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YANKED OFF THE ROAD!; But I win back pounds 600 for family.

Brendan Brankin got a free car hire as part of his holiday package to Florida.

But after just four days of his family break, the perk came to an abrupt end.

Sales engineer Brendan, 37, was involved in an accident and the local sheriff fined him dollars 70 and towed his car away.

When Brendan got back to his hotel, he phoned the car hire firm, Dollar, to tell them what had happened.

He was collected and taken to Orlando International Airport, where he expected to be given a replacement car.

Brendan said: "Once I explained what had happened, Dollar told me they couldn't give me another car because I had been at fault.

"They even wanted to leave me to make my own way back and only gave me a lift after I protested."

Brendan and his family had bought passes for the Disney theme parks and, fortunately, his hotel offered a courtesy bus service for them.

But the service didn't include the three Disney water parks which were included on their passes.

Brendan said: "We were told at our hotel that the water parks suddenly close once they are full or if the weather is bad.

"We didn't want to pay for a taxi to be refused admission, so we missed out on these.

"I know the accident was my fault but no one told me it would have such a dramatic affect on our holiday."

When Brendan complained, Unijet told him Dollar has refunded part of the state taxes and petrol charges to his credit card.

Unijet told me that, in cases like Brendan's, Dollar or any other car hire firm in the States refuse a second car. The fear is that if the hirer is involved in another accident, the hire firm are deemed to have "recklessly hired another vehicle".

After I asked them to review the case, there was good news.

Brendan was due pounds 170 return on his collision damage waiver and Unijet agreed to meet the cost of transport totalling pounds 230.

On top of that, the firm gave him an extra pounds 200.

Delighted Brendan said: "That makes things a lot better."

So if you're heading for the States and hiring a car take my advice: Be careful out there!

Testing Time for Junk Mail junkies

Mrs Gullible thought she was in the money. The cleverly-worded letter guaranteed pounds 330 was the lowest cash payout.

She sent off a payment of just under pounds 10. But instead of cash, she got an Australian, limited- edition artwork with philatelic value.

A fancy way of describing... a postage stamp!

Once bitten, twice shy? Not Mrs Gullible. She tried a few more offers.

The more she entered, the more competition forms arrived.

She had to circle the highest number between 1 and 9, or find the words Cash, Big, Win or Fall in a word search.

Or solve a maths quiz similar to those set for primary school pupils.

Mrs Gullible sent off her answers... each time with the pounds 10 entry fee.

Back came more quizzes. Solve them, they declared, and she was now approaching the tie- breaker stage, with thousands of pounds waiting just for her.

Mrs Gullible was now receiving over 100 letters a week and wrote to ask me why she was so lucky!

Her responses to the various offers means her name and address are now on what's known as a "sucker" list.

So how can she stop the junk mail? She should write to the Mailing Preference Service, Freepost 22, London, W1E 7EZ. It's free and they'll stop a lot of it.

My Verdicts

I paid a travel agent for my holiday but they didn't process the booking. My lawyers, appointed through my household insurance, won't continue to pursue the firm because the company has liabilities which exceed their assets. But I was awarded a decree for my costs.

The fact you have decree doesn't mean you will obtain any money. Since the business liabilities exceed the assets, the lawyers would be wasting more time and money chasing the debt.

My clothes and other belongings were destroyed when a bus I was travelling in burst into flames. The bus insurers say cover is limited to just pounds 500 per passenger but my claim was more than double that.

You can sue the responsible party for the balance, provided he has funds to pay.

My partner was found guilty of offences he stongly denied. His lawyer said it was due to Moorov doctrine but didn't explain what it meant.

This allows one person's evidence to corroborate another person's statement. It is a long-standing doctrine and is used most often in cases of a sexual nature where the assault is unlikely to have been witnessed, but victims' stories corroborate each other.

Is there a problem you can't solve? Let me help you! Write to: The Judge, Sunday Mail, Anderston Quay, Glasgow, G3 8DA. Include a contact phone number.

Know Your Rights

If you leave goods for repair you must collect them again in a reasonable time. If you fail to do so, the repairer may be able to sell them to recover the cost of work done. Any balance would have to be paid promptly.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 26, 1997
Words:874
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