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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Is it legal for a Council to insist that I use their Duty of

Resolved Question:

Is it legal for a Council to insist that I use their Duty of Care - Waste Transfer Note at a cost of £20..0 per annum. when I can use an online service (edoc) for free
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now could you please explain the situation a little more?

Customer:

Worcester City Council introduced a charge for the Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note this year, when previously there had been no charge.

Customer:

Their stance is that if I use their collection service I must use their Transfer Note at a cost of £20.00 per annum.

Alex Watts : I see. If you don't use their service what would the cost be? Is this a contract for collection that has been renewed?
Customer:

I have spoken to a couple of other service providers and have been told that they do not charge for the Transfer Note. This is an on going contract.

Alex Watts :

(1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.


(2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.

Alex Watts :

Sorry I meant to paste something else.

Alex Watts :

Are you in contract with the Council?

Customer:

My contract with them was terminated on July 31st. by myself. I have however raised a complaint that has gone through the Council Complaints procedure and will now be sent to the Ombudsman for their assessment to my complaint.

Alex Watts :

Ok - and the renewal they want this fee?

Customer:

Yes. Initially they want to claim the whole amount in 1 go and then they will collect on a quarterly basis.

Alex Watts :

Ok, so its a new contract and they want to introduce this new charge? This is the final question

Customer:

It was an on going contract and they wanted to introduce the charge. They had been supplying the Transfer Note as part of the service over a number of previous years.

Alex Watts :

When you say ongoing, do you know renew it every year? Do their terms and conditions of contract allow them to make new charges?

Customer:

Every year, their terms state that they can make changes in charges with appropriate notice.

Alex Watts :

Ok - so have you renewed or have they given notice to change the terms?

Customer:

They gave notice to change the terms so I didn't renew. It isn't about the charge but the fact that they are insisting that they will only transfer waste when using their forms. Surely as the waste producer I should be able to chose which method I use to hold this information?

Alex Watts : Ok. If it is in the contract then sadly you would be bound. They can change the contract terms with notice and chagre for things that were previously free. A good example of this is airlines. They used to have free baggae, meals and seat assignment. Now they cahrge.
Alex Watts : there is nothing in law that prevents them from charging. It is a commercial contract and they can charge for transfer notes.
Alex Watts : It is all about price so you would compare the council service to a commercial service.
Alex Watts : it if you are not happy with the principal then you can complain to the local government Omnudsman
Alex Watts : They offer a free and independent service and can investigate your council complaint. Their website is www.lgo.org.uk
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one 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?
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you