I thought it best to register and reask my question. My question is very simple am I wasting my time taking the following to a small claims court. I used a commercial fee paying site (Tax Return Gateway) on 24 Jan to file my tax return thinking I was using the official HMRC site. Ignoring my foolishness of using a site designed to mislead I paid £650. This sum was presented as my estimated tax bill which I was told had to be paid for the tax return to be accepted. On paying this it qickly became apparent that this was not the HMRC site with a confirmation mail sent me detailing the T&Cs sating I had no right to a refund once service had started by my completing my application. I was not presented with a service charge nor was given a proactive invitation to accept terms. Within 2 hours I filed my return with HMRC preventing the company filing, email my account termination, referencing Distance Selling, withdrew permission for my personal data to be used (which was used after I withdrew - raising potential DPA issues) and requested a full refund, backing in writing by recorded delivery. Letters and numerous emails have gone unanswered and I have given notice be recorded delivery of my intention of legal action by 14 Feb. My concern is that T&C were available on the site, which since I completed my application, advises that I cannot get a refund.
Thank you. On completing Tax Return Gateway's form on 24 January I recieved conformation from them at 12:54, this included an attachement on cancellation rights, esentially saying I had no rights to a refund. I emailed them at 14:23 on 24 January terminating my account under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Act, requested a full refund and advised that they did not have permission to submit a tax return on my behalf and that I had filed my own return directly with HMRC. Also on 24 Jan I sent the same by signed for post to their registered company address.
At 18:01 on 24 Jan I received an email from them saying that they had a problem with my submission. I responded at 18:28 thanking them for advising that they could not process my return, that I had terminated my account at 14:23 and had expressly withdrawn my permission for my for my information to be used. I advised also that I had tried to call them but the recorded answer advised that it was not in use and to email or write.
At 19:00 24 Jan I asked for confirmation that they were in receipt of my cancellation, that my termination is being processed and that they understood that they could not use my personal information and asked when I could expect a full refund.
My mails have not been responded to as have other chasing mails and letters, including my giving notice in writing of my intent to take legal action by 14 Feb, again sent 'signed for'.
On Thur 6 Feb their telephone came to life and I finally spoke to someone. He advised that service started as soon as I had completed the form. I asked what service I had gotted for £650 and was told that my form had been checked, i asked for a full refund and was advised that under their terms service had started and no refund would be given. I asked was my form checked and an attempt to post my tax return made before or after I had sent my cancellation at 14:23, he eventually said it was after at 18:00. I wrote my notes of the meeting and emailed them asking for any errors to be corrected based on the transcript of the recording of the conversation or any other time stamped record. I have heard nothing.
You may be interested in this as background. This is one of many:
Thank you. My concern if I go to court is that the T&C's imposed on me, saying that service starts instantly and that I have no righs to a refund, is argued by them to negate my consumer rights. If this is the case, does this make any claim based on my consumer rights futile?
Thanks again. XXXXX where the company is based advise they have had many complaint and are now refering all callers to Citizens Advice. I will do this. But if I threaten action in 48 hours, it feels like I need to follow this through.
The company will of course argue that they did not misrepresent, since all that information was on the web site if I had cared to look. What they did mis represent is service charge as a tax demand.
Final question (as I feel I'm overusing your service) is cost implications of a court case, my understanding is that these will be negligible via the Small Claims Court or would I have to take another more costly route.