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Retailer Claims To Have Sent Good Erroneously, A Year Later Threatening Me With Legal Action


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Hi all, 

Bit stressed because I have an odd problem that I can't afford to spend legal money resolving, and Citizens Advice are a nightmare to deal with. 

I'm a collector of certain sometimes high value wristwear. 

Last Summer I ordered an "in stock" item from a major UK online & bricks and mortar retailer specialising in the market in their online summer sale. I paid for the order by CC and while waiting for it I got a notice advising me the item was OOS and estimated delivery would be a minimum of 6-8 weeks late. I advised the company by email that I didn't want a big sum of money spent on a CC without having received goods but agreed to leave a deposit to secure the item. I did that in part because the company has a reputation of sale-selling OOS items and then trying to source them and since I was interested in trying the item I thought the deposit would keep them hunting the stock.

In July I went on holiday with my wife and elderly parents in the South West.

While on holiday I got a weird shipment notification from the vendor which since I had neither paid for any goods nor heard back from them to say they had found stock, I presumed to be some kind of system error and when I got home after nine days there were no courier cards awaiting my attention and I ignored it as an anomaly, half expecting to hear from them. at some point to either confirm stock or cancel the order. 

I waited so long, in fact, and the item went back to full price on their website and listed as "available on order", and given that the end of August was my birthday, my OH decided to buy me something else and kick the can of this kind of gift down the road a bit. Ironically she followed up on another of my wish list items from the same vendor and arranged a deposit and monthly payments for that. 

Over the duration I entirely forgot that I'd left a deposit with the vendor and thought I'd been refunded. 

Fast forward to about six weeks ago, nearly a year later, and I got a sudden email from the vendor telling me that the summer previous they'd mistakenly shipped me the item without taking payment and now wanted to know how I was going to pay for it. 

I advised them I had no idea what they were talking about and asked whether they had tracking information. 

They emailed me a Royal Mail tracking number which pulls up a delivery "made" while I was away on holiday which has a recipient name filled out which is a misspelling of my own surname and two illegible lines in the 'signature' section which bears no resemblance to a signature let alone mine. 

There's no further note of where the purported delivery ended up. But it wasn't with me. 

I've supplied the vendor my online travel booking docket for the hotel stay and challenged the erroneous Royal Mail docket as well as the legitimacy of turning up a year later to claim they allegedly just sent me goods for free and now want payment. 

Since then I've had a recorded delivery letter asserting that I had a telephone conversation with their staff about the matter (not true) and keep usibg the phrase "as you know" to assert that I received the gooda and know what they're talking about and what I owe and demanding payment by a date in August. 

I emailed them in response and restated my position and that I didn't appreciate being accused, when I wasn't even at home at the time they claimed I received goods, nor several days after. 

I've logged a complaint with Citizens Advice but they're not exactly brimming with ideas. 

I had already approached my solicitor who being fairly typical snorted off their efforts as a toothless fishing expedition and told me to ignore them as they had a claim that would never see the inside of a court due to their laughable error being the root and cause of their own problem. He's offered to send solicitors letters for almost as much money as the item is worth. 

I don't really like having people threaten me with legal action, in spite of my indignance, so I broached offering the vendor a good will payment in good faith as it would be cheaper than a solicitor's letter and, frankly, I actually didn't want to fall out with the retailer. I know people can make honest mistakes and it's a shame they have to take a loss from that but, I vainly felt like offering to chip in might save some numbskull their job. 

The solicitor as you might imagine said "give them nothing".

I offered them the equivalent of a third of the value of the item minus my deposit already paid to them last year and forgotten about. 

I explained why I was trying to participate in an amicable solution for a silly mistake for which I had no liability. 

And I waited. 

Over a week later they sent me the same snotty letter by email, no reference to my reply. 

I replied again, by email, restating my prior response. I added that I considered the repeated insistence that I was guilty of something an act of harrassment. 

I resent the hotel booking evidence. 

I've had another email today from a different person in a different department. 

This individual demands that if the item is missing or stolen I must call the police to investigate and get a crime number. I must get a crime number for a retailer allegedly mistakenly sending me a product I never paid for which didn't get delivered because Inwas on holiday and apparently vanished without trace - a year after this allegedly happened - on the strength of a dodgy Royal Mail delivery record. 

He claims the Royal Mail delivery record is the only proof he needs and cannot accept my online travel agency hotel booking as evidence I wasn't at home receiving the delivery. 

I, of course, can back up the booking with bank and credit card statements, family photographs and the parking ticket I got while away. But I'm not giving them everything I might need in court. 

This is getting ridiculous. 

The individual also asked why I offered them a partial compensation for the item if I didn't receive it. 

I should have known my consciensciousness would be taken the wrong way. 

I've not replied yet. 

I'm going to try Citizens Advice again tomorrow. 

Any ideas please? 

I've never encountered anything this insane. 

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Yes, first bit of advice is don't go to Citizens Advice. They are well-intentioned – but they are out of their depth on this kind of thing.

Secondly, please can you tell us who it is you are dealing with.
What is the item
What is the value
How much deposit did you pay
How much did you offer them by way of this so-called gesture of goodwill

Stop corresponding with them until we understand exactly the situation.

Frankly I think you should be reclaiming your deposit.
 

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yes ignore them and go do a chargeback? on that deposit.

stuff and all they can do to you.

 

dx

 

  • I agree 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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The company is CW Sellors/Jura Watches/ W Hamond. 

The item is a Certina watch that was being sold off at, I think IIRC, £278.

The deposit was £30, again, IIRC. 

I offered them a third of the retail price £278 minus my deposit already paid. I told them they and Royal Mail need to take their share too. 

Like I said I hate conflict and uncertainty as much as being falsely accused of something and between paying for a solicitor's letter over my indignance to get peace or giving these clowns something, I incorrectly calculated that being reasonable would result in a settlement. 

 

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Why on earth would you offer to pay them £90 for nothing?  Rather than making you look conscientious it makes you look like you have something to hide.

As @BankFodder and @dx100uk have said, what you ought to be doing is taking action to recover your deposit from them, not offering them more money.

1 hour ago, SilverHelmet said:

... I, of course, can back up the booking with bank and credit card statements, family photographs and the parking ticket I got while away. But I'm not giving them everything I might need in court...

 

Personally I'd let them know upfront that you have more than ample evidence to prove that you were nnn miles away when you allegedly took delivery of the watch, and that if they attempt any action to recover the money that they allege you owe them, you will defend it vigorously.  I don't see the point in trying to hold that back.  It can't advantage them to know you can prove you weren't there when the watch was supposedly delivered.

I'd also point out to them that as the watch wasn't my property and as they have acknowledged that they sent it to me in error, then it's their responsibility to report it to the police and not mine.

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Had a bit of a dig for what constitutes proof of my being on holiday at the time, since they refused to accept the screenshot of my booking in the Expedia app... 

I have the travel itinerary showing hotel bookings and dates.

I have my bank statement showing transactions in the region I holidayed in every single day of the trip.

I have (if I can find it) a parking ticket I received a FPN for on a beach in Newquay.

I also found that as a Google Maps user my GM account tracks and stores all my journeys. It has all my movements for that holiday. 

As I said... I was away.

I dunno what Royal. Mail/my neighbours/aliens who landed and stood in my drive for a week pretending to be me were doing - but I was on holiday. 

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10 minutes ago, SilverHelmet said:

I received a FPN for on a beach in Newquay.

i bet its not a FPN but a scam speculative invoice PCN from a private parking company ,,,,,,,hope you didn't blindly pay it.....?

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Erm.... 

I did. 

Initial Parking. Operator of Fistral Beach parking. 

We misunderstood the blurb on the signs about parking and particularly the opportunity to extend parking and incorrectly assumed that as long as we paid enough in the meter to cover the extra time at the end of the day we'd be good. 

That's what we did and when we got the notice we appealed but got rejected and... yes... I paid. 

Should I not have paid? 

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5 hours ago, SilverHelmet said:

That's what we did and when we got the notice we appealed but got rejected and... yes... I paid. 

too late now,  next time dont appeal a speculative invoice, come here and start a thread.

dx

 

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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38 minutes ago, SilverHelmet said:

Any consensus on what I do. about my situation? 

1.  Too late to do anything about the parking ticket if you've paid it.

2.  Regarding the watch, first thing I'd do is get your deposit back.  Presuming the seller won't pay it back voluntarily you need to try a chargeback with your card provider, but be aware that the seller will almost certainly challenge the chargeback.  If they do, it's up to you if you think it's worth suing them for £30.

Second, have you withdrawn your ill-considered offer to pay them one third of the purchase price?  If you actually offered to pay that I think I'd withdraw it before they charge your card with another £60 (or £90).

If you are confident that you can demonstrate (in court if necessary) that you could never have taken physical possession of the watch because you can prove you were elsewhere at the time it was supposedly delivered, then just ignore the seller asking for payment.  You only need to take notice and take prompt action if they issue a court claim against you.

BankFodder and dx100 probably won't agree with this, but I'd also let the seller know now that if they do decide to take further action against you to recover the money they claim you owe them, that you are confident you can provide proof that would satisfy a court that you could never have taken delivery of the watch and could never have had it in your physical possession.  I say that because I presume you would prefer to encourage them to stop bothering you sooner rather than later, and you certainly want to avoid the unwanted hassle of being sued...

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18 hours ago, SilverHelmet said:

He claims the Royal Mail delivery record is the only proof he needs and cannot accept my online travel agency hotel booking as evidence I wasn't at home receiving the delivery.

Manxman,

It looks like the idiots will not accept anything the OP says or does!

Perhaps SilverHelmet could SAR the company and get whatever they think they have on him.

(It could just be a complete mix-up, due to the item being ordered "again" later on?)

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2 hours ago, Nicky Boy said:

Manxman,

It looks like the idiots will not accept anything the OP says or does!

Perhaps SilverHelmet could SAR the company and get whatever they think they have on him.

(It could just be a complete mix-up, due to the item being ordered "again" later on?)

To clarify, the same item didn't get ordered again later on. 

That item eventually listed at a much higher price as an "available on order" and as it was no longer a bargain I moved on and waited - and ultimately ended up ordering a different model which my wife arranged as a layaway with what we thought was one of their branches (but turned out to be head office) for what was originally going to be an anniversary gift which we would pick up in person during a trip to Whitby in May (our anniversary month) and when it was set up I honestly thought the deposit had been transferred to the more recent item. 

Apparently not and thus we forgot about the original deposit until May when we thought the final payments would be due and we turned out to be a month's worth short... 

Communications around CW Sellors company is chaotic at best and for a while they actually misplaced the more recent item and were also talking about having to order a stock unit in... I ended up getting nearly four weeks of delay past my anniversary, unanswered emails for a week at a time and then finally the promise that a unit would be sourced.... which arrived almost simultaneously with a 'your order has shipped' notice while the agent at the company was still emailing apologies for the delay and he'd get his team to find us a unit to fulfil my wife's now 'paid in full' order and let us know when they have it in stock... 

Erm... it's already here sonny. 

Since we weren't collecting in Whitby any more we had mail order and a successful delivery which was signed for by me and photo'd by the courier, now DPD...

May was also the month CWS head office found their mistake from July 2022 which I had no clue about (the erroneously shipped missing watch that they "sent" without payment, only having received my deposit...) and tried to demand the £248 balance nearly a year later, at which point I realised my deposit had never been transferred to a different item and was still pending against the 'missing' item. 

Fr'kin confusing isn't it? Online reviews seem to reveal a lot of chaos and confusion at CWS... 

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