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TONY HATTERINGTON: Mewage, the beautiful series ruined my trip to Cornwall

Tony Hetterington is Sunday’s chief financial investigator, battling readers’ corners, revealing the truth behind closed doors, and winning for those left without a pocket. Learn how to contact him below.

LT writes: I visited Mevagissey in Cornwall and parked in the Sunny Corner parking lot. I went to pay at one of the two vending machines, but the one with the keypad for the license plates didn’t work and its display was blank no matter what buttons I pressed.

There was no such keyboard on the other machine, and I inserted the necessary money for my stay, got a ticket, which I put on the windshield, and then went to enjoy the visit.

Two weeks later I received a claim to collect £ 60. By that time I had thrown out the coupon and the fleet company had dismissed my complaint.

Charming: But many complained about the installation of parking in Mevagisia

Tony Heatherington replies: The car is driven by Premier Parking Solutions Limited, which photographs each car entering and leaving the site and then compares the registration numbers with the records of those who paid or did not pay. As you have found, the disadvantage of the system is that one of the payment machines does not record the registration numbers, but simply takes the cash and issues a deferred ticket.

If you contacted me, you have already decided to pay a fine of £ 60 because delaying payment would increase the fee to £ 100. But I asked the head of the company Richard Cox what you should have done if you found that one machine was not working.

He denied that the car was faulty. He told me: “Dozens of motorists used the car that day, who had no problems with the correct entry of the registration number of the vehicle in the machine for payment and display or through the payment system over the phone.”

In short, if there was a problem, you could call the company. Phones only work during business hours, Cox explained, but at other times, including weekends, calls are recorded and checked later before fines are issued.

But why did you have to call when another machine was working perfectly, taking money and giving you a ticket? This places the responsibility on you to prove your innocence later, not on the parking operator who will be responsible for what you did not pay. I told this to Richard Cox and he replied that you had to keep the ticket for at least two weeks as proof in your favor.

He justified the punishment by telling me that his company had to spend time reviewing appeals, as well as inquiries like mine, “as a result of the motorist not complying with our terms”. He insisted that you sought an advantage over other motorists.

But Cox did not comment when I asked about a crop of very similar complaints I found online. One says, “Even if you pay and show up, they’ll still send a fine in two weeks… don’t park here.”

Another says, “I’ve been going there for years with no problems. It hasn’t been two years. Parked and paid with coins in the machine. The ticket is shown as usual. Two weeks later a fine through the door, like a lot of people. Now it will be completely avoided. ” And the third complaint from the driver, who writes: “The device is set up not to accept registration data, but to send you a parking fee without registration.”

Premier Parking Solutions, based in Newton Abbey, is big business. His accounts for 2021 show a profit of £ 974,000. The documents also state that the company received more than £ 253,000 from the coronavirus job preservation scheme, and the government paid interest of £ 4,858 on a Covid loan taken by the company.

The local council has paid the company another £ 20,000, and I wonder how he will react to this from a driver who recently used the car park:

Three winnings on premium bonds … but no money

Mrs. KF writes: I received three separate emails from National Savings & Investments stating that I had won premium bond prizes.

I didn’t get the prizes, and when I called NS&I, they said it was because someone else’s email address was the same as mine.

Missing: Ms. KF received three separate emails from National Savings & Investments announcing premium bond winnings, but did not receive any prizes

Missing: Ms. KF received three separate emails from National Savings & Investments announcing premium bond winnings, but did not receive any prizes

Tony Heatherington replies: You sent me a copy of a congratulatory letter you received three times from NS&I stating that you had won a prize and that you should check the premium bond website to find out how much you will receive. When you went to the website, it just said you won nothing.

I asked NS&I headquarters staff to explain, and they told me that an error had been made in the account of another bondholder whose email address is one character away from yours. This one important character was missed, so when the second bondholder won the prize, an email was sent to you by mistake.

NS&I apologized to you and paid you £ 25, which is the main prize if one of your bonds really wins.

The new VAT system left me suspended from the tax

Ms. SR writes: In January, I tried to make a VAT return online, but there was a report that the return should be made digitally if the company’s turnover is not less than £ 85,000.

My turnover is much lower than this figure, so I refused, and there was a message that I will receive a response within two days.

I am still waiting, and meanwhile the tax and customs service have to pay me two VAT.

Expectation: Revenue and Customs Service H.M. owed Ms. SR two VAT payments

Expectation: Revenue and Customs Service H.M. owed Ms. SR two VAT payments

Tony Heatherington replies: Looking at the sequence of events, I think you’ll see that you’re hooked on the confusion surrounding the launch of a revenue project called “Making Tax Digital”. It is difficult, but it is now expected that almost all businesses registered for VAT will keep records electronically and submit their tax returns online every three months.

It seems that something went wrong with your registration, but I contacted the tax office and you returned to the system.

If you need help, let me know and I’ll be able to hire one from the revenue department to tell you what to do. Tax digital makes it easier for taxpayers but more difficult for those who don’t have an accountant.

Anyone who sighs with relief because it only affects VAT should think again.

It is planned that the same system will hit the self-employed with an income of more than £ 10,000 from 2024, followed by small companies.

If you believe you have fallen victim to financial irregularities, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email tony.hetherington@mailonsunday.co.uk. Due to the large number of inquiries it is impossible to give personal answers. Only send copies of the original documents, which unfortunately cannot be returned.

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TONY HATTERINGTON: Mewage, the beautiful series ruined my trip to Cornwall

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