Disputes/Defences To Claim
I do not believe I am liable. The store may have made a mistake. My actions were not intentional. I was affected by illness or my medication. It was not me, it was the person I was with. - If any of these apply, you may have a Defence to the Claim. You must notify us of the circumstances and provide your account along with any supporting evidence you have. Your Defence will then be fully investigated. If the Defence is valid, the Claim will be withdrawn. If you do not provide the information, we will rely upon the Claimant’s account, and the case will proceed.
I deny liability - It is simply not sufficient to say, “I deny any liability.” You need to clarify whether you were involved in a wrongful act or not and if involved, make clear if intentional or unintentional and whether you accept any responsibility for your actions. Legally, you are required to, respond to the claim made and set out your reasons for refusing to pay the compensation sought, or provide a defence to the claim and give your version of events or engage in attempts to settle the legitimate claim. Parties who fail to engage with a claim made against them at the pre-action stage may well face costs consequences at the conclusion of proceedings regardless of the ultimate outcome of the litigation.
What happens if my version of events/what happened on the day is different to your client? - All disputed versions of events are further investigated with the client concerned, the Police if involved and all supporting evidence is reviewed again. Where a defence has any merit the claim is unlikely to proceed. Where a defence has no merit the claim is likely to continue. If there can be no resolution between the parties over the version of events, then the matter may be resolved in Court.
This was a mistaken oversight on my part, I did not intend to steal - It will be noted on the case that you state the incident was a “genuine mistake.” It is vital that you provide your version of events. The matter will be further investigated and evidence reviewed against your account. Consideration may be given as to what the “average person” would do in the same circumstances and these may be compared to your actions. Each case turns on its own merits and evidence. Where a defence has any merit the claim is unlikely to proceed. It may still be that your actions caused a loss to the business as your actions reasonably led loss prevention personnel to believe that you intended to leave the store without paying.
It is not proportionate to pursue unemployed shoppers for unjustified sums for a single incident of attempted theft of trivial value. -Being unemployed is no defence to attempting to steal. No business can survive indefinitely if everyone stole, even if the values of the thefts are low.
I paid for the goods at the time - If you paid for the goods or made a charity donation as a result of Police involvement, Restorative Justice or a Community Resolution, this has no effect upon the civil claim. If you were permitted by the store to pay for the goods at the time of the incident, depending upon the circumstances, this may be a defence. You must advise us how it came about that the goods were paid for, to whom paid, plus copy of receipt if still in your possession, so that this can be investigated further.
I offered to pay for the goods at the time, its not right to charge me so much now - Once anybody is observed removing goods without paying for them, and where our client believes that this is intentional, payment for the goods thereafter cannot be accepted. Our client seeks to deter such wrongful acts. We are sure you will appreciate that if you were simply allowed to pay for the goods after your actions were discovered, there would be no deterrent to you returning to repeat your actions.
Why is such action being taken against me, it’s not fair everything was recovered so there is no loss - Crimes are expensive for businesses to be left to stand all the costs. There is a mistaken belief that just because the goods are recovered there is no cost to the business. Security measures are only a business cost because people steal. Further, there should be an ownership for your actions and a willingness to make some reparation if you are genuinely remorseful. Businesses use civil recovery to deter from further incidents of theft and fraud by your acceptance of responsibility for your actions.
If I pay for the damaged item, will I be entitled to it? – No. The act of dishonesty does not then give you any rights to the goods.
The goods I returned to your client were expensive/worth more than the goods I took I want them back - The value you purport the items to be worth cannot be evidenced. In any event, you relinquished all ownership and rights to the goods when you voluntarily offered them to our client, in the course of the fraudulent refund transactions.
The store/guard told me the amount I would have to pay be would only be £x amount, you can’t charge more – If any amount was mentioned, it has no bearing as it is only when the claim is assessed that the claim amount becomes known. Our letter details the amount our client wishes to claim from you.
I don’t think the amount claimed is reasonable - Whilst you may feel the amount claimed is not, “reasonable,” it nonetheless is considerably lower than the actual losses the business has incurred. You are perfectly entitled to make a counter offer for the business to consider.
I switched labels on two identical products and paid for it – why do you say there is a loss? - If the items were identical in every way, size, colour, brand, you should have taken both products to the checkout to have the matter dealt with. If there was any variation between the products such as colour or size difference, then the products were not in fact identical. If you allocated a price ticket of a lower value to an item of our client’s stock, you had no authority to do this. Where this is done, liability is held by the person interfering with the price-tag and not with a cashier that fails to spot the issue. If you had any queries in relation to the price you could have easily spoken to a member of staff, rather than taking matters into your own hands.
I mistakenly returned items with the wrong tickets on them – your client could still sell the item so where is the loss?
It is the responsibility of the purchaser not to remove identifying tags from their purchases until they are satisfied they are retaining the item then mistakes cannot occur. Even if mistakenly returned, such actions have a consequence for which you need to take responsibility. When goods are returned, staff are entitled to rely on the fact that the item has one of their tags on it and that tag relates to a bar coded item on the till receipt. These are acts of fraud resulting in securing financial gain, and the business suffering financial loss for which it is entitled to be compensated for. The incorrectly returned items have no value.
I was only one of the persons involved in this incident
If you committed your wrongdoing jointly with others, you are each responsible to pay the collective sum sought. The sum is between you. It does not matter whether one of you pays the whole sum, or you share the payment between you, provided the claim is settled. It is advisable to speak to your co-defendant/s to arrange how to share payment. If you wish to contact us to make an offer to settle your own liability, this can be agreed and the remainder of the claim will continue against your co-defendant(s) and no proceedings could then be issued against you.
I was with the person who committed the act but I had nothing to do with it, what should I do?
Our client provided us with your details on the basis that they feel you were involved in the incident along with your co-defendant/s in a “joint venture.” If you believe you played no part whatsoever in the incident, you must notify us immediately with your version of events. All disputed versions of events are further investigated with the client concerned, the Police if involved and all supporting evidence is reviewed again. Where a defence has any merit the claim is unlikely to proceed. If your involvement in the incident is established, on the balance of probability, you will each be jointly and severally liable to compensate the business for the losses incurred
I am not the person involved. Somebody may have used my identity/ the person you wrote to does not live at my address
The identity of the Defendant was verified as far as possible at the time of the incident. Your identity and/or address may have been used fraudulently. It is important that you contact us to advise if this is the case. We also recommend you alert the Police as somebody may be committing offences using your identity and/or address. We are not permitted to share information regarding the case with you if you are not the person involved due to the DPA. We can however share this information with the Police pursuant to Section 29 DPA. We may require some identification from you e.g. copy driving licence, passport, proof of residence to assist in establishing fraudulent use. Information provided will be processed solely for dealing with the fraud. It will not be passed to any third party for any other reason. Once false identity has been established this will be recorded. A record of the incident will be retained in case somebody uses your identity and/or address again. Your name and address will not be affected in any way.
For more information on identity theft, please visit www.identitytheft.org.uk.
I am not the person involved but you have advised that my ID was verified by Police/driving licence
At the time of the incident, identity may have been confirmed by reliable sources such as the Police or by photo ID such as driving licence, or passport. Where there is then a dispute over identity you need to provide some photographic identification, such as a driving license or passport. If you do not have a driving license or a passport, then any photo identification is acceptable as long as it shows a clear, recent photograph of yourself and your full name. Other documents include, bus pass, student card, club membership and similar. Alternatively, a photograph of yourself along with your address information can be taken to a solicitor for a solicitor to certify the image is a true likeness and the supporting address documents are correct. Please note, you are likely to be charged a fee for this. If your details were verified by the Police, it is essential, if it was not you that was involved in this incident, that you report this immediately to the Police.