Episode 5 Watchdog

Episode 5

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They DVLA, you cannot win. The Xbox, you cannot play. Tesco, it can't


count. Plus Aviva, Ryanair, Barclays and Love Film? You will


not like their sales matters. It is Watchdog, the programme you cannot


Hello, good evening, welcome to Watchdog live as usual from


Television Centre. Tonight, the DVLA threatening drivers with


penalties and bailiffs. Want to appeal? You will be looking.


expression was, I'm sorry, we have given you a fixed penalty, pay up


or else. I felt as if I had been ripped off. Also, Microsoft says it


is infallible, so why is it making a pig's ear of the Xbox Live


service? Motorola claims this smartphone is life-proof. Tell that


to owners whose handsets have smashed. And Love Film are signing


you up to move the rental deals, they need to change the script.


Here is a film I love, Royal Navy. It has a great influence on my work.


If you do try to convince people that pipes are full of scales,


don't be surprised if you find some down there along with fines and


bills. We are swimming with the big fish tonight, First Active Drainage


Limited. We have put the bait on the hook, will they buy it?


First, the DVLA issuing penalties, threatening drivers are bailiffs.


Fine if they have broken the rules, what if they haven't? Last year we


showed how the DVLA tried to prosecute motorists to get their


cars off the road even when the owners had sent the correct


paperwork to skip road tax. They hoped a court ruling would change


things. It hasn't. This is a statutory off-road notice


that drivers must send to the DVLA if they are not planning to use


their vehicles after their annual road tax is due. Trouble is, when


some drivers send it off, they still get into trouble. They wrote


back basically and said, no, you are guilty of not checking up to


see that we had your copy, and you are fined �80. If the DVLA does not


acknowledge receipt of the form, they insist it is your


responsibility to contact them and chase it up, even if it is the DVLA


who have lost it. Madness, according to this motor cyclist.


told them I had sent it on time, I sent it in August, but they did not


believe me. They basically called me a liar. The DVLA threatened


Duncan with a penalty and he said he would see them in court, where a


judge ruled he was in the right. He said the DVLA had no statutory


power requiring anyone to contact them should they not receive an


acknowledgement letter. So, if a judge has declared it is not your


responsibility to chase up the DVLA for its own mistakes, why are we


still getting complaints? Put simply, the DVLA has ignored the


judge's comments. In response to a Watchdog Freedom of Information


request they told us they have issued over three-quarters of a


million late licence penalties since April last year. Asked if


they had changed any procedures in light of the Duncan judgment, the


answer was short, no. The trouble with Duncan's case was it was


decided in the county court. They do not set any precedent.


Presumably the DVLA believe that because the law has not changed,


they should not change procedure. The issue is that procedure was


wrong in the first phase was stopped despite that, the DVLA


continues to pursue drivers with figure and was recently given new


powers to chase them for unpaid insurance as well as tax. Should it


take on this responsibility before it as a iron out problems with its


existing role? -- before it has ironed out problems. This man sent


out his form last year but seven months later received an 80 pound


penalty. I felt I had no option but to pay it, with a threatening


letter from the bailiff company stating that if I did not pay the


�80, all that would happen is the cost would increase. Paul is


adamant he did nothing wrong. If the form was lost, he says it is


the DVLA's fault. But, like many drivers, he found it is a case of


his word against theirs. Has anything changed since we last


reported on this? The DVLA did promise Watchdog that they would


start sending out additional reminders to give motorists further


opportunity to avoid penalties. That, at least, should have helped.


But not according to Stephen, who received his first reminder last


October. I decided to be a fair weather motor cyclist, so I


declared it off road and put my motorcycle away and thought it was


done and dusted. Three months later, the DVLA wrote again. Not with a


second reminder, but and 80 pound penalty for not sending his form.


knew what I had posted it. I categorically, 100% sent it. I got,


it has got to be a mistake. It has got to be a mistake. The DVLA


offered Stephen the chance to appeal. He did but without success.


The expression was, I'm sorry, we have given you a fixed penalty,


paid up or else. I felt as if I had been ripped off. The DVLA to have a


procedure to deal with such disputes. Anyone unhappy with their


penalty notices may have their appeal heard by an independent


complaints assessor. But who decides whether the complaint


should be referred to them? None other than the chief executive of


the DVLA. DVLA complaints procedure seems to lack any transparency


whatsoever. The steps are laid out on the website, so far, so good,


but it is not clear as to what they investigate at each stage. If you


are lucky enough to have had the chief executive look at your


complaint, the answer is still, by and large, no, you are in the wrong


and the DVLA are the judge, jury, they are even the executioner.


DVLA have told us that since July 2010 they have received 2224


complaints from drivers who have had issues taxing or declaring


their cars off road. 42 of those people ask for their case to be


referred to the independent complaints assessor. How many did


they pass on? Just nine. Less than a quarter. John Williams had his


appeal heard by the independent complaints assessor. I felt quite


resolute in the way I was dealing with things, and I felt, maybe


naively, that if you have not done anything wrong than the outcome


will be in your favour. But any hope that the assessor would find


in his favour was misplaced. He sided with the DVLA.


Independent Complaints SSS sounds great, a guide that will get to


grips with it and sort it out, but his hands are tied. He can only


look at administration, unreasonable delays. He cannot look


at policy, a cannot investigate whether my form arrived or not.


assessor did criticise the DVLA's procedures and recommended John's


penalty should be dropped. letter I then had from the DVLA was


extremely insulting, effectively saying, we have not done anything


wrong, but more because of what they have said, we will let you off


on this occasion, but if you do it again we will have you next time.


Court judgments going against them and numerous law-abiding motorists


being penalised. Surely now the DVLA must listen and change the


system? Victoria Derbyshire reporting. With


me now, David Evans from the DVLA. You are still using male? -- and


losing mail. The law on taxing your vehicle is clear, you have to tax


it or declare it off the road. 4 million people a year managed to


tell us they have sold a vehicle, 80% online, without problem. It is


the best way to do it. And you are still forgetting to remind people?


Week issue 34 million reminders to people in the months leading up to


when they have to tax. But you have forgotten? No, after the event we


issued 4.000.002nd reminders since the gk -- chief executive sat here.


Let's not run away with figures. Supposing you have told the DVLA


that your car is coming off-road, sent in your form, but have not


done anything when they do not acknowledge it. You have not told


them, as you say here, you have got to let them know that you have not


received acknowledgement? If I have got the notification... Supposing


you have done the right thing, cent in the form, and the next thing you


know you have and �80 penalty? next thing you would have, if we


have not got you would have a reminder. Supposing you suddenly


got, as one of our people did, and �80 penalty? Get in touch and we


will make sure we have sent both reminders. Some of these people,


you get in touch or pay it because you are frightened of the �1,000,


the next one. We would make sure we sent but reminders to use. You have


just seen the evidence that you have not. We check the address you


are living at before anything else. You have just seen people who say


they have sent in their form, law abiding citizens, never been to


jail, you have sent in your form and now have to pay and �80 fine.


What next? 4 million people get this right. Never mind that, it has


not worked for these people! encourage people to do this online,


take any risk out of the latter getting to you. But they cannot


appeal! Supposing it is you and you have to pay �80 even though you


cent in the form, can you appeal? You at the DVLA decide whether it


can go to an independent assessor. We do a lot of work on it before it


gets to that point. But it is not working. We expect to resolve as


many complaints as we can and we resolve the vast majority. You are


expecting people to be the giving of your mistakes when you are not


the giving of theirs. We do a lot of work to discover what has gone


wrong -- you are not forgiving. David Evans, thank you.


If you want to declare your car off-road, the DVLA say the easiest


way is to do it online. Details are on the screen. Or you can call.


That way you get immediate acknowledgement that your


notification has been received. If you would like to comment on


this or any of tonight's stories, Coming up, enjoying Downton Abbey?


Hope the Aviva adverts are not spoiling it. And Love Film are


signing up campaigners -- signing up customers, getting their lines


wrong. Big corporations, so remote from


their customers. Your local family firm on the other hand, much more


in touch, they are on your doorstep, part of the community. It is


According to a recent survey we are more likely to trust a company if


it is a long-established and based nearby. So say hello to your ideal


firm of promise. -- plumbers. are a family run business.


local. Our customers live within a 300 yard radius. No need to


advertise, all word of mouth. We don't even have a phone. We just


shout. That is Mrs Jones. Come on. We have not use the van for years.


You see, local and family man, apparently just like First Active


Drainage Limited, not to be confused with others with similar


names. They claim to have been around since the 70s, odd since the


company was incorporated in 2009. They also claim to be local to


north London, handy for Daphne, who had a blocked drain at home in


Islington. Where are your drains? Just up here.


Water was coming out? It was. was it that made you go with this


company? They said it was local, I wanted somebody there quickly. It


was supposed to be a family company, established 35 years, I thought


they would be reliable and they said they could clear the drains


fast was stopped they said they charge �22.50 for the first half-


an-hour, rising if they had to use power equipment. Daphne agreed,


expecting a bill around �100. Bad move. The guy came round with his


homes, I left them to it, and later he came to the back door and


presented me with a bill for �540. I was furious. I said, this is


ridiculous, I know what the going rate is, you are cowboys. He got


his boss on the phone and said, -- and Assad, I will put this on


Twitter at which point he hung up on a. The power of Twitter is such


that the threat of it... I have never used that before. I don't


even know what Twitter is! Daphne sent him packing with less than


half the amount he asked for. Now, it is back aboard the drain a train.


Come with me, First Active Drainage Limited have plenty of other


customers to cheat him plenty of places because, while claiming to


be local to not London, they say they are local to other areas, too.


Gillingham in Dorset, home to this I hoped the page and I saw the


number on there, so I thought it must be local. A drain they share


with their neighbours became blocked. A workman, named Ryan,


spent three days washing out the gunk with a power hose. He dug up a


neighbour's patio, supposedly to replace a section of pipe. But did


he? We put a camera down to find out. Phil Brook will take a look.


Any evidence of that at all? No. actually paid here for something


that just hasn't been done. That's correct, yeah. And none just paid,


paid through the nose. The Buds settled on a charge of nearly �2,


00 -- � 2,600. What's that like going round asking your neighbours


for money? Hell. It was not good at all. Do you think that he actually


replaced this pipe? I don't know. I can't prove it. The only way to


find out is by digging down, I suppose. Well, we've had our man


stick his camera down your drains. We can say categorically that the


pipe hasn't been replaced. They've charged you for work that hasn't


been done. I'm not quite sure you've really grasped what's gone


on here. No, I don't think we have. It's affected us mentally and


physically. We've lost weight both of us, at least a stone. In all


their dealings with First Active Drainage Limited, the couple only


ever spoke to Ryan. When the final bill arrived it came with a letter


signed by a James Francis. There's a name worth remembering. Time to


serve the sewage all the way back to Dan.


A local company? Local is as local does. Doesn't mean anything mate.


We've got complaints right across the south of England, from Weymouth


in Dorset from west cliff on sea in Essex. I bet you have got nothing


from Watford. No, we haven't. We have got to go to Watford now. Why?


Because they claim to be local there too. Here is a house in


Watford with a pigeon, cameras, an actor and an expert with an


interest in mucking things up. Drain diva Bryan is creating a


blockage with compost and loo paper. Two days later it's caused a build


up. Time to call in First Active Drainage Limited. We charge 47.50


per half an hour for Labour. In the event we have to use 59.50 for high


pressure equipment. Do you think they'll get it out. Take a wild


guess. We'll tell you if you're right in about 15 minutes, which is


when we're expecting them to turn up. Remember, they only have to


unblock a drain, like our man here. They only need a rod with a plunger


at the end. It should only take 25 seconds. So simple, anyone can do


Well, almost anyone. By the way kids, don't go down drains, it's


flipping horrible. That goes for you too Anni.


Next Microsoft and the Xbox, the biggest selling games console in


the UK last year. It allows users to download new games and play


online against friends. But a growing number are discovering


Microsoft has banned them permanently. Why? It won't tell you.


Appealing the decision? Impossible. The reaction? Outrage.


35 million users worldwide. Players the length and breadth of Britain.


Xbox live is a great way of testing your skills and keeping in touch


with your mates. To be able to connect with friends and play


together, without needing to go to each other's houses, which isn't


always possible, when you do live in a rural area, it's a life line.


A life line that suddenly snapped. Over the last few weeks scores of


users have told us they've been cut off. Their consoles prevented from


connecting to others online. Microsoft says they violated their


terms of use, no further explanation given and no appeal


possible. When I turned on my Xbox and found it was banned, I felt


really upset and annoyed. We were accused of tampering or doing


something wrong with the account or violating their terms. When I spoke


to Microsoft there was no doubt in their mind that it was my son at


fault and as a result it wasn't necessary for an appeals system


because they weren't wrong. I just couldn't believe the arrogance and


the fact this they would not move on their point of view. The bans


have been issued by Microsoft's mysterious enforcement team whose


job is to stop Xbox users from breaking the rules like tampering


with the console, committing online fraud or repeatedly breaching the


terms of use. All the users who contacted us, insist they've done


none of these things? Fplgts I knew I didn't do anything. They wouldn't


tell me when, why or what I had done. Microsoft were adamant that


they could not be at all the. is Microsoft saying to customers?


Posing as the parent of a user, whose console had been disconnected,


we called customer services three times. Each time they were quick to


blame us for the ban. Trust me, there has to be some reason. Maybe


can you talk to your son. Maybe there's something you didn't know.


As for trying to prove our innocence, no chance. Unfortunately


there's no way to appeal it. The only thing once it's been banned,


that means the console's kind of dead, so to say. You can only buy a


new console if you want to play online again, OK? No, not OK. Any


other suggestions. The worst case scenario you will buy him a new


console for Christmas or something like that. What if there was the


faintest possibility that, you know, Microsoft itself might have got it


wrong? I can assure you, Sir, we have lots of calls about bans. In 1


hundred% of the cases the ban team is meticulous and always right.


Come again? They're always right. So now we know. Microsoft is


infallible. Who'd have thought it. If you're a customer, you will have


been given that impression. We were less sure. We called them again,


this time as watchdog. And? turns out, they were wrong, after


all. Fabulous! Yes just three hours after our call, Microsoft put up


They have reversed some of the bans and gave affected users three


months free Xbox live sup skripgs, plus 1600 Microsoft points around �


25 in compensation. Good job team.


Sadly, that's come too late for those users like Maxine, and her


11-year-old son James, who went out and bought a replacement Xbox to


get around the ban. We have two identical Xbox consoles and it was


a waste of money, basically. It was also too late for Jo, Stuart -- Jo


Stuart Matthews and her son. decided to go out and buy another


console because they said they wouldn't reverse -- reverse the ban.


I wasn't prepared to give them any more money. So we decided to buy a


PlayStation, which cost �170. received an e-mail from Microsoft


admitting their mistake. The ban was being lifted and their console


reconnected. I was really angry because all along they've told us


they didn't make mistakes and it was something Ben had done, which


had caused a lot of tension in the family. I wouldn't have bought the


console if it wasn't for their advice, so I think they should pay


for it. What are Microsoft going to do? Fplgts not much. They say the


advice from customer services was to buy a new Xbox not another brand


of console. So she won't be compensated. Those would bought a


new Xbox 360 before September 23 will be reimbursed for the price of


the new console as long as they can provide proof-of-purchase. The bans


were issued between August 29 and September 9. They deeply regret any


inconvenience this may have caused. Anyone affected should call their


support line. Next Love Film, the movie sup


skripgs service owned by Amazon, delivering DVDs to the doors of 1.7


million members, but it wants more people to sign up. Sales reps are


operating in shopping centres, offering free trials, discount


vouchers and unlimited DVDs. Too good to be true?


It's Sunday and that means one thing, settling down with my latest


delivery from Love Film. Perfect! The movie phenomenon


everyone's talking about. They were dreamers looking for Britain's


largest range of film, then came Love Film.


With over 70,000 tight tolz choose from, including movies exclusively


streamed as part of your sup skripgs. Sounds unmissable, but


what about the reviews? First one courtesy of chick flick fan Lexi, a


sales rep offered her a free trial for 30 days. What does that


involve? You get three movies for �5. You don't pay for the first 30


days and then after that �5 goes off your account every month. The


rep asked me for bank card details but they assured me it would be


charged after the first 30 days. checking her bank statement she saw


that Love Film had charged her almost immediately. She demanded an


answer. They told me that wasn't the deal it was three months for


the price of one so �5.99 had been charged to my account. I wasn't on


a 30-day free trial. I feel misled. After several e-mails Lexi got a


refund, a relationship that started well but ended messily.


Never mind, this is a double feature, so how about something for


the boys? Action thriller fan Ryan signed up to Love Film in April.


The rep told us we had 14 days to cancel. Most weekends I bought


movies any way. I thought I could go home and cancel if I wanted to.


He told me there was a link to cancel online. When he tried to


cancel online he couldn't. The web page directed him to a telephone


number. Spoke to customer service. He said there's no point in


cancelling, money's been taken and I wouldn't have a refund. I


realised I'd been missold this deal and there wasn't 14 days' cooling


off period. They had taken the money from my account the day that


they signed me up. After a call, and several e-mails, Ryan was also


refunded. But watchdog has received dozens of complaints about sales


practices and heard from more than 40 with cancellation problems. We


need to see what's going on. Oh, a spy film. Looks interesting.


This Autumn, Watchdog presents Love Film sales reps the movie you


cannot afford to miss. Two researchers coming to shopping


centres near you. Is that the best you can do, Chris?


Yeah! Charming. We spoke to six repz at four


different shopping centres around the country. All tried to sinus up


to a 21 day free trial or three months for the price of one. There


were first rate performances on the sales pitch. What's to think about?


Do you have to ring your boyfriend and see if he's got a pair? This


represent got his lines wrong? it easy to cancel? Go onto my


account and click cancel. Sounds convincing enough. I'm on the "my


account" section of the website. I'm going to try to cancel, by


clicking here. When I get through it says, that I have to call a


telephone number. So it's not like cancelling


Facebook then. But don't worry as according to the reps you're not


tied into anything. We don't bind you into anything. It's not a


contract? It's not a contract. contract? Wrong again, a Love Film


subscription is a legally binding contract, but every rep we spoke to


told us it waents. Now a contract comes with terms and conditions,


did any of the reps mention those? Not one. Had they even read them


themselves?. They won't charge me automatically? No, no. Untrue. At


the end of an interductery offer Love Film will begin billing unless


you cancel the account. At least there's the DVDs to look forward to,


how many would we get? The best offer is �5.99 for three months.


many as you want? Actually it's four a movement And what else?


get a �40 wine voucher. Great, if it was true. What we got was a �15


supermarket voucher and notd quite the same ring to it. It seems to me


the sales reps have been overselling services by putting


information in a very misleading way and leaving out very important


information. Doing that is potentially a breach of the


consumer protection from unFairtradeing regulations 2008.


Thank you Mark. Your review comes eight months


after Love Film had this TV ad banned. Can you have movies


streamed straight to your internet enabled TV. For implying streaming


was part of a free trial offer when it wasn't. So a misleading ad and


now misleading sales rep. What's Love Film's response to the


critics? Do we have a result? In response to our report, Love


Film have now suspended face-to- face selling by third party agency


involved. That will remain in effect will they review the sign up,


cancellation and training processes. They apologise to those who have


had a bad experience and ask anyone who's concerned at the way


membership was sold to them to contact this free phone number 0800,


Still to come: Dodgy offers from Tesco caught on cameras and the


Defy smartphone. Life-proof, says Motorola, so how does it explain


this? Back to First Active Drainage


Limited. Described in this north London directory as a local family


firm, it is also described as such in this Bristol directory. The same


with Brighton and Southend. In fact, we found their advert in 42 Local


Directories with each one saying they are based in that particular


area. So are they omnipresent? Can they transcend time and space? His


human cloning now a reality? There is a place for such fundamental


questions, and it is called the Watford.


It is also where we have set up a house with regulation old lady,


regulation expert and a drain with a simple blockage. All it needs is


a quick plunge, but First Active Drainage contractor Paul is


quitting already for extra machinery. Will I need any jets?


it is blocked out the front, you generally well. Will he not even


try a simple rot? On top of �47.50 for every half-an-hour of labour,


he will charge for using his own power jet. It makes it over �100


for half an hour's work, which is rather excessive. You don't expect


this sort of thing from a local family run business, do you? But it


isn't, it is based nowhere near here. How will he explain that?


Paul? The offices are bounce out. thought it was local? -- the


offices are down south. My family, we have been working like relatives,


Wake up, because you are in time for the Rogue Traders drain


clearing race. It does not get more exciting than this. On the left,


our man fell, on the right First Active Drainage's Paul with an


hourly rate of �214. Two drains, the same type of blockage. Phil and


Paul have their equipment in, having a good feel around. Phil is


pumping hard, making his what do the work. Paul's hose is looking


limp. And Phil has come first. There widow. Who writes this felt?


The blockage gone in 25 pulsating seconds. Any news on the run up?


What is he up to? -- the runner up. It looks like he is purposefully


wasting time. He is not doing anything. He should have easily


finished this job by now and left the property. 32 minutes after


arriving, Paul clears the drain, but he can still smell something.


Many. It is totally scaled up, it needs a d scale. I really need that


turns if you don't, this will back up again. He does not know what


scale they have got because he has not put a camera in. We have, and


we can say there is no scaling problem present. No concern to Paul,


who spends two hours and four minutes on the job. And that will


be... �465.23. And then I have got VAT on top of that? It is money For


Auld road for the government, 20%. He is blaming the government. This


Bill should have been �57, he has charged �558.27. This position is


not down to the coalition. What have we found out? It is clear


First Active Drainage Limited employed a similar job stretching


techniques whether in Islington, Gillingham or Watford. And then the


family thing. We have family in between... Even after this tortured


explanation, it is not clear who runs the company and whether it is


a family concern. It is a family, what is their name? I don't know


yet -- if it is a family. On paper, the director is Joseph Ashford, but


the guy dealing with the complaints is James Francis. Where are they


based? On the invoice, Southampton. How about this, we call them out


again in Southampton. We might get a family member, who knows?


We need an old lady, a very smiley one, plus a house with secret


cameras, you can see what is going on, and we need to lift the lid on


this drain and put in our usual mix to create a blockage. Leave it to


set for one day and like a teenage boy's internet access, it is


temporarily blocked. The water has built up and we have created a


blockage. There is a relief, nothing worse than an unrealistic


blockage. Time to call First Active Drainage Limited again. Who will


they send? It will probably be the wry end. The same that visited the


Rob and Liz! Will charge 22 pity pounds -- �22.54 half-an-hour and


if we used high-pressure equipment, an additional �59.90. Half the


price of Watford, why would that be? Hold on, that is why. There is


two of them. I am worried we will end up paying for two people to do


the work of one. Two people charging �22.50 each comes to �45


for half-an-hour, virtually the same rate as Watford. And they have


the same stretching technique, too. There is no need for the jet, that


can be clear with a plunger in less than a minute. So we will pay �59


each half an hour for a power jet we do not need. But are we any


closer to the family? Are you part of the family? Yes, my dad started


off the company. His son has just taken over because he has got older


now, so my older brother has taken over. So his dad's son is his


brother? Why didn't he say that in the first place? Just like last


time it takes around half an hour to clear the drain and once again


they are keen to grow this job by saying the drain needs more work.


What we will do, when the line has been full of sewerage, it builds up


scale in the pipe. If we don't clean it, the next lot will stick


to it. He has seen the water ago, he knows that the drain is clear.


There is no justification for jetting that train. He has done, at


most, five or six feet. We are paying for work he has not done,


but worse, paying for work that did not need to be done. Come in.


their rates, clearing the drain should have cost �27 but when they


add the cost of the jet, the extra man and the necessary work that was


not carried out, it is... �239 a team. But he is not finished, he


recommends Our Lady recommends -- replaces the manhole at the end of


the drive for �975! Would you recommend he has that done, is it a


necessity? We always do it. The man whole does not need to be replaced,


but he leads thinking we will call him back to do the work. And, do


you know what? I think we might. I and when we do we will have a


little surprise for him. It is the least we can do after he reeled us


in with his bail. If you have kept track of his costs, rates and VAT,


then congratulations, you know your maths. Maybe you can help us out


Just a few photographs you have sent in since last week's story


about a journalist who said he was ordered to stop noting down dodgy


multi-buy offers at Tesco. Tesco told us it was not company policy


and customers were free to write -- to take photos and write notes and


you have taken them up on the. None of those offers add up and


when they make a mistake, the multi-buys always cost more, never


less. Sometimes buying in bulk costs exactly the same, like this


one just in. Cheese and bacon potato skins, one for two pounds 50,


two for a fiver! Test goes say they have invested �500 million to help


customers save money -- Tesco say. Tens of millions of shelf edge


labels I invest also errors can occur but they are rare and they


work hard to keep them to a minimum. By a calculator, Tesco.


The Motorola Defy, a smart phone advertised and life-proof --


advertised as life-proof. As a hugely successful TV star, I


work hard and I play hard. I expect my mobile phone to do the same.


Based on a television advertisement, the Motorola Defy is the phone for


me. The Motorola advert, lots of beautiful people, dropped my phone,


it seems OK. They are jumping in the swimming hall! The phone is


getting wet, it does not seem to matter. Who are we kidding? Not


many people live like that. This is the sort of party I get invited to.


If Motorola are prepared to sell us an exaggerated version of life, are


they also selling exaggerated claims about the Defy? According to


the advert this phone can survive a night on the tiles, but can it


survive the more mundane things of Sadly for some Defy owners, their


phones were not as life-proof as the adverts make out. I was walking


down the road, and I went to crouch down, my phone slipped out of my


pocket and landed on its side and smashed the screen. I called


Motorola and they advised me it was not their liability and I need to


pay to get it fixed. I only had the phone for two months. His brand new


Defy was unusable after eight weeks, but Sam's smashed after eight weeks.


Mike Soper was only half a metre off the floor, but they said it


would cost �60 to repair the friend. I said, you are advertising a life-


proof phone, they show it dropping on to a dance floor, which would be


harder. So, six weeks was Sam. How long did Donna's life-proof phone


last? We had it for three weeks, we selected it having seen the advert


on television. It was accidentally dropped and the screen it smashed


completely. She took it back to the store and they were completely


shocked at the state of it because they had representatives from


Motorola banging the phone against a desk to show how sturdy they were,


and they suggested we contact Motorola. I felt the advert was


misleading and would they not at least cover the cost of repair?


They said no to everything. One of the strange things about the advert


is it claims to be scratch resistant. But the video footage in


the advert shows it being dropped prove, not just on any carpet put


on hard stone, and that is unusual because these claims contradict.


The adverts made a bold claims, but so does Motorola's head of


marketing. Here he is boasting the phone's designed to combat against


their lead -- daily wear and tear. But when you write to Motorola to


complain, their customer-service representatives do not seem so


We are having mixed messages from Motorola. On one hand they say it


is life-proof and on the other, mealie dust group, water-resistant


and scratch resistant. -- near lead dust proof. It comes down to how


you live your life. The Motorola Defy is tougher than some phones on


the market but not as tough as other to offer phones on the market.


It has some sturdy fit to us like - - features, like a rubber bag, and


it is made from the same toughened glass as other smart friends, so


there is nothing unique. Some of our viewers have had screens


shatter after just a couple of weeks. They lead pretty normal


lives. What should Motorola do? you are going to try to sell a


phone as tougher than other phones, they should offer a better service,


better customer support, that matches up to the life-proof claim


they are making. We know that smartphones will not always be able


to handle everything life throws at them, but as Motorola are selling


the Defy at life-proof, shouldn't they offer help when their brand


Lovely message. Tough o night. Motorola have apologised to the


customers featured and to anyone else experiencing similar problems.


Contact details for the company are available on our website. They


stand by the claims in the marketing campaign and say specific


drop, water tests were performed. These concluded that the chance of


a drop resulting in a crack screen was one in a thousand. They say


four million hand sets have been sold worldwide and reported


incidents of cracked screens represent less than 1% of all Defy


users in the UK. Thanks to everyone who has been in touch about that


story. Here's a few more: Planning to get the new Ryanair card to


avoid booking fees? Careful before using it to buy anything else. The


airline says anyone paying for flights with the new cash passport


will be exempt from the fees, all other passengers have to pay that's


�6 per person per flight. Now it's emerged if you use it for goods and


service as broad, it will cost you 5.75% of each transaction. There's


a �2 fee for with drauling from ATMs and �2.50 inactivity fee if


you don't use the card for six months. The airline says it's free


to purchase and top up, making it one of the most competitive prepaid


cards available. And it's free to use on Ryanair dotcom. Where else


would you book a Ryanair flight? Barclays, putting customers' needs


first according to their strategy and business model. Britain's most


complained about bank, according to the Financial Services Authority.


New figures show it received 250,000 complaints in the first


half of this year with more than half of those upheld. In second


position, Lloyds TSB. With 180,000 complaints. And in third, Santander


with 168,000. It's the second year in a row that Barclays has topped


the complaints table, although the number is down on 2010. Chief


executive Antony Jenkins says the bank apologises for its mistakes


and corrects them quickly. He says, delivering excellent service is


their goal every single day. So it's a pity they're getting 1,300


complaints every single day. Downton Abbey unexpected events,


dramatic twists, hardship and suffering and that's before the


programme starts. Fans of the ITV series have flooded the internet


complaining about the sponsorship ads from insurance giant Aviva, the


ones that run before and after each episode lots of times in the breaks.


They tell the story of a motorist who's been involved in a nasty


accident and then loses his job. Depressing, say angry viewers. The


ads are ruining our enjoyment. They've put us off aveefya. There's


even been a complaint to the TV regulator Ofcom. Aviva says it's


considered the content of the films carefully and as the story builds


in the coming weeks viewers will see a positive outcome. Perhaps the


actors another one who gets to have his way with lady Mary?


Of course he will, because that actor is clearly a biker.


Time for our final visit to First Active Drainage Limited now. Not to


be confused with companies of a similar names.


Exactly. They claim to clear your drains fast, when they don't. They


claim to be local, when they're not. And they claim to be a family firm,


a fact we've yet to establish. So, First Active Drainage Limited, who


do you think are you? Well we know who at least one of them is the man


who deals with complaints. Here's his signature, James Francis.


I've heard of him. You mentioned him earlier. Correct. We've done


some digging around and found out that his full name is James Francis


Dean. What do you think of that, James Dean? James Dean? No, never


heard of anyone with that name. Really? OK, he's obviously not the


live fast, die young James Dean, but he does drive a Porsche. And


he's got a reputation as a bad boy. He's previously been banned by the


Financial Services Authority from running mortgage companies, after


failing to prevent his business from being used to perpetrate


financial crime. As has his father Peter Francis Dean, who was fined


�17,500 for the same offence and he just happens to own this building.


It's an office in Bournemouth, to which we tracked First Active


Drainage Limited. Finally, a family connection. And it seems, a company


big fish. Before we get to that, I need to deal with a little fish,


remember Ryan, who stung the Buds and who came out to us in


Southampton? This Ryan. It's full up with muck. What we're going to


have to do is jet it. Oh, right. They build up scale in the pipe.


Scales, oh, there's an idea. So Ryan from First Active Drainage


Limited is about to turn up. When he turns up he's going to look down


the drain and when he looks down the drain, he's going to see this.


Hello Ryan, I'm a brown trout. If that doesn't put the willies up him,


I'm not sure what will. So they've just pulled up. Tom is playing the


householder and I'm on stand by. Ryan, how are you doing? Yeah, good.


Is it blocked again? A few times since. Cue talking fish. Hello Ryan,


I'm a brown trout. I've been released into the wild. What the


Talking fish. Hello Ryan, BBC rogue traders, good to see you, when I


look down a drain, all I see is things I'd rather not see. When you


look down, you see hundreds or thousands of pounds waiting to be


taken from people for jobs which don't need doing and actually you


don't end up doing. That's right isn't it, Ryan? That's what First


Active Drainage Limited do. That's what you do. You take money off


people for jobs that you don't end up doing and didn't need doing in


the first place. Are you going to move mate? Thousands of pounds you


take. Those people can't afford it either. And now for the big fish. I


need to catch up with either Josef Ashford or the man we've seen


running things James Francis Dean. It's 7.40, we're in a van, in the


car park of a fitness centre, somewhere near Bournemouth. James


Francis Dean is inside there. There are conflicting reports at the


moment. He may be doing dumbbell presses or doing a bosu crunch, we


just don't know wha. Should happen in a short while, is he exits the


fitness centre and we ask him questions like, how can First


Active Drainage Limited be local in over 40 different telephone


directors -- directories? That and many other important questions.


That's what we're waiting for. Hello James. How are you doing?


Where's the Porsche, that's the first thing we're worried B you


seem to have gone with a van today. The Porsche, is that gone? You'll


understand when you say you're being local in over 40 different


telephone directories it's difficult for people to understand


where you're from. I think you need to take it up with the owner of the


business. Yeah there's the owner and the guy who runs it. You're


going to tell me it's Jo. That's right. I'm the manager. You're the


guy who writes the letters. You're the guy who answers the phone.


You're the guy who runs the business. No, not correct. You are


the guy who will be aware, or you should be, that your guys are going


out, failing to use rods, which is the cheapest and easiest way to


do... I think erm... What we do is end up paying hundreds of pounds a


time for teen idgeers to put a hose down a drain, when there's a


cheaper and quicker way of doing it. I think maybe you should highlight


those facts to me and maybe you should take it up to the owner of


the business. We'd love to meet Joe and we can talk through these


problems, because you know, it seems to us that you are the one


running the business. James Francis Dean continues to deny running the


show, but doesn't seem to be able to take us to anyone else who does.


You will be aware of the complaints that come into you for overcharging,


massive overcharging. Would you like to see a list of the


complaints that have been dealt with or are you picking out a


hatful and then trying to make me look bad on television, which is


what you're doing. Now you've sprung it on me. You're sending out


guys... That's a false accusation. Can you move your arm please now.


You're sending out guys... Move your arm. Are you going to leave


now snfrplts I'm depoing leave now. -- I'm going to leave now. That's


James Francis Dean of First Active Drainage Limited, based in


Bournemouth, just so we're clear, not anywhere else, as far as we're


aware. James Francis Dean, also known as James Francis and also


known as James Dean, one would think. Today a rebel without a


Porsche. We have heard from Josef Ashford.


He did confirm he's the managing director. He says his father


started the business 35 years ago, building up a good reputation in


Bournemouth, Southampton and the New Forest. It's since become a


limited company. It has operatives in every area in which they


advertise. He says he and his father have been sick, limiting


their involvement. But he confirmed that James Francis Dean has


managerial responsibilities and that Peter Francis Dean owns the


building from which they operate. Work that out. I'll make James


Francis the latest pin up in our rogue gallery.


Time for texts and e-mails. Loads of you getting in touch about the


DVLA, saying you didn't get any reminders about those SORN forms.


You just received a penalty. Unhappy Love Film customers too,


including father bill Haymaker, a priest, who took up the supposedly


free offer, but was charged and then told there would be no refund.


A man of the cloth. You don't do that. Here's another great Tesco


offer, Cadbury's Roses the price was �10, now it's �10.40. Thank you


Tesco. Brilliant. Keep sending us your stories and tippoffs. Visit


the website. Click where it says "your story" or if you wish, write


to us. The address is on your screens now.


Coming up next week, Lloyds TSB, saga, if you're insured with them,


you may with in for a shock. Hot point, sales of this fridge freezer


went with a bang. Very appropriate. And British airways to fly, to


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