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  • FIRST POST
    • efunc
    • By efunc 11th Aug 18, 7:44 PM
    • 386Posts
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    efunc
    Advice on Small Claims Court
    • #1
    • 11th Aug 18, 7:44 PM
    Advice on Small Claims Court 11th Aug 18 at 7:44 PM
    Hi all,

    I wonder if anyone has any experience of Small Claims cases or can shed any light on the process as it stands now in 2018? I recently sold an item on eBay for £125 and the buyer filed a SNAD case on eBay complaining that the item was not what he was expecting, or not genuine, or he wanted something else (it's not clear because he keeps changing his mind or argues different points). I maintained that my pictures and description were accurate and called eBay who told me they can see no issue with the case either and it's likely close in my favour if escalated. Nonetheless I offered a good will refund of £25 to keep the buyer happy. The buyer is no longer contributing to the SNAD case and instead telling me that he will sue me, take me to court, make me pay all his fees and drag me to the other end of the country to attend hearings. The cost of me traveling to the other end of the country would exceed the value of the item and that doesn't even cover the other costs Iíd incur.

    My question is, has anyone any experience of going to court? Is it really necessary for sums as small as £125, or can it all be done online or in the post? I am not perturbed about fighting my corner and welcome the opportunity of making the technical points clear in my defence, but having to attend in-person would be a showstopper, certainly for this amount of money.

    Reading a Which? guide it states the following:
    You might have to go to a court hearing if:

    the defendant says they donít owe you any money
    they disagree with the amount youíve claimed
    you donít agree with how theyíve offered to repay you
    If your claim is under £10,000 youíll be asked if youíd like to use the courtís small claims mediation service to reach an agreement with the defendant.
    So it sounds like attendance will certainly be a possibility. Is this correct? I'm guessing mediation isn't an option since so far the buyer is rejecting the eBay mediation process as well as the partial refund already offered.

    Anyone have any experience with very small court cases?

    Thanks!
Page 1
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 11th Aug 18, 9:47 PM
    • 1,432 Posts
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    tacpot12
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 18, 9:47 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Aug 18, 9:47 PM
    Attendance is a possibility, but a small claim will usually be heard in the County Court nearest the defendant, not the claimant.

    The claimant may also have to pay your (reasonable) travel costs if they lose the case.

    I would suggest you update the SNAD case (if you can) with a statement to the effect that you have taken legal advice, believe that you have a watertight defence and will happily see the purchaser in court where you expect that they will be ordered to pay your costs, but that the offer of £25 still stands.

    If you have not already told the seller what your address is, I would keep silent on this as this will make it harder for them to file a money claim; they will have to trace you in order to provide an address for notice of the claim to be served on you.
    • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    • By the_lunatic_is_in_my_head 11th Aug 18, 9:56 PM
    • 2,205 Posts
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    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 18, 9:56 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Aug 18, 9:56 PM
    Accept the return and get the item back.

    If raised to eBay they may refund the buyer and tell them to keep the item, don't trust a word customer services tell you.

    Likelihood of buyer taking you to court are next to none, chances of winning if you offer return for a refund are zero as they will have failed to mitigate their loss.

    If this is a smallish item the returns flow allows you to give the buyer a return label which will be billed to your eBay seller account (you only pay if the buyer actually uses the label).

    Bottom line with a SNAD return eBay expect you to provide the label and refund upon return, if you accept the return and the buyer doesn't send the item back it will time out without a refund.
    • efunc
    • By efunc 11th Aug 18, 10:57 PM
    • 386 Posts
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    efunc
    • #4
    • 11th Aug 18, 10:57 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Aug 18, 10:57 PM
    Thank you, that's very interesting. I can't find any info on this. Who decides where the hearing is heard? The buyer insists he'll force it to be at his court where he'll file the claim, hundreds of miles from me. Is that not correct?


    He states: "We can see what a judge says, Iíll just go to court and Iíll win and then you will incur court costs up here, and then Iíll pay £60 to take it to high court and obtain a writ against you then you will have balif costs added"


    And then "Iíll take you to court all the way up here if you donít turn up Iíll escalate claim to the sheriffs and let them Perdue you"


    Frankly I don't know what he's on about and I've already explained to him that he's bought exactly what was advertised, but he seems very insistent and has sent some other threatening emails. Unfortunately he has my name and address from the return label of the parcel through eBay.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 12th Aug 18, 12:33 AM
    • 27,774 Posts
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    forgotmyname
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 18, 12:33 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 18, 12:33 AM
    No the court will be your local one.

    Do they work for a parking company or the tea boy in a debt collection office.

    Bailiffs and high court etc... Just laugh at them. You need to goto court and lose and then fail to pay before any of that can be actioned.

    I would laugh at them and state your dreams forget one thing in this case, all your comments presume you will win and you wont, I estimate less than 0.000001% chance of them winning.

    If i was allowed i would choose a court even further away from them, unsure whether it needs to be your local one though or you choose which one to use?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 12th Aug 18, 8:06 AM
    • 60,933 Posts
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    soolin
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 18, 8:06 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 18, 8:06 AM
    I think it worth remembering that ebay will almost certainly find for the buyer in an SNAD case - post 3 on this thread is the important one from the_lunatic_is_in_my_head.

    Therefore if ebay close the case in your buyers favour, which is odds on likely, you will lose your money and the buyer will not be under obligation to return the item- you will then have to chase him through the court if he is un coperative and refuses to allow you to collect in a reasonable time frame. You also get a defect and lose your FVFs.

    I fear post 2 suggests a rather different ebay to the one I am familiar with where sellers can win cases through argument, it doesn't work like that- at the time of escalation a bot will merely close the case and refund the buyer. It is a red herring to rely on the buyer not having responded to the case- he is not under any obligation to do so and whether or not he does respond makes no difference to the escalation time.

    You are ignoring the post about the process on ebay and I suggest that you seriously consider the fact that ebay have precedent in ignoring the sellers argument and finding for a buyer automaticaly. Ignoring the open case could cost you a lot of money, so think carefully before you gamble on ebay being logical. Out of interest how long has the case been opened?If you still have time my advice would be to phone ebay and plead your case, you need them to close this in your favour now, not allow it to escalate. If they don't close it then seriously consider accepting the return.
    Last edited by soolin; 12-08-2018 at 8:10 AM.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 12th Aug 18, 8:18 AM
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    Tigsteroonie
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 18, 8:18 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 18, 8:18 AM
    Where is the buyer, the references to "up here" make me wonder if they are in Scotland. Not sure whether/if small claims are considered differently under Scottish law.
    Mrs Marleyboy

    MSE: many of the benefits of a helpful family, without disadvantages like having to compete for the tv remote

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    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 12th Aug 18, 10:05 AM
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    theonlywayisup
    • #8
    • 12th Aug 18, 10:05 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Aug 18, 10:05 AM
    Unfortunately he has my name and address from the return label of the parcel through eBay.
    Originally posted by efunc
    You seem to be missing the very important and key posts. Read posts 3 and 6 thoroughly.

    Did you issue the label through eBay or were eBay forced to do it because you decided not to?
    • efunc
    • By efunc 12th Aug 18, 11:18 AM
    • 386 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    efunc
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 18, 11:18 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Aug 18, 11:18 AM
    Where is the buyer, the references to "up here" make me wonder if they are in Scotland. Not sure whether/if small claims are considered differently under Scottish law.
    Originally posted by Tigsteroonie
    No, he's in Yorkshire.
    Last edited by efunc; 12-08-2018 at 11:32 AM.
    • efunc
    • By efunc 12th Aug 18, 11:32 AM
    • 386 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    efunc
    You seem to be missing the very important and key posts. Read posts 3 and 6 thoroughly.

    Did you issue the label through eBay or were eBay forced to do it because you decided not to?
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    The item was originally sent to the buyer via eBay Shutl, if that's what you mean. That's the only shipping label that's been purchased. I have not been forced to do anything. When the seller opened the case he said he had my address and would send the item back even though I wouldn't accept a return. I called eBay and explained that he has my address and may send the item back himself and what I should do, and they told me they can see no legitimate grounds for a grievance on the basis of his arguments and if he sends them back without authority he will simply loose his money.


    I then asked how I should prove my case (it was regarding the the technical name of the colour and the material of the item) and said would it help if I got an official letter from the manufacturer? I was told that would be sufficient for it to close in my favour. The said that they can already see that it was described accurately. I have obtained the letter of confirmation and uploaded it, which has made the buyer even more abusive.

    The case closes on the 16th August when the buyer can escalate.
    Last edited by efunc; 12-08-2018 at 11:35 AM.
    • efunc
    • By efunc 12th Aug 18, 11:39 AM
    • 386 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    efunc
    You are ignoring the post about the process on ebay and I suggest that you seriously consider the fact that ebay have precedent in ignoring the sellers argument and finding for a buyer automaticaly. Ignoring the open case could cost you a lot of money, so think carefully before you gamble on ebay being logical. Out of interest how long has the case been opened?If you still have time my advice would be to phone ebay and plead your case, you need them to close this in your favour now, not allow it to escalate. If they don't close it then seriously consider accepting the return.
    Originally posted by soolin
    That's interesting. So basically everything eBay told me on the phone was just pillow talk! I may call them again since I've now uploaded the proof they requested. I didn't know a seller could escalate a case.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 12th Aug 18, 12:37 PM
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    theonlywayisup
    That's interesting. So basically everything eBay told me on the phone was just pillow talk! I may call them again since I've now uploaded the proof they requested. I didn't know a seller could escalate a case.
    Originally posted by efunc
    Both buyer and seller have the option to escalate the case. As a seller you need to have 100% concrete and clear evidence on the case if you are going to escalate it, as eBay tend to favour the buyer.

    If you lose the escalation, the buyer may be refunded (your funds) and may not have to send the item back (as far as ebay are concerned). It will then be up to you to try and retrieve the item.

    Your fees will not be reimbursed.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 12th Aug 18, 12:41 PM
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    theonlywayisup
    The item was originally sent to the buyer via eBay Shutl, if that's what you mean. That's the only shipping label that's been purchased.
    Originally posted by efunc
    I read your comment
    Unfortunately he has my name and address from the return label of the parcel through eBay.
    as meaning a return label had been supplied.

    The case closes on the 16th August when the buyer can escalate.
    Originally posted by efunc
    The case won't close on the 16th. If it says the case can be escalated on the 16th that is when it is available for escalation. If escalated it won't close until eBay make the decision.
    • Ziggydiamonddogs
    • By Ziggydiamonddogs 12th Aug 18, 2:21 PM
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    Ziggydiamonddogs
    Form N180
    Hi, I am a newbie and cannot figure out how to post a new thread? I am after some advice, if someone could direct me as to how/where to post.

    I have received a Directions questionnaire N180. The claimants are using Howard Cohen solicitors and a referring to a debt from 2012 that I am unaware of. Despite numerous requests for more information,Credit agreements etc. I have no information, account numbers etc as to what this debt is referring to. Because of this, I do not fall into the category for mediation. The claimants have opted for mediation. If i don't accept mediation, the court may frown upon me, being uncooperative, however mediation states that is should only be used to reach an agreement to settle the debt and all parties must have the relevant information on the case. I need paperwork to be able to discuss/negotiate . I considered sending a letter with the form but unsure if this is really correct protocol.
    • efunc
    • By efunc 12th Aug 18, 2:34 PM
    • 386 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    efunc
    OK, thanks for the all the advice here, it's been instrumental in enabling me to decide how to proceed. So despite all the nonsense of the buyer in this case I've decided to issue the refund through ebay as advised. I just spoke to eBay now and they explained that the the case can only end in a refund in favour of the buyer! So no amount of proof I submit would change matters, and I can't close it or escalate myself. On that basis I'll just have to go ahead and accept the return as the most expedient resolution. Thanks again for all the help. I presume the item will come back in pieces, or I'll receive an empty box, and I will loose the £125 in any case as there seems to be no protection from these buyers...
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 12th Aug 18, 3:03 PM
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    theonlywayisup
    OK, thanks for the all the advice here, it's been instrumental in enabling me to decide how to proceed. So despite all the nonsense of the buyer in this case I've decided to issue the refund through ebay as advised. I just spoke to eBay now and they explained that the the case can only end in a refund in favour of the buyer! So no amount of proof I submit would change matters, and I can't close it or escalate myself. On that basis I'll just have to go ahead and accept the return as the most expedient resolution. Thanks again for all the help. I presume the item will come back in pieces, or I'll receive an empty box, and I will loose the £125 in any case as there seems to be no protection from these buyers...
    Originally posted by efunc
    You've been incorrectly advised again, but eBay are renowned for saying whatever they want to.

    You can escalate, but you cannot do it until day 8 (the 16th from memory). You can escalate and you can win, I have won, but it takes a lot of clear evidence. The balance of burden means eBay tend to favour the buyer whatever you put forward, and they penalise you if you lose. In the most cases, it is better to accept the return.

    The best way to move forward IMHO is to accept the return, issue a returns label (either your own with a carrier you want to use or one of eBay's own who will bill you at the end of the month) and get the item back. You then refund. If there is any damage etc or you wish to appeal the case, you need to refund and then appeal submitting your evidence.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 12th Aug 18, 3:06 PM
    • 12,715 Posts
    • 8,606 Thanks
    theonlywayisup
    Hi, I am a newbie and cannot figure out how to post a new thread? I am after some advice, if someone could direct me as to how/where to post.

    I have received a Directions questionnaire N180. The claimants are using Howard Cohen solicitors and a referring to a debt from 2012 that I am unaware of. Despite numerous requests for more information,Credit agreements etc. I have no information, account numbers etc as to what this debt is referring to. Because of this, I do not fall into the category for mediation. The claimants have opted for mediation. If i don't accept mediation, the court may frown upon me, being uncooperative, however mediation states that is should only be used to reach an agreement to settle the debt and all parties must have the relevant information on the case. I need paperwork to be able to discuss/negotiate . I considered sending a letter with the form but unsure if this is really correct protocol.
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs
    You need to find the most appropriate board to post your new thread. Is it an eBay issue?

    If so, this is the right board but you need to make your own thread.

    You can make your own thread by going to the main part of the board you need and using the "new thread" button. You can't do it from a thread itself.

    It if is an ebay issue, scroll up on this page to the bit that says "Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales" and click the blue link on that actual text. That will take you to the main part of the Ebay board.

    Main site > MoneySavingExpert.com Forums > Shopping & Freebies > Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales > Advice on Small Claims Court (Page 1)
    • RFW
    • By RFW 12th Aug 18, 7:47 PM
    • 8,759 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    RFW
    Hi, I am a newbie and cannot figure out how to post a new thread? I am after some advice, if someone could direct me as to how/where to post.

    I have received a Directions questionnaire N180. The claimants are using Howard Cohen solicitors and a referring to a debt from 2012 that I am unaware of. Despite numerous requests for more information,Credit agreements etc. I have no information, account numbers etc as to what this debt is referring to. Because of this, I do not fall into the category for mediation. The claimants have opted for mediation. If i don't accept mediation, the court may frown upon me, being uncooperative, however mediation states that is should only be used to reach an agreement to settle the debt and all parties must have the relevant information on the case. I need paperwork to be able to discuss/negotiate . I considered sending a letter with the form but unsure if this is really correct protocol.
    Originally posted by Ziggydiamonddogs
    You should just defend the case saying you have no knowledge of the debt. You may then get a date for a hearing should the claimant react to your defence.
    As you've posted on here I'd assume you're referring to an Ebay debt. As debts time out after 6 years (with a few exceptions that are unlikely to apply here), it looks like they're making a last ditch effort to get some money back.
    .
    • TD99
    • By TD99 13th Aug 18, 4:30 PM
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    TD99
    Hi currently in the midst of a thoroughly depressing encounter with the small claims court: having been sold a dud car by a local car dealer (literally their lot backed on to my building's car park), it transpired they would not honour the warranty by refunding only replacing. Having paid £200 to the AA to ensure i the car they were trying to fob off on me wasn't another dud - the AA advised me it was so at an impasse and went to Money Claim Online.
    Went through each stage and got the judgement awarded in my favour and the warrant for all my costs. Having paid all the fees and sent the bailiffs on to them, despite numerous chasers, 7 weeks later the bailiffs responded that they'd been unable to locate the business and has reason to believe it had closed down. Unfortunately, they are nigh on impossible to get hold of and unresponsive to emails, as i had been advising the bailiffs that they were very much in business and had several cars still on the lot. THey have subsequently wound up (although there are still cars on the lot) but the bailiffs don't want to know.


    Moral of the story is that as dodgy as the car dealer was - don't expect any more integrity from any bailiffs or help from MCOL!
    • RFW
    • By RFW 13th Aug 18, 5:41 PM
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    RFW
    Moral of the story is that as dodgy as the car dealer was - don't expect any more integrity from any bailiffs or help from MCOL!
    Originally posted by TD99
    Not sure why these are coming up on here. The bailiffs can only go on the company that you took the claim out against, sounds like the directors have just liquidated one and started a new company. If the company is in liquidation you can apply to the liquidators, whilst there will unlikely be any money in it for you you can potentially stop them from trading. The liquidator can apply that the directors be struck off if there is a pattern of unlawful behaviour.



    Perfectly legal, if morally bankrupt. It's one of the problems of court claims, it isn't always a matter of winning and getting your money back.


    My advice originally would have been to go to Trading Standards. That still stands but at this stage you might want to enlist the help of the media. Although the chances of getting any money back now are remote to zero.
    .
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