A Video shop Owner from Kent has threatened his customers with Debt Collection action if old fines are not paid, some which date back to 2005.
It has been reported by the Mirror newspaper that over 900 customers have received letters from the owner of ‘Beltinge Video’, Mr Giles Hando who has now closed the business claiming that over £30,000 in fines remains outstanding.
Apparently one customer owes as much as £333 and there are 228 instances of customers failing to return DVDs.
43 Year old Mr Hando has come under fierce criticism from local members of the public for his actions but was resolute in his approach.
Hando has claimed that if the fines are not paid, he will have to use his own savings to foot the cost of officially winding down the business.
The Debt Collection letters were hand delivered by Mr Hando who says there are still a further 700 to be sent.
“When people signed up, they know they are liable to pay a fine on films returned late and many people have been in breach of that”
“If people kept them for a week I lost £3 a night for seven days and customers who may have reserved the film have been hugely inconvenienced”
A former customer of the shop Jenna Meek of Herne Bay advised she had received a letter stating she owed £14 because she returned the Patrick Swayze film ‘Ghost’ four days late back in 2005.
“Threatening people with Debt Collectors after 12 years without any prior warning is a little too much” she said
“I can see how they might have lost money on the latest blockbusters being returned late but I can’t imagine people were queuing up outside his door for another chance to see Demi Moore & Patrick Swayze” she quipped
Another customer who also received a letter, Martin Barnard reported the matter to the Police as he thought it was a scam.
Customers opting to pay their fines have only been given the option in the letters sent by Mr Hando, to transfer funds into a bank account with no name given or contact phone number.
Mr Hando has advised that for those that have received letters, if the debts are not paid by February 28th, the debts will be passed onto a Debt Collection Agency but adds “its a last resort”.