Dart charge penalty - kevf66

Dart charge fine. We have incurred a dart charge fine from a enforcement agent called JBW, of nearly £1000 even though we have had an on going account paying automatically since the dart charge online has been in place and need some advice please. My partner was paying for both of our cars for years and due to her card expiry, we must hsve missed 4 crossing payments. The dart charge company apparently informed us via a letter, but was sent to our previous address so we never saw there was a problem. She was notified to top account up and change cards to a valid card, but was still never informed that there was some unpaid crossings, dating back to end of 2017. The fines have always been outstanding we were never aware till we received a enforcement letter totalling £997 on the 21/12/2018. Is there any advice on how to act, as we have always been honourable people, always had an account to our knowledge and been paying it off and had 4 x £2.50 crossings now totalling £997.00. The stress that puts on a family who feel we have done the correct thing all along is unbelievable and want to fight this but not sure where to begin. Please any advice Many thanks Kevin

Dart charge penalty - FP

Others will I think be better qualified than me to suggest a way forward.

However, your sentence "The dart charge company apparently informed us via a letter, but was sent to our previous address so we never saw there was a problem" leaves it open as to whether you simply forgot to update your address with the Dart charge company. If so, you have only yourself to blame. And presumably there were other letters warning you that the amount outstanding would increase the longer the charges were unpaid.

I'm not suggesting this is some serious moral failing - it's easily done. The consequential increase of a sum of £10 to £997 I do find troubling, however. Presumably it has gone to collection enforcement.

Edited by FP on 10/01/2019 at 19:09

Dart charge penalty - kevf66

I understand where your coming from, and we do have ourselves to blame for the change of address.

My wife was notified that our account was needing a top up shortly after these penalties but they didn't notify her at all that there is an outstanding fines. If we had been aware we would have cleared debt there and then, and it would not have risen from £10 to £997.

Totally confusing to be honest, and yes it's with an enforcement company now.

Dart charge penalty - daveyjp
OP. Search the forums on Pepipoo for Dart charge matters.
Dart charge penalty - concrete

I set up a direct debit to pay the charge automatically, however you do have to check when your card expires and you have a new one. The same for credit cards too. This sounds like and enormous amount of money for a simple failure. Clearly you have no intention of evading the charge because you had a payment scheme set up. I would approach them, also e mail the office of the CEO and explain your position and past history of payments. Surely common sense should prevail and a reasonable compromise could be reached. Good luck.

Concrete

Dart charge penalty - Bromptonaut

Crossing enforcement works like Council issued parking tickets. I suspect Dart Charge will go after the Registered Keeper. Did OP update DVLA with new address immediately they moved?

Assuming the penalty was registered with a County Court, probably the Traffic Enforcement Centre in Northampton, this advice may be useful:

bailiffadviceonline.co.uk/index-page/dart-charge-a...t

Edited by Bromptonaut on 11/01/2019 at 19:19

Dart charge penalty - kevf66

Thanks, I'm hoping common sense does prevail.

Submitted the forms to appeal and waiting for a reply.

Dart charge penalty - Bromptonaut

Thanks, I'm hoping common sense does prevail.

Submitted the forms to appeal and waiting for a reply.

Thank you. Please keep us posted. I work in the advice sector and see this sort of thing, though usually with council parking tickets, on a regular basis. Would be interested in how, assuming you've lodged a witness statement with Court, you get on.

Further to my post on 11-01-19 having scratched my head a bit I'm more or less convinced the notices have to go to keeper's address irrespective of any account with Dart Charge. I have an account on which both our cars are listed. If Mrs B's car goes through crossing and payment fails it's her liability as keeper not mine as account holder.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 22/01/2019 at 15:28

Dart charge penalty - concrete

Thanks, I'm hoping common sense does prevail.

Submitted the forms to appeal and waiting for a reply.

Further to my earlier post. Last December we used the crossing and thought nothing of it. A day or so later I received an e mail asking for payment. I then realised that a new debit card had been issued. I went online immediately and paid the charge and changed the card details for my account. In fact they took the money twice. The once I paid immediately and then again with the new card details. Couldn't be bothered to chase it for £2.50p. Glad I received the e mail though otherwise the charges may have mounted up. I had not realised the implications of having a new card. I use my i phone and Applepay which automatically updates new cards so I was blindsided for while. Just goes to show how easy it is to fall foul of procedures.

Hope your appeal goes well kev.

Cheers Concrete

Dart charge penalty - drbe

Sorry to say, it looks like you only have yourself to blame.

1. Card expired. Appropriate action was not taken.

2. you moved. You neither had mail redirection in place, nor did you notify the people who should have been told.

3. "We have always been honourable people". well, both irrelevant and not strictly accurate.

4. "We feel we have done the correct thing all along". Well, no. See 1 and 2 above.

Let us know how you get on.

Dart charge penalty - drbe

I meant to add and forgot.

This should either be in 'Motoring', or 'Legal matters'.

Dart charge penalty - Meteiro

I meant to add and forgot.

This should either be in 'Motoring', or 'Legal matters'.

Self deleted, not worth the hassle.

Edited by Meteiro on 22/01/2019 at 20:21

Dart charge penalty - barney100

Didn't the card company renew your card when it expired? Seems a large fine for crossing a bridge.

Dart charge penalty - Bromptonaut

The fine is £70 (with £35 option for early payment) but OP has more than one. Continued non payment results in a Charge Notice increasing fine by 50%, further costs are added when debt is registered with County Court.

The big addition though will be Bailiff's fees, £75 for writing to you and £235 for a home visit.

Citizens Advice research suggests Bailiffs routinely play fast and loose with rules and the regulation of their trade is in desperate need of (a) reform and (b) teeth. However traffic fines wouldn't end up with Bailiffs if people ensured their address on V5 is correct and that correspondence sent to it is dealt with promptly.

Dart charge penalty - oldroverboy.

However traffic fines wouldn't end up with Bailiffs if people ensured their address on the V5 is correct and that correspondence sent to it is dealt with promptly.

Agree totally!

Dart charge penalty - Brit_in_Germany

Is there not a mechanism for entering an email address for notifications? Where I have auto-renewing subscriptions taking money off a credit card, I am happy that every couple of years they need a card update which gives me a prompt to cancel the subscription.

Dart charge penalty - Gibbo_Wirral

Is there not a mechanism for entering an email address for notifications? Where I have auto-renewing subscriptions taking money off a credit card, I am happy that every couple of years they need a card update which gives me a prompt to cancel the subscription.

I get a monthly e-statement from Mersey Ferries for my tunnel tag.

The only difference is that I don't have a DD set up (I just top up when low) and the Mersey tunnels have barriers - so no credit on my account, the barrier doesn't lift.

I can see how having no barriers would improve traffic flow (the Mersey Tunnel toll gates are a nightmare). But conversely, I can also see how they can use a no barrier scheme to make extra money from fines (like the new Mersey Crossing at Runcorn).

Dart charge penalty - Middleman

Didn't the card company renew your card when it expired? Seems a large fine for crossing a bridge.

No doubt they did (unless the holder told them not to). The trouble is, the new one would have a different expiry date and any attempted payments would fail.

Dart charge penalty - Fernando P

I set up my Dart Charge (DC) account on line and received a warning e-mail before my debit card was due to expire. I am not sure how the holder set up his account but irrespective of what he should have done to manage it, the fine seems disproportionate to the outstanding payment. If I recall correctly, the account should always be £10 in credit and when it drops below this amount, the next advance amount of £10 is taken from the card to add to whatever remaining balance was held then. I wonder by how much this was exceeded to trigger the penalty? I would mention this in the appeal as it may be helpful, given an advance payment could have been held by the DC Operator for a while. I think the holder should immediately pay the outstanding charge and include the above points in his appeal.

Edited by Fernando P on 23/01/2019 at 14:04

Dart charge penalty - KB.

Not claiming to be able add any solutions to the problem being discussed - but just to say there is an alternative solution to paying for the crossing in the form of Dartsave. I did register with them as I only anticipated occasional use of the crossing and the way it works seemed to fit the bill.

If you Google Dartsave.co.uk there's plenty of references to it.

I admit thi sounds like an advert but I think Avant knows it isn't .... I don't have any connection with them. Maybe when the OP gets sorted he/she could check to see if it might prevent future hiccups.

Dart charge penalty - barney100

That's one to remember.

Dart charge penalty - Big John

I've setup my Datcharge account as a direct debit from my bank account not on a debit card so this won't expire.

My biggest issue with the Dartford crossing was re signage. I am not sure if it has improved but there was no sign with a number to call - just a sign with a large red "C", "Dartcharge" and a message "find us online". If you are from out of the area (or from abroad) this could easily be overlooked/missed.

If you have not heard of it before and you are driving towards France, it's a little late - The first time I saw this I had to get the laptop out at the ferry port to setup an account. When it was first introduced, the Dartcharge site did not work well with my mobile phone. If you do not have any technology with you then you have had it as they do not seem to mention the telephone number to call anywhere on the signage. Many people still do not have a smart phone (well Mrs BJ and my mother don’t!).

It may have improved as I've not driven that way for a while as the A14/M11 has been dreadful for some time because of long-term roadworks.

Dart charge penalty - Smileyman

I use have been using this crossing (on and off) since when it was just the one tunnel .. single lane in each direction, it is still the same nightmare today, the only change is it's a bigger nightmare - more traffic, more lanes but the same congestion.

The barrier free driving has not had any impact at all, northbound the queues through the tunnels can be as bad as ever. The signage for the toll is very poor, easy in traffic to miss whilst watching the road, I'm not surprised that so many overlook paying - having the telephone number on display would be too dangerous, it would cause accidents as drivers struggle to find pen/paper and write it down whilst driving (even walking pace as so often is the case).

The ideal solution is for the Dart people to automatically broadcast a text message to every mobile telephone as the vehicles enter or exit the tunnels, including link for payment howsoever selected. OK, would be nuisance for the likes of me with a Dart account but it would make payment easier and highlight the need to pay - or if use of the crossing is free such as at night. (OK Mrs S would receive a message too, but life can be fun at times!)

Dart charge penalty - Avant

One of the things that enhances my quality of life is that - living in Berkshire for 40 years and now in Dorset - I never have occasion to use the Dartford crossing either way.

Dart charge penalty - Bromptonaut

Any chance of update from OP on this? Particularly interested in how the Witness Declaration process worked.

As an aside although I thought my Dart Charge top up was by DD it's actually linked to my debit card. Got a reminder e-mail a week or two ago and my new bank card arrived yesterday. Not just the expiry date that's changed there's whole new 16 digit card number too something to do with being a Santander Select customer now. Also went over the crossing yesterday and, barring delays sending me home via M26/M25W/M40 will use it again on Tuesday so may need a top up soon.

Dart charge penalty - Bromptonaut

Still hoping for an update from OP.

Today I tried to change my top up method from debit card to Direct Debit. Couldn't sort on website as apparently I failed security after multiple attempts to type by sort code; you'd think 09-01-27 as it appears on my card and chequebook would be right but apparently not.

As suggested I phoned the contact centre. First staff member I spoke to was clearly a newbie; had to keep putting me on hold while she spoke to her supervisor*. Kept trying to tell me I should have a card registered as well as a DD 'for my own protection'. I'm trying to limit the number of traders storing my card 'cos it's a PITA when card expires or I loose it.

Eventually suggested to newbie that it'd be better if I spoke directly to manager which she agreed, Seems their concern is I could use up my entire £10 'buffer' while DD was processing or a DD could fail and I'd end up with penalties like OP. Given I use the Crossing 4 or 6 times a year going to Channel ports or Kent that's pretty unlikely. Quite often go M40/M25W/M26 rather than via Dartford. I'm in fortunate position of being working retired; I've both a pension and work income but no mortgage. Excluding industrial scale fraud there's NO prospect of a DD failing for lack of funds.

Eventually Supervisor grasps that I'm OK with risk and transfers me back to original agent who processes my DD. Took about half an hour.

On a human note I commented that people I spoke to didn't sound as though they were from Kent or Essex. As I suspected from accents call centre is in Leeds - told them it was City of my birth and youth - rapport re-established.

* I work in a call centre type operation and well remember the stage where every hour was a school hour.

 

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