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  • FIRST POST
    • villa852010
    • By villa852010 15th Nov 17, 9:07 PM
    • 30Posts
    • 5Thanks
    villa852010
    Small Court Claims received from a chargeback
    • #1
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:07 PM
    Small Court Claims received from a chargeback 15th Nov 17 at 9:07 PM
    Hey,

    Six months ago i signed up to a three month subscription using Paypal (payment was linked to my American Express), i did not realise when i signed up that Paypal setup a recurring charge.

    After three months, a payment was automatically deducted for £50, i was never notified by the vendor a payment was due, the only notification i received was the email from Paypal. Within four minutes of the payment being deducted i cancelled my subscription on the site and requested a refund, the vendor offered a refund of £12.50, which i declined (75% charge for four minutes). I raised a dispute with Paypal and they stated they could not do anything as i agreed to the recurring payment. I therefore contacted my bank and provided all the information and they issued me a refund.

    Now i have received a small court letter requesting payment of £400 (£50 subscription, £35 court cost and the rest admin fee). I have responsed on the Small Court website disputing the amount. The vendor has come back with a Non Prejudice email stating he will accept £200.

    I have yet to respond and have given me 72hours to pay.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation? or had any dealings with Small Claims...does it make a difference the payment was deducted from my credit card?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
Page 1
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 15th Nov 17, 9:14 PM
    • 15,953 Posts
    • 11,984 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #2
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:14 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:14 PM
    Are you saying you!!!8217;ve received a county court summons or a letter from a debt collector?
    Where does the email come into it.
    If he!!!8217;s started a court claim why is he emailing you?
    Last edited by hollydays; 15-11-2017 at 9:17 PM.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 15th Nov 17, 9:15 PM
    • 8,287 Posts
    • 6,107 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #3
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:15 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:15 PM
    What is this admin fee? It sounds like they're trying it on by suing you for more than the £50 plus court fee. If you were to make any offer, that's all I'd offer, if anything.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 15th Nov 17, 9:18 PM
    • 15,953 Posts
    • 11,984 Thanks
    hollydays
    • #4
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:18 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:18 PM
    What is this admin fee? It sounds like they're trying it on by suing you for more than the £50 plus court fee. If you were to make any offer, that's all I'd offer, if anything.
    Originally posted by pmduk
    But the op hasn’t admitted liability yet.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 15th Nov 17, 9:28 PM
    • 12,155 Posts
    • 9,524 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #5
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:28 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Nov 17, 9:28 PM
    How you made the payment doesn't seem to have any relevance as the vendor seems to be issuing a claim for non-payment.

    Did they write to you (perhaps a letter titled "letter before claim" or something to that effect) to try and resolve the issue before issuing court proceedings?

    On what basis did you manage to reclaim the payment via your card company (ie what reason did you give them)? What was the subscription for? I presume the company are a UK company? If so do they have their own website (if yes, can you link it please so we can take a look at the T&C's)? Did they provide a breakdown for the rest they are claiming or just "admin"?

    I think you could argue successfully against the filing fee if they didn't send a LBA as they've failed to comply with pre-action protocol as dictated by the Civil Procedure Rules (ie didn't give you the chance to pay/resolve the dispute without involving the courts). But depending on what you agreed to at the time of entering the contract, it may be wise to make a settlement offer.

    Bear in mind any advice given here (including by me) is just opinion - we're not the one who has to pay anything so only follow advice here if you are happy doing so. The value of your claim isn't worth obtaining paid for legal advice but checking your position with CAB wouldn't hurt (although the quality of their advice can vary so its sometimes a bit pot luck).
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 15th Nov 17, 10:25 PM
    • 446 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    • #6
    • 15th Nov 17, 10:25 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Nov 17, 10:25 PM
    To be frank, but it sounds like you ARE liable for the bill and either blagged it with your CC company or the CC company haven't been overly bothered. It all depends on what you agreed to at the time of the initial purchase + whether it was clear that it would be recurring.

    The company are perfectly entitled to take you to small claims if they believe you owe them money, but you should equally be able to put in a defense to show that you AREN'T liable for the bill.

    If you lose this small claims action then you would be liable for the original subscription fee plus costs associated with starting the small claims action (though see unholyangel above). Any additional fees is hit and miss, but they'd need to justify every penny and I'm not sure they'd have a strong enough case.

    If I were you I'd offer them £50 plus £35 (verify that though) for small claims action (they will probably begrudgingly accept it, but maybe not at this stage as they may feel like it is more about "the principle"). That is unless you wish to defend the claim, in which case I wish you good luck
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 16th Nov 17, 3:59 PM
    • 1,464 Posts
    • 1,102 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #7
    • 16th Nov 17, 3:59 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Nov 17, 3:59 PM
    Hey,

    Six months ago i signed up to a three month subscription using Paypal (payment was linked to my American Express), i did not realise when i signed up that Paypal setup a recurring charge.

    After three months, a payment was automatically deducted for £50, i was never notified by the vendor a payment was due, the only notification i received was the email from Paypal. Within four minutes of the payment being deducted i cancelled my subscription on the site and requested a refund, the vendor offered a refund of £12.50, which i declined (75% charge for four minutes). I raised a dispute with Paypal and they stated they could not do anything as i agreed to the recurring payment. I therefore contacted my bank and provided all the information and they issued me a refund.

    Now i have received a small court letter requesting payment of £400 (£50 subscription, £35 court cost and the rest admin fee). I have responsed on the Small Court website disputing the amount. The vendor has come back with a Non Prejudice email stating he will accept £200.

    I have yet to respond and have given me 72hours to pay.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation? or had any dealings with Small Claims...does it make a difference the payment was deducted from my credit card?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Originally posted by villa852010

    I think the question is whether you knew (or ought to have known) what you were signing up to.


    These subscriptions are notorious for getting people to enter into continuing or recurring payments. It depends on the terms and conditions of the subscription you signed up to. Only you know (or ought to know) what they are. Usually you have to cancel following a precisely defined procedure. Have you done this?


    Otherwise, unholyangel's post #5 seems to give good advice.
    • villa852010
    • By villa852010 16th Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    villa852010
    • #8
    • 16th Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    No I had no communication from the vendor other than an email demanding a payment made direct to a sort code and account number, which I ignored (maybe I shouldn’t have)

    The email did not mention LBA, and few days ago I received the letter from MCOL (they are genuine small claims from my understanding)
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Nov 17, 10:21 PM
    • 12,155 Posts
    • 9,524 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #9
    • 16th Nov 17, 10:21 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Nov 17, 10:21 PM
    No I had no communication from the vendor other than an email demanding a payment made direct to a sort code and account number, which I ignored (maybe I shouldn’t have)

    The email did not mention LBA, and few days ago I received the letter from MCOL (they are genuine small claims from my understanding)
    Originally posted by villa852010
    And the admin fee? Was a breakdown given?

    What was the grounds you used to reclaim the payment with your card provider?

    As I said above, you can use them not sending an LBA to argue that they should have costs awarded against them or at least not awarded in their favour. But that still leaves the £50 for the service and the £300+ admin fee.

    I've checked the link you sent me and tbh their T&C's sound a little sketchy (i've seen much worse though). However what is important is what they provided in a durable medium. At the time you started the service, did they send you an email containing terms and conditions (websites are not durable, links to websites sent by email are not durable but information contained directly in the email itself is)? If yes then you'd likely to be wise to pay at least the £50 and consider making an offer towards the admin fee depending on what it consists of.

    If no then you should be able to argue you were entitled to cancel it - normally you have 14 days but if they fail to provide the necessary info, that can be extended up to a maximum of 12 months & 14 days.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th Nov 17, 10:58 PM
    • 2,407 Posts
    • 2,318 Thanks
    steampowered
    Was a formal letter before action sent?

    If not, worth mentioning in your 'without prejudice' response to their settlement offer that they have not complied with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct, and that you will be bringing this to the attention of the judge after the hearing (and seeking costs at the litigant in person rate of £19 an hour as appropriate).

    I doubt the admin fee is enforceable. I would defend the whole lot.

    It sounds like you are liable for the £50 subscription fee. After all you did cancel after the renewal date. So long as it was made very clear when you signed up that you were signing up to a recurring subscription.
    • villa852010
    • By villa852010 10th Jan 18, 2:13 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    villa852010
    Just want to thank you all for your help, the claim was settled, ended up paying the subscription fee of £50 and case was closed.
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