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Hi there, im wondering if some more knowledgeable people could please help me out with this..

 

Long story cut really short. I'm a self employed IT guy, and repaired / built 3 pc's and a laptop for a customer of mine back in Nov last year.

 

She couldn't pay for the work all in 1 go, so asked to pay in installments of £50 pr wk. Total cost of all the work was £495. Upto may of this year, I received a total of £195 off her. Everything is documented, with receipts, and invoices.

 

Had all the usual excuses as to why she couldnt pay, one thing and another..

 

Anyhow, come to May this year, 2 days after she text me to say she had some monies for me, and to call round and collect it, the police were at the gate.

 

Long shot is, they arrested me for fraud by false representation. I was accused of calling round my customers house each and every thursday, and collecting £50 off her. Now my customer is a vunerable person, disabled, bedridden etc.

 

I totally denounce these allegations as completely false. I have all my accounts, receipts, bank statements, mileage docs, diary, customers who would of testified I was at theirs, when i was supposed to be at this customers etc.. Even during the taped interview, when questioned told the officers, if you want my documents, diary, accounts etc, come and get them now, as I have done no wrong. To which they replied, they would do. To date they havent.

 

Also one major flaw in her allegation was them saying im there every thurs. At least one thurs in each month from 3.30pm im over 30 miles away at a local group scout meeting, as im the secretary for the group, and dont get home till least 10pm.

 

Last week, had my bail hearing, I was released with no charges and no further action.

 

This allegation has not hurt my business, although there have been rumours going around, how i've been raided, all my pc's taken etc. All of which I have

 

What I would like to know, is, can I now go after my customer, through the courts, for the remainding monies outstanding? IE LBA, then proceed through small claims court?

 

Many thanks for any offers of help offered. Any questions, please don't hesitate and I will gladly fill in any gaps, I have nothing to hide what so ever.

 

Be Safe

 

Nige AKA JGG :)

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Of course you can and should! do you have it in writting about the installments and over what period she agreed to pay. I would also be tempted to sue her for wrongful arrest and for the time and inconvenience and damages to your reputation and business ( but you would proof for that ).

Suggest you write in first instance asking for remaining monies and giving her 14 days or you will start court proceedings.

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I can't think of any reason why you should not pursue your customer in the usual way for money owed to you. However, given her behaviour, it may be better done through a solicitor. A solicitor may also be able to advise you on whether you can pursue her for damage to your business if your reputation suffers as a result of her false accusations.

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The customer already has proved to be a nightmare, and may well try to find other tricks to play if you continue to seek payment. Of course, she may be deliberately pulling tricks to try and get you to write off the debt as more trouble than it's worth.

 

An alternative is that she is properly insane. In which case all bets are off concerning what will happen. It would of course even be possible that she believes what she told the police in this case.

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The customer has at least 3 PCs and a laptop, which suggests that she runs some sort of business.

 

A point that has just occurred to me is that if she is running a business, then check to see if it is a limited company, because payments by instalments raises the issue of the requirement for a consumer credit licence.

 

This is from the OFT website:

 

 

You are not likely to need a licence if:

  • you only deal with limited companies (or,in the case of credit reference agencies, you only furnish information about limited companies)
  • you are just accepting credit cards or trading checks issued by someone else (and you didn't introduce the borrower to them)
  • you are just allowing customers to pay their bills in four or fewer instalments within a year beginning on the date of the arrangement.

 

JGG may well have a licence, but if not, then the customer may be able to create further difficulties.

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Thanks guys. Unfortunately, it was all word of mouth. I did agree to £50 pr wk, thinking by the end of Dec it would of all been paid off.

 

One kinda funny story about this, is the last time in may I was there, her bf, and another guy who called himself a PC Professional came in 5 mins after me.

 

Conversation went something like this...

Cust - Can you have a look at my pc, as its going slow.

Me - yeah sure i can.. Start looking around, and find theres spyware on the pc.

Me - this will take bout 10 mins to get remove, how many times have I asked and told you to run the spyware programs i've installed..

Cust - Yeah I know, mumbles...

IT GUY - What are you doing, I can do that, I'm a pc builder.

Me - well go for it then, I can carry on with my other jobs.

IT GUY - no its ok, youve started carry on..

So I carry on with the scan.

IT GUY - I build computers..

ME - well done..

IT GUY - I know all about computers.

ME - well its a good thing to know.

IT GUY - I'm going into business repairing computers.

ME - Go for it.. best thing I've ever done

IT GUY - I'll be going into competition against you.

Me - Go for it.. There is no competition around here, so it'll be good for me, to raise my game so to speak.

IT GUY - What are you doing again?

ME - The pc has spyware on it, so im removing it.

IT GUY - Oh, what program are you using?

ME - Trade secret.

IT GUY - There is no spyware on the pc, I checked it only yesterday. With that program your using now.

ME - Oh right.. well sorry to say but there is spyware on the pc, this icon tells me there is, and this program also tells me the last time it was ran, which according to this was some months ago.

IT GUY - Oh it must of been another program.

Then wait for it.. What's Spyware?

 

Me - So let me get this straight. You build computers, Your going into business repairing them, and going as competition against me?

IT GUY - Yes

Me - Do the area a favour please.. Make sure you know what the heck your doing. Dont think for 1 min, because you can build a computer you know exactly how to repair it, when it goes wrong, as I'll be the one called to fix your mistakes, and the customer will be paying twice, and that just isn't fair on them what so ever.

 

So outraged, I finished the job, gave my customer her receipt for the payment, knocked it off the invoice, amended mine, signed and dated both, and carried on with my other jobs for the evening...

 

The rest you know..

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Wow, the lengths that people will go to avoid paying money they owe!

 

Reading your post, I can't see any evidence at all to amount to fraud by false representation, it's not exactly something which people get arrested for all the time. However, saying that, I only have your story, which I am not doubting for one minute!

 

I am assuming that you were arrested on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation, and therefore taken to the police station, interviewed and bailed pending further enquiries. Therefore, on attending your bail hearing, you were told that you were being released with no charges.

 

You cannot sue the lady in question for wrongful arrest, as she did not arrest you! You can only sue the police if they acted on information which was out of date, inaccurate, unlawfully obtained etc. Even then, it may cost money as you would have to take it through the civil courts etc..

 

However, what strikes me is that the police must have had some form of evidence? Granted, it does not need much evidence and the police in this country often arrest based on the statement (and the word) of one person until they can establish what has happened. In theory, I can ring the police and tell them that someone had threatened me, and they will come round and take a statement. They will then go and arrest the person I named and then find out it's not true, but not before some reputation has been damaged and a few people have started their own rumours too!

 

Back to your most important question - can you sue her? Yes you can.

 

Important to note - if you do take this matter to court, you will need to prove that you have given her enough time and notice to pay you prior to going to court. It's the same as if you were claiming back the charges from your bank - registered post and offers are all in writing and will all form part of your case. However, it sounds like you are a sensible person who has kept all documents, receipts etc therefore most of the work and evidence you need you already have.

 

Another avenue to pursue may be slander, however this is difficult to prove and you would need to also evidence that you have suffered personally as a direct result of the rumours spread by the person you are suing.

 

All complicated, but you're on the right track and good luck :)

  • Haha 1

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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Then wait for it.. What's Spyware?

 

I think there is a high chance he works for a well known retail store, who I won't mention, but WHERE IN THE WORLD? ** WORLD!**

 

I run operations for a large IT firm, therefore I like to think I know what I'm talking about. However, in these retail outlets, I'm amazed at the rubbish which comes out of their mouth when they are talking to customers - a lady of an older age needed a PC to surf the net and send e-mails - nothing else - and she was recommended a high end PC costing nearly £500 which will "make her internet three times faster" and will also boot up in under 15 seconds - I kindly showed her a low end PC for £199 which was fine, saving her £400 of what she had saved to buy one!

 

I know it's a bit off topic, but it irritates me!! Grrr!!

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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SP - Up to date, no damage has been caused to my business. If anything things are going better then ever. Been lucky to be totally booked up for the past 6 weeks, with anything up to 4 pc's / laptops a day being worked on. And starting to book jobs in for 2 weeks time.

 

AT - I'm more then willing to go all the way with this.

 

Personally I think its her BF who has put her up to this. As I had a run in with him, whilst there the last time.

 

He said to me, how often are you going to be chasing her for your money?

 

I said im not chasing, I've had every excuse possible. I'm leaving it a couple of weeks or a month between asking. I dont like asking for money like this.. All I want is for xxx to pay me what she owes, nothing more nothing less.

 

Well she has been paying you!, as ive been giving her the money to pay you.

 

Sorry mate, she has not been paying me, as ive had none since xxx date, as shown in all my records.

 

(Oops forgot to mention, re the laptop I repaired for her the first time, it initially came in with a inverter problem, fixed that, then a couple of weeks later, get a call, saying my sister has dropped the laptop, and it wont start can you have a look at it.

 

Fixed the lappy, then the hard drive failed, so sorted out a cheap drive from stock, got everything reloaded again from a image I made. Drop it off again. Few weeks go by, my sisters thrown it across the room now after a argument with me, and it wont start again.

 

So go down again, have a look, and said its terminal. Yes I can fix it, but your paying more for me fixing this then i think its worth.

 

With your ok, I'll take it back to the workshop, see if I can fix it cheaply. Failing that if you give me the ok, ill sell it on ebay as spares and repairs only. Either give you the money from it, i'll add the ebay fees / paypal fees etc, or i'll knock what ever i get for it off the invoice, and add the ebay fees.

 

So bring the lappy back here, it is terminal as i first though, so ring and tell her so. She said, i'll get back to you.

 

To date she has not done so. So I still have the laptop here.

 

Her BF said, I want you to sell the laptop. I said, sorry pal, I dont know you from adam, unless XXX gives me the ok to sell it, it stays where it is. Bearing in mind XXX is dosed up on morphine at this point, totally knocked out, and doesnt know whats being said.

 

Well can you not knock off what you will get for the laptop, and let me know how much is outstanding now?

 

I said i can't as its a auction, it may go for £10, it may go for £100, I have no idea.

 

So her lappy is here. The police said don't do anything with it, whilst this is ongoing, so Its not been touched.

 

What should I do with the lappy? as it is rightfully her laptop.

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Wow, the lengths that people will go to avoid paying money they owe!

 

Reading your post, I can't see any evidence at all to amount to fraud by false representation, it's not exactly something which people get arrested for all the time. However, saying that, I only have your story, which I am not doubting for one minute!

 

Hi Chesham, The officer and lawyer both said, this is something new on them, its not a run of the mill case etc.

 

I am assuming that you were arrested on suspicion of committing fraud by false representation, and therefore taken to the police station, interviewed and bailed pending further enquiries. Therefore, on attending your bail hearing, you were told that you were being released with no charges.

 

Yes on both counts. Inital bail hearing was for 3 weeks ago. Went to the hearing, was there for close to 2 hours. No one came to see me. Asked at the front desk, and she sent me home. Mentioned something about being rebailed for another date, and a letter would arrive.

 

Around 5pm that same day, a seargent rang me from the bail unit, apologised for not coming to see me, and said i would of been rebailed for another date in any case.

 

Asked why, and was told they havent completed their enquiries yet.

 

Rebail date was last week, when NFA'd.

 

You cannot sue the lady in question for wrongful arrest, as she did not arrest you! You can only sue the police if they acted on information which was out of date, inaccurate, unlawfully obtained etc. Even then, it may cost money as you would have to take it through the civil courts etc..

 

However, what strikes me is that the police must have had some form of evidence? Granted, it does not need much evidence and the police in this country often arrest based on the statement (and the word) of one person until they can establish what has happened. In theory, I can ring the police and tell them that someone had threatened me, and they will come round and take a statement. They will then go and arrest the person I named and then find out it's not true, but not before some reputation has been damaged and a few people have started their own rumours too!

 

Again to date, no damage has been caused. Yes to the rumours but they have been quashed to the best of my knowledge.

 

Back to your most important question - can you sue her? Yes you can.

 

Important to note - if you do take this matter to court, you will need to prove that you have given her enough time and notice to pay you prior to going to court. It's the same as if you were claiming back the charges from your bank - registered post and offers are all in writing and will all form part of your case. However, it sounds like you are a sensible person who has kept all documents, receipts etc therefore most of the work and evidence you need you already have.

 

All docs I have, everything and anything I would need are to hand. :)

 

Another avenue to pursue may be slander, however this is difficult to prove and you would need to also evidence that you have suffered personally as a direct result of the rumours spread by the person you are suing.

 

All complicated, but you're on the right track and good luck :)

 

Not really looking to sue for slander, all I'm after is the money outstanding..

 

Thanks for the thoughts Chesham.. Appreciated :)

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The customer has at least 3 PCs and a laptop, which suggests that she runs some sort of business.

 

A point that has just occurred to me is that if she is running a business, then check to see if it is a limited company, because payments by instalments raises the issue of the requirement for a consumer credit licence.

 

This is from the OFT website:

 

 

 

JGG may well have a licence, but if not, then the customer may be able to create further difficulties.

 

I do not hold a licence, never have, and didn't even know I had to have one.. :(. All of my customers bar this one, either pay with cash and or cheque as soon as the job is complete. Invoices, and receipts are made and given, irrespective of the job.

 

This is the only time I have let someone pay with installments. NEVER again.. thats for sure..

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I think there is a high chance he works for a well known retail store, who I won't mention, but WHERE IN THE WORLD? ** WORLD!**

 

I run operations for a large IT firm, therefore I like to think I know what I'm talking about. However, in these retail outlets, I'm amazed at the rubbish which comes out of their mouth when they are talking to customers - a lady of an older age needed a PC to surf the net and send e-mails - nothing else - and she was recommended a high end PC costing nearly £500 which will "make her internet three times faster" and will also boot up in under 15 seconds - I kindly showed her a low end PC for £199 which was fine, saving her £400 of what she had saved to buy one!

 

I know it's a bit off topic, but it irritates me!! Grrr!!

 

That kind of behaviour really galls me too.. I hate it when I hear of people being ripped off when I hear stories like that.

 

And yes its usually our mates at PCW, who start it off.. Sorry Renz, I know your one of the good guys :)

 

be safe nige aka jgg :)

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