DVLA act unlawfully whilst losing your letters and blaming you for it
Many companies act like complete arseholes when correspondence goes missing. The amount of times I haven't been sent a letter or the postman has eaten it (or whatever they do with them), to be then chased up with a grouchy phonecall has gone past the point of trying to remember a number.
However, most companies will concede and sort things out with you whilst you're on the phone. Not quite the case with the DVLA who’s off-road notification system has been described as "a shambles" and "legally unenforceable" and in "administrative chaos" according to The Reg.
Two court cases suggest that the DVLA has been acting unlawfully and, despite what it thinks, doesn't have the power to push motorists around like they do.
In one case, the DVLA was seeking a judgement against James Collins on the grounds that he had failed to notify it when took his vehicle off the road (SORN). However, Mr Collins had indeed notified them and in fact, it was the DVLA who had dropped a bollock by losing his details. The judge agreed that it wasn't Mr Collins' fault and he shouldn't have to stump up the cash to send correspondence by recorded delivery or any proof of posting for that matter.
If that was the case, and us plebs had to send everything by secure means, then the same would need to be required of any organisation we dealt with and, of course, they wouldn't want that as their postage costs would go through the roof.
In another similar case, Duncan Peck had a row with the DVLA over lost paperwork. The DVLA tried it on and said that Mr Peck should've rung them if he didn't receive any acknowledgement from them. Once again, the judge in question sided with the public saying that the DVLA have no statutory power requiring anyone to ring them.
This of course, doesn't stop the DVLA sending out bailiffs should anyone try to cross swords with it. These rulings could well be a serious blow to the organisation.
The simple fact of the matter is that the DVLA do lose mail and correspondence and are still seemingly happy to send out debt collection agencies even while complaints are under investigation.
This simply isn't good enough from a company that pockets somewhere in the region of £10m per year from penalty notices.
A spokesman for the DVLA: "The DVLA does not impose any requirements for customers to obtain proof of posting or use recorded delivery in their dealings with us. However, and this is a key point, the onus is on the customer to ensure their off-road notification is delivered to DVLA."
"With reference to non-receipt of acknowledgement letters by customers, there is no legal obligation on the customer to contact DVLA if they do not receive their acknowledgement letter. However, and another key point, we do advise customers to contact us if this happens so that we can confirm if their notification has been delivered to us or advise them otherwise how to comply".
There are calls to have a more open and transparent appeal system concerning the DVLA as, currently, they are self-regulatory. With these court cases and apparently lack of sympathy for genuine mistakes, the DVLA could lose the support of all motorists.