfodder (who seems to have earned himself the position of pseudo-deity status here no doubt with justification) has suggested a reply to defence whereby part of the claim is admitted i.e. the actual costs to the bank. This in my humble opinion whilst not damaging is neither the trump card it is portrayed to be as the judge is unlikely to order disclosure in respect of Egg’s costs. I am a little rusty on my civil procedure rules but I am not sure in the Small Claims Court whether he even has the power to do this. The point is Egg are not going to disclose their costs in any circumstance because they would show that they are much lower than the charges they are levying. If they weren’t then Egg would publish them far and wide as they would be the obvious defence against claims such as these.

 

You are not going to get disclosure but this is not the Holy Grail you should be seeking. You do not need it. Egg are as much on the back foot if not more so than you by not being able to show it’s true costs since they cannot make any sensible justification to the judge on which to base their costs. Egg have reproduced part of an internal report into their costs in their defence in my case which they sort to rely on which showed their costs to be higher than the charges they levied. I had this struck out as evidence on the basis that they had not produced the whole report nor made it available to my or the judge, it had not been audited independently, had been produced 2-3 years after my charges had been levied and it’s conclusions were at odds with the OFT report’s conclusions. I also put evidence of investigations into American and Australian banks (reproduced below) which show the cost to financial institutions to be pence to single pounds.

 

The judge in my case decided £5 to be a fair estimate of the banks costs made but it clear that this figure was somewhat arbitrary given Egg’s inability to substantiate its true costs.

 

Re: Egg’s delaying tactics – stress the inconvenience of attending Court and Egg’s sufficient time to have dealt with submission etc by the time of the hearing. Respectfully ask the judge if he is prepared to deal with the matter that day based on the evidence he has as you see a delay to be prejudicial to your case and unfair in all the circumstances - be very polite and deferencial here.

………….

Reports referred to above:

In a recent study undertaken in Australia [Nicole Rich, “Unfair fees: a report into penalty fees charged by Australian Banks] it was estimated that the cost of processing a dishonoured cheque by an Australian Bank was (generously) likely to be in the region of $3.00 to $6.00. A direct debit dishonour was estimated to be in the likely region of 54 cents. No data was published by the Australian banks to confirm or deny this. By reviewing the banks’ charges against the above figures, the study estimated that banks could be charging: a. between 5 to 16 times what it costs them to process a cheque dishonour.

b. between 64 to 92 times what it costs them to process a direct debit dishonour.

The study’s key findings stated that in its opinion the Australian Bank’s cheque and direct debit dishonour fees (bank charges) were likely to be penalties at law.

Further in an American study [1998 American Study on cheque dishonour fees by the Consumer Federation of America “Bounced Cheques : Billion Dollar profits II] (also referred to in the above Australian study) it had been estimated that the American’s Banks’ cost to process a dishonoured cheque was between US$ 0.50 and US$1.50 (estimated actual cost being 11 to 32 times less than the bank’s actual charge). To process a dishonoured direct debit payment was between US$0.48 and US$0.65 (estimated actual cost therefore being 9 to 11 times less than the banks’ actual charge).

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=720530

 

........................... worth remebering that Egg have been to court and had their portion of the charges reduced to £5 and made the national papers, not sure they'd want to risk it again.

A link to the case from ian cognito would be welcomed.


 

 

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Hi All,

 

I received a letter from Eversheds solicitors dated 20 April offering me approx half my claim and attaching a confidentiality clause.

 

I have already started court action against them and by reading some posts on this forum many are getting offered full settlement. I have also read that Egg are notoriously difficult and am unsure now whether or not to sign and return the Tomlin Order (?) and accept their offer or hold out for the full amount.

 

If Egg play such hard ball, is there much chance of me getting what I originally requested?

 

Ginger

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.....I have also read that Egg are notoriously difficult ....
[/
quote]

True, last October. But 6 months later the score line is now

 

Claimants 42 - Egg 0

 

Not one claimant settled for half refund that I know of. There are two issues Egg cannot face, and will run away from the way Count Dracula runs from a crucifix:

(A) Dublin banks charge £3, Egg charges £16. Would Egg like to explain the difference to the judge? (see Dublin links in V-E thread).

(B) Egg's final defensive shield is their
"Genuine Pre-estimate of £16".
This turns to marshmallow against a skilful challenge, see moc1982's thread today (a win scored after one email, within two days). Presentation does matter: conducting the same case, one barrister convinces a jury while another talks them to sleep.

-------------------------------------------------------

I would suggest that institutions are filing charge reclaim cases using folders of 2 different colours:

(1) AMBER - Claimants who say please, who prepare to retreat even as they advance. Dealing with these claimants Egg will stall, argue and browbeat.

(2) RED -- Claimants who are obvious tough guys and gals, the likes of Tom Brennan. These are lost causes for Egg, no point wasting time and money, so they cave in after token resistance, if any resistance at all.

-------------------------------------------------------

Egg's strategy can be summed up as the
Cha Cha Cha
:

Claimant steps forward, Egg steps backwards

Cha Cha Cha

Claimant steps backwards, Egg steps forwards

Cha Cha Cha

GL Ginger

 


 

 

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Hey All,

 

The saga continues....

 

I didn't accept the offer that Egg so kindly suggested before.

 

Last week I received another offer and contract to sign declaring that I would not publicise the fact that they were paying me etc etc. This time they offered my full claim, plus my interest and court costs which they said would arrive by cheque if I signed and returned the form to them in 14 days time.

 

The next day however, even though I hadn't returned their form I received a cheque for the full amount in the mail.... The accompanying letter simply stated....

 

"Please find enclosed cheque for £???.??, no mention of final settlement etc etc. I still have not returned their Tomlin Order or advised the court of their payment. I have however, cashed the cheque!!!

 

Should I return the Tomlin Order, or could this be seen simply as a gesture of goodwill?

 

Any advice,

 

Ginger

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