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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi - I have been a self-employed Milkman for 10 years. At the

Resolved Question:

Hi - I have been a self-employed Milkman for 10 years. At the outset the only form I signed was one consenting to purchase my milk from the dairy and that all customers would remain the dairies.
At the outset of agreeing self-employment the dairy gave me a verbal promise that they would obtain (via a canvasser) more customers as and when I needed them, at their expense.
However, 5 years ago and without any paperwork or notice, the dairy said that if we needed any more customers that we would have to find a canvasser ourselves and would have to pay 50% of the cost!!!
Since then we've had no alternative but to do this, but it is costing us dear.My questions are, 1 - how can they demand that all customers remain "theirs", as and when anyone leaves, after we have paid half the cost to obtain them? And 2 - shouldn't anyone who does leave be due some form of compensation for the customers they have "half-paid" for?
Approaching the dairy owners is a no-no as they are totally not interested.
I hope the above makes sense, If you require any more details I'll do my best to answer.
Many thanks, Dave
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Nicola. I'll wait a few days and see if you can find a suitable person to respond.

Thanks

Dave

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Just to confirm none of the promises regarding new customers have ever been in writing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex, unfortunately not. They were taken on trust due to the dairy being the oldest in the county and the proprietors of good standing in the community.

There is no outward ill feeling to them, as the 6 self employed milkmen feel backed into a corner with nowhere to go. It's a case of "like it or lump it".

Thanks

Dave

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Thanks and it says in writing that the customers remain theirs?
Did anyone else witness this verbal promise to you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes Alex, the only form I signed at the outset of self - employment (10 years ago) stated that "all customers remain those of the dairy".

I was the only one present when promised the services of a canvasser free of charge, though this already applied to the other 5 milkmen. This continued for 5 years until suddenly and without any notice or written reason, I was told that the then current canvasser had retired and he couldn't find another one. If I wanted one I'd have to find one myself and then pay half the cost.

Crux of the issue being - if we're paying half the cost of new customers for the dairy, how can they have legal claim to the full retention of them as and when anyone leaves - without compensating them?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Indeed. It would seem as if you are paying for something you are not getting, you could certainly challenge this in court, but of course there is no guranatee you would win.
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 signed delivery and keep a copy.
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.
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.
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.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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