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david501

Can late payment charges be avoided?

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Hi,

 

Although I have visited CAG for many years, this is my first post. Additionally, I am not sure if it is relevant to this forum as it relates to a commercial debt rather than a consumer one. If that's the case, I would be grateful if someone could point in the right direction as to where to seek advice.

 

I run a very small business - my wife and myself. In December, I ordered a toner cartridge which I found to be faulty.

I received a replacement which worked,

 

however, despite me making many requests to collect the faulty one, it remained uncollected and showed as being overdue for payment at the end of January.

As the toners were £120 each, I did not want to pay for the faulty one

I withheld payment for both,

to push the collection more than anything and ensure I received the credit note. 

 

I agreed to pay in February, when the toner remained uncollected but they wrote off the faulty one.

However, a prolonged period of ill health and coronavirus overtook things, and when they chased at the beginning of April,

 

I explained my situation and promised to clear the outstanding by the end of the April.

However, despite replying within their tlmeframe,

they said they had already passed the matter onto their solicitors.

 

My situation is,

I have had to agree staged payments from my clients, and received £1,500 less than I should have this month.

This is why I asked to pay them at the end of the month.

If I make only necessary payments, I have enough to cope for six weeks, however, I have a payment due at the end of the month.  

 

Last Thursday (16th April), I received a letter from their solicitors demanding payment of the balance of £155 within 7 days of the date of their letter.

They sent it the day before Good Friday and as it was sent second-class, I received it on the seventh day.

 

Yesterday I received a letter demanding payment within 5 days of the date of the letter (tomorrow), otherwise they would look at court action.

This time they had added interest of a little under £3 and an £80 charge under the Commercial Late Payments Act of 1998.

 

Although the Act has had a number of revisions since 1998 it has always had £40 as the fee for debts up to £999.99.

In fact, it is £70 for up to £9,999.99 and £100 for debts over this, so not sure where they get the £80 from?

 

I accept I should have cleared the balance when they credited the invoice, but I was taken ill before I had a chance to so.

 

The last thing I want is court and further solicitors costs to be added, so should I just ask the solicitor to agree to pay the invoices amounts + £40 + interest by the 29 April?

 

Thank you for any suggestions.

 

Dave  

 

 

 

 

 

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Ignore ...

How did you order it..directly??


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Online if I recall correctly, so yes directly.

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pay for the working cart when you can, but NO UNLAWFUL ADDED UNICORN FEED TAX.

as for the faulty one tell them its here awaiting your returns label.

 

until/unless you get a letter of claim, ignore their silly letter tennis

 

dx

 


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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OK dx,

 

If I ignore the letter, pretty sure they will issue a summons.

 

I will pay the outstanding amount as promised at the end of the month, but would the judge accept my defence for not paying the court, solicitor, interest and Late Payment Fees as it was an Act of Parliament?

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

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By " very small trader " would you regard yourself as a sole trader ?   I would imagine that they have far more pressing concerns to concentrate on at the moment in the current climate than issuing you a claim for a toner cartridge.

 

Andy


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Yes, I would see myself as a sole trader. 

 

Their operations office who I have been dealing with is in South Africa and they put the matter in their UK solicitor's hands during the height of the pandemic, and the solicitor, who send me badly photocopied letters seem to have a lot of time on their hands - what business answers the phone within two rings in the current situation.

 

I just don't want a £155 debt turning into a £400+ one - rather cut my losses at this stage.

 

I am concerned that by ignoring it, it won't go away, and if I agree to pay at the end of the month, a judge would feel I have made some attempt, if it went that far.

 

Am I wrong?

 

Thanks,

 

Dave 

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Ring the retailer up and simply explain your position...when and what you will paying...if they are based in SA I doubt very much they will wish to litigate.


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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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OK, I will try that.

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just pay for the cart that works,,and no fees.

stuff the rest..nothing they can do.

 


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Sorry dx, are you saying the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 is unenforceable?

 

I appreciate my knowledge of the law is a fraction of yours.

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forget all the 

that's UK law nor SA law.

 

stuff and all anyone can do 

nor add any stupid unicorn food tax because you are 'late' sending back a faulty cart they don't want anyway.

 

just pay for the good cart you have

forget everything else

doesn't apply..it's all BS to frighten you 

which it is and has done to now.

 

as I sais if they want their faulty one back

then make them pay by an RMA frree shipping code to do it.

 

stop being had they have any magical powers to do anything but willy wave.

 

dx

 


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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OK dx, the company I am dealing with is UK registered, it is just SA owned, managed and administered. 90% of my dealings have been with SA staff.

 

The faulty cartridge has been binned once it was credited.

 

 

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company you are dealing with in the uk....or their solicitors in the uk...

I feel the later...


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, dx100uk said:

company you are dealing with in the uk....or their solicitors in the uk...

I feel the later...

 

You feel wrong.

 

The company is based in Leicester and is a subsidiary of a South African company. 

 

When you ring the UK number you are patched through to the staff in South Africa, but as I said previously the company is English.

 

The solicitors are based in the Midlands as well.

 

 

 

W

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ok thankyou

but i'd still only pay for the good cart.

 

stuff 'em.

 


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, dx100uk said:

ok thankyou

but i'd still only pay for the good cart.

 

stuff 'em.

 

 

Thanks dx, I think I confused matters when I mentioned South Africa - that's irrelevant.

 

I am dealing with an English company on a B2B basis and they have requested an English firm of solicitors to collect the debt.

 

How have we reached this point?

 

1. In December I placed a small orders for stationery and just after Christmas I ordered an HP original cartridge but this was faulty and they sent a replacement.

2. In January, I made/sent countless calls and emails to get the faulty toner collected and credited.

3. Towards the end of February, they finally admitted defeat and a call from the MD's team in Leicester told me she would credit the faulty toner and I was to throw away the faulty one. I would say they were only helpful when I said I would post my experience on Trustpilot and they were overly keen to ensure I wouldn't write the article. 

4. Once I received the credit the balance was £155 and this I agreed to pay on March 6.

5. Unfortunately, I was taken into hospital with a suspected heart attack on March 4 and was off for 3 weeks.

6. By the time I returned to work we were well into lockdown.

7. They were now chasing the debt and I emailed them to explain what had happened and explain because of the virus I was having to accept stage payment. I told them I would make payment at the end of April.

8. When I chased for a reply, I was told it was now in the hands of their solicitors who have added £80 to the invoices and £3 interest. The fee for late payment is meant to be £40.

 

 

 

Edited by david501

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Today is the last day of the 5 day deadline before the solicitors consider recovery.

 

They are looking for payment of:

 

2 perfectly valid invoices - £155

Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998 - £80 (the act states £40 for debts under £1000)

Interest - £2.80

Total of £237.80

 

As I say, I don't want further court/solicitors costs added.

 

I tried calling them yesterday, but couldn't get through, so I emailed an offer to clear the outstanding invoices at the end of the month. I sent this to the MD's team who sorted out the problem before.

 

Should I email the solicitors to tell them what I have done?

 

Thanks,

 

Dave

 

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Yes I would...keep them in the loop and then they cant deny knowing.


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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31 minutes ago, Andyorch said:

Yes I would...keep them in the loop and then they cant deny knowing.

 

 

That was my thinking, I will send it just before 5pm, so they can't claim it was sent too late.

 

 

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How do you normally pay for such things?

have you bought from this co before and if so how were you invoiced?

is the printer owned by the business-ie fully listed in the business assets and tax returns?

I am trying to work out if this is a proper B2B or possibly a consumer transaction regardless of what you put on the order..

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Sole Trader as per post # 6 and #7..therefore the Consumer Rights Act is applicable.


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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22 hours ago, ericsbrother said:

How do you normally pay for such things?

have you bought from this co before and if so how were you invoiced?

is the printer owned by the business-ie fully listed in the business assets and tax returns?

I am trying to work out if this is a proper B2B or possibly a consumer transaction regardless of what you put on the order..

 

Sorry I didn't reply yesterday, I needed a day off from this and have just seen your post.

 

Andy's correct but to answer your questions, I only placed two orders with this company and I am paying them next week.

 

I purchased the printer on a personal account from Argos on a buy now pay later basis and won't be due for payment until next January and won't be shown in any returns until next year.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Andyorch said:

Sole Trader as per post # 6 and #7..therefore the Consumer Rights Act is applicable.

 

Andy, does the Consumer Rights Act offer me any protection in terms of the Commercial Late Payments Act ?

Edited by david501

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A business to business debt does not, as some think, have to be between Limited companies. It can be between two sole traders, a partnership, or a sole trader owing money to a Limited (LTD) company or any combination.....but  only if they have warned you within their terms and conditions of business.

https://www.moneyclaimsuk.co.uk/late-payment-of-commercial-debts.aspx

 

However, individuals who act as sole traders can benefit from the same rights and remedies if they purchase goods and services for a purpose that is mainly personal rather than professional. The Act requires that goods and digital content must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described

 

https://www.russell-cooke.co.uk/insight/briefings/2015/the-consumer-rights-act-2015/

 

 


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

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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