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    • great, thank you. I have done the above and put it in my diary to submit the money claims online form on the 23/04/2021    Hermes just responded to my Letter of claim:    Hi Samson   Thank you for contacting Hermes with regards to tracking number xxxxxxxxx   Please direct all queries through to Packlink Shipping   Packlink have taken the money for this delivery, not Hermes and therefore this will need to be directed through to them.   They have been made aware that the parcel is missing and a claim has been made.   I can only apologise again for the inconvenience caused and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and continued support Kind regards Nickie ext 2549 Customer Service Advisor
    • A copy of your statement in objection would be helpful.
    • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/13/boris-johnson-easing-lockdown-will-increase-covid-infections   seems Johnson is now spinning that the vaccination program ISN'T why the UK is able to come out of lockdown despite falling cases - which also aren't primarily as a result of the UK's vaccination program, despite Johnson banging on about the Uk's vaccination program for weeks ... It was the lockdown   Now that reality is approaching and he wants to over-write his horse-shot history again...   He now starting to state what was actually bloody obvious for ages .. while he was spinning moonsh*t   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/13/surge-testing-may-not-be-enough-to-curb-covid-variants-in-uk-say-scientists
    • Topic moved to Residential and Commercial lettings/Freehold issues...please continue to post here.   Andy
    • Hi Just wondering if someone could offer any constructive advice, or maybe been in a similar situation regarding the following. Sorry for the long post but I want to be thorough. I live abroad and use a letting agent to fully manage a property. The current tenants moved in almost a year ago, after my having spent £3000 redecorating throughout and lightly refurbishing the property. My letting agent, who is an easy going, decent guy, finds the tenants very difficult. He claims he spends more time on these tenants than any other. The first thing they complained about on moving in was that the property needed to be fully redecorated(!), along with a list of 30 other repairs they felt needed doing.They break the patio doors, and then complain that there should be 3 hinges on the door not 2, and therefore want another hinge putting on. As much as I want to be a good landlord and provide a nice home for my tenants, their demands are becoming endless and tiring. I do when I can, accommodate most requests from them, such as for example, them changing their rent due dates to make it easier for them. These are the first ever tenants I have had whereby the letting agent has suggested eviction even though they pay the rent and, by and large, look after the property lol! They obviously dislike the property so much, I am just hoping they leave when their contract ends in May, but as they have 6 cats, my letting agent tells me he doesn’t think they would ever find anywhere else to rent. What annoys him the most is the fact that when he calls on them to explain why some repairs they request are not necessary, they are pleasant and in full agreement, then he will arrive back at the office to find the ‘most disrespectful and insulting of emails’ from them as he refers to it, demanding the repair get done. Anyhow their latest complaint is condensation. The property has a piv fitted, which I was told was one of the best things you could install to assist with condensation. It also has trickle vents on the windows. Again my letting agent chats over the phone to them and visits the property to take a look. He confirms it’s condensation then advises them of the usual lifestyle actions they need to take, and he reports back to me that all is well and they are happy. He then gets notification that the tenants have reported the damp to the local council who will be paying a visit. The tenants are also unpleasantly demanding we get a damp report from a ‘damp specialist’, so we get a local company to go in and do a report. We told the tenants if the damp is down to them, then we will take the cost of the report from their deposit. The council see the damp report and are happy enough with the property and we tell them we will install additional vent bricks. The tenants were also given a copy of the report but have never responded to it. This was February. However I was really disappointed with the report. It’s amateur but that’s ok, but it starts off by saying the first issue is damp, but not at the stage that would concern the damp company, and treatment would wait until in between lettings, and is something just to monitor for now.....I’m not really sure what just damp means....rising, penetrating? Second issue was condensation and, a black mould, due to condensation. That’s all it says. The report notes the trickle vents at the property, but states with modern living these simply are not enough, and suggests installing a piv, but appreciates there is one already at the property that is clearly producing an airflow. The property is a dormer bungalow, and they have a concern about the positioning of the piv, as it’s situated in a small space due to the dormer room, and in their opinion not positioned correctly but notes there is no other option given the space. Apart from of course, buying 3x passive vapour vents from them at a cost of £204 each. They also claim the kitchen extractor fan is not working effectively as it should and the current filter should be renewed. So I asked my letting agent to confirm what the company mean by the first issue of just damp, and if he could put something in the report about condensation being a lifestyle problem, for the purposes of evidence for the claim from the deposit. My letting agent said he kept emailing the owner for clarity, but didn’t get a response until the owner starts chasing for his payment. My letting agent responds saying we have no problem paying the invoice if he could just clarify that the mould is down to the tenants usage, and the reason we ask for this is because the tenants have been very aggressive demanding the report and that we were seeking to claim some of the report cost from the deposit, and his report forms that evidence. My letting agent even suggest an additional sentence to the owner of ‘the mould at the property is caused by the tenants activity’, given that this is what the owner stated was the problem when they spoke previously over the phone. Anyhow the contractor requests I contact him so the very same day. I email apologising for the delay in payment and saying more or less the same, that the cause of the condensation has to be spelled out to the deposit scheme, and it would be great if he could add that to the report. He never replied back. Now a month later, after neither myself or the letting agent hearing anything back, the owner is threatening legal action, saying I only got in touch with him because the letting agent chased me, and that he cannot say the mould is down to the tenants as if the piv and kitchen fan were working properly there would be no mould. He added that him saying it was down to the tenant would be negligent and against his professional judgement. Surely this is bunkum! Despite contradicting himself when he spoke verbally to my letting agent, the above statement would suggest the ‘not fully functioning piv‘ is the cause of the condensation, as opposed to the occupants not ventilating enough. My letting agent has given me a formal letter saying the owner verbally stated all condensation mould is down to the occupants, if I needed it for use in the claim. Sorry for the endlessly long post and ramble, but in your experience is the owner right, would he be negligent for mentioning the occupants. If a property has condensation what else can be the cause other than too much moisture being produced and not enough ventilation. I am not asking him to lie, just state the facts. Would I have any recourse? Thanks for any advice.
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
       
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
       
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
       
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
       
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Gym membership cancellation ***SUCCESS***


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Hi

 

Question 1.

I've just been looking at the sticky above (Sticky: Ashbourne Management Services Ltd - Contracts longer than 12 months(1 Viewing) ) which seems to say that all gym contacts over 12 months are unfair - is this the case ?

 

I ask because I was 'pressured' into signing an 18 month contract with my local gym (not AMSL).

 

Question 2.

I KNOW I should have read ALL the small print but there was so much of it!.............

 

I had to sign-up 'there and then' as it was (supposedly) the last day of the membership deal.

I specifically asked about suspending membership.

I was told it was possible with a doctors note (a condition I have met) - but no other conditions were mentioned..

Now that I need to do this, I discover that I have to pay an 'at-home' fee every month

I was not told about crucial points in the small print when I asked - if I had been I would not have signed up.

Since I did ask, do I have a complaint - or is it simply 'buyer-beware' ?

 

Thanks, H

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Hi Leicester and welcome to CAG

 

Can you tell us what gym this is and if there is any admin company that deals with m/ship matters.

 

Please also confirm :-

 

1. When you joined.

 

2. When you became unable to attend and told the gym.

 

3. Is the medical condition likely to continue for a while.

 

4. What's said on the contract about cancellation or suspension of m/ship on medical grounds.

 

5. What is the normal monthly fee.

 

6. What are you paying for the "at home" or suspended fee each month.

 

I think you should be able to cancel on the basis of the initial contract length but I'd like the other info so we can consider the matter fully.

 

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Thanks for swift reply.

 

When I left work in March 2011, I started playing badminton 2 or 3 times a week at Parklands Leisure Centre, in Oadby, Leicester. I was paying as I played (at group sessions )

The centre is run for the council by Harpersfitness (can't post url])

 

On Thursday 23 February 2012 I was cold-called by the membership ‘officer’ saying it would be cheaper for me to join and pay monthly. She said she couldn’t explain the deal over the telephone and that I would have to meet with her on Saturday 25th Feb if I wanted to get the deal as it was the last day of the deal (I found out later that it wasn’t). It is an 18 month contract.

 

At the meeting I specifically asked if it was possible to suspend membership if there was a medical reason. She said yes – with a medical ‘certificate’. She didn’t mention

a. that it was at the manager discretion

b. I had to give a full months notice (how is this possible with illness/ injury?) My bank (First Direct) said they can suspend DD in 24 hours (instantly if I requested it over the phone)

c. there would still be a monthly fee (OK – its only £5 a month BUT I get absolutely nothing for this).

Had I been told these facts (when I asked) I wouldn’t have joined.

 

I last played badminton on 6th June as I have developed Tennis Elbow in my playing arm. Physiotherapy didn’t help and after an MRI scan an Orthopaedic surgeon injected it (with steroid) on 24th August. The injection did not cure it and I have another appointment on 12 October. He may give another injection (with 6 weeks to see if it works) or recommend an operation with a recovery time of 3 months. Neither is guaranteed to fix the problem an allow me to play badminton.

 

My consultant sent me an email to print and take to Parklands “I can confirm that X is under my care with a tennis elbow. At present she is unable to play badminton and this will be the case for the foreseeable future.”

 

I was hoping for a fix that would allow me to return to badminton so I didn’t phone Parklands until 19th Sept. I was told to take in the medical certificate and they would suspend membership. No mention of any constraints. I took in the certificate on 20th Sept – again no mention of any constraints and plenty of time (I thought) to suspend the DD (starting with the Oct DD)

 

On 27th Sept (ie a whole week later) I received an email “I have received a request for freezing of your membership. Please can you confirm for what length of time this is required for? I can freeze for up to three months with this doctors note. Please note that to freeze your membership your direct debit reverts to £5.00 per month instead of your usual £24.99.”

 

I emailed to complain that this was not what I’d been told when I joined (at a prearranged meeting with the membership officer – not ‘any old’ member of staff who mightn’t be expected to know all the rules). They avoid commenting on this verbal ‘agreement’ (neither denying or accepting it) and simply emailed back that I’d signed accepting the terms and conditions.

 

I accept that I did sign the agreement (I NEVER will again) but I think it is unfair. The small print is so small it’s hardly readable (much smaller than any other writing on the other side of the form). I did ask and wasn’t told information that was crucial to my decision to join.

Why does it take so long to suspend/amend the DD (they took the full Octobers amount) ? (10 days should be plenty)

Why do I have to pay a monthly fee when use of facilities is suspended?

 

I’d be grateful for any advice - I would happily cancel the contract if I could, as I believe it was mis-sold to me.

 

Thanks in advance, H

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Hi LH,

 

The summarised answers to my Q's above are :-

 

The gym is Parklands Leisure Centre, Leicester, run by Harpers Fitness

 

1. Joined on 25/2/12.

2. Last used the gym on 6/6/12 and took Dr's Cert to gym on 20/9/12.

3. Condition likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

4. You didn't confirm above what the contract says about cancelling although the gym has said you can freeze the m/ship for 3 months with a Dr's Cert. I'd be interested to know what the contract says about cancelling on medical grounds.

5. £24.99 pm.

6. £5 pm.

 

I think you have good grounds to cancel the m/ship agreement on health grounds, on the basis that your condition has been ongoing since June and is not likely to be resolved in the foreseeable future according to your Consultant.

 

However, I think your best course is to cancel on the basis of the initial m/ship period exceeding 12 months. Cancel the DD mandate via your bank to avoid any further pay'ts being taken. I suggest a letter to Parklands (or to Harpers if they have been dealing with the matter) as follows :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

Membership at Parklands Leisure Centre, Leicester

 

I refer to my membership which started on 25th February 2012 with an initial minimum period of 18 months. The membership is currently suspended due to an ongoing medical condition which will continue for the foreseeable future.

 

I have no wish to continue paying £5 a month for not using the gym and assume this will go back to £24.99 a month after 3 months suspension.

 

I therefore cancel the membership with immediate effect and have cancelled my Direct Debit mandate.

 

Although you may suggest I should continue with the membership, suspended or at full price, I will not on the basis that the initial contract period was in excess of 12 months.

 

Following the High Court ruling made against Ashbourne Management Services Ltd on 27th May 2011, Mr Justice Kitchin issued a Penal Notice on 12th August 2011 to AMSL which included the following terms :-

 

"Minimum terms [membership periods] in new contracts should not exceed 12 months; if they do, the member will not be bound by any minimum membership period and will be free to bring the agreement to an end at any time."

 

The court case was specifically against AMSL but, because it was a High Court ruling, it sets a precedent that can be applied to similar situations.

 

Accordingly, I now exercise my right to cancel with immediate effect.

 

If you make any further demands, charge any admin fees (which are unenforceable penalties) or pass the matter on for collection by an admin company or debt collector, I will report you to the OFT who are currently investigating gyms and their admin companies.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Send the letter off by Rec'd Del'y and keep the receipt. Let us know how they reply.

 

:wink:

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Hi Leicester H and many happy returns. :whoo:

 

Have a Fab Day and we'll deal with this when you're ready.

 

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Hi,

 

More info as promised.

The T&Cs state

"8. At home membership.

The at home membership allows you to suspend full membership provided that this is due to illness, injury or pregnancy and is at the managers discretion. A payment of £5 per member per month is payable when activated. The at home option can only be considered if you give us at least 1 months notice in writing before it is required."

No mention of the 3 months referred to in the email.

 

I can't see anything about cancelling on ground of illness - the only things about termination are

a. within the first 10 days

b. "You may terminate your monthly membership on giving 1 months notice of termination in writing to the Harpers facility at which you joined as a member such notice to begin from the end of the month in which the written notice is given"

- not sure how this works with the "In signing below I accept that I have read, understood, and agree that I am entering a 18 month contract as detailed on the reverse of this form." ??

- I can't see anything about 18 months on the reverse of the form

On front of form it does say "Active 18 M Min Cont P R £24.99"

 

I assume none of this alters the advice given above ?

 

Many thanks, H

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Hi LH,

 

So it looks like the "freeze" of 3 months may be what the manager, at his his discretion, has decided is appropriate based upon the Dr's Cert that you sent in. That could be extended, depending on what you send the manager as further proof of any ongoing condition, but again at the mgr's discretion.

 

In any event, I'm now happy that you can send off the draft letter above without alteration.

 

See what comes back.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

Letter sent last friday (recorded delivery) - simply cut&pasted your suggested text (thanks)

Am having Operation on elbow tomorrow so will be 'off-line' for a few days but I will let you know if/when I hear anything.

Haven't cancelled DD yet but can do instantly.

Thanks for all your help, H

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Hi LH,

 

I suggest you cancel the DD immediately, as per post #4 above.

 

Hope the elbow op goes well for you.

 

See you when you're back up and running (as it were) !!

 

:-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

cancelled DD.

Sent letter Recorded 1st class - checked after 2 weeks if it had been delivered and signed for - post office have no record of trying to delivery it and don't consider it to be lost until 15 working days after the expected delivery date!

So printed duplicate and got friend to hand in to gym.

Later that day, they phoned to say they'd cancelled the contract !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I asked for written confirmation which they sent.

 

So am very pleased - when arm more better and I'm more 'with-it' I shall be making a small donation to this site as a thank you so that you can continue to help people caught out unfairly.

 

THANKS so much for your help, H

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Hi Leicester and thanks for the update.

 

Congrats on your result. :whoo:

 

Title changed to reflect your win (only Site Team can do it).

 

Your site donation will be much appreciated and help us stay here for consumers.

 

:-)

We could do with some help from you

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                                            Have we helped you ...?  Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Please give something if you can. We all give our time free of charge but the site has bills to pay.

 

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