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Avdata Scam

Old 6th Aug 2018, 03:55
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Avdata Scam

Can any Pruner with legal knowledge advise me as to whether or not I have to respond to an invoice sent to me by Avdata for use of an airfield my aircraft has never been closer to than 400 NM. I think that the current Avdata system is designed as a giant scam for them. All they have to do is send out hundreds of fake invoices and then sit back and wait to be paid. If someone squeals just apologise and have another go sometime later meanwhile counting the$$$$ from all the ones that didn't notice the ring in airport. This seems to be happening to me more frequently lately. If my company sent out fake or padded accounts we'd either be sacked or sued by our customers. As I can't sack Avdata can I sue them or can a class action be mounted against them? Currently there appears to be little to deter them from scamming. Perhaps if they had to not only reverse the fake invoice but also pay the victim the invoice amount it might make them a bit more careful. I understand everyone can make a mistake (even our company) but the number made by Avdata is ridiculous and I have better things to do than rectifying their mistakes deliberate or otherwise.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 03:58
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Could be fraud from other pilots using your rego on the CTAF there?
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 04:25
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Originally Posted by rutan around View Post
Can any Pruner with legal knowledge advise me as to whether or not I have to respond to an invoice sent to me by Avdata for use of an airfield my aircraft has never been closer to than 400 NM. I think that the current Avdata system is designed as a giant scam for them. All they have to do is send out hundreds of fake invoices and then sit back and wait to be paid. If someone squeals just apologise and have another go sometime later meanwhile counting the$$$$ from all the ones that didn't notice the ring in airport. This seems to be happening to me more frequently lately. If my company sent out fake or padded accounts we'd either be sacked or sued by our customers. As I can't sack Avdata can I sue them or can a class action be mounted against them? Currently there appears to be little to deter them from scamming. Perhaps if they had to not only reverse the fake invoice but also pay the victim the invoice amount it might make them a bit more careful. I understand everyone can make a mistake (even our company) but the number made by Avdata is ridiculous and I have better things to do than rectifying their mistakes deliberate or otherwise.
IIRC, a PPRuner actually asked a lawyer about it a while ago. The response was along the lines of "It's up to them to send you a true and correct invoice, till they do, you can ignore it".

It isn't up to you to correct a private companies screwups. I dunno about suing them, but you could probably lodge a claim in your local fair trading department, seeing I believe the term is, "consequential loss", ie the time/cost you spent notifying them of their screwup. If nothing else, they would have to defend the claim -or be found in your favour by default...
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 04:35
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Send Avdata an estimate (at say $130/hr) for you to examine your records to see if your aircraft did actually go to that place. Don't examine your records until they send you the $.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 04:38
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Their method of using voice recordings as evidence of a landing is fundamentally flawed for many reasons.

For parking, regos are recorded by hand by the ARO or similar and passed on.

I have found that if I query an invoice for landing fees collected by radio, they almost immediately remove it.

If I query a charge for parking, they refer back to the ARO / reporter of the info.

If I were you and you firmly believe that someone is using your rego, Avdata should be able to retrieve the recordings which may help you/them identify the perpetrator and subsequently end up as a Police charge of OPBD or similar.

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Old 6th Aug 2018, 04:57
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On every occasion on which I’ve asked AVDATA to reverse charges that have been invoiced to my aircraft for flights to places to which I haven’t been as stated in the invoice, the charges have been reversed. Although I could have just not paid and instead sat back to wait for the debt to be proved - when it couldn’t be - AVDATA has always accepted my requests.

One problem with the ‘sit back and don’t pay’ approach arises if you get an invoice with charges for e.g. 6 aerodromes and you weren’t ever at e.g. 2 out of the 6. If you pay part of the invoice - because the charges are legitimately owed for 4 out of the 6 - but don’t say anything about why you’ve only payed $X(invoiced) - $(for the 2 aerodromes you’ve never been), AVDATA won’t necessarily know which charges you’re disputing. Again, although that’s theoretically not your problem, it’s easily resolved by a short email.

One interesting thing to watch out for: If you submit a flight plan to NIS for a flight that goes to a place that has a charge, you may still receive an invoice with a charge for that place even if you do not end up going there in fact. This seems to be programmed into NIS or a system that monitors NIS/Flightaware etc. Again, I just request a reversal of the charges in these cases, and the charges have always been reversed.

But on the day I request a reversal and it’s refused, my response will be: Go your hardest and prove the debt. I’m always looking for entertainment.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 05:11
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If I were you and you firmly believe that someone is using your rego, Avdata should be able to retrieve the recordings which may help you/them identify the perpetrator and subsequently end up as a Police charge of OPBD or similar
I don't believe in my case that someone is using my rego because when I phone Avdata they have me standby while they have a listen to the recording. Every time it turns out that the call sign has been misheard. What I'm bitching about is that with a little bit of care they could get it right the first time. Why should they be allowed to send out who knows how many wrong invoices just so they can process the calls twice as fast. I'm over chasing them to correct their stuff ups so I will take the advice passed on by KRviator and ignore the bill.They can send outstanding invoices till they're blue in the face. I hope they don't print on both sides because I like to print weather etc on the blank side.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 05:37
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KR Aviator...the legal comment is correct ...and has been tested in court in the past.
For Avdata to accurately bill you....THEY should have a fool-proof and correct system in the first place.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 05:49
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I heard a call last weekend which led me to believe that the pilot was well versed with avoiding landing fees:

"VH-XXX is going around runway 24 and did not land."

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Old 6th Aug 2018, 05:58
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You have to feel for the wretched scanner holding, anorak wearing contractor who has to transcribe our call signs..
I'll bet it's poorly paid too.
gerry111 is online now  
Old 6th Aug 2018, 06:40
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I’m wondering if foreign registered aircraft (legitimately) abbreviating their callsign has ever led to a local aircraft being billed erroneously. The convention is that (after initial contact on a new frequency) the aircraft may use the first and last two letters of their registration, for instance ZK-OPY can use “Zulu Papa Yankee”
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 07:10
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I regularly (every 3-4 months) get invoiced by Avdata for airports not used. Like Clinton, a 2 minute email reply gets an immediate response and the charge removed.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 08:08
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Originally Posted by TwoFiftyBelowTen View Post
I’m wondering if foreign registered aircraft (legitimately) abbreviating their callsign has ever led to a local aircraft being billed erroneously. The convention is that (after initial contact on a new frequency) the aircraft may use the first and last two letters of their registration, for instance ZK-OPY can use “Zulu Papa Yankee”
100% Yes. Mate of mine got an avdata bill for Port MacQuarie I think it was. I just happened to have read in an NZ magazine the day before he told me, that ZK-same rego had passed through PMQ.
Easily sorted, but yet again, another innocent party had to make the effort to correct the matter.

What other business, of any sort, randomly sends out accounts to people hoping that they'll just pay it? And what other business of any sort randomly sends out accounts for another business? None I know of.
Friend of mine has a business - what would happen if he asked me to bill his customers, and tell them to pay me, not him? They'd say rearrange these words: stuffed, get.
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 08:18
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Many moons ago at 'Kunners' not too long after the FS unit had closed, the radio call was heard to be that 'FKC' was cira, landed etc.

Then, up popped the REAL VH-FKC (Fk.28 at the time...) with a few 'words of wisdom' for the 'alleged perp'......who was never heard of again...…

Well Done Skipper....

Cheers

(Tks Dick...…)

,
Ex FSO GRIFFO is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2018, 09:10
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So, how else could it be done?
Vag277 is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2018, 09:47
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I think the way of tackling this is for as many people as can be mustered to write individually to the Australian Information Commissioner complaining that CASA is breaching their privacy by publishing their personal information to the world.

CASA argues it is required to do this by a Regulation it wrote to make life easy for itself. The Act requires it to keep a Register but it is only the Regulation that “requires” it to be published on the internet.

In my view, the Regulation is over-ridden by the Privacy Act and, in any case, is probably beyond power because the only head is that of “safety”.

Hard to make a safety case when none of our motor vehicle registrations is publicly available and those responsible for aviation safety could have access similar to police with vehicle regos. Even harder when RA aircraft fly around without the owner being publicly identified.

kaz
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 09:54
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If that data becomes corrected, how do the small aerodrome operators recover their costs?
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 10:01
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First response polite email,
second response, firmer, slightly less polite email.

When that didn’t stop the bills coming, third response :
”stop sending these fff...ng wrong bills or I will prosecute for harassment - CCd to an airservices board member”
They stopped some years ago!
Tankengine is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2018, 10:05
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Originally Posted by Vag277 View Post
If that data becomes corrected, how do the small aerodrome operators recover their costs?
Hopefully much the same way that Central Coast Council covers the cost of the 28 boat ramps across the region for which weekend warriors do not pay-to-use....recognize an aerodrome is a public facility, much like the road into town and incorporate it into the rates funding scheme.

Because it's a bit rich to nearly $300 for an hour of circuits for a 600Kg RAAus machine....
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 10:11
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I think the way of tackling this is for as many people as can be mustered to write individually to the Australian Information Commissioner complaining that CASA is breaching their privacy by publishing their personal information to the world.
It won't happen.

CASA isn't the only organisation obligated by legislation to publish client information publically.
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