Letter told me that debt collectors were on the way

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Some of you may remember that a while ago I was given a parking ticket in Gosport. It was issued a measly minute over the time I should have left. A minute.

But a rule’s a rule, so I paid said ticket straight away, as it was at sale price. Yep, if you cough up the dough within 14 days, the amount is substantially smaller than if you delay.

But paying the same day obviously isn’t normal, I must have confused the system. A couple of months later I received a reminder letter from Town and City Parking, who also asked me to pay an inflated amount that included an administration fee.

Obviously I wrote straight back and told them I had already paid – citing the cheque number and the date it went from my account – and asking them for an equivalent £30 or so in my administration fee. Didn’t hear a bean back, so I assumed we were good.

Then a couple of weeks ago I got a letter telling me the debt collectors were on the way for a staggering £168.

I’ve been visited by debt collectors before, years ago when you could rent TVs and video players off the high street.

The company had, on a monthly basis, credited my TV account with double the rental fee and let my video player account slide right down into the red.

The big men came and repossessed the video player from my doorstep – hugely embarrassing – as the neighbours were watching. But it was easily sorted. I walked to the High Street and got a new video player and an apology.

But how infuriating this time to have to use a scrappy little comment box online as the only form of contact offered with Town and City. Mind you, although the box was small, I still managed to up my admin charges back at them as I explained – again – about the cheque and the date they took the money from my account.

Eventually, I was sent a refund for my parking charge (no mention of my admin fee though) and a comp slip that said: ‘I would like to apologise’. But this attempted placatory measure only made my blood boil. So my correspondence with Town and City rumbles on. I’ve sent the note straight back with a note of my own which simply says ‘go on then’.