Thursday, 2 October 2014

High tide

Did a little beach-combing on my desk yesterday – part of the endless war on paper that the rest of the world generates.

I have been wondering for too long what to do with the rather forlorn response I had from the Black Horse to a letter of complaint last month. Background to that was the time and effort we wasted trying to establish the value of a prior charge on a property even after having been forced to obtain a court order for disclosure because of pleas of “confidentiality”. 

I am happy to debate with anyone who has had similar problems the standard unhelpful resistance of all financial institutions to such requests notwithstanding Section 35 of the DPA.

We have become accustomed to the type of reply, not necessarily from this bank but from any of them, that defends the indefensible and so the following came as quite a surprise:-

I accept that this is an unacceptable time delay and I offer my sincere apologies.Your comments have been noted and we will take your case as a learning example.
I am sorry for the delay your firm experienced on this occasion and I hope that we can do better in the future.”

Strewth. To be perfectly honest, I am not filled with optimism but we shall see.  If the writer had added “here is a cheque to cover your client’s wasted costs and we don’t want to write too many more of these”, then I might start to believe.

The next piece of flotsam is something I expect to see more of in the coming weeks as a new piece of litigation kicks off.

This is the three line letter whose content is quite unremarkable and which I have already had by email.  Judging by previous experience, the absence of a faxed copy is probably an oversight.

As ever, the postal copy has now arrived, all half a page of it on A4.  Why go half measures and fold it into a small window envelope when you can send it in a full size A4 envelope and pay 76p postage on top of the unnecessary stationery and handling costs.

I am sure that philosophy would gain approval from some local colleagues, with whom I have regular email communication.  One of their number obviously still thinks it is better to spend money on paper and postage to manufacture two days delay for a routine (but arguably overdue and awaited) communication to reach us.

The most amusing aspect is the distance between each firm’s office, the post office, and each other’s office.  I would guess that it’s less than 100 yards whichever side of the triangle.

Perhaps the most disturbing items arrived yesterday.  These were notices that acknowledgments of service had been filed in proceedings that we recently issued and served.

Nothing wrong with that at first blush.  The slightly curious point is that we had identical notices just under a week ago.

Those came from Exeter, as we rather expected.  I remember a feeling bordering on pleasure as I signed the covering letter to the court – that this was a technology and construction claim that we did not have to send to the fun factory in Greater Manchester.

The odd thing is – and maybe I should know better – that today’s (unnecessary) notices duplicating those already received last week from Exeter appear to have come to us all the way from Salford.

Yet more easy money, at taxpayers’ expense, for the mail service that we allegedly flogged off at an undervalue.  But why is the CCMCC, that ordinarily cannot do anything less than eight days behind schedule, spending time and money unnecessarily not quite replicating the perfectly acceptable service so far provided by the Devon court?

I am wondering now if we shall receive a third set, if not from Salford then maybe Northampton (probably around Christmas) – or perhaps Staines. Don’t ask me for an ETA on that one.

Meanwhile, my email to another opponent has been acknowledged in his absence by someone who tells me it will be put on his desk for attention on his return.

‘Bless’ – as we sometimes say in Somerset.

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