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Sending a cheque

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najaB

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Note: This doesn't relate to a specific dispute, but may be of help in future discussions.

Not infrequently we give advice to posters to "Send the TOC a cheque for the fare due" or similar. Seeing as chequebooks are getting fewer and further between (I've never had one for example) is there any difference from a legal point of view between sending a cheque and sending a postal order?

As I see it, the advantage of cheques is that you have clear confirmation of if they have cashed it nor not, where you don't with postal orders. However, postal orders may have have benefit of being 'as good as cash' so unless returned by the TOC the fare can be deemed paid once you have confirmation of receipt.

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Abpj17

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Note: This doesn't relate to a specific dispute, but may be of help in future discussions.

Not infrequently we give advice to posters to "Send the TOC a cheque for the fare due" or similar. Seeing as chequebooks are getting fewer and further between (I've never had one for example) is there any difference from a legal point of view between sending a cheque and sending a postal order?

As I see it, the advantage of cheques is that you have clear confirmation of if they have cashed it nor not, where you don't with postal orders. However, postal orders may have have benefit of being 'as good as cash' so unless returned by the TOC the fare can be deemed paid once you have confirmation of receipt.

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Postal orders are now actually cheques from a legal perspective (it does matter, tho, whether it is crossed or uncrossed)
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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The withdrawal of the cheque system by the banking sector was said to be "the way forward" a few years ago, but the larger charities were amongst those who vigorously campaigned against this and the decision was then taken to let the status quo prevail
 

najaB

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The withdrawal of the cheque system by the banking sector was said to be "the way forward" a few years ago, but the larger charities were amongst those who vigorously campaigned against this and the decision was then taken to let the status quo prevail
Indeed this is true, but there's no denying that cheque usage is on the decline and fewer and fewer people even own a chequebook. I'm 40 and have never written a cheque or even owned a chequebook and I wouldn't say that I'm atypical in that regard.
 

35B

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Indeed this is true, but there's no denying that cheque usage is on the decline and fewer and fewer people even own a chequebook. I'm 40 and have never written a cheque or even owned a chequebook and I wouldn't say that I'm atypical in that regard.
Nor are you typical - I am a very similar age and still use a cheque book for a number of transactions.

Meanwhile, the move away from cash will cause organisations like churches issues as the cost of handling donations rises (kit, merchant charges) and the barriers to donations rise (e.g. time taken to pay).
 

pjnathanail

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For businesses/organisations who wish to receive money, surely online bank transfer is the way forward? Account number and sort code are safe to share freely I believe.
 

trentside

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Yes, a number of businesses now give out their bank account details for payments.

I'm under thirty, but still use cheques for certain transactions. I recently surprised an advisor at one of my banks by asking for a cheque book with a new account!
 

najaB

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For businesses/organisations who wish to receive money, surely online bank transfer is the way forward? Account number and sort code are safe to share freely I believe.
Considering payment of fare due when there is a dispute, would an online transfer of funds be acceptable given that there is no action required on the part of the TOC to accept those funds?

If you send a cheque or postal order then they can return the instrument if they aren't willing to accept payment, but would they be able to do same for an online payment? Also it isn't possible to include a cover letter, so when should the payment be made? When posting the letter? After confirmation of receipt?
 

island

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It's also difficult to allocate online bank transfers to a specific person not helped by the reference field being limited by many banks to around 16 characters.
 

cantabrigian

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I just paid Greater Anglia by bank transfer. Their letter says specifically that it is OK but asks you to contact them to let them know if you pay that way so that they can look out for it. This should not really be necessary (and in fact probably means it's no less trouble than sending a cheque but I guess it may be quicker) as long as you quote their reference (which they also ask you to do and it is short enough to fit in any sensible field in a form) but it's not hard to see why they say it.
 

HMS Ark Royal

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Indeed this is true, but there's no denying that cheque usage is on the decline and fewer and fewer people even own a chequebook. I'm 40 and have never written a cheque or even owned a chequebook and I wouldn't say that I'm atypical in that regard.

I'm 27 and, when opening a NatWest account about four years ago (having moved over from a Halifax account) I asked if they still did cheque books. I was told they did and I asked for and received one.

Its not often I use it, I admit, but I still take great delight in paying for things in a cheque format. My last three were a bill, a weekend ranger for Northern and, just because I felt really and truly evil 45 mins ago, a takeaway pizza!
 

Temple Meads

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I'm 19 and requested a cheque book when opening my bank account, however I've only needed to use one - it was for a railtour.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I still draw money out of the bank the old fashioned way with a cheque payable to "self" over the counter. :) That's not my only use of cheques either; I use quite a few for school related costs like the kids' dinner money, school trips, that sort of thing.
 

Bletchleyite

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Its not often I use it, I admit, but I still take great delight in paying for things in a cheque format. My last three were a bill, a weekend ranger for Northern and, just because I felt really and truly evil 45 mins ago, a takeaway pizza!

Surprised that was accepted given that cheques are now not guaranteed.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I still draw money out of the bank the old fashioned way with a cheque payable to "self" over the counter. :) That's not my only use of cheques either; I use quite a few for school related costs like the kids' dinner money, school trips, that sort of thing.

They do make admin easier for charities like Scouts etc. BACS also works but then you have to tally it up with the account.
 

najaB

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Thanks for all the proof that cheques aren't dead, but what does someone do when dealing with a TOC that is clearly in the wrong, if you don't have a chequebook?

The normal advice would be "Write them a cheque, if they cash it then the matter is closed, if they return it then they can't chase you for intent not to pay."

Do you send an online payment? Do you send an uncrossed postal order?
 

Bletchleyite

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Thanks for all the proof that cheques aren't dead, but what does someone do when dealing with a TOC that is clearly in the wrong, if you don't have a chequebook?

The normal advice would be "Write them a cheque, if they cash it then the matter is closed

Is that actually true? Could they not consider it as part payment, e.g. of one of Northern's £80+fare Penalty Fakes?
 

cuccir

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Presumably it would be possible to send something along the lines of:

"Please send details as to how I can send payment for the amount of £x.xx to cover the outstanding fare for the journey involved?"

This is imagining someone who has (for example) boarded at an unstaffed station, travelled one stop during which the guard was busy, and then stopped by an RPI but not given a chance to pay on arrival.
 

najaB

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Is that actually true? Could they not consider it as part payment, e.g. of one of Northern's £80+fare Penalty Fakes?
If your cover letter states something along the lines of "I have enclosed a cheque for the full amount owed which is the outstanding fare due for a journey from xxx to yyy." then, having cashed it, it would difficult for them from a legal perspective to argue that you owe them any more.
 

221129

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The normal advice would be "Write them a cheque, if they cash it then the matter is closed, if they return it then they can't chase you for intent not to pay."

I believe this is wrong. As the fare is due at the time of travel not after (unless no facilities etc)
 

cjmillsnun

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If your cover letter states something along the lines of "I have enclosed a cheque for the full amount owed which is the outstanding fare due for a journey from xxx to yyy." then, having cashed it, it would difficult for them from a legal perspective to argue that you owe them any more.

I think the legal term is, "I enclose a cheque in full and final settlement of the balance owed."
 

Bletchleyite

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I think the legal term is, "I enclose a cheque in full and final settlement of the balance owed."

Could they not simply present it, and write back "Thank you for your cheque. Regrettably we cannot accept this in full and final settlement, however it has been taken off the amount you owe us. Please forward the remaining £80 due as soon as possible, and in any event by <date>."
 

najaB

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I believe this is wrong. As the fare is due at the time of travel not after (unless no facilities etc)
Oh, I agree with you there. However we had a recent case where someone was presented with a PF having boarded at a station with no working ticketing facilities. The advice we gave was to send a cheque for the fare due and nothing more.
 

island

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The law is that if the amount of a debt is known – and the debtor has agreed to pay it – a cheque for less than the amount sent in "full and final settlement" may be banked and taken off the balance, the remainder of which may be pursued. This is because the creditor has given no consideration for the agreement to accept the cheque in "full and final settlement".

That is potentially different to a case such as this, where the passenger has not agreed to pay any amount; rather, the TOC has proposed an amount to pay, and the passenger has proposed a different amount –*a counter-offer. Consideration has passed from both sides: the passenger has paid money, and the TOC has agreed not to prosecute an alleged offence.

I have had a similar issue arise myself in a case where a cable company failed or refused to collect its equipment from my premises at the end of our agreement, and I was not in a position to return the equipment owing to moving a distance away and outside that company's area of operation. As I understand it, the landlord disposed of the equipment after I surrendered the rented property in question. The company sent me an invoice for a sum of money; I assessed that the company was 80% responsible for its loss and I was 20% responsible, and sent a cheque for 20% of the amount in full and final settlement. They banked it and attempted to sent debt collectors after me for the remainder, but were unsuccessful because they had accepted full and final settlement.
 
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DelayRepay

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Isn't part of the reason for doing this a hope that the TOC's admin people will (perhaps inadvertently) bank the cheque on receipt, before the letter is read?
 
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