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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 60579
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I've had £1850 taken from my account by Avis. I have not

Customer Question

Hi, I've had £1850 taken from my account by Avis. I have not used Avis services. I have never rented a car from them or been in an Avis office.
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Sorry I hadn't finished.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I initially thought my adult son had used my bank card with Avis however it later transpired following research that this had not happened. There is no proof how they have managed to get my card details. We are now 5 months from the date they took the money from my account. I went through their formal complaints procedure and they came back saying they would not refund the money. I then went to the BVRLA (Ombudsman for car rental companies), they concluded that Avis had advised them that the transaction was fraudulent/criminal but refused to give me further details as has Avis when I subsequently asked them. In desperation I have been working with the CAB who advised me to send a letter to Avis by recorded delivery explaining should they not provide me with a signed contract between them and I then they should refund the money as it was taken unlawfully. I had to give them 7 days to reply as I explained o would take them to the small claims court. I chased this today and they are not moving on their position. This means small claims court is next. Before I do this I wanted a solicitors point of view.
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so at the moment.
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I live in Hertfordshire.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Do you have any idea how they may have gotten your card details?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I originally thought my Son used my card as I thought that I saw a transaction prior to this transaction with Avis. I do occasionally allow my 22 year old son deposit money into my account and use the card for one transaction. I was advised the make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman, I thought I'd check when the original transaction was but there was no such transaction. I double checked and asked my bank to check. There is still a possibility that's how they obtained the card details however he denies this, they have no evidence as far as they will tell me and there is now no evidence of a prior transaction.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

Thank you. The main issue is clearly whether the charges were genuine, in a sense that they reflected a service they had provided you with, or some other contractual right to deduct it (e.g. to cover damage to a rental vehicle). Assuming there were no genuine grounds on which the amount was charged, you are of course entitled to ask for its refund and pursue them further in the event they refuse.

If a party wishes to pursue another for a debt arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the debt in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

4. As an alternative to legal action a debtor can be issued with a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so would allow the creditor to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual) or wind up the company (if they are a business). The minimum amounts owed to be able to issue a statutory demand are £750 if the debtor is a company. For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

Does this answer your query?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you