Holding companies to account for their drivers' actions

Hello MSE,

Back in August, my car was damaged by an SSE van that made a horlicks of reversing down the end of the no-through road where my vehicle was parked. I did not realise the van had hit my car until after it had left. I am sure it was the SSE van that hit my car as no other vehicle came down to the end of this cul-de-sac that day. I contacted SSE's 'help' desk, blackbox, took a photo of the car and was advised to get in touch with Axa XL who handle SSE's insurance. That was the extent of their advice to me.

I have since waited months for any acknowledgement from SSE. My contacts at Axa have been helpful but there seems nothing they can do but wait. Finally, on Nov 11th blackbox responded to Axa XL saying they would not release any telemetrics data regarding the incident unless it was demanded by the police. As above, reporting the incident to the police was not something I was advised to do by SSE themselves at the time of the incident. Without this data, there is no proof that the van was at my property and so there is no possibility of SSE paying up for the damages they caused.

In essence, they have just waited out this incident and then - rather than pay up - they have put a new obstacle in my way to try and make me give up on the whole thing.

Since early August when this incident happened, a lot has changed. I have had the car repaired and subsequently sold it. The cost was £420 for the repairs. My neighbour who can corroborate that the van was at my property is now seriously ill in hospital and, of course, enough time has gone by for the police to not be too thrilled about getting involved.

I am incensed that a utility company can just dodge their responsibilities in this way. I imagine I am not the only one who has suffered in circumstances like this. I would like to hold SSE accountable for what they did, and pursue them for damages to compensate for their efforts to dodge justice. I have no legal training so I do not know if there is a case that can be made, but I would like to do all that's within my power to make these guys realise that there are consequences that come from crossing Joe Public.

Replies

  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    OK you are starting a campaign  , how do we sign up ??
  • Mikeb27577Mikeb27577 Forumite
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    Did anyone see the SSE van hit your car? If not you have no evidence to prove they damaged your car.
  • munificentmunificent Forumite
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    JJ_Egan said:
    OK you are starting a campaign  , how do we sign up ??
    This is my first time trying to organise something like this, so I'm not sure. I'd happily take any advice.
  • munificentmunificent Forumite
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    Did anyone see the SSE van hit your car? If not you have no evidence to prove they damaged your car.
    Telemetrics data could trace the van to the address. Maintenance history on the van might show it as having sustained damage around this time. Proof may not be out there, but it may. SSE's actions are trying to ensure that whatever proof may or may not exist is hidden.

  • Perhaps I have posted this in the wrong forum. Some of these campaigns seem a lot more encompassing than this one, which is a grievance that I imagine a fair few people have suffered from, but not enough to make any real impact with force of numbers. I suppose that I'm looking for any kind of resources I could use to try and strike back at the big company. I found Resolver on this site and have raised a ticket with them, as this sort of thing is not in their usual wheelhouse.

    It makes my blood boil that SSE are dodging this whole issue and I was hoping to find consumer pressure groups or strategies here from forum members who have had similar experiences. I have found sites like: https://www.utilitiesadr.co.uk/ though I am not sure how useful they would be, but perhaps worth a try? The ombudsman seems more directly related to service provision than disputes like this one.

    In essence, I'm not sure what to do next.

  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
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    Sorry to say but I think some people here have been pulling your leg.

    Unfortunately, if you do not have any proof, there is no way that you will be able to claim anything. Not only that but the incident, if there was one, happened in August. You since had the car repaired and sold it. 

    Did you contact your own insurers at all? You don't even know if SSE caused the damage, yet you're getting yourself in a state about it all.

    I have no legal training either but I know enough about driving (30 years) and motor insurance to be able to say without a shadow of a doubt that there is no claim here.  No ombudsman will be able to get involved either because when you approach an ombudsman you need proof. You need oodles of it. And you don't have any. With or without a witness. 

    What you should do next is pledge to put all this behind you and down to experience. There is nothing you can do. It's over. Once you accept that, you can move on with your life. Please do, for your own sanity.
    My opinions are strictly my own. The forum advises everyone to double-check all information given by any forumite to ensure accuracy. Once commented, I rarely return to a thread, as per this "the moving finger writes and, having writ, moves on" (origin Omar Khayyam). I aspire to the (corny but true) saying - in a world where you can be anything, please be kind.
  • mark55manmark55man Forumite
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    I have to say I agree with the poster above, much as I share your indignation.  Even with evidence and proof it is a whole world of pain to pursue these cases and the ombuds-people tend to be there for the semblance of regulation rather than any actual help.

    obviously never use SSE again, and continue to blacken their name - but even there if they have the best offer no one would really cost themselves money by boyotting coz a white van man (may of) dinged your ex car
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour/Drinking milk shakes cold & long/Smiling & waving & looking so fine
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  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    I did not realise the van had hit my car until after it had left. I am sure it was the SSE van that hit my car as no other vehicle came down to the end of this cul-de-sac that day. I contacted SSE's 'help' desk, blackbox, took a photo of the car and was advised to get in touch with Axa XL who handle SSE's insurance. That was the extent of their advice to me.

    I have since waited months for any acknowledgement from SSE. My contacts at Axa have been helpful but there seems nothing they can do but wait. Finally, on Nov 11th blackbox responded to Axa XL saying they would not release any telemetrics data regarding the incident unless it was demanded by the police. As above, reporting the incident to the police was not something I was advised to do by SSE themselves at the time of the incident. Without this data, there is no proof that the van was at my property and so there is no possibility of SSE paying up for the damages they caused.

    In essence, they have just waited out this incident and then - rather than pay up - they have put a new obstacle in my way to try and make me give up on the whole thing.

    Since early August when this incident happened, a lot has changed. I have had the car repaired and subsequently sold it. The cost was £420 for the repairs. My neighbour who can corroborate that the van was at my property is now seriously ill in hospital and, of course, enough time has gone by for the police to not be too thrilled about getting involved.

    I am incensed that a utility company can just dodge their responsibilities in this way. I imagine I am not the only one who has suffered in circumstances like this. I would like to hold SSE accountable for what they did, and pursue them for damages to compensate for their efforts to dodge justice. I have no legal training so I do not know if there is a case that can be made, but I would like to do all that's within my power to make these guys realise that there are consequences that come from crossing Joe Public.
    This really should have been put into the Insurance forum or possibly the Motoring but then others tongue in cheek answers have already pointed this out.

    The issue here isnt that you have to prove the van was there but that on the balance of probability it hit your vehicle. Unless it was a major collision the telematics are not going to help you and given the cost of your repairs it clearly wasnt anything major.

    So, go back to first principles what evidence do you have that they hit the vehicle rather than possibly some other vehicle that you didnt notice coming into the road? Is there CCTV that covers the road? Did it catch the collision or at least confirm it was the sole vehicle on the road that day?

    You cannot expect SSE to “advise you”, you are in the early stages of action which in theory results in your suing them via their employee. If you want advice you need to speak to your insurers and/or the legal expenses provider if you have the optional extra on your car policy.

    As a former claims handler we would be polite and broadly helpful to you trying to sue our insured but our loyalties are to our client and if they advise there was no collision its up to you to try and persuade us otherwise otherwise we will maintain our clients stance. Persuasion typically comes in the form of witness statements that saw the collision or photos/CCTV capturing the collision or aftermath. 

    Your other option is to go to court at which point the judge, rather than SSE’s insurers will decide if its more likely that the SSE vehicle caused the damage or not and with no evidence it’d be a major roll of the dice and could add the court fees and minor TP fees to the costs you’ve already incurred if the judge decides you havent convinced them.

    Was the SSE van making a house call or doing something else?
  • munificentmunificent Forumite
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    I am very grateful for all the replies here, and am (a) sorry for posting in the wrong place and (b) that I have not been responding in a timely fashion. My wife is heavily pregnant, and that has a knack of just eating into my day and then I forget.

    I'm going to listen to the seasoned heads here and forget about this incident. I am full of incredible anger about this whole thing. These guys hit my car and have got off scott free, but time will soothe that indignation. To answer your question, Sandtree, the van was there to do work on a pylon near my property.

    Thanks again, folks, for giving me good advice. Sometimes it's hard to hear, but sometimes you just don't win, and this looks to be one of those times. Seriously, though, *&"£%(" those guys!
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