Jump to content


RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD MAGAZINE (ISSUE 397 - MAY 2014): Available to download now. Get the app from Apple Newsstand or GooglePlay, or click here to read it online now at Pocketmags.com - Print edition in shops from Friday, or click here to get it delivered by post in the UK or worldwide.

Rugby League World - April 2014
League Express

Podcast

Photo
- - - - -

A form of harassment - should the harassers have to pay compensation?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Martyn Sadler

Martyn Sadler

    League Publications Ltd

  • Moderator
  • 2,618 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:39 AM

An article from the Daily Telegraph about an elderly couple who have received numerous demands for payment of the TV licence despite already having a valid licence.

 

I can imagine for some people that this would be very stressful, and even for those who don't worry too much about receiving letters of this sort, dealing with it can be time consuming. My parents, when they were alive and elderly, would have almost certainly been highly stressed to receive such letters.

 

There is nothing wrong with chasing people who genuinely owe money.

 

But should organisations that pursue people who don't owe them money have to pay compensation for the stress caused by their wrongful pursuit? I think they should, particularly when someone can show they have taken steps to correct the position, but without the harassment coming to an end.

 

http://www.telegraph...-after-you.html



#2 gingerjon

gingerjon
  • Coach
  • 28,392 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:45 AM

One case does not a multitude make.  It's a shame that nobody working for the Daily Telegraph could be bothered to check the facts behind the unsupported statements away from the main story.

 

We had a similar thing when Next believed we hadn't paid for something.  We had.  It took four years to sort out.  I look forward to the Daily Telegraph giving a ######.


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#3 Saint Billinge

Saint Billinge
  • Coach
  • 2,624 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:28 AM

Pay compensation, I say! If an innocent person has taken steps to sort out the matter and still the harassment continues, then the company should pay out. Too much blame is put down to computer systems! That aside, I suffered three years of appalling admin from the Inland Revenue, which was very stressful. 


visit www.raygent.co.uk for football and rugby league stories. 


#4 Martyn Sadler

Martyn Sadler

    League Publications Ltd

  • Moderator
  • 2,618 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:29 AM

One case does not a multitude make.  It's a shame that nobody working for the Daily Telegraph could be bothered to check the facts behind the unsupported statements away from the main story.

 

We had a similar thing when Next believed we hadn't paid for something.  We had.  It took four years to sort out.  I look forward to the Daily Telegraph giving a ######.

Regardless of whether the Daily Telegraph is bothered about your Next purchase, my question was whether organisations that indulge in harassing people for money who don't owe them it should be liable to pay compensation.

 

I assume from your experience you would support the principle.



#5 RidingPie

RidingPie
  • Coach
  • 1,076 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:14 PM

I agree! When I was living away through the week in Newcastle I rented a small studio apartment which didn't have a TV and I didn't have a laptop or computer there so I could not have watched through the internet either (I also didn't have an internet link there... I was saving money after the birth of our first child). The TV licensing people would not believe me when I said I didn't have TV equipment there, and sent some very threatening letters and tried to take me to court, even though I had offered for them to come round and inspect the apartment.

In the end I got a tv license just to shut them up (and because being taken to court would have cost me a lot more). I can confirm though that they are very heavy handed in their approach and very threatening in their correspondence, or at least they were as of 5 years ago. I have a lot of sympathy for the couple in the story and agree with Martyn that the organisation involved should pay compensation if clearly found in the wrong.

When people sue for compensation from the NHS, or other public body when things go wrong, often they use the excuse that it encourages the organisation not to make the same mistakes again. Surely the same could be argued here.

#6 Northern Sol

Northern Sol
  • Moderator
  • 16,571 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 07:53 PM

You are better off not responding to such correspondence.

Once I rented a property and the previous tenant had done a runner leaving an unpaid British Gas bill. I foolishly phoned the company and gave them the contact details of my landlord as perhaps he had a forwarding address.

They promptly phone him and told him that I owed them £250. They then contacted a solicitor who threatened to take me to court. I wrote back pointing out the mistake and the upshot was that they farmed it out to another solicitors. I then phoned them up and explained the situation, the result being that the "debt" was farmed out to a third solicitor. I phoned up and left a message on their answerphone that mostly consisted of swear words. I never heard any more after that.

#7 gingerjon

gingerjon
  • Coach
  • 28,392 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:27 PM

my question was whether organisations that indulge in harassing people for money who don't owe them it should be liable to pay compensation.

 

What compensation should two people who've had to reply to some letters and make a few phone calls receive?


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#8 JohnM

JohnM
  • Coach
  • 19,145 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:31 PM

Dunno . How much should they receive?

#9 Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim
  • Coach
  • 6,528 posts

Posted 23 August 2013 - 09:23 PM

What compensation should two people who've had to reply to some letters and make a few phone calls receive?

 

At the very least £1million and the heads of those responsible.



The last government were convinced that we were there to do their bidding. They wasted vast quantities of our money in order to spy on us, intimidate us and needlessly over regulate us, whilst gold plating their own pensions and expenses. Their behind the scenes encouragement of, and turning a blind eye to, the kettling and harrassment tactics of the Police are a shameful episode in our history which we need to remember and address urgently. - Haloman


#10 gingerjon

gingerjon
  • Coach
  • 28,392 posts

Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:08 AM

At the very least £1million and the heads of those responsible.

 

Sensible policies for a better Britain.


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#11 Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim
  • Coach
  • 6,528 posts

Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:35 PM

Sensible policies for a better Britain.

 

Political claptrap. 



The last government were convinced that we were there to do their bidding. They wasted vast quantities of our money in order to spy on us, intimidate us and needlessly over regulate us, whilst gold plating their own pensions and expenses. Their behind the scenes encouragement of, and turning a blind eye to, the kettling and harrassment tactics of the Police are a shameful episode in our history which we need to remember and address urgently. - Haloman


#12 Marauder

Marauder
  • Coach
  • 11,626 posts

Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:17 PM

Regardless of whether the Daily Telegraph is bothered about your Next purchase, my question was whether organisations that indulge in harassing people for money who don't owe them it should be liable to pay compensation.

 

I assume from your experience you would support the principle.

They should be made to pay a solicitors rate for your time that it's taken to eventually sort their claim out.


Carlsberg don't do Soldiers, but if they did, they would probably be Brits.



http://www.pitchero....hornemarauders/

#13 Severus

Severus
  • Coach
  • 12,645 posts

Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:47 PM

TV licensing people are ######s. Due to an error on their part (they got my address wrong when I was a student) I was called before a magistrate despite having a valid licence and notifying them every time we moved. A couple of years ago I received a letter saying there was a warrant out for my arrest. In the end I had to take a morning off work and testify in a magistrates course that I had always had a TV licence. Quite stressful on my part and no don't costing the tax payer a couple of hundred quid.
Fides invicta triumphat

#14 Martyn Sadler

Martyn Sadler

    League Publications Ltd

  • Moderator
  • 2,618 posts

Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:13 PM

What compensation should two people who've had to reply to some letters and make a few phone calls receive?

In the cases of Riding Pie and Severus, quite a lot.

 

It certainly seems that the TV Licensing Authority is the major culprit, although not the only one.

 

I think you under-estimate the stress that some people can suffer, especially older people, if they are being chased for something that they don't owe.

 

I remember reading a court case some time ago about a builder who developed a scam whereby he invoiced old people for work that he claimed to have done, but hadn't. Some of them paid up in panic before he was caught.

 

He got some time in jail.

 

It's hard to distinguish between what he did, and what the TV authority seems to do all too regularly.



#15 gingerjon

gingerjon
  • Coach
  • 28,392 posts

Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:25 PM

 

I think you under-estimate the stress that some people can suffer, especially older people, if they are being chased for something that they don't owe.

 

Nonsense.  It's happened to me.  It was very stressful.

 

This couple in the Telegraph seem remarkably stress free though.  Almost as if they are using hyperbole for effect.  Something they actually say they are doing in their responses to the TV Licensing people.


Cheer up, RL is actually rather good
- Severus, July 2012

#16 RidingPie

RidingPie
  • Coach
  • 1,076 posts

Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:20 AM

I was lucky and could afford the TV license without financial hardship. However, for a retired couple the extra money could well cause such hardships. That coupled with the seriously threatening tone of their correspondence, which essentially ignores the facts (ie that you don't actually have a TV, and offers to let them come round at any time to check) is in my opinion bang out of order.

Gingerjon I'm not suggesting they should be paying out millions, or that I should get anything. But for vulnerable people, for whom they have caused real stress and concern, and when they are in the wrong. I think they should have to pay something out as a means of compensation. This I feel would encourage them not to make similar mistakes.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users