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Author Topic: David and Goliath  (Read 4202 times)

Offline Reinardina

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David and Goliath
« on: November 24, 2016, 09:40:41 AM »
I was originally going to put this in the 'What annoyed you today' thread, but it may introduce a lively discussion, so I decided to give it its own space.

In August, a waitress accidentally hit my glasses with the corner or a square plate, causing a small but deep scratch.
Initially, I was told to come in with the invoice for the new lens, and they would 'give me a cheque.'

As I do not wear standard lenses, it took a while before my lens was ready. By then the restaurant started to become cagey. In the end they notified their insurer, and yesterday, three months after the event, and after I explained in full what happened, and why I thought the restaurant was liable, I get a letter from the insurance company that they deny liability.

The waitress denies she hit my glasses, but remembers making contact with my back.

So here I am, David against Goliath; pensioner, against the might of a well known insurer.
The whole story, of how it happened, is so farfetched and ridiculous, you could not make it up, but that is what I am now accused of. My word against that of the waitress.

It is 'only' £321; peanuts for them, quite a sum for me. 'Getting Justice,' will be very expensive and time consuming.

At the moment considering my options.

Does anyone know, if the ambulance chasers might be interested in such a small sum? I have already resigned myself to losing it, so it would not matter, if I'd only got 'peanuts' at the end, but I would enjoy 'them' landing a sizeable legal bill.
In principle, I am against the 'no win no fee' thing, but in this case, I'd happily embrace it.


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Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 11:12:33 AM »
In my experience UK insurance companies are the worst in the civilised world. Paying out is something that they will rarely, if ever, do unless forced. A few years ago when driving in the UK in our French registered and insured car we were hit by another vehicle. As always (this was before smart phones) I had a camera in the car and took more than a dozen pictures of the road and the cars, which quite clearly showed that our car had been hit on the side. The other party claimed, backed up by his insurers and contrary to the clear evidence, that we had crashed into the back of him. There was no frontal damage to our car whatsoever. It took our French insurers almost two years and legal action to get the repair costs back. The UK insurer was Saga.

So, if you are up for a fight, go for it. Are there any witnesses? It may not matter. Do you have any correspondence or record of admission of liability? Option 1) Go to the CAB and see if they can apply some pressure or provide an introduction to a solicitor. Get the solicitor to write a notice before action letter to the restaurant (not the insurers, that's a matter for the restaurant, not you, you have no legal relationship with them) and see what happens. Option 2) If that fails (as it may well do, or you are feeling more feisty) start a County Court claim against the restaurant. CC actions are rarely successfully defended, the standard of proof is balance of probabilities, and then you can send the bailiff in.
Howard  My CC Gallery
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 11:21:26 AM »
CAB and the Small Claims Court.

Do you know a honest journalist at your Local Press office?
:beer: Andy

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The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

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Offline Oldboy

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 11:24:59 AM »
There is one thing these restaurants hate - bad publicity. Go to the local or national papers. As Hindfrance says, CAB is a good idea and perhaps you should try that first, as their legal expert can write a legal letter, which may get a better response. County court claims are another good idea, as you can start one yourself  for a small fee. Best of luck.  :tup:

Offline Simple

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2016, 12:20:43 PM »
Can not give you any advice, Never had to deal with legal things. I am the more vindictive violent type. (probably stems from a life on drilling rigs) Restaurants are very vulnerable, a bit of bad publicity can break a restaurant very quickly. Have you looked into social media? Are they mentioned in trip adviser? Do they have a facebook site? A mention here and there would quickly change their mind in paying such an amount out.

Offline jinky

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 12:21:54 PM »
As others say a small claims bid might be worth a punt in case they fail to defend but do you want to pay more out to risk? Given they have advanced iot to insurance and rejected they may be ready to  take it on and without witnesses... The lesson ios to get something agreeing to fault in writing at the time. In your position I`d launch a campaign against their facebook page . If they don`t allow messages ride on the back of their posts by taking the contrary view when they say how good they are and highlight you`re a pensioner that has been dupoed by failed promises. A letter to their CEO  repeating their failed promises might just do the trick. I`d been rejected for a claim by BA at every juncture and blocked by Facebook page and Customer Services untl I wrote to the CEO and told him what I thought of them. His PA then rang me personally and made instand refund. I`ll still never use them again by choice though!

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 12:55:12 PM »
Do you know a honest journalist at your Local Press office?

'honest journalist'? Isn't that an oxymoron? Although the Daily Mail do a good line in sad faces with an 'outrage story'; you know like 'Outrage as partially sighted pensioner attacked by waitress' with a picture of you with your most downtrodden expression.
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 01:36:17 PM »
Do you know a honest journalist at your Local Press office?

'honest journalist'? Isn't that an oxymoron? Although the Daily Mail do a good line in sad faces with an 'outrage story'; you know like 'Outrage as partially sighted pensioner attacked by waitress' with a picture of you with your most downtrodden expression.

A 'helpful journalist' then.  I was thinking more upon the  'Small Claims and the cost due to bad publicity for the Restaurant' as a storyline.  :tup:
:beer: Andy

"Light anchors things in place and gives perspective meaning."

The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

Offline Hinfrance

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 02:02:56 PM »
 You have to have 'OUTRAGE' in a tabloid headline, and the value of the victim's home in the copy somewhere . .   ;)
Howard  My CC Gallery
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The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil. H.L Mencken.

Offline Reinardina

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 06:38:38 PM »
Thank you all for your advice.

First of all, I went to the CAB today, who also thought along lines of the small claims court, social media and I believe also the newspaper.
They also gave me a short list of solicitors who give free initial consults, but mainly in personal injury cases, or 'only applies to certain matters.' I'll start ringing round tomorrow, if I still need it.

The company my husband worked for, has a special service for annuitants (and their spouses), where you can literally go for anything, even just a chat. And also legal advice. Never used the service, but did give it a go, and am now expecting a call from a firm of solicitors who give free advice. I rang a bit too late, for a return call today, but am hoping to hear from them tomorrow.

Till now, I have shied away from negative comments on websites or social media, as it is only a small, family run Greek restaurant (so no CEO to apply to), and very popular. If I'm not careful, I'll end up vilified. And, I'm not a social media user. I have a facebook account under my four initials plus county name, but I rarely do anything with it. Find it totally baffling.

In the past, I used to regularly contribute to a column in the local rag, but I do not know if it still exists. The journalist in charge, may still work there though, I may look into it.

The restaurant has no leg to stand on, as, after my initial contact via their on line information form, the first reaction from the wife of the owner was:

QUOTE Hi just seen your email regarding yr glasses im so sorry to hear that didn't know anything about it if you do end up changing your lenses please bring us the invoice and we will give a cheque please give us an update what they said to you look forward to hearing from you                     kind regards Christina UNQUOTE.

As my lenses are not the standard type (and price), it took a little while, and I kept them informed of every step I took.  This rumbled on for a while, and never did they come up with the fact that the waitress never touched my glasses.

This one I thought rather nice too:

QUOTE hi come and see us when your glasses are ready with the scratched lens our solicitor saw the picture finds it hard to believe they were damaged from a plate so he wants to investigate it and the other thing he mentioned you should of told us about this the same evening not 2 days later because once you leave the premises its not our responsibility but if it is our fault we will negotiate the price kind regards Christina UNQUOTE.

It's not their fault, but if it is, they will negotiate the price! And they are not responsible once you leave the premises.

Thank goodness, I hardly ever phone people; I much prefer to email or write, so I have these beauties on tap.

They now also have become experts on modern lenses, claiming that the plates are big and heavy and would have broken the lens rather than scratch it. As they are plastic lenses, they need the force of a car crash to break, according to the optician.

I wonder if the waitress was put under pressure by either her employers, or the insurance company, as they have 'investigated the claims with their insured, and in particular the waitress concerned.'

Does anyone have any idea if mediation might be better here?

I will wait and see what the solicitors have to say tomorrow.

I will keep you informed, and in the meantime, if you have more ideas, they are very welcome!

(I am quite enjoying it so far!)
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Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Beaux Reflets

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2016, 07:39:56 PM »
I would not think mediation is relevant.

Your spectacles were damaged within /on their premises; and it is their (the Owners) problem to sort out relevant compensation directly with you.

If you face further additional cost, expenses, in persuit of your claim, then those costs should form part of the overall settlement. 

It is their decision to cover costs of damages hopefully via their Insurance, so do not get sidetracked by their personnel or admin problems .




« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 07:45:11 PM by Beaux Reflets »
:beer: Andy

"Light anchors things in place and gives perspective meaning."

The choices we make are rooted in reflection.

http://beauxreflets.blogspot.com/

Offline jinky

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2016, 08:05:32 AM »
I`d have thouight that once you have had the consultation they will they that there seems to be an admission of guilt in the first email that seems worthy of pursuing. Always good to have things in writing. Popular little place or not I don`t think you`d be villified for  commenting on their page after giving them fair chance to put it right and sayng they had initially accepted liability.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 08:07:05 AM by jinky »

Offline Reinardina

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2016, 10:12:42 AM »
At no point, between the initial email on 24 August, and the last letter from the insurance company dated 22 November, do they turn round and say: "What's all this about glasses? Our waitress never touched them, she only 'made contact' with your back."

This surprise was kept to the very last. Sting in the tail so to speak. Or maybe 'Sting in the tale'?

Beware Greeks bearing plates!

***

Just got a call from the legal team. Explained the situation. Will get a call back. Sounds very positive.
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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

Offline Oldboy

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 10:17:27 AM »

Beware Greeks bearing plates!


I though Greeks smashed them?  :2funny:


Offline Reinardina

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Re: David and Goliath
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2016, 11:17:14 AM »

Beware Greeks bearing plates!


I though Greeks smashed them?  :2funny:

They try, but modern plastic lenses are too tough (flexible).
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 01:07:11 PM by Reinardina »
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Reinardina.

Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye.
Shakespeare. (Love's Labours Lost.)

 

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