Luce Smith, Features Writer
Fed up of GDPR emails jumping in your inbox? I’m loving it, finally a chance to get rid of unwanted emails. Or will it…..
I have not been amused this week at all. Cast your mind, if you would please, back to October 2017. Sadly, one evening driving home, I failed to stick to the 30mph, and was caught speeding. I got a letter a few days later, and paid the fine. Gutted, more expense, the fine, insurance etc etc. That same week, I was told I was being made redundant, so was frantically thinking of all my options and reading lots and lots. I needed to know where I stood. There were also other things going on in Lucy’s world, so it wasn’t the best time of year.
Anyway, about a month ago, whilst checking through my bank statement, I noticed money had come in from HM courts. The same amount of money I paid out for my fine in October. I checked my emails for some notification about this. Nothing. I checked the post and the firelighting basket. Nothing. I ended up googling, and from doing that, found out it was the beginning of something I wasn’t going to enjoy. At all.
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Basically, back in October, when I got the fine, I should have also sent in my driving licence for the points to be endorsed. Why didn’t it say clearly on the letter? Why wasn’t a reminder sent a week after the fine was paid? Instead, I was now being threatened with a real hefty fine, and/or a court hearing.
I felt sick. What sort of place do we live in? I am not a bad person. I put the bins out, pick up Bella's dog poo, pay council tax, and volunteer for a charity, and try to be environmentally friendly.
I do 7 mph over the limit, and boom, a fine, and because I failed to send in my licence, a threat of a court hearing.
I was so caught up in worrying about my future, that I didn’t read past the instruction of paying the fine. I stupidly thought that as I had a digital licence, it would be altered automatically. How wrong. So instead of paying the cost of a reminder letter, they go through the long drawn process of form filling, and letter writing, and potential court hearing. Is that the most cost effective and efficient process for all concerned? I very much doubt it.
I rang many people to get help, the CAB, my local Police station, the local courts and the police in Leeds. The only thing I can do now, is to wait in anticipation for my letter to come through telling me what the result is. This took days and days. I didn’t like what I read. The letter was basically a bill, with the following costs;
Speeding fine £151.00
Victim support cost £33
Cost of fine £86
Total ; £266.00
What a joke. Victim support? Why on earth am I paying that? It was a crazy bill. And one that I knew I had to pay. I had 10 days to pay the fine.
I spoke to a few people and they said there was no point in fighting it. Pay up, and put it down to experience.
But how did they get my bank details to pay back the fine, 6 months later? If only GDOR was in place, am sure they didn’t need to keep my personal data for that long?
I took a big gulp, logged on to the very easy to pay website, and took a deep breath.
I would very much like to set up a complaint about the system, but will it be worth it? How many people get screwed by this each year? And what actually happens to the money we have paid. Is it helping anyone? I don’t know, but I don’t like it.
I’m not replying to most of my emails re GDPR as quite frankly, I want to refresh my content and get rid of any rubbish.
Cycling to work more and more now, so hopefully I will avoid any speeding fines, although the other day, I was doing more than 20mph, so there is a chance it could happen? Is that a challenge? Oh go on then……..
image from www.manoftaste.de
Bureaucracy, 24th May 2018, 8:35 AM