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sonic_vi

Help - threatened with debt collection agency for disputed money

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Hi

 

 

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.

 

 

Thanks

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I'm guessing from the above that proceedings have not yet been issued. If I was you I would write one comprehensive email or letter to the DCA setting out your position as to the terms of the verbal contract and leave it there unless and until they issue a claim.

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Sorry should also have made clear, nothing has been signed by either party, all agreements were verbal, no contracts, written quotes, payment terms, etc etc

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Thanks mjt2013

 

 

indeed no proceedings have been issued.

 

 

just trying to pre empt what my course of action is if it does get passed to them? can I dispute it legally? can it go to court and get quashed?

 

 

I am in uncharted territory so kind of freaked out (probably the idea of the letter I guess?) - never had this issue before. Not the kind of person who doesn't pay things or have any kind of trouble. Worst I ever had was 3 points for speeding in 2003 ! everything I have ever owed has always been paid on time hence their first invoice being paid as agreed the day we received it :(

 

 

wouldn't mind getting my facts together and legal position straight before it gets to that point so I can crack on straight away if they do send it to the DCA.

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If proceedings are issues you'll be able to file a defence to the claim, have a hearing and the judge will decide what the terms of the contract were (if it gets that far).

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If proceedings are issues you'll be able to file a defence to the claim, have a hearing and the judge will decide what the terms of the contract were (if it gets that far).

 

 

 

Ah ok cool

 

 

so will it affect credit rating just by going to the DCA or is it just if a court decides we owe the money and then do not pay?

 

 

is there a template letter available basically saying we dispute the claim and if you wish to proceed take it to court?

 

 

sorry for all the questions - I am a reasonably intelligent person but from what I understand common sense quite often does not translate into the legal system.

 

 

thanks

Edited by sonic_vi

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Thread moved to Debt Collection Industry.

 

Regards

 

Andy


We could do with some help from you.

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Sorry Andy thought I had put it in the right place - thanks for moving it.

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Sorry Andy thought I had put it in the right place - thanks for moving it.

 

No problem sonic...if you get a claim we will move you back :wink: hopefully not.


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

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oh ok no worries - any views on my last point of whether a DCA would actually take this on?

 

 

Trying to get as much info as possible to calm the wife down as she's freaking out

 

 

thanks

 

Russ

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Makes no odds whether they will or wont...disregard it until you actually receive a claim...no point worrying about something until it/if does happen...lifes too short.

 

DCAs have no powers apart from causing you stress with nonsense letters and phonecalls

 

Andy


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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

 

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In the meantime, write to the DCA and tell them that the matter is disputed, that their client is aware of the dispute but has not attempted to resolve it. Remind the DCA that the OFT requires them to cease collection activity in these circumstances.

 

Who is the DCA, incidentally?

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