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  • FIRST POST
    • Happy_Dude
    • By Happy_Dude 12th Jun 17, 5:01 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Happy_Dude
    Cancellation Charges
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 5:01 PM
    Cancellation Charges 12th Jun 17 at 5:01 PM
    Hi all,

    I am a long term observer of this site and in general, having managed to sort out a lot of issues with searches on this forum.

    I am now in a little bit of a pickle. Not naming any names but I am being threatened with a private debt collection agency in regard to a cancellation fee on terms and conditions that I haven’t signed.



    Bit of background. I am getting married next year and on an open day to our venue last October, we (haphazardly) decided to go with a photographer. We put our name down in his diary but did not pay a deposit. My partner phoned him a couple of days later and paid a £100 deposit via Credit Card. He confirmed he had received the deposit.



    We did not receive any formal contracts, invoices or anything until last week (nearly 8 months later) when we enquired about this. Since then we have received some terrible feedback from others who have used the said photographer. Based on these we have decided to cancel and go with someone else. I emailed this person and told him we would like to cancel however he is now saying that we are bound by his T&Cs when we paid the deposit which state that a cancellation fee must be paid. As the invoice we received was dated for last week, the invoice is wrong in saying that we provided the deposit via bank transfer, that we have received no formal contract, I am unsure whether or not I should just pay up and fight it or whether this is likely to go further.



    He is now saying if we don’t respond within 3 days that he will pass it onto a debt collection agency and that it will affect my credit score. He has also send me another email saying that he has an agreement in principle with the debt collector and has given me an “example” of someone who ended up paying £3k+ as they “didn’t pay the cancellation notice” and now “can’t get a mortgage or a loan”.



    Thanks
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 12th Jun 17, 6:13 PM
    • 14,402 Posts
    • 15,199 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 6:13 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 6:13 PM
    He won't be reporting to the CRAs . He would need to seek a CCJ for anything to appear on your files.

    Look to resolve it.
    • Happy_Dude
    • By Happy_Dude 12th Jun 17, 6:22 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Happy_Dude
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 6:22 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 6:22 PM
    Yes I kind thought he was at it.

    I forgot to mention that I'm Scotland if that makes any difference to the fold.

    The thing that gets me is that the invoice he did send over to us (8 months after paying the deposit) has a different address to the address on his website.

    All a little fishy.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 12th Jun 17, 7:13 PM
    • 1,039 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:13 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:13 PM
    So you have buyers remorse on a haphazard purchase you've made; this doesn't excuse you from the agreement you've entered into with that person. The minor stuff like wrong address or wrong method of payment put in makes no difference, as the remedy for them is to simply amend the document, not cancel the contract.

    I don't know how much is that cancellation fee, but if it's more than few hundred quid, you should be able to get a legal opinion on it for about 200-500gbp which will then tell you if the guy has any grounds to sue, and what is the likely outcome. No one here can tell that for sure without looking over the documents you've signed/agreed to.

    I wouldn't hold my breath that he will actually sue, given the amount of nonsense you say that he speaks he likely just threatens people into compliance, but wouldn't be surprised if he did follow with courts either.
    Last edited by Arleen; 12-06-2017 at 7:17 PM.
    • usefulmale
    • By usefulmale 12th Jun 17, 7:29 PM
    • 2,324 Posts
    • 4,327 Thanks
    usefulmale
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:29 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:29 PM
    There is no debt until a judge says so.

    The fact that this photographer is just passing it to a debt collector (who have as much power as the milkman to collect) knows that there is little likelihood of a judge agreeing there is a debt.

    Ignore his puny threats.

    Even if he does take you to court, he has to win (and even if he does, he may not win what he asks for), and you have to fail to pay within 28 days for anything to even start with your credit file.
    Originally Posted by MSE Forum Team
    We’ve had to remove your signature because what you wrote was true and sensible and there's no room for that here.
    • Happy_Dude
    • By Happy_Dude 13th Jun 17, 12:15 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Happy_Dude
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:15 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:15 PM
    The point is that we have not signed any documents and none of the terms and conditions were communicated to us verbal or otherwise.

    We have written to citizens advice to see what they say. I think he is trying to scare us into paying up.

    We have seen a few reviews (which have been removed fairly quickly) which state exactly how he has been with us. Totally cool on the surface but once you start asking questions not replying, providing an extremely poor service, being associated with some other ripoff/poor businesses etc.

    A friend of a friend has since came out the woodwork and has informed us that she is taking him to court over not providing anywhere near the service agreed. Wedding pictures ruined.

    His threat of debt collectors begins tomorrow. Interesting to see what actually happens
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 13th Jun 17, 12:31 PM
    • 1,039 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:31 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:31 PM
    It doesn't matter that you didn't sign anything or were read out terms, if those are unclear to you - ask for them before handing out the money. Otherwise, the other party will say in court "those are my terms, they are on the website, I apply them to everyone, why wouldn't I do it with them suddenly?" and the court will usually agree that this makes sense.

    But as also said above, don't hold your breath for him to sue. You are free to ignore the "debt collectors", just don't ignore any court paperwork that may come through.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 13th Jun 17, 1:09 PM
    • 12,721 Posts
    • 12,060 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 1:09 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 1:09 PM
    Ok, for the avoidance of any doubt, a verbal contract is legally binding.

    But very difficult to prove in court.

    In order to enforce a contract, it should be a written contract, usually signed, otherwise it's your word against there's.

    You could of paid the man that money for any number of reasons though, how is a court, or anyone else for that matter, to determine it was for a service if no written evidence exists ?

    If he tries to sue you, do the same back to him for trying it on.

    Debt collectors are toothless, they can be ignored, he cannot make an entry on your credit file either.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 13-06-2017 at 1:16 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 13th Jun 17, 1:25 PM
    • 1,039 Posts
    • 768 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 1:25 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 1:25 PM
    Ok, for the avoidance of any doubt, a verbal contract is legally binding.

    But very difficult to prove in court.

    In order to enforce a contract, it should be a written contract, usually signed, otherwise it's your word against there's.

    You could of paid the man that money for any number of reasons though, how is a court, or anyone else for that matter, to determine it was for a service if no written evidence exists ?
    Originally posted by sourcrates
    Becuase most people are not willing to commit perjury in court, so they will admit that this was a deposit for his services at a wedding (and even if you don't, you will then need to convince judge that you've suddenly paid him the deposit amount for something that wasn't a deposit. Good luck there.). When you pay someone for services, you are bound by their terms, so if you don't know them - find out before paying.

    So no, it's not a word against word, it's "I didn't bother to read the terms I've agreed to", which is why I am nailing this point into the OPs head; read the TOS before buying anything, as this type of deals are upheld in courts all the time. Imagine what would happen if that wasn't the case, and every single sale of services would require a two-way signed contract.
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