Sent final reminder letters even though i have not been on a train?

Discussion in 'Disputes & Prosecutions' started by loggo, 7 Jan 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. loggo

    loggo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2015
    Morning all , I have over the past month been sent two letters about a unpaid fare. I ignored the first letter as I have not been near a train station in over two years . I then , two days ago got another stating that I owe £74

    The letter is addressed not to my name but some other chap but has the correct address . I have been to there website and put in some details and it shows a young lad of 22 ( I'm in my fortys travelling in the morining! . I have looked all over the website for a contact number to phone them to tell them that something is clearly not right but can not find one any where .

    As you can imagine I'm a little concerned about this & wondering how can I sought this?
    I have sent them a letter to state no such person lives at this address.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Max

    Max Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    5,352
    Joined:
    8 Jun 2005
    Location:
    London
    I'm fairly sure it's illegal to open post not addressed to yourself? Best course of action in these circumstances is write "not known at this address, return to sender" and put back in the nearest postbox. If you are not the named individual, then you are not accused of anything.

    Which train company is this sent from out of interest? Perhaps somebody can help you trace a contact number if you'd like to flag it up with them additionally?
     
  4. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

    Messages:
    15,376
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    I don't think it's illegal, if I recall correctly as long as it's addressed to your address then you're fine. Otherwise there are an awful lot of criminals about :)

    Having said that, if you do open a letter it does make it look more suspicious if you then send it back to the company marked as 'not known at this address' so my advice is not to ignore the letters, not to open them (at least not deliberately) and to return them marked as above.

    Now that you've notified them that the person is not at your address, they can take steps to try and trace them, though they may not necessarily just take your word for it.

    It doesn't sound as though you have any links to this other bloke, so you should be left alone once they are satisfied you aren't him and aren't harbouring a dangerous fare evader under the bed!
     
  5. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    2,830
    Joined:
    28 Jan 2010
    Location:
    Bo'ness, West Lothian
    I have edited the above for clarity. If we take the above at face value then it seems that someone has given your address in connection with a matter regarding an unpaid fare. If this person was not you then in theory you do not have anything to worry about. However, in practice, this can cause you a certain amount of hassle. You have already notified the railway that this is not you - this is good. They may not take your word for it though so it can help to be able to prove that it was not possible that you are the person concerned -NB this is not a requirement on your part as the railway has to prove it was you in any subsequent dealings.

    I think that your greatest concern should be that someone is using your address for fraudulent purposes. What else are they using it for? If they are using your details to obtain loans or credit cards then this could cause you problems. Check any unsolicited mail carefully. Also check that your mail delivery is secure - do you live in shared or flatted accommodation? You state that the person concerned is 22 years old. How did you come across this information? I am sure that this should not be in the public domain. If you have any knowledge, or even mere suspicion, about this person then you should inform the police forthwith. It is amazing how many fraudsters using identity theft are actually known* to their victims.

    This can be a stressful time - Good luck.

    * I mean this in generic terms not just specific.*
     
  6. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    23 Nov 2012
    Phone up the company if they have a number, just be honest - "I have no idea who this guy is". They'll apologise and get someone to track down this chap at his new address.

    It's usually fairly painless.
     
  7. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

    Messages:
    15,376
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    reb0118 is correct. I'd be more worried about this guy using my address than anything the railway company will do.
     
  8. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

    Messages:
    3,000
    Joined:
    13 Feb 2011

    Let's put some things straight here. Unless someone of that name is registered to vote at that address they will not be able to get credit cards or loans using it. All loan companies use credit reference agency checks and the electoral roll is shared with these agencies. This was a policy introduced as a result of identity theft and in my mind is a very sensible one. If they are using your name and address that is a different matter although the OP stated that the name used was not theirs.

    Also living at an address where someone who has been a defaulter has lived or does live again does not affect your credit file in the slightest. I know this from experience.

    So please don't panic the OP unnecessarily. The worst they will get is a letter sent to someone they do not know. As already said. Write return to sender, not at this address on the unopened envelope and put it in a letterbox. Job done.
     
  9. island

    island Established Member

    Messages:
    10,456
    Joined:
    30 Dec 2010
    Location:
    0036
    It is legal to open post not addressed to you if you have a reasonable excuse.

    To the OP, a quick letter, which you say you have sent, should suffice. The companies don't provide a phone number because it would mean employing an army of people with whom ticketless travellers would just spend forever arguing.
     
  10. michael769

    michael769 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    9 Oct 2005
    It is illegal to intentionally open mail that you know is not addressed to you without a valid reason. If you simply open a letter without checking the front (as many do) no offence is committed. It is likewise not an offence to open mail if you reasonably believe that the recipient is happy for you to do so.

    Most likely someone has made up an address on the spur of the moment - probably they know someone who lives nearby.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2015
  11. loggo

    loggo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2015
    Evening all , & thanks for the replies . The first letter I opened without thinking & my other half opened the other. Like I said I wrote to them yesterday so I'm waiting for a response! If any other letters come I should not open then?

    I have been checking bank accounts etc. Because alarm bells rang for me as to regard of I.D theft. Nothing seems to be wrong on that front. We are a family with no one else living here & I am careful to shred all addresses and keep my PC clean from virus & the like.

    This happened in November & the fare was for £4 bloody pound. Who in gods green earth would dodge a fair of £4. I have looked for a number but the web-site has nothing on there.
     
  12. loggo

    loggo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2015
    When I went on to there web site & put in the code thing on the letter all of this guys info was on there hence how I knew he was 22 , What time it was.
     
  13. Class377

    Class377 Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    24 Aug 2009
    There have been prosecutions over 10p in the past, some people feel the world owes them a favour or that they're "too important" to pay £4. What they may not also realise is that they create other victims (such as you) in their evasion!
     
  14. Fare-Cop

    Fare-Cop Member

    Messages:
    881
    Joined:
    5 Aug 2010
    Location:
    England
    Which company website was this?

    I don't want to know the login details or anything else, just the name of 'their' company website please.
     
  15. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

    Messages:
    3,000
    Joined:
    13 Feb 2011
    I would be interested too, because technically those responsible for the site could well be in breach of the DPA.

    Actually, I have a fair idea what has happened. A PF was issued and as it was not paid, it has been passed to a Debt Collection Agency to be chased up.

    The DCA should not be releasing that much information on their website though. Still most definitely a DPA breach.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2015
  16. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

    Messages:
    1,533
    Joined:
    23 Oct 2013
    Gosh, really, a debt collection agency acting unprofessionally, who would think it!

    Any letter which comes through my letter box gets opened. I want to know who is using my address and for what purpose. Interfering with the Royal Mail is an offence i.e. taking a letter off the postman and opening it. However, I took it to be that once a letter had been delivered that was no longer applicable. Clearly, as a matter of good neighbourliness, wrongly delivered mail should be re-directed.

    I once had someone apply for a store credit card using my address, I suspect I know who it was. Only by opening the letter could I be aware of the issue and notify the card company of my suspicions. I overheard a conversation subsequently which led me to believe that the person had tried using the store card and been caught out.
     
  17. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

    Messages:
    15,376
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    The point is, I think, how much personal information the rail company passes on. My own view is that it's unlikely to be a breach of the DPA, but there isn't enough information available really to make a proper judgement. Naturally, that doesn't prevent speculation!

    This accords with my own understanding, which is based on my Royal Mail training, admittedly a long time ago now, which is why I'm not 100% sure that things haven't changed.

    I completely agree that it's wise to be vigilant.
     
  18. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    5,148
    Joined:
    15 May 2012
    Location:
    Purley
    If the details given by the passenger are fictitious, including a fake name, then I'm not sure the DPA would even apply.
     
  19. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

    Messages:
    1,813
    Joined:
    17 Aug 2009
    Postal Services Act 2000, sec 84 at
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/26/section/84

    (my bold)

    The section 83 referred to is for postal operators.
     
  20. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

    Messages:
    4,506
    Joined:
    23 Jul 2010
    Location:
    Wennington Crossovers
    Agreed. I'm assuming those saying "it's illegal to open others' post" haven't had to deal with bailiffs calling for former tenants at their address.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2015
  21. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

    Messages:
    10,568
    Joined:
    28 Jun 2010
    And you highlighted the perfect part which absolves the home owner in 99% of cases

    Im pretty sure the OP wasn't intending to act to the addressees detriment
     
  22. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

    Messages:
    15,376
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    The phrase 'incorrectly delivered' is the interesting part for me. I believe this is where the address comes into play, as anything addressed to my particular residence can reasonably be assumed to be intended for that place, regardless of the fact that it has an unknown name, or is addressed to The Occupier.

    It's not unknown for system and human error to result in the transposition of the wrong name to the correct address, after all.

    I think the OP (or myself) would be on shakier ground if we deliberately opened mail that was addressed to both a different name and a different address (delivered in error) and then destroyed that letter as this may well be detrimental to them.
     
  23. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

    Messages:
    3,333
    Joined:
    29 Nov 2012
    Location:
    Norwich
    This. After a close call in an old property any mail for old tenants gets a quick check. If the envelope has an obvious name on it or is non suspicious (Bank, shop card etc or is clearly some sort of greetings card) it goes back in the mail RTS. If however its a utility or bailiff its opened.

    All from previous experience.
     
  24. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

    Messages:
    4,506
    Joined:
    23 Jul 2010
    Location:
    Wennington Crossovers
    Yes - some rental tenants have a habit of not paying their final bills when they move out which generally leads to the debt being passed onto a recovery agency.
     
  25. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

    Messages:
    10,189
    Joined:
    12 Sep 2013
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Bailiffs would only come if there were court papers, and IME sending court papers back with "not at this address" sorts things out and stops everything. I've seen it from the other side once, when a debtor sent "not at this address" back when he actually still was there :lol: I know HMRC take returned mail seriously when it marked "not at this address".

    Debt collection officers like to pretend they are bailiffs but they're not. They're usually just imbeciles.
     
  26. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

    Messages:
    30,637
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2009
    If it was then banks wouldn't need to waste their time marking certain correspondence as private and confidential.
     
  27. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

    Messages:
    1,533
    Joined:
    23 Oct 2013
    The OP has done the correct thing by appraising himself of the contents of the letter and then dealt with it correctly by contacting the company that sent the letter.

    Should any further, nasty, letters arrive, or cheap suited goons turn up on the doorstep, tell them the basic facts, tell them you have already set it out in writing to their employer and do not let them in, ever, however desperate they may be to use the toilet or to phone their office to check or whatever. There is good advice available on the internet about the powers debt collectors have (not many) and how they must behave. Similarly for the powers court appointed bailiffs have (far more). Try Citizens Advice website first.

    It is potentially to my detriment if I do not open the postal packet. It is only to the proper recipients detriment if I unduly delay it, use the information it contains for my own purposes, damage it, or keep it e.g. wrongly delivered parcels.

    Wrongly delivered mail (wrong address and wrong name) gets either hand re-delivered if local or back in a post box if too distant (with a note: RM delivered to wrong address, please try harder!)

    Properly delivered mail i.e. through the letterbox of the address on the postal packet, gets opened and dealt with.

    I have had;
    Other peoples bank statements (my address, their name - opened, read and returned to bank with a suitable letter),

    The store card statement referred to previously (my address, my name - opened, read, panicked over, returned to card operator with suitable letter),

    Paperwork relating to someone training / passing to become an independent financial advisor (my address, their name - opened, read with considerable interest, tracked down and redelivered by hand),

    Paperwork relating to a motor vehicle insurance claim (my address, their name - opened, read, sent to processing centre with suitable note).

    When I lived in a rented house, a good few years ago, I had the debt collector / bailiff problem relating to previous tenants. Although I knew the basics about what processes they have to follow to prove ownership of goods, prove identity of occupants etc. that is not much use when you go out to work all day and get worried sick about someone 'breaking in' through a loose window or something and taking your stuff out of your house whilst you are out for a debt which is nothing to do with you (like I had anything of any value at the time anyway :lol:). I tried to explain to the debt collectors on the doorstep that the tenant no longer lived at the address and had not left a forwarding address. Some said fair enough, we get this all the time, and were never seen again. Others were more persistent and required several, increasingly strongly worded, letters to their head office to be got rid of. The best bit was, the previous tenants father wrote to his son, at my address, saying how fed up he was of his sons behaviour, that he should sort himself out, and that he wasn't going to bail him out of his debts yet again! The son hadn't even told his father where he had moved to and was clearly a serial debt creator.
     
  28. wijit

    wijit Member

    Messages:
    84
    Joined:
    14 Jan 2012
    I hate to disagree, but this is not entirely correct. It is not just possible, but extremely common for an address to be used for such things in this manner. Credit checks are not always completed (in particular, companies offering cards to people who wouldn't get them from conventional companies). For example, many immigrants obtains credit cards with relative ease very shortly after arriving at their destination.
    That said, probability dictates that this is just a case of someone using an address.
     
  29. 185

    185 Established Member

    Messages:
    3,724
    Joined:
    29 Aug 2010
    My 'valid reason'

    From my knowledge of around 20+ cases of loan/card fraud, where non-resident crooks were applying at an address in the name of the householder/tenant, then sticking a grab tool through letter boxes to collect the confirmation forms.

    I reckon 83 (3) refers specifically to post mis-delivered by the postal service (ie 27 posted through 29)

    As police have suggested, in most cases, it's worth a look.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2015
  30. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

    Messages:
    3,000
    Joined:
    13 Feb 2011
    *sigh* from experian...

    http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/credit-education/common-credit-myths.html

    from Noddle https://www.noddle.co.uk/f-a-q

    from Equifax

    Again, stop with the fear mongering.

    Even doorstep lenders, do credit checks, as do "bad credit/credit builder" card companies. They just have much looser criteria. Penalising someone because they have moved into somewhere where someone else has had credit problems in the past would be considered as illegal discrimination.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2015
  31. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

    Messages:
    20,652
    Joined:
    28 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Scotland
    It would take the extremely unlikely circumstance of sharing the sane name as the previous occupant for it to have any affect on your credit rating. And, even then, you can add a note of correction to the file.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page