Clean Air Zone third party.

I just realised that I mistakenly paid £12.50 to drive into B'ham's clean air zone to a third party earlier this month cleanairzone.org.uk/ in the belief that they were the official place to do so, and that my car was actually exempt from the charge in the first place. I've emailed them asking for a refund, though I very much doubt they'll make it that easy for me. Do I have any right to redress, or does anyone know if there's an official body I can complain to? 

Comments

  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,805
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    I suspect you have no right to a refund because they have provided the service you paid for, which seems to be an online application process.  Unless they're registered to some form of ombudsman (and I'd be amazed if they are) then there is no official body to complain to.
  • Just mark it down as one of life's lessons, any alternative course of action will just get you more and more irate and drag on for months.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,714
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    edited 17 October 2022 at 6:14PM
    You could complain to Birmingham Council. If they run the official site. 

    >>>OUR SERVICE IS NOT CONNECTED TO OR AFFILIATED WITH THE GOVERNMENT OR ANY OTHER OFFICIAL AUTHORITY ADMINISTERING, REGULATING OR OVERSEEING THE CLEAN AIR ZONE CHARGE. WE OFFER A REVIEW AND SUBMISSION SERVICE FOR PAYING YOUR CLEAN AIR ZONE CHARGE IN RETURN FOR A PROCESSING FEE.<<<

    Sorry for caps' it cut & paste from their site.

    Some interesting phrases in here..

    https://cleanairzone.org.uk/terms-of-service

    Website 
    Registered on: 18-Apr-2022
    
    Life in the slow lane
  • Ditzy_Mitzy
    Ditzy_Mitzy Posts: 1,840
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    Sorry OP, you've given your money to a scam website.  Payments for ULEZ and equivalent areas are made (online) via the gov.uk website, which has a registration checker at the front end.  The official website doesn't allow you to make payment on a compliant vehicle, for obvious reasons.  It's also worth pointing out that the Birmingham clean air zone charge for non-compliant cars is £8, not £12.50.  You'll probably have to chalk this one up to experience and move on.  It all seems similar to those scam passport and driving licence renewal agencies that popped up a few years ago.  
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,407
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    Absolutely no details of any company info on the website.

    Looks like a bunch of chancers making cash while they can.
  • Late to the party on this thread but unfortunately I too have now fallen foul of the dodgy third party payment providers.
    In my haste to pay the clean air charge for Birmingham, I did a google search and stupidly clicked on the link for the company highlighted by the OP (cleanairzone.org.uk/). I entered my car details (I know my car is non-compliant and I do need to pay whenever I go through a clean air zone) and all the information appeared so thought nothing of it. The only issue was the price stated was £14!!! Not living in Birmingham any more and typically trying to avoid it, this raised alarm bells with my sister who stated it is still only £8. As a result I started to investigate:
    • The terms and conditions on the cleanairzone.org.uk/ website state payment will be passed on the same day - not been done
    • I called the 'proper' administrators of the clean air zone who stated my payment had not yet been passed on by the third party - to be expected (they suggest I wait another day or so just in case they do in fact pass the payment on)
    • Again the terms and conditions of the original site state a refund can be requested within 14 days - I have sent an email, completed the online contact form and left a voice message on the provided 'customer service' line
    • The website appears to be run by a company called SKM Group Ltd based on a remote farm in Swansea and according to companies house is run by Christopher Miller (I have tried to connect with him on Linkedin to see if that helps!)
    Not really expecting anything to come from this, just really annoyed I had let myself get caught out by what appears to be a dodgy site and dodgy business.
    Lesson learnt!

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