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You are just one of many drivers who have seen advertisements placed by Registrations 4 Vehicles Limited, applied for a personalised licence plate, been told that it is available, paid for it and then endured nothing but problems and excuses.
The Leicester-based company says that a transfer of the plate can be done within 28 working days, but its contracts let it sit on your money for six months. Even when the six months were up, all you received was a letter saying that the company was in dispute with the original owner of the licence plate. But why should this be your problem?
I contacted Registrations 4 Vehicles. Nothing happened, so I wrote and emailed a reminder. The company burst into action. My enquiry had not arrived, it said, but by coincidence it had repaid you – in full. You later told me that you had received a cheque and letter, which, if the dates were correct, seemed to have spent a fortnight in the post. You are one of the lucky ones though. In May last year, Financial Mail reported the problems faced by a reader trying to sell a licence plate. She agreed a price of £1,200, signed over her plate and then waited, and waited, and waited. There were delays with paperwork, she was told, and then her cheque must have been lost in the post. She was finally paid only after Financial Mail intervened.
Since then, complaints have mounted and so have concerns about the company. Registrations 4 Vehicles has filed no accounts since those for 2009. This is an offence. A Companies House spokesman said: ‘I can confirm enforcement action is ongoing.’ I asked a reputable credit checking agency for advice. Its report was a horror story.
Registrations 4 Vehicles has half a dozen court judgments against it, its accounts are too old to give any real picture of the company’s finances and the agency placed it in its ‘red’ category, saying that it should not be allowed a single penny in credit by anyone.
Customers were just as unhappy. Mr K from Ipswich paid £260 for a number plate. He received nothing and after almost a year he managed to reclaim the money through his credit card issuer.
Mr and Mrs S from Dorset paid for a licence plate in April 2010 and have still received nothing. They sued for their money and won, but still the company failed to pay up and they are owed £1,500. Mr L from Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, paid £1,867 for a licence plate. He received nothing. He sued and won, but still Registrations 4 Vehicles has not refunded his money. More than one reader has told Financial Mail that when they complained, they were told that their cheque must have got lost in the post.
David Bull, head of Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards, says: ‘We have contacted Mr Rakesh Verma of Registrations 4 Vehicles Limited regarding complaints received, which we are investigating with a view to taking enforcement action under the Enterprise Act 2002 in respect of alleged unfair trading practices.’
Verma is the managing director of the company. I invited him to comment on the complaints against his business, the credit agency warning and his illegal failure to file company accounts.
He commented on none of these problems, but he did reply. My report in May was ‘totally false’, he said. Questions I had asked were simply ‘nonsensical enquiries’. And even when he answered them, he added, ‘you chose to lie in your defamatory article’. After being told that today’s report would be published, a few days before Christmas Registrations 4 Vehicles issued court proceedings to sue me and The Mail on Sunday. It will be interesting to see whether Verma also tries to sue Companies House, the credit agency and Trading Standards, all of which have sounded warnings too.
Verma is demanding about £25,000 in damages for May’s report. After today, he may ask for more. Either way, Mr Verma, I will see you in court.