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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A person pays a Life Membership to a Company offering an important

Resolved Question:

A person pays a Life Membership to a Company offering an important service which they assume is lifelong. Then many years later when they ask that Company for a fresh copy of the details, they are told that the person is no longer a Member because longer do Life Membership, as it was not economic.
My life may depend on my membership to this company and I want them to honour my Membership. I am now 70 and although really quite well have many allergies, some of which can be life threatening.
My argument is that I paid a lot of money in good faith to be a life Member and that they cannot suddenly change that and demand annual fees at a time of life when I have a very limited income. It is unfair and unethical. They say that they can do what they like.
Is this Legal? Can they just change their minds and cancel the Life Memberships? CAn they now demand an Annual Membership Fee? Being a Member is essential for many of us who have life long threatening conditions like Annaphalacxis.
Please tell me if I am right or do we all have to pay again?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** 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 : In the terms and conditions for membership does it say it is for a finite period or can be ended please?
Customer:

The Company is Medic-Alert so this will effect many people. The answer is VERY IMPORTANT as their service, for which we paid over £100 ?£150 I cannot remember but it was a lot at the time. I am a disabled person and have multiple allergies 3 of which are really LIFE THREATENING. I have only needed to use their service once, years ago. I still need to be covered. I am a pensioner who has lost my flat owing to an American Company raiding my bank account

Alex Watts :

Can you get a copy of the terms and conditions which you signed?

Customer:

An American Corporate Company raiding my bank account. I cannot possible afford to fight Corporate, so I had to just take it. At present I live in a leaky caravan on a caravan site paying £80 per week. My income right now is only my pension of £116.30 a week & I have no savings. I cannot afford any more money. I am only eating rice cakes brown rice & the odd apple as it is all I can afford. I am awaiting my change of address to the Paymaster General to pay me my NHS Pension. Thsi is very little as i only worked as a nurse for 12 years before the MS got me, ruining my career. My NHS Pension is abbismal. My o a p pension is just short of covering the rent by 4 pence, so I am grossly overdrawn. I am also underweight which does not help as I am loosing more weight

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

Alex Watts :

If you signed for life membership then subject to any terms life means life

Alex Watts :

They will be in breach of contract

Alex Watts :

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.

Alex Watts :

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

Alex Watts :

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.

Alex Watts :

If you are on benefits you may get fee remission

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I just need an answer for all those who are in the same situation.

Alex Watts :

Yes I have given this above - you need to take the above steps. You need to sue for breach of contract and also ask the Court for a declaration that it is membership for life and not fixed term

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

I am in the process of applying for benefits to live here. If I do I can no longer live here because the owner will not accept anyone on benefits. This is supposed to be a touring park but some people have b een living here for 30 years. Because of that they are considered non 'resident'. If I tell the truth, I will create havoc in the whole park as many are here for several years. They are here because they cannot afford to live any other way. This makes me in a catch 22 situation!

Alex Watts :

Yes. If you pay for the Court fees and later become entitled to benefits you may be able to seek a refund.

Alex Watts :

But I have described the process you need to take above in order to resolve this.

Alex Watts :

Does this answer the question for you?

Customer:

Many thanks... brilliant. I am really grateful. Bless you Maggi P

Alex Watts :

If this answers the question might I invite you to rate my answer

Alex Watts :

If the system wont allow you please do say

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

Thank you so very much. I will try to do that. Yes you did answer my question very well.

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