Episode 5 Watchdog


Episode 5

The consumer series hears from the drivers struggling to declare their cars off road - is the DVLA listening? Plus, the advertising promises made by mobile phone companies.


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Transcript


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

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

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

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

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Television Centre. Tonight, the DVLA threatening drivers with

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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showed how the DVLA tried to prosecute motorists to get their

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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acknowledge receipt of the form, they insist it is your

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

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

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

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

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

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

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power requiring anyone to contact them should they not receive an

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

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

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

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

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

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million late licence penalties since April last year. Asked if

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

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

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

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

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

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

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continues to pursue drivers with figure and was recently given new

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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his word against theirs. Has anything changed since we last

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

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start sending out additional reminders to give motorists further

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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procedure to deal with such disputes. Anyone unhappy with their

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penalty notices may have their appeal heard by an independent

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complaints assessor. But who decides whether the complaint

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

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the DVLA. DVLA complaints procedure seems to lack any transparency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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complaints from drivers who have had issues taxing or declaring

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

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referred to the independent complaints assessor. How many did

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

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appeal heard by the independent complaints assessor. I felt quite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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look at administration, unreasonable delays. He cannot look

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

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

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

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extremely insulting, effectively saying, we have not done anything

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

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

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Court judgments going against them and numerous law-abiding motorists

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

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system? Victoria Derbyshire reporting. With

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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That way you get immediate acknowledgement that your

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

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

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

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

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wrong. Big corporations, so remote from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Drainage Limited, not to be confused with others with similar

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

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

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

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Islington. Where are your drains? Just up here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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their dealings with First Active Drainage Limited, the couple only

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

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

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serve the sewage all the way back to Dan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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flipping horrible. That goes for you too Anni.

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

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

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online against friends. But a growing number are discovering

:19:29.:19:33.

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

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Appealing the decision? Impossible. The reaction? Outrage.

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

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

:19:47.:19:52.

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

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

:19:56.:20:01.

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

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

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

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connecting to others online. Microsoft says they violated their

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terms of use, no further explanation given and no appeal

:20:16.:20:21.

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

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

:20:26.:20:30.

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

:20:30.:20:34.

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

:20:34.:20:38.

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

:20:38.:20:44.

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

:20:44.:20:48.

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

:20:48.:20:52.

have been issued by Microsoft's mysterious enforcement team whose

:20:52.:20:56.

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

:20:56.:21:01.

with the console, committing online fraud or repeatedly breaching the

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

:21:05.:21:08.

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

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

:21:13.:21:18.

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

:21:18.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:25.

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

:21:25.:21:29.

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

:21:29.:21:33.

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

:21:33.:21:36.

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

:21:36.:21:40.

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

:21:40.:21:45.

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

:21:45.:21:50.

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

:21:50.:21:54.

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

:21:54.:21:57.

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

:21:57.:22:01.

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

:22:01.:22:06.

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

:22:06.:22:11.

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

:22:11.:22:20.

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

:22:20.:22:24.

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

:22:24.:22:27.

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

:22:27.:22:31.

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

:22:31.:22:38.

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

:22:38.:22:48.
:22:48.:22:49.

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

:22:50.:22:55.

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

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25 in compensation. Good job team.

:22:58.:23:02.

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

:23:02.:23:06.

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

:23:06.:23:11.

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

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

:23:20.:23:25.

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

:23:25.:23:29.

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

:23:29.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:39.

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

:23:39.:23:44.

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

:23:44.:23:47.

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

:23:47.:23:50.

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

:23:50.:23:54.

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

:23:54.:23:59.

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

:23:59.:24:02.

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

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

:24:07.:24:12.

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

:24:12.:24:16.

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

:24:16.:24:22.

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

:24:22.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:31.

inconvenience this may have caused. Anyone affected should call their

:24:31.:24:36.

support line. Next Love Film, the movie sup

:24:36.:24:40.

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

:24:40.:24:45.

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

:24:45.:24:50.

operating in shopping centres, offering free trials, discount

:24:50.:24:53.

vouchers and unlimited DVDs. Too good to be true?

:24:53.:24:58.

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

:24:58.:25:04.

delivery from Love Film. Perfect! The movie phenomenon

:25:04.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:11.

largest range of film, then came Love Film.

:25:11.:25:15.

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

:25:15.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:27.

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

:25:27.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:36.

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

:25:36.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:53.

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

:25:53.:25:58.

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

:25:58.:26:03.

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

:26:03.:26:11.

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

:26:11.:26:15.

refund, a relationship that started well but ended messily.

:26:15.:26:18.

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

:26:18.:26:27.

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

:26:27.:26:32.

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

:26:32.:26:37.

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

:26:37.:26:41.

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

:26:41.:26:47.

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

:26:47.:26:51.

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

:26:51.:26:55.

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

:26:55.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:02.

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

:27:02.:27:07.

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

:27:07.:27:14.

refunded. But watchdog has received dozens of complaints about sales

:27:14.:27:18.

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

:27:18.:27:28.
:27:28.:27:28.

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

:27:28.:27:33.

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

:27:33.:27:36.

cannot afford to miss. Two researchers coming to shopping

:27:36.:27:40.

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

:27:40.:27:46.

Yeah! Charming. We spoke to six repz at four

:27:46.:27:50.

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

:27:50.:27:56.

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

:27:56.:28:03.

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

:28:03.:28:09.

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

:28:09.:28:19.
:28:19.:28:20.

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

:28:20.:28:25.

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

:28:26.:28:29.

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

:28:29.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:38.

telephone number. So it's not like cancelling

:28:38.:28:44.

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

:28:44.:28:49.

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

:28:49.:28:53.

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

:28:53.:28:57.

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

:28:57.:29:02.

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

:29:02.:29:07.

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

:29:07.:29:14.

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

:29:14.:29:18.

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

:29:18.:29:21.

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

:29:22.:29:30.

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

:29:30.:29:35.

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

:29:35.:29:42.

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

:29:42.:29:46.

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

:29:46.:29:49.

the sales reps have been overselling services by putting

:29:49.:29:53.

information in a very misleading way and leaving out very important

:29:53.:29:55.

information. Doing that is potentially a breach of the

:29:55.:29:58.

consumer protection from unFairtradeing regulations 2008.

:29:58.:30:03.

Thank you Mark. Your review comes eight months

:30:03.:30:07.

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

:30:07.:30:14.

streamed straight to your internet enabled TV. For implying streaming

:30:14.:30:19.

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

:30:20.:30:24.

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

:30:24.:30:28.

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

:30:28.:30:32.

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

:30:32.:30:36.

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

:30:36.:30:39.

cancellation and training processes. They apologise to those who have

:30:39.:30:42.

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

:30:42.:30:48.

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

:30:48.:30:58.
:30:58.:31:02.

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

:31:02.:31:05.

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

:31:05.:31:11.

this? Back to First Active Drainage

:31:11.:31:14.

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

:31:14.:31:20.

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

:31:20.:31:27.

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

:31:27.:31:30.

Directories with each one saying they are based in that particular

:31:30.:31:36.

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

:31:36.:31:41.

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

:31:41.:31:46.

questions, and it is called the Watford.

:31:46.:31:54.

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

:31:54.:31:58.

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

:31:58.:32:03.

a quick plunge, but First Active Drainage contractor Paul is

:32:03.:32:10.

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

:32:10.:32:14.

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

:32:14.:32:20.

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

:32:20.:32:27.

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

:32:27.:32:31.

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

:32:31.:32:37.

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

:32:37.:32:41.

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

:32:41.:32:50.

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

:32:50.:32:59.

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

:32:59.:33:09.
:33:09.:33:12.

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

:33:12.:33:18.

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

:33:18.:33:22.

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

:33:22.:33:30.

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

:33:30.:33:35.

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

:33:35.:33:40.

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

:33:40.:33:46.

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

:33:46.:33:53.

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

:33:53.:34:01.

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

:34:01.:34:05.

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

:34:05.:34:10.

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

:34:10.:34:14.

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

:34:14.:34:23.

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

:34:23.:34:27.

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

:34:27.:34:32.

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

:34:32.:34:37.

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

:34:37.:34:41.

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

:34:41.:34:51.
:34:51.:34:52.

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

:34:52.:34:57.

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

:34:58.:35:05.

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

:35:05.:35:10.

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

:35:10.:35:13.

First Active Drainage Limited employed a similar job stretching

:35:13.:35:17.

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

:35:17.:35:23.

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

:35:23.:35:27.

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

:35:27.:35:33.

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

:35:34.:35:39.

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

:35:39.:35:43.

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

:35:43.:35:52.

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

:35:52.:35:59.

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

:35:59.:36:04.

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

:36:04.:36:09.

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

:36:09.:36:14.

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

:36:14.:36:19.

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

:36:19.:36:23.

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

:36:23.:36:28.

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

:36:28.:36:32.

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

:36:32.:36:39.

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

:36:39.:36:47.

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

:36:47.:36:52.

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

:36:52.:36:58.

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

:36:59.:37:04.

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

:37:04.:37:11.

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

:37:11.:37:14.

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

:37:14.:37:24.

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

:37:24.:37:29.

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

:37:29.:37:33.

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

:37:33.:37:42.

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

:37:42.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:53.

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

:37:53.:37:58.

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

:37:58.:38:01.

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

:38:01.:38:06.

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

:38:06.:38:13.

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

:38:13.:38:17.

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

:38:18.:38:24.

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

:38:24.:38:32.

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

:38:32.:38:35.

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

:38:36.:38:42.

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

:38:42.:38:45.

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

:38:46.:38:50.

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

:38:50.:38:59.

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

:38:59.:39:03.

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

:39:03.:39:10.

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

:39:10.:39:15.

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

:39:15.:39:20.

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

:39:20.:39:26.

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

:39:26.:39:30.

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

:39:30.:39:36.

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

:39:36.:39:39.

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

:39:40.:39:49.
:39:50.:40:22.

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

:40:22.:40:26.

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

:40:26.:40:31.

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

:40:31.:40:35.

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

:40:35.:40:39.

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

:40:39.:40:43.

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

:40:43.:40:49.

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

:40:49.:40:54.

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

:40:54.:41:00.

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

:41:00.:41:07.

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

:41:07.:41:11.

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

:41:11.:41:16.

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

:41:16.:41:23.

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

:41:23.:41:28.

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

:41:28.:41:34.

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

:41:34.:41:40.

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

:41:40.:41:46.

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

:41:46.:41:51.

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

:41:51.:41:57.

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

:41:57.:42:05.

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

:42:05.:42:09.

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

:42:09.:42:14.

they also selling exaggerated claims about the Defy? According to

:42:14.:42:18.

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

:42:19.:42:28.
:42:29.:42:37.

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

:42:37.:42:43.

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

:42:43.:42:48.

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

:42:48.:42:53.

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

:42:53.:42:57.

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

:42:57.:43:04.

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

:43:04.:43:10.

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

:43:10.:43:14.

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

:43:14.:43:21.

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

:43:21.:43:26.

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

:43:26.:43:33.

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

:43:33.:43:39.

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

:43:39.:43:44.

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

:43:44.:43:47.

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

:43:47.:43:53.

shocked at the state of it because they had representatives from

:43:53.:43:58.

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

:43:58.:44:02.

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

:44:02.:44:05.

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

:44:05.:44:11.

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

:44:11.:44:16.

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

:44:16.:44:21.

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

:44:21.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:35.

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

:44:35.:44:40.

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

:44:40.:44:45.

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

:44:45.:44:48.

complain, their customer-service representatives do not seem so

:44:48.:44:58.
:44:58.:45:01.

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

:45:01.:45:06.

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

:45:06.:45:13.

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

:45:13.:45:18.

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

:45:18.:45:23.

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

:45:23.:45:30.

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

:45:30.:45:36.

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

:45:36.:45:40.

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

:45:40.:45:43.

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

:45:43.:45:49.

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

:45:49.:45:54.

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

:45:54.:45:58.

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

:45:58.:46:03.

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

:46:03.:46:08.

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

:46:08.:46:12.

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

:46:12.:46:22.
:46:22.:46:22.

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

:46:23.:46:26.

customers featured and to anyone else experiencing similar problems.

:46:26.:46:30.

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

:46:30.:46:36.

stand by the claims in the marketing campaign and say specific

:46:36.:46:39.

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

:46:39.:46:44.

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

:46:44.:46:48.

four million hand sets have been sold worldwide and reported

:46:48.:46:52.

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

:46:52.:46:55.

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

:46:55.:47:03.

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

:47:03.:47:07.

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

:47:07.:47:10.

airline says anyone paying for flights with the new cash passport

:47:10.:47:14.

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

:47:14.:47:18.

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

:47:18.:47:24.

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

:47:24.:47:30.

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

:47:30.:47:34.

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

:47:34.:47:39.

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

:47:39.:47:43.

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

:47:43.:47:51.

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

:47:51.:47:54.

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

:47:54.:47:57.

complained about bank, according to the Financial Services Authority.

:47:57.:48:00.

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

:48:00.:48:04.

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

:48:04.:48:14.

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

:48:14.:48:18.

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

:48:18.:48:23.

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

:48:23.:48:26.

executive Antony Jenkins says the bank apologises for its mistakes

:48:26.:48:30.

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

:48:30.:48:36.

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

:48:36.:48:44.

complaints every single day. Downton Abbey unexpected events,

:48:44.:48:47.

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

:48:47.:48:52.

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

:48:52.:48:56.

complaining about the sponsorship ads from insurance giant Aviva, the

:48:56.:49:00.

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

:49:00.:49:03.

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

:49:03.:49:08.

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

:49:08.:49:13.

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

:49:13.:49:18.

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

:49:18.:49:21.

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

:49:21.:49:27.

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

:49:27.:49:35.

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

:49:35.:49:39.

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

:49:39.:49:44.

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

:49:44.:49:47.

be confused with companies of a similar names.

:49:47.:49:51.

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

:49:51.:49:55.

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

:49:55.:50:00.

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

:50:00.:50:08.

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

:50:08.:50:12.

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

:50:12.:50:16.

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

:50:16.:50:22.

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

:50:22.:50:28.

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

:50:28.:50:37.

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

:50:37.:50:40.

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

:50:40.:50:45.

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

:50:45.:50:48.

Financial Services Authority from running mortgage companies, after

:50:48.:50:51.

failing to prevent his business from being used to perpetrate

:50:51.:50:57.

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

:50:57.:51:02.

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

:51:02.:51:04.

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

:51:04.:51:09.

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

:51:09.:51:15.

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

:51:15.:51:18.

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

:51:18.:51:23.

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

:51:23.:51:32.

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

:51:32.:51:36.

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

:51:36.:51:39.

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

:51:39.:51:45.

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

:51:45.:51:49.

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

:51:49.:51:55.

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

:51:55.:52:03.

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

:52:03.:52:13.
:52:13.:52:14.

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

:52:14.:52:19.

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

:52:19.:52:29.
:52:29.:52:36.

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

:52:36.:52:39.

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

:52:39.:52:45.

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

:52:45.:52:49.

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

:52:49.:52:53.

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

:52:53.:52:55.

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

:52:55.:52:59.

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

:52:59.:53:02.

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

:53:02.:53:12.
:53:12.:53:15.

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

:53:15.:53:21.

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

:53:21.:53:27.

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

:53:27.:53:33.

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

:53:33.:53:37.

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

:53:37.:53:43.

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

:53:43.:53:47.

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

:53:47.:53:52.

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

:53:52.:53:57.

Active Drainage Limited be local in over 40 different telephone

:53:57.:54:00.

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

:54:00.:54:07.

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

:54:07.:54:10.

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

:54:10.:54:15.

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

:54:15.:54:20.

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

:54:20.:54:24.

telephone directories it's difficult for people to understand

:54:24.:54:29.

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

:54:29.:54:32.

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

:54:32.:54:36.

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

:54:36.:54:39.

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

:54:39.:54:42.

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

:54:42.:54:46.

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

:54:46.:54:50.

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

:54:50.:54:55.

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

:54:55.:54:59.

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

:54:59.:55:03.

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

:55:03.:55:07.

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

:55:07.:55:12.

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

:55:12.:55:15.

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

:55:15.:55:20.

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

:55:20.:55:23.

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

:55:23.:55:28.

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

:55:28.:55:31.

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

:55:31.:55:34.

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

:55:34.:55:37.

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

:55:37.:55:43.

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

:55:43.:55:47.

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

:55:47.:55:52.

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

:55:52.:55:58.

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

:55:58.:56:05.

James Francis Dean of First Active Drainage Limited, based in

:56:05.:56:10.

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

:56:10.:56:13.

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

:56:13.:56:17.

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

:56:17.:56:24.

Porsche. We have heard from Josef Ashford.

:56:24.:56:28.

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

:56:28.:56:32.

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

:56:32.:56:35.

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

:56:35.:56:39.

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

:56:39.:56:43.

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

:56:43.:56:48.

their involvement. But he confirmed that James Francis Dean has

:56:48.:56:51.

managerial responsibilities and that Peter Francis Dean owns the

:56:51.:56:55.

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

:56:55.:57:00.

Francis the latest pin up in our rogue gallery.

:57:00.:57:04.

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

:57:04.:57:08.

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

:57:08.:57:12.

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

:57:12.:57:17.

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

:57:17.:57:20.

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

:57:20.:57:25.

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

:57:25.:57:31.

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

:57:31.:57:36.

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

:57:36.:57:43.

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

:57:43.:57:48.

to us. The address is on your screens now.

:57:48.:57:53.

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

:57:53.:57:57.

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

:57:57.:58:04.

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

:58:04.:58:08.

Watchdog hears from the drivers struggling to declare their cars off road. Is the DVLA listening? Plus, the mobile phone companies whose advertising promises don't come up to scratch.


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