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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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You may heard of the recent scam Who4 that was highlighted

Customer Question

You may heard of the recent scam 'Who4' that was highlighted in the Daily Mail on 1st Feb 2014. . In my case, although I was duped into paying £800, I realised my error as soon as I got am email back from the company acknowledging receipt of my application. This was on a Saturday evening on 18 Jan 2014. I immediately emailed the company letting them know about my error and asking them for a full refund with instructions not to file my return. I received a reply from the company on 21 Jan 2014 stating they were unable to process my return as they did not have my bank details. I responded reminding them that I had already asked them not to process my return. They again responded on 24 Jan 2014 with the following response:-

May I take this opportunity to highlight Regulation 12 and 13 of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 which outlines exceptions to the right to cancel a service contract. You will note that Regulation 12 and 13 advises that some service contracts cannot be cancelled. One of the reasons it gives for a consumer being unable to cancel a service contract is if they agree to the service beginning immediately. By making your payment to us you are therefore agreeing to our service beginning at once therefore the 7 day cooling off period is waived.

Please allow me to also highlight a relevant section of our terms and conditions, to which you agreed when choosing to submit your application through us:

11.4 Due to the nature of our Services, we will begin to provide the Service to you with immediate effect upon the completed submission of your application.

11.5 By making an order with us and completing the Application form you are deemed to be granting authority for us to begin providing our Service immediately. This means that you will not have the right to cancel your contract with us once you have made your order.

As the service is complete and in light of the above information I am unable to cancel or refund your payment.

I still believe that as I had filed the request on a Saturday and asked for cancellation on the same day, they could not have started working on the return and so I should have the right to cancel. If anything, I should get at least a part refund of the fee.

On 27 Jan 2014 I received an email from the company stating that they had filed my return. I responded stating that I had asked them not to file. I received a final response from them apologising – email extract below:-

Please allow me to apologise for the miscommunication between the processing department and the customer service team, your application had been submitted to the HMRC and this has gone through successfully.

Once an application has been submitted to ourselves and you receive confirmation of this we can no longer cancel nor refund this as per our terms and conditions.

If you wish to make a further complaint I would advise you put this in writing and send this to our head office address, once received the management team can then deal with this in full for you.
I would like to take this further but I am not sure who can help. Can you please advise who might be in a position to help me take this matter forward?

Thanks
Raksha
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Under the Distance Selling Regulations, your right to cancel ends when the service starts if this is within the cooling off period.

In your case, you cancelled immediately after you submitted your order and before the service had started. The fact that there was miscommunication between their customer service team and their processing department is not your problem.

It seems that the fact that they capitalised on the fact that they had received your payment and went on with the filing even though you had cancelled the service thinking that you would back down once they had filed the return.

You should get in touch with their head office and ask for a refund of your money (less reasonable filing costs to compensate them for the fact that they had filed your return, albeit without your permission) and give them say 7 days to pay the money back failing which you may make a court claim against them for the money. You may do so at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk on the basis that you cancelled within the statutory cooling off period and are entitled to a rfund of your money.

All the best

UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
UKSolicitorJA and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.


Raksha

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
Welcome
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My apologies for emailing you again but I have a further question in relation to this matter. The company, Who4 claims that by agreeeing to use their services, I have accepted their T&C's - please see more info below:-


Please allow me to also highlight a relevant section of our terms and conditions, to which you agreed when choosing to submit your application through us:

11.4 Due to the nature of our Services, we will begin to provide the Service to you with immediate effect upon the completed submission of your application.

11.5 By making an order with us and completing the Application form you are deemed to be granting authority for us to begin providing our Service immediately. This means that you will not have the right to cancel your contract with us once you have made your order.

As the service is complete and in light of the above information I am unable to cancel or refund your payment.


 


However, I would argue that I was duped into submitting my tax return details through Who4 (as I had accessed their site through google search) whereas I believed it was HMRC's website. Further, I had not been asked to view and confirm their T&C's, neither at the time of submitting my tax details nor the time when payment was made, which would have alerted me about the fact that I was not dealing with HMRC. Also, after completing the application, the website provided what appeared to be an estimate of the tax owed, followed immediately by a request for payment which it says you must now make – with a warning that if payment is not made, the user of the website may be liable to a penalty or prosecution by HMRC. They did not state that the payment related to their fees that are due.


 


So my question is, in these circumstances, can the company use the argument that their T&C's nullify the cooling off period?


 


Thanks


Raksha

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