Your consumer champion
Katie Morley Investigates
A stranger got a fine in my dead father’s car but my mother must pay it Q My father died of a heart attack last year. We handed back his car to the manufacturer, Renault, through which he had a finance deal that was coming to an end. We could not find his V62 logbook, but the dealership said it would take the car back and deal with the paperwork later. Renault then sold the car without the full paperwork while we contacted the DVLA to obtain the logbook. It soon became apparent that the new owner of my father’s car had a habit of getting parking tickets, which we knew only because the car’s registered keeper still appeared to be my dad. We called Renault to ask why this was and it promised to sort it out. Most of the parking ticket companies were reasonable when we got in touch and agreed to cancel the fines. But one, UKCPS, did not respond and referred us to a debt collection agency for a parking fine relating to an incident that was eight months after my father’s death. Renault Finance has given almost zero support to my mother. We called the debt collection agency, which seemed more sympathetic, but it still didn’t offer a solution to resolve this matter. – ZS, via email A When selling your late father’s car this V62 document was essential, as it showed the DVLA who owned it. As the vehicle was sold without this paperwork it was still technically registered under your father’s name, even though a stranger was the one driving it. Renault may have been keen to sell the vehicle on as quickly as possible, but it should never have done so without the full documentation. Your poor mother was tearing her hair out over these threatening letters, so I asked Renault to get its act together and find a solution. In the meantime I also tried to contact UKCPS, as I felt its treatment of your mother had been incredibly callous and uncaring. But like you, I found it impossible to get through to anyone. In the end Renault agreed to pay the fine and sent your mother a bunch of flowers to say sorry. The DVLA also confirmed that the transfer of ownership had been completed, meaning that your mother will never be hassled for fines relating to this vehicle ever again. Now the matter is settled, you and your mother can be left in peace. Renault declined to comment. I bet on Liz Truss being PM but Paddypower hasn’t paid out Q I do not normally gamble, except for the National Lottery, but when I recognised last September that Boris Johnson was in trouble I bet £10 on Liz Truss becoming the next prime minister. The odds were 8/1. After she became leader last month I went into my Paddypower account, through which I had placed the bet, thinking I was going to find £90. Instead I discovered that there was only £10. I contacted Paddypower’s customer services twice and each time it told me there was no record of my having placed the bet. I argued that I would not have randomly credited my account with £10 and just left it there. Still it refused to acknowledge that I had won and there is no ombudsman to complain to. – AS, Dorset A This wasn’t the first time you had tried to predict our future leader. In 2019 you put money on Steve Baker becoming the next prime minister, which of course never came to be. Your second bet on Liz Truss turned out to be right on the money, except of course for the fact that you don’t appear to have actually placed it at all. You say you jumped for joy when she got in as you thought you had won £80, but this quickly turned to disappointment when you logged into Paddypower. When I asked the gambling company it said it had no record of any bet placed for Truss on the day in question, while you say you never received a confirmation email. Paddypower also confirmed that there had been no technical or IT problems of note that day, so I think the most likely truth of this situation is that you placed a bet but didn’t confirm it. This is something Paddypower asks all customers to do to stop them clicking on the wrong button if the odds move. I’m sure you will understand, therefore, that I cannot ask Paddypower to pay out on a bet that was never logged. Not many would have guessed that, a year on from your failed flutter on Truss, she would be sitting in office accused herself of having gambled with the British economy. Given the unfolding financial crisis in which thousands of families fear losing their homes, your “lost” £80 is somewhat put into perspective. The way things are going, you say, you may even be tempted to bet on our future leader once more, as you suspect Truss may not last. You haven’t the foggiest who you would back this time, though, but if you do settle on someone please do be sure to press the “confirm” button after placing your bet. Best of luck.