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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I took an agreement out with a company called Merchant Rentals

Customer Question

I took an agreement out with a company called Merchant Rentals for a card terminal which was supposed to be covered by the consumer credit act 1974. After 4 years I tried to cancel but was told I had to give 12 months notice. I had unintentionally signed up for a 48 month agreement, (the salesman filled this bit in after I had already signed without my knowledge). I had done the 48 months but without the 12 month notice I was put on a further 24 month contract.
I disputed this using the act because they wanted the two years rental in settlement. Merchant Rentals took me to a small claims court, it was a paper hearing and I lost.
They claimed they were not responsible for the salesman as he was employed by a different company. This is untrue since their company records show links between directors and shareholders, both companies share the same business address and a parcel I sent to Merchant Rentals was signed for by the other company.
Merchant Rentals also said I was not covered by the act since I chose my own terminal. This is also a lie as the salesman filled this bit in as well.
The hearing was in April and I only found out the outcome of the hearing last week when I received a warrant of control. I phoned the court to find out why and that's how I found out I'd lost. I was told I could appeal using a N244 form.
I want to appeal as I think the whole thing is unfair but how can I do so and win? I feel so stupid because I got suckered by Merchant Rentals and I don't think a paper hearing gave me a fair deal since the judge obviously believed everything they said and I was unable to defend myself properly.
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 : Did you tell the court you would not be attending please.
Customer:

It was a paper hearing so I was told not to attend court.

Alex Watts : Did you inform the court you were not attending though in advance ?
Customer:

No. I didn't realise I had to once they told me not to attend.

Alex Watts : You submitted evidence but didn't turn up, is that right?
Alex Watts : Why did the judge get it wrong?
Customer:

I submitted a witness statement as asked to but did not go to court.

Alex Watts : Ok. Why did the judge get the decision wrong?
Customer:

The agreement states that I am protected by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 but Merchant Rentals says I'm not because I chose the terminal myself which is a lie. You don't get a choice, the agreement shows where the salesman wrote down his choice. The act says I only have to give 3 months notice not the 12 they insisted on.

Alex Watts : Are you an individual or a company please?
Customer:

a soletrader

Alex Watts : Thank you, ***** ***** credit act does apply.
Alex Watts : Just because you picked the terminal does not change that, you are protected by the act.
Alex Watts : You should have attended the hearing.
Alex Watts : You can on,y alp
Alex Watts : You can only appeal if there has been an error in law, procedure or the decision made by the judge was unreasonable.
Alex Watts : Its not using form n244, that is for set aside.
Alex Watts : You can't set aside as you did not inform the court you were not attending.
Alex Watts : This is an appeal.
Alex Watts : You need to complete form n161
Alex Watts : Form n164 sorry.
Alex Watts : http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n164-eng.pdf
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: I'm sorry but I don't understand. The court told me not to attend the hearing so why was I supposed to tell the court that I wouldn't be attending. I'm confused now because I was told someone at the court to use the n244 form.
Alex Watts : It's not n244.
Alex Watts : If you failed to tell the court you wouldn't attend it will be an appeal.
Alex Watts : If you did tell the court you were not attending it would be a set aside.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?
Customer:

Yes thank-you. Could you please tell me if I'm to send the form to the county court where the hearing was held or the appeals court?

Alex Watts : The court where the hearing was held.
Alex Watts : It may be transferred to the nearest appeal court.
Alex Watts : Can I help further ?
Alex Watts :

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