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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My main question is to find out if I can stop a direct debit

Resolved Question:

My main question is to find out if I can stop a direct debit coming out of my bank account every month for some coaching CDs I got drawn into signing up for on a 24 month contract but have not received!!! My friend and I have each been charged over £75 every month since January but I've only seen one set of CDs in the four months of payment - the ones for January (which aren't worth $1, let alone £300!!) I've asked the North American company by email several times to stop taking the money but they never reply. If I stop the direct debits myself, will I then have no rights for breaking the contract I signed up to even though they are breaking the contract by not even giving the products they are taking the money for? I don't even want to get the 3 months of CDs they owe me. I just want to end the contract but they have cleverly written in a 10 day only refund policy -it was months before I even received the January CDs!!! My need to clarify that I won't be penalised is because this completely unethical company are still holding onto a further £18000 of my money. I got drawn into signing up for business coaching and other products/services and after charging us £18000 for coaching (which they in fact took in dollars, so we were also slapped with an additional and unforeseen $800 in non sterling transaction fees when all the charges are added up), did not offer the first coaching call until 20 days after payment was made and on the first call, we realised that we weren't going to get any benefit from their coaching and have been trying to withdraw since but they still have our money. Once again they use their 10 day refund policy even though it was 20 days before we experienced any of what they claim to offer. I have also discovered that they charge UK residents nearly double for the exact same products and services that they charge to those who reside in the USA, Canada and South Africa. I could go on ... Please HELP!!!
Sarah
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Is it a direct debit or on debit card please?
Customer:

The monthly charge they are taking for products I'm not receiving is to one of my credit cards by direct debit. The coaching fee which they took in December was spread across lots of my credit cards

Alex Watts : You mean continuous authority on credit card?
Customer: Yes, we were obliged to set up a direct debit for 24 months. Four months of money have been taken but only one months worth of CDs have been received. They continue taking my money every month even though I'm not receiving the products. Please can we speak to clarify everything so we don't keep sending random messages. My number us 07913 225180.
Customer: thank you,
Customer: Sarah
Alex Watts : Have you cancelled your card please?
Customer: Please call me or give me your number as we're getting nowhere. As mentioned when I first posted the question, I need to know if I can cancel it as they keep
Customer: charging me but sending no products. As explained They are also withholding £18000 of my
Customer: money and I have to be sure that they won't then use it as a justification for not refunding the rest of my money if I cancel the card. So please tell me, can I cancel the direct debit without being penalised? As they are North American,
Customer: My iPhone won't let me finish - as they are North American, does this mean they are not bound by English law and can get away with taking money for 2 years for products I'm not receiving just because I signed to allow them take direct debit?
Alex Watts :

Sadly I can't call you its against site rules

Alex Watts :

How did you sign up for this, was it the internet?

Customer: Yes on the internet.
Alex Watts :

Ok -

Alex Watts :

Its a mixture of news

Alex Watts :

You need to do several things:

Alex Watts :

1) Cancel your card

Alex Watts :

Tell them it is lost

Alex Watts :

They will issue a new one

Alex Watts :

This means it wont be charged again

Alex Watts :

However they are probably not bound by UK law, you need to check their terms and conditions

Alex Watts :

They are likely to be bound by (I assume) USA law

Customer: Please can you let me know if I can cancel the direct debit and get a refund for the last 3 months payments as well as how I can get a refund for coaching which the did not start to provide till after the refund deadline (as with the CDs) and as already explained we immediately realised the coaching would not benefit us.
Alex Watts :

You need to check to see what country the agreement is governed

Alex Watts :

As for cancellation you could phone the credit card company and say you did not authorise the transactions

Alex Watts :

They should then stop further charges, suspend any amounts charged

Alex Watts :

Indeed your credit card issuer is bound to investigate any dispute as they are jointly liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act

Alex Watts :

They will then investigate this matter for you

Alex Watts :

That is your first point

Alex Watts :

But as for suing them you need to check any terms and conditionsd

Alex Watts :

I suspect that they are governed by USA law

Alex Watts :

This means you would have to sue them in the USA

Alex Watts :

If you sued them in the UK the USA Courts are unlikely to enforce it

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you are looking for and it is not necessarily the answer I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: Please clarify if I just ask my credit card company to stop the direct debits or say it's lost (surely the former?) and will they then try to sue me for cancelling the direct debit even though I haven't been receiving the products. How can I find out their terms and conditions? As previously explained, their "refund policy" makes a refund impossible as nothing is provided till well past the refund 10 day time limit they have created.
Alex Watts :

If you haven't received the products then you call and say that the USA company is in Breach of Contract in that you have NOT received products

Alex Watts :

Also you want to CANCEL the credit card and get a new one (this will stop more charges)

Alex Watts :

Does this help?

Customer: Do you mean I call the credit card company to say the coaching company is in breach or I call the coaching company? I've already asked them several times to stop charging me
Alex Watts :

You call the credit card company and say they are in breach

Alex Watts :

And ask for a new credit card

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer: If it were a UK company would there be a way to get a refund even when their own refund policy makes it impossible?
Alex Watts :

Yes you could take it to Court

Alex Watts :

You would be entitled to 7 days cooling off period and 7 days cancellation under distance selling regulations

Customer: But are those 14 days from point of purchase or point of receipt as the problem here is that the 10 day cooling off period ran out way before anything was received?
Alex Watts :

Yes of course

Alex Watts :

But dont worry, if you never had the goods the credit card company will sort this out

Alex Watts :

But certainly ask for a new card to prevent further charges

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you

Alex Watts :

If not, might I invite you to leave feedback before you go today

Customer: Alex, I've just realised I misunderstood your question "have you signed up for this on the internet?" I thought you were referring to just answer. Now I think you mean the CDs, coaching, etc. with this North American company. It was actually at a live event in London. Does this change the position? In addition they quoted pounds, so we understood they must have an account here and would charge us in pounds but they in fact charged dollars and we we're hit with an extra unforeseen $800 in non sterling transaction fees.
Alex Watts :

I see

Alex Watts :

This does change the question

Alex Watts :

If this was in London then UK laws apply

Alex Watts :

But you don't have cancellation rights as you signed up in the UK at a stand

Alex Watts :

There is NO cooling off period

Alex Watts :

But if they have

Alex Watts :

But if they haven't delivered you can still chargeback the fees

Alex Watts :

You still need to call the credit card company

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer: Which fees? The non sterling transaction fees or the direct debit charges, or the £18000 coaching fees?
Alex Watts :

The whole lot

Alex Watts :

Anything that they have charged you can be charged back

Alex Watts :

If you haven't received anything the credit card provider is liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act#

Alex Watts :

They are in breach

Alex Watts :

The card company will intervene

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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