Who remembers the days of ESDA* and the VSC**? We possessed both during the heyday of the ‘dodgy document’. Whilst personal computing, printing emailing and the internet have seen a substantial reduction in tangible documents with their wet signatures, they are occasionally encountered and our review-refrain kicks I; ‘did the … cheaper quote contractor create the costlier charge?’ (can be chanted to ‘if you’re happy and you know it …’).
With the above in mind, sometimes (more than we can recall!) it simply takes a phone call to the most expensive ‘contractor’ to learn, if only from their discomfort (if a party to the conduct) or disdain (if unaware their name is being used in this way), that all is not as presented.
And so it was this week … an approx. £5k claim was presented. Liability was admitted we were to contact the Third Party to validate the costs and proceed to settlement.
Documentation was attached to the instruction, including two remarkably similar quotations. Fonts can be common (Arial and Times New Roman generally) margins, footer-spacing may be default but layout and phraseology can also indicate a common source. The lack of a trade logo, use of mobile numbers and little else (no email/website) and, on occasions, absence of VAT number, all tend toward … overstatement.
Our quote … about 60% of the original was used as the basis for settlement which the claimant was quick to accept possibly concerned at what we had uncovered.
Not a ‘major crime’, the size of the claim possibly being such that the above account is insignificant, but if a job is worth doing … and we are finding an increasing number of needles in the claim haystack.
**VSC – Video Spectral Comparator