My Reply to Direct Line

As promised, here is my repost to Direct Line concerning their apology of sorts and offer of 200GBP compensation.

Chris Moat
Direct Line Insurance plc
3 Edridge House
Croydon
CR9 1AG

Tuesday July 9th 2007

Dear Chris,

I have received and considered your reply and offer of 200GBP ‘compensation’ for my trouble over the past 12 months. However, the offer of 200GBP barely covers this last month’s loan repayments on the car, a car that your company have made impossible for me to use for a year.

Your claim that you are not liable for the depreciation of the car, for the storage of the car and for the loan I have repaid this last year is in error. The sole reason I have been paying for the vehicle and did not sell it in 2006 is because you negligently paid out the wrong person on the car, after it had been recovered, and subsequently placed a marker on the vehicle claiming that Direct Line were now the legal owners. This was YOUR error, an error that I have been paying for ever since, and am STILL paying for today.

Your offer of 200GBP is woefully unacceptable, derisory and offensive. Obviously I must decline your insulting offer as it doesn’t even cover the MOT, TAX and Insurance for the vehicle, which was all in place this time last year.

You have admitted that you made a mistake in not attempting to find out who the legal owner of the vehicle was, and in ignoring my efforts to relay to you the facts. You were defrauded by Mrs Jamieson when she illegally claimed that she was the owner of the vehicle in order to extract money from you when you were both aware that Royal & Sun Alliance were liable for the loss of the vehicle.

Your colleague Ray Harper has already admitted his disgust at the actions of your company with regards to dealing with this case, and that his intentions in passing the case to Chloe O’Driscol were for you to find in my favour. This of course you did not do. I genuinely feel that I had I not brought the financial ombudsman into the equation you would still be withholding my V5 and insisting you had a legal claim over my vehicle.

I should advise you also that I record all of my phone conversations as a matter of course and in the public interest reserve the right to broadcast any of them as the evolution of this claim has long since descended into farce.

I reiterate my desire to be fully compensated for the depreciation of my car, the storage for the car and for the loan repayments I have made on the vehicle while it was unable to be used as a direct result of your actions.

If this matter is not resolved satisfactorily by August 1st it will be passed to the financial ombudsman as Direct Line have been incompetent, negligent and have in my opinion, acted illegally.

I look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards

Darren Jamieson

CSA fail again

I recently received a letter from the CSA (Child Support Agency) concerning this blog. Seems they’ve seen it and are unhappy I’ve named one of their employees (Steve Gibson) in a previous post. I’ll post up their letter and my reply this weekend when I get home, but the purpose for this post is when I called them this weekend.

You see, they’ve been trying my patience for some months now and still fail to understand what I told them back in January. I telephoned them on Saturday (recorded the call of course, podcast to follow) where one of their call centre buck passers said that my case had been passed to a ‘complicated case worker’ and he assured me, nay guaranteed that this person would phone me after 7:00pm Monday night.

I offered my scepticism of whether this guy would phone me as the CSA have failed at every attempt to contact me, but the chap insisted yes, I would receive a call Monday night.

Guess what?

That’s right, no call. As the CSA read my blog, could they please give me a call at some point like they’re supposed to, like they promised to do and like this weekend’s podcast will reveal them promising to do?

Is it any wonder they’re the laughing stock of the country?

Inland Revenue still demand a fine

Some time ago I received a fine from the Inland Revenue because my self assessment tax was paid late.

The reason it was paid late because the Inland Revenue, in their infinate wisdom, decided to post my completed tax return to someone else.

Anyhow, my tax has been paid and I have no intention of paying a fine for this cock up on their part. In fact, I should consider suing them for damages. I phoned them again this morning as I received yet another request for this fine, and for the interest!

Maybe now that I’ve recorded and broadcast it they might actually leap into action. We can always hope.

Direct Line send me a letter!

I’ve received this letter from Direct Line’s Chris Moat, have a read:

Dear Mr Jamieson

Thank you for your letter dated 5 June 2007 and your patience whilst your concerns have been investigated.

I understand your frustration with how Mrs Jamieson’s claim has been dealt with and how this may have inconvenienced you. I hope to be able to explain the reasons for our actions and our decision on this matter.

The Contract of Insurance for the vehicle P192PLR was agreed between Mrs H Jamieson and her insurance company, Direct Line Insurance. This agreement was based on ‘utmost good faith’. That is to say that when a contract is taken out customers are obliged to disclose any detail which may be of importance to the insurers whether or not it is requested. At the point of inception of the policy, Mrs Jamieson would have been asked, and confirmed, if she was the registered keeper and vehicle owner. We therefore, under the principle of ‘utmost good faith’, had no reason to question this information. Documentation to this effect was issued and the policyholder is asked to ensure that all information is correct. As this documentation was not challenged it is assumed to be correct and forms the basis of the contract.

Mrs Jamieson is our policyholder and we have to respect her wishes regarding how her policy is managed. After your call to report the theft of the vehicle we later received a further call from Mrs Jamieson requesting that we no longer discuss her policy with anybody but her. In relation to the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, which we must abide by, if a policy holder requests that we only discuss their policy with them then we have to do this. This is the reason we were then unable to discuss the claim with you further. This is In accordance with Direct Line’s settlement process and the process was followed correctly. Once the claim was registered it was then validated and settled on a cash basis with the policyholder, Mrs Jamieson. The vehicle documents were then requested in order for us to take possession of the vehicle.

This case has been referred to our legal department and discussions have been held with Mrs Jamieson’s solicitors in order to make a final decision regarding the ownership of the vehicle. We have been informed that even though the vehicle was insured in Mrs Jamieson’s name you were the main user of the vehicle and we have no rights over the vehicle in question. It is on this basis that your V5 has been returned. The Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR) has now been updated to confirm that the vehicle is no longer stolen. You have stated that you feel that you were intentionally tricked into sending in your V5 document so that we could retain it. I can assure you that this was not our intention. The V5 was requested in a genuine attempt for us to further investigate your complaint.

I hope I have been able to explain the reasons for our actions during Mrs Jamieson’s claim. I realise that from your perspective Direct Line were refusing to discuss the claim with you and attempting to take possession of your vehicle. This must have been both frustrating and confusing for which I apologise. More effort should have been made to clarify the ownership of the vehicle at an earlier stage.

We have no offers to make in regard to the depreciation of the car, your loan repayments or the storage of the vehicle, as it is not accepted that these costs were incurred as the result of our actions. However in recognition of any inconvenience caused to you I have arranged for a cheque to be sent to you for the sum of 200GBP which I hope you will accept with my best wishes.

I appreciate the time you have taken to make me aware of the problems you have experienced.

Yours sincerely

Chris Moat
Managing Director

Hmm, 200GBP? That only just covers the loan repayment on the car for the last 4 weeks. I find it hard to believe they say they’re not liable for the depreciation, storage and loans when they have admitted that they should have tried harder to ascertain who owns the car at the beginning.

Obviously I’m going to refuse this, it’s insulting.

I’ll post my reply to this next week.

Transformers released today

It’s July the 4th, Independence Day, and the day I’ve waited for for over 20 years; Transformers is released, in the USA at least.

Obviously I’ve already seen the film as I was at the premier in London 2 weeks ago, and you can read my review here.

The UK release date isn’t until July 27th so we’ve still got some time to wait, but the release today in the USA has generated huge amounts of traffic for my Transformers websites (over 85,000 page views yesterday) so it’s all very exciting.