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  • FIRST POST
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 8th Sep 18, 10:21 AM
    • 101Posts
    • 14Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Help with Virgin Claim going to Court
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 18, 10:21 AM
    Help with Virgin Claim going to Court 8th Sep 18 at 10:21 AM
    Hi guys,

    I'm in a serious situation with Virgin Media and would be very grateful if you could help regarding making a claim against them for damage to my property at Small Claims Court. I'll try to give you a short history, without dragging the story too much.

    Problems/Damage:
    • I've been having problems with phone 2-3 months
    • VM sent out installers early August
    • They damaged areas of my garden, including gulley hopper, landscape, patio stones etc with bodged up cement works.
    • They also dug in the center of the garden and the cable wire was laid only 1cm below the soil.
    • Due to it being a strong cable wire, it's lifted the soil ground and is clearly visible.

    After contacting VM:
    • They kept me on hold for ages on numerous occasions, passing me from one department/person to the next.
    • I Logged my first complaint & was only offered 35. The complaint was almost immediately deadlocked.
    • I got a builder to look at the damage, but he's advised that since VM own the cable wire, he can't touch it and he's unable to give a quote.
    • I then called VM retentions to exit the contract. I was advised that the complaint handler should not have deadlocked the complaint & as a way of apology, I was given a small goodwill gesture and 2nd complaint ref was setup.
    • However this was closed down very quickly due to it being related to the same issue.

    I then contacted VM CEO email address with a letter before claim. I have now received what seems to be a bog-standard snail-mail reply stating that I need to follow the procedure on the deadlock letter, which is to contact CISAS. I've already done this action and been advised by CISAS that they only deal with actual service issues and since I don't have anymore service issues, they were unable to take on my claim.

    So I've now contacted CAB, whom have advised that I wait 28 days from issue of email and if nothing is done by VM, that I apply to gov.uk Money Claim Online website - This is where I'm stuck and have a number of questions that I'm hoping to get help with:

    1. Once VM's 28 day period is up, what do I need to do to take VM to small claims court?

    2. In order to resolve the complaint, my original offer to VM was that they rectify the damage done by their installers and provide a small goodwill gesture. In the event of them not responding, am I allowed to increase this amount?

    3. As mentioned earlier, I have been unable to obtain a quote as part of the job requires someone to dig up the land, remove the cable wire and reinstall it in it's new location. Would the judge not accept my case of the basis of this?


    Thanks in advance for your help and I look forward to your replies.
Page 5
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 5th Nov 18, 2:42 PM
    • 5,308 Posts
    • 5,212 Thanks
    DoaM
    AoS means they have acknowledged the claim and (probably) intend to defend the claim. Doing the AoS gives them the full 28 days from claim date in which to prepare and file their defence.

    Read the guidance notes on the MCOL website.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • waamo
    • By waamo 5th Nov 18, 3:31 PM
    • 4,704 Posts
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    waamo
    Prepare your case. You will see their defence in plenty of time so prepare a strong rebuttal.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 5th Nov 18, 4:50 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thanks very much.....can an acknowledgement also mean that they may agree to a full or partial payment or is it definately that they will be defending the claim?

    Regarding preparation, I have all the emails, letters, photos and videos, so hopefully that should suffice.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 5th Nov 18, 5:10 PM
    • 4,704 Posts
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    waamo
    All it means is that they confirm they have had the paperwork. They may wish to go to mediation, negotiate, settle or defend. It gives them longer to consider their options.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 5th Nov 18, 5:19 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thanks Waamo mate. So I guess I'll just have to sit tight and see what option they come up with. I will keep you posted if I receive a reply.

    Cheers.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 7th Nov 18, 12:05 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Hello again. As shown below, today I've received copies of the Acknowledgement of Service from VM. It seems that they plan to defend the full claim. I would be very grateful if you could help me with the following questions:

    1. They've said that defence is due by 21st Nov, so does that mean they plan to respond with defence within 14 days, rather than 28 days?

    2. Once the VM team have looked at the evidence, are they still allowed change from Defence to Admission if they find that they've made a mistake or that the evidence is against them?

    3. I have plenty of evidence, i.e. letters, emails, photos/videos etc, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to organise this for whomever needs to see them...Should I make a contents/index/time-line page for all evidence? any suggestions?

    4. Can they counter-claim? If so, I'm on low-income, would I get any help?



    Last edited by halifaxmortgage; 07-11-2018 at 12:12 PM.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 7th Nov 18, 1:03 PM
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    waamo
    Calm down. This is purely routine at the moment. They have calculated the defence date and if they have calculated it wrong that is their problem. In saying that submitting it early does no harm to anyone.

    They can decide to settle all the way up to walking into a hearing. If a judge is told 30 seconds before you walk in that it's off as one side has settled then you will have a happy judge. You won't meet them but you can go home knowing that they will be happy.

    Organise your evidence for later. Get copies and put it in a well organised and indexed ring binder.

    They aren't counter claiming and frankly any counter claim would be ridiculous.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 7th Nov 18, 8:53 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Calm down. This is purely routine at the moment. They have calculated the defence date and if they have calculated it wrong that is their problem. In saying that submitting it early does no harm to anyone.

    They can decide to settle all the way up to walking into a hearing. If a judge is told 30 seconds before you walk in that it's off as one side has settled then you will have a happy judge. You won't meet them but you can go home knowing that they will be happy.

    Organise your evidence for later. Get copies and put it in a well organised and indexed ring binder.

    They aren't counter claiming and frankly any counter claim would be ridiculous.
    Originally posted by waamo
    Yeah sorry mate, I just got a bit concerned that I may need to have prepared my paperwork by the 21st Nov. At least I can be reassured that it's just normal procedure.

    Since the date they've given is 21st, are they expected to provide me with their defence by the 21st or would this go to some sort of arbitrator? And if no defence by this date, then do I need to do anything?

    For now I'll make a list of what evidence I have and once I know what their response is, then I will decide from there.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by halifaxmortgage; 07-11-2018 at 8:58 PM.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 7th Nov 18, 9:48 PM
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    waamo
    If they don't file a defence by the court deadline (whatever date that actually is) then you win by default.

    They will send the defence to the court and you will get a copy a few days later. The court portal will tell you if a defence has been entered.

    You will be offered mediation as a normal procedure.

    Just as an aside I think this case is ideal for mediation. It wouldn't be productive for either side to go to court and this is an issue you should be able to hammer out to some satisfactory conclusion for both parties.

    Just my opinion of course. Ultimately it's your call though.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 9th Nov 18, 4:08 PM
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    halifaxmortgage
    I think that's excellent advice mate as I would be willing to go for mediation. In fact as part of my letter before action, it clearly stated that I'd consider this option, but VM weren't interested at the time.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 9th Nov 18, 6:00 PM
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    waamo
    Very sensible. As long as you walk away reasonably happy then it's a good result. Don't negotiate with a fixed figure in mind as it would be daft to be walking into court over say a sticking point that amounts to 10.

    If it did go to a hearing it would be at a court near you. The expenses for VM probably outweigh the value of the claim so it's ripe for a "no fault" settlement. In other words they pay you as long as it's clear they aren't admitting fault. They may also want details kept confidential but you can hammer this out in negotiations.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 9th Nov 18, 10:49 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thanks Waamo. Yeah, I'm flexible, but assuming it did go down the route of negotiation, would I be allowed any time to think about their offer or would I be expected to give an immediate answer? Also in negotiations, am I allowed to make a counter offer asking that they make some payment and also repair the damage or can I only ask for money?
    • waamo
    • By waamo 9th Nov 18, 11:45 PM
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    waamo
    In mediation you can ask for anything. You don't speak to VM directly it all goes through the mediator. They will push for a resolution so don't be bullied.

    You have to agree terms by the end. If not the case progresses. You can continue to negotiate privately but there won't be a third party involved.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 10th Nov 18, 11:14 AM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Ahh right I see. That's fair enough. Let's see what they come up with. As usual though, I'll keep you fully posted.

    Thanks
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 15th Nov 18, 3:48 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Hello again guys.

    MCOL is now showing new updates in the claim history....please could you advise what this means?

    Thank you.

    A bar was put in place for Virgin Media Limited on 15/11/2018
    Virgin Media Limited filed a defence on 15/11/2018
    DQ sent to Virgin Media Limited on 15/11/2018
    Virgin Media Limited notified the court of a change of address on 15/11/2018
    Notification that DQ was sent to Virgin Media Limited was removed on 15/11/2018
    DQ sent to Virgin Media Limited on 15/11/2018
    • waamo
    • By waamo 15th Nov 18, 4:18 PM
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    waamo
    All it means is the court have sent a bunch of paperwork out. It's being transferred to your local court. VM need to know which one that is.

    You may well get some paperwork in the next few days as well. It will ask you if you want mediation.
    This space for hire.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 15th Nov 18, 4:27 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    Thank mate. Phew! Got really worried thinking they've thrown the case out, lol!

    I'll let you know once I've received it.

    Thanks again.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 15th Nov 18, 6:35 PM
    • 12,997 Posts
    • 10,307 Thanks
    unholyangel
    I'd also say they've passed your claim off to a very inexperienced solicitor (either that or they're not that good). Two things jumped out at me (but maybe I'm nitpicking...wouldn't be like me! )

    One, their use of "please confirm if you disagree". Which doesn't make sense because confirm means to agree/affirm things as they are. Their wording makes it sound like they expect you to disagree.

    Two, the signed box saying Virgin Media Ltd and position held being solicitor. They (or someone senior at virgin) should have signed their name and then put their position, VM are quite clearly not a solicitor.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • halifaxmortgage
    • By halifaxmortgage 15th Nov 18, 7:36 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    halifaxmortgage
    I'd also say they've passed your claim off to a very inexperienced solicitor (either that or they're not that good). Two things jumped out at me (but maybe I'm nitpicking...wouldn't be like me! )

    One, their use of "please confirm if you disagree". Which doesn't make sense because confirm means to agree/affirm things as they are. Their wording makes it sound like they expect you to disagree.

    Two, the signed box saying Virgin Media Ltd and position held being solicitor. They (or someone senior at virgin) should have signed their name and then put their position, VM are quite clearly not a solicitor.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Hehe. But would this make any difference whether I have more chance of winning/losing?
    • waamo
    • By waamo 15th Nov 18, 9:07 PM
    • 4,704 Posts
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    waamo
    Hehe. But would this make any difference whether I have more chance of winning/losing?
    Originally posted by halifaxmortgage
    None whatsoever. It does point to you dealing with a bit of a novice though. They don't look to be chucking the kitchen sink at defending this.

    I have a sneaky feeling they hope to settle via mediation. No evidence for this at all just a feeling.
    This space for hire.
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