First time post hope someone can help
Bit of background
we enlisted an educational psychologist for our son (can of worms wont go into the details) and a £500 fixed fee was verbally agreed for services including attendance at a tribunal. The invoice for this came through and we paid immediately - they were due to attend the tribunal 2 days after this and tried to bail on us which would have severely impacted our case. We managed to get hold of them and convinced them to still attend after 48 hours of extreme badgering ! - It should also be mentioned that their service was less than professional, having to constantly chase, emails not answered, phones not manned, voicemails not replied to etc etc.
all was well and as far as we were concerned that was it - months later we got an invoice through for a further £900 for the attendance at the tribunal which we had not agreed. We disputed the invoice verbally and they said they would look into it. We heard nothing back and then got an email saying the account was overdue etc etc and we need to pay the £900
we emailed back and stated that we did not agree to it verbally and did not have any record of any prices etc for any additional work on email however if they had supportive evidence to the contrary forward it over and we would look into the matter.
beginning of last week my wife got a phone call from the psyche's husband saying we had to pay or they would take us to court, we referred him to the previous email we had sent to the company etc.
we then had some email tennis where he was saying we were fully aware of the fact it would be done on hourly rate etc etc despite the fact it had been agreed on a flat rate and sent over an email with hourly rates on that had been sent weeks after the tribunal attendance - the hourly rates were actually in relation to a question we asked on how much it would be for a further supporting letter which we agreed for them to do (estimated at 3 hours work). We had asked them to proceed via email with the 3 hours work but received no email reply or supporting letter - awesome service !
He told us to pay or they would take us to court - we said ok fine take us to court but we dispute the invoice and have all correspondence necessary to back up what we were saying.
Instead of taking us to small claims court (they literally have the company's secretary's word against mine that we apparently agreed to the £900 fee - trust me I didn't agree as the initial conversation we had when enlisting their services agreed a £500 flat fee!) they have passed the matter to a debt collection agency.
I need to know what my next step is legally - there is zero hard evidence and one person's word against mine that the conversation regarding the £900 actually took place.
I could really do without someone dinging the snot out of my credit rating for money that I legitimately don't owe - I am not being bullied by these guys !
Any help would be appreciated.