Drive off notice for non payment of fuel

in Motoring
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DazzlecatDazzlecat Forumite
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We've just received a drive off notice from our local garage from 2 months ago.  We obviously haven't done a runner so went up to see them and the lady who served us confirmed that she had made a mistake and not charged us for the fuel, only for some other items that we had paid for. The garage say they can't do anything about it, even though it was their error, as it's been passed on to the enforcement company. We are totally happy to pay for the fuel but really unhappy to pay the £30 admin fee. Before anyone wonders how we didn't notice, we bought batteries (£14) and a small jerry can of fuel for an outboard motor (before the crisis!!) Therefore didn't realise that they hadn't charged us properly. Not like it was a full tank of fuel and a pint of milk, which we would have noticed! Is there anything we can do? The enforcement company have listened to what happened but still want their admin fee and the garage says they can't do anything. Only thing I can think of is to ask the garage (or their head office) for a £30 voucher (or more to say sorry) and to pay the fine. Any other ideas?
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Replies

  • scrappy_returnsscrappy_returns Forumite
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    You have no contract with the company charging an admin fee. What are there options for enforcing it, take you to court? As the fault is admitted by the petrol station they wouldn't get anything, would they?
  • DazzlecatDazzlecat Forumite
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    You have no contract with the company charging an admin fee. What are there options for enforcing it, take you to court? As the fault is admitted by the petrol station they wouldn't get anything, would they?
    Thanks - we realise that they would have trouble enforcing it in court as there was clearly no intention of non-payment - Just not sure it's worth going to court for £30. (And we would quite like to pay our local garage for the fuel) Hoping for a simpler solution!

  • MX5huggyMX5huggy Forumite
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    Send a cheque to the garage (or head office) for the fuel. (Presuming you don’t have the bank details of garage because that would be better). Then wait for the court papers ( it’s not your choice to go to court or not). 
  • DazzlecatDazzlecat Forumite
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    MX5huggy said:
    Send a cheque to the garage (or head office) for the fuel. (Presuming you don’t have the bank details of garage because that would be better). Then wait for the court papers ( it’s not your choice to go to court or not). 
    We tried to pay the garage but they wouldn't accept it as they had sent it to enforcement. Can't send it to head office as they are a franchise. It is our choice whether to go to court as we can pay it within the time limit and avoid further charges and court proceedings. We just don't want to as it doesn't seem fair when it wasn't our mistake.
  • scrappy_returnsscrappy_returns Forumite
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    Dazzlecat said:
    MX5huggy said:
    Send a cheque to the garage (or head office) for the fuel. (Presuming you don’t have the bank details of garage because that would be better). Then wait for the court papers ( it’s not your choice to go to court or not). 
    We tried to pay the garage but they wouldn't accept it as they had sent it to enforcement. Can't send it to head office as they are a franchise. It is our choice whether to go to court as we can pay it within the time limit and avoid further charges and court proceedings. We just don't want to as it doesn't seem fair when it wasn't our mistake.
    Further charges if the court doesn't find in your favour. I'd put it in writing that you are willing and tried to pay.
  • NBLondonNBLondon Forumite
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    MX5huggy said:
    Send a cheque to the garage (or head office) for the fuel. (Presuming you don’t have the bank details of garage because that would be better). Then wait for the court papers ( it’s not your choice to go to court or not). 
    I agree.  Maybe even pay for signed for postage.  That gives you an immediate defence that you made an attempt to pay what you genuinely owed.   If the garage staff have admitted that it was their error - then they should be paying the admin fee. 
    Wash your Knobs and Knockers... Keep the Postie safe!
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
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    If the garage will not accept payment and on the assumption that the enforcement company have provided a way to make payments pay for the fuel but not the extra £30 admin fee.  
  • edited 7 October at 4:44PM
    Jenni_DJenni_D Forumite
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    edited 7 October at 4:44PM
    Who are the enforcement company? At this level of "debt" they'll likely just be debt collectors who have no powers at all. And if they haven't purchased the "debt" then you can lawfully ignore them as they are not the creditor - nor can they initiate* court action in their name - only the creditor can do that.

    * I know - anyone can sue anyone; but they'd get nowhere with this if they're not the creditor.
    Jenni x
  • DazzlecatDazzlecat Forumite
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    MEM62 said:
    If the garage will not accept payment and on the assumption that the enforcement company have provided a way to make payments pay for the fuel but not the extra £30 admin fee.  
    The enforcement company have it set up so you can't alter the amount you pay! Otherwise would absolutely do that.
  • DazzlecatDazzlecat Forumite
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    Jenni_D said:
    Who are the enforcement company? At this level of "debt" they'll likely just be debt collectors who have no powers at all. And if they haven't purchased the "debt" then you can lawfully ignore them as they are not the creditor - nor can they initiate* court action in their name - only the creditor can do that.

    * I know - anyone can sue anyone; but they'd get nowhere with this if they're not the creditor.
    They are called VARS Technology Ltd - also do parking enforcement! I suspect you are correct and even if they can they would have a very hard time proving that we didn't intend to pay for the fuel. I guess they rely on people like me not wanting to fight it for the sake of £30.
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