My question is business law in the EU. I am being asked to pay a sum of money that I do not agree I owe. The people asking for payment say that they will put things into the hands of a collection agency and that will incur costs and there will be interest to pay. Is this correct can they make the money owed increase or do they have to take me to court for the basic amount owing?
I received a form from industry and commerce which said they had my details on there data base, it says if you want further registration please sign the form, being busy at the time I signed it thinking it was from the real industry and commerce, although when reading it properly to the bottom of the page it states they are not a government department, it also gives an order for 3years advertising on a cd rom for 997 euros plus vat a year.
The first time I realised I had signed up for this is when I got there first invoice, they did not send any confirmation of order.
It says on the back of there form in small print there is a cancel period of 15 days, but without realising I had placed an order I did not cancel.
I believe this company is not bona fide and this is a scam that has been going on for some time.
I have spoken to trading standards who advise not to pay.
I have received one cd rom which is supposed to have some advertising on it.
OK. Understood. Have they provided any service?
they are asking for the second years payment as well as the first years payment, also they are saying they will put it into the hands of a collection agency that will pursue the debt and this will incur interest and costs for their services, plus court fees.
I do not believe they will go to court as they have never taken any one to court from what I have read about them on the internet.
No they have not provided any services apart from giving me a cd rom.
the chance of my company getting any work or business from this cd rom that was sent to me is zero.
OK understood. You should refuse to pay - their behaviour is akin to a scam. I think Trading Standards are right. You should make it clear that you will not pay as you were misled and any agreement is based on a mistake - mistake in contract law is a defence to a claim. They cannot add charges and increase the alleged debt - unless its provided in the agreement - only a court can do that.
A contract is usually enforceable even in different jurisidcitions. But the contract can be rescinded for mistake or misrepresentation. If they are masquerading as another company then you can rely on mistake and misrepresentation to avoid paying them anything.
If they did go to court over this sum of under 4000 Euros would it cost them much to do so ?
No. If they issue proceedings in England the court fees will only be a couple of hundred pounds. If they use lawyers the costs will increase by a few more hundred pounds. But this is a small claim and will only be dealt with by the Small Claims Court, which means they will not recover their lawyers fees. This might put them off pursuing the matter.
Ok Alex thank you very much, the information you have given me is a great help.