Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A heart-warming story

Libby has just been weeping about a parking ticket she got for being 3 minutes late. Here's a story to cheer her up.

I once got a ticket under similar circumstances, and did not pay it for a few days. I went into the council office with cash, and the twerp behind the bullet-proof glass told me I was too late and now had to pay £60, not £30. He still took the £30 and said I would get a bill for the rest.

Incensed, I didn't pay it, and a few weeks later, I got a postcard left on my doorstep from a bailiff company (based in Nottingham so you cannot attend any hearings without great inconvenience), saying that they had visited me twice before, and their bill had gone up to £900 which, if I didn't settle by 10.30 the following morning, would rise to £1800. You can imagine my blood pressure.

The next morning, the little criminal skunk turned up and I gave him the money and asked for a receipt.

I then wrote the bailiff company a letter, saying that since I had not received the two other notices about visits, my mail must have been stolen and I would have to report this to the police. The police would then ask the bailiff to attend court and swear on oath that he did indeed leave two other messages for me in person. I sent this letter by recorded delivery.

Three days later, I received a cheque for the full amount from the bailiffs from Nottingham.

Ha ha!


19 comments:

  1. 1800 pounds is an effing lot of money. What a racket.My last speeding ticket, thirty years ago, was only two hundred dollars. I paid it on the spot, with a credit card. I guess it's all a racket.

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    1. They have changed the law to allow prosecution of 'ghost visits' from unscrupulous bailiffs since I was mugged. Bailiffs are the scum of the earth in this country. They prey on the weak and vulnerable - with the law court's blessing.

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  2. Bailiffs are fine when we need them, but a pain in the arse when we don't.

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    1. All they do is buy debts these days - or evict families from their homes, once they have got the white goods.

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  3. Happy Birthday, Tom. May there be many returns of the day.

    I once slammed my car into the next available space (single yellow line) opposite my then house (outside an undertaker's - a truly vile human being, but that's another story). I was just about to throw up and, rather than do so in my car, it seemed expedient to make it to my loo. Ten minutes later - duly relieved and cleaned up - I return to re-park properly. What do you know? Yes, Tom, the council and its avenging devils got there first. Despite the fact that I can charm an Eskimo out of his igloo my immediate phone call to the police station to explain situation fell on a stony heart.

    The whole saga escalated, culminating in appearing before a Magistrate's Court (luckily I remembered not to sit down when the Magistrates did). On my evidence they halved the accumulated cost (to a mere £225.00 - no bull) which they allowed me to pay off in £5.00 increments. I sometimes wonder if they'd been even more lenient if I could have pleaded pregnancy (not that I ever threw up when I was pregnant - but they weren't to know that, were they).

    Let's add "points" on your licence, "fines" and "bureaucratic pettiness" to the other two dead certainties in life.

    U

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    1. Did they charge you for cleaning up the vom?

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  4. I'm sure everyone has a past parking penalty they're still fuming about. I once parked at a road junction, along with several other cars, only to be told you can't park within 10 metres of a junction so I had a fine. I had no idea there was such a restriction, but ignorance is no excuse of course.

    I greatly admire your exemplary tactics against the bailiff.

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    1. I am the only person I have heard of who has managed to get money from a bailiff. I am very proud of myself.

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  5. That is a great story. I hope that it has cheered Libby, and encouraged her own creative problem solving.
    I am glad I don't own a car, even if buses and subway trains present their own challenges.
    Best wishes.

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    1. I would - and do - pay not to use public transport. I usually spend about £60 per day on taxis in London.

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  6. Brilliant response, Tom! Years ago my husband was fined an exorbitant amount of money for allegedly feeding the meter. He had gone to get change and the meter rejected the change so he had to get more -- deaf ears, of course! All in the space of 5 minutes. Hope you have a wonderful birthday with many happy surprises!

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    1. He should have asked for evidence of how long he had been parked up. These days you have 10 minutes of leeway.

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  7. My husband received a speeding fine by post on Monday. Two months ago he was doing 5km/h over the limit - 95km/h in a 90km/h stretch of road. If the fine is paid within five days on receiving it then one gets 30% off the total amount. It was paid today.

    I wish you a happy birthday, Tom.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. The police here have been saying that if there are any more cut-backs, they will have to switch on the speed cameras on the M4 to make up for the loss of revenue. Prior to this, they have always maintained that the money from these convictions goes straight back into road safety...

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  8. Thanks for that tale Tom...is it really your birthday today? if so I hope you've had a splendid day...Happy Birthday. I caught the train today, with a ticket I'd purchased of course...although it was never checked and I saw lots of people jump on and off with no ticket...it is the way of the world these days....but the small print on the parking thingy says if I pay within 14 days it will be just £25.....I am not as creative as you or as brave so I will pay it....and focus on the good things in life....you reminded me of the scene in The Good Life when Margot went to the rates office and harangued the guy behind the desk......I wish I were like her!

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    1. It's all arbitrary and not personal. They don't care how or where the money comes from.

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  9. That fine would kill me. In fact, I think it would warrant a trip to the court and an act of heart failure or something to get their attention. That is robbery. Happy Day by the way.

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    1. It was robbery, but I threatened to expose them as robbers, so they refunded it. A little later the government finally stepped in and stopped the 'ghost visits'.

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