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  1. Bit of background - we are having a bit of a dispute with the cleaning company who used to do a weekly clean at our house. We decided to let the company go, due to various issues, not least of which was the fact that, for the third time in the 3 or so years in which they've been cleaning for us, our macerator unti toilet became blocked with what turned out to be some kind of wet wipe/cleaning wipe. On the two previous occasions that this happened, we shelled out for a plumber to unblock the unit (the first time) and then replace the unit (the second time, the blockage caused the motor to burn out), at our own cost. We were pretty darn sure that we were not responsible for putting any kind of wipe down the toilet (we *know* that you can't put anything like that down there or it will clog!) but the cleaners denied all knowledge. The third time was the final straw and we were adamant that this time we were not paying for the repairs ourselves as we know it was not us who clogged the unit. when we notified the company that we were cancelling our contract, we also explained that we needed to get a plumber out to look at the unit and that if it did turn out to be clogged with a wipe (which it did), we would be deducting the plumber's fees from our payment of their final invoice. This we duly did, to the tune of £50. The owner of the company has been quite aggressively contesting this, even since we even mentioned the possibility (before the plumber had even come out and confirmed the problem) and since we paid her invoice, minus the £50 plumber's fee, has sent a snotty letter threatening legal action and demanding that we give her the plumber's details so that her solicitor can contact him (and implying, in so many words, that we never actually had a plumber come out and do any work). I sent her a letter back stating that I would ask the plumber to prepare a report detailing exactly what work he did (I also took photos of him opening the unit and removing the wipe, as I foresaw this woman being arsey about all this - and have kept the wipe as evidence!!). On the advice of CAGers, I don't see that her solicitor has any need to speak to the plumber unless things progress to small claims court. after her threats of legal action, I have now received a letter from The Thomas Higgins Partnership demanding payment of the "outstanding amount" of £50 within 7 days or "proceedings will be commenced" etc etc etc. This letter is clearly intended to suggest that she has hired solicitors to pursue things however a quick google search revealed the true nature of The Thomas Higgins Partnership and that she has purchased herself the services of one of their pro-forma threatograms for the princely sum of £2 +VAT. So my question is, how should I respond to this, if at all? Should I write to them informing them that this alleged debt is under dispute and that they therefore have no legal standing to pursue it? Should I just ignore it for the scaremongering threatogram it is? I'd like to say I'm doubtful this woman will take us to small claims court over the relatively minor sum of £50 but then again she strikes me as a rather vindictive person (and somewhat dodgy to boot, from the way she runs her company) so it's possible she might. I've no idea how such a court case might go though as it's essentially our word against hers... we can prove we had the work done and how much we paid the plumber but she claims her staff don't use cleaning wipes and would never put a wipe down a toilet but we know for a fact that it wasn't us. I'm feeling very bloody-minded about this though as it's a matter of principle and I don't want to be bullied into paying up for fear of having court costs awarded against us. Does anyone have any experience of small claims court and what the likely outcome of such a case might be? Thanks in advance for any help.
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