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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69992
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, I wonder if you could help me with some advice. I have

Customer Question

Hello,
I wonder if you could help me with some advice. I have used the services of an on-line company to distribute a digital single and to publish a video on Vevo for my daughter. After a lot of aggravations I finally had the video published yesterday. After sending an-email complaining about the services to the company director, instead of receiving an answer with an apology and to try to patches things up I received an e-mail saying that the services were perfect and the delay was only my faulty. I was quite surprised with his answer and decided that the company was not worth having my business anymore as they will receive all the money from the sales of the single and will pay us later. Because of the problems I lost my trust on them and asked to remove the video and the single from the shops. The package I had bought included for submitting the video to iTunes as well, but because of technical reasons I can not provide them a video with the specifications that iTunes requires and I also asked for a refund of the money for that part of the pachage as I was not going to use this service any more. The answers was no, if I didn't have the correct specifications it was my problem, no money was going to be returned. If I wanted to have the video and single removed I would have to pay £240 to have them removed because that was what my contract with them says when we sign up for a package. I wonder if I could do anything about it as I do not feel this is fare. I have received a rubbish service and when I decided to get out of it they don't let me go unless I pay them more money. Anything I could do to avoid this? Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What specifically did they agree to do that they have not?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have bought two packages from them. One was for the distribution of the single and the other package was for opening a Vevo channel and publishing the video there and on iTunes. The single was Ok, quick and no problems, but the video was a big problem. I only had a format in MP4 and the web site only accepted Avi files. I had to convert my MP4 ino an Avi file using a on-line converter and managed to send to them. After waiting for a long time to have a Vevo channel, the video was uploaded, but the image was awfull, because of the conversion from an MP4 to an Avi file. So, I asked them to remove it as the quality was very bad. They have agreed on removing it and said that we have to wait for Vevo to do that as they could not do it themselves. They said I could send the MP4 to a dropbox and that would work, they only said that after I spent a lot of time converting it for nothing. It took almost a week for these video to be removed and the new one to be uploaded. When it was finally uploaded again last Friday, I think they have picked the wrong file and uploaded the bad quality image one again! Them we had to wait for Vevo to remove the video again and this was done on Monday. As they haven't uploade the video until Wednesday I gave them a call to ask when this was going to be done and they told me because my video had already been uploaded twice they have put it on the back of the queue and they had lots of other videos to do before. I was very upset, as I felt this was not right. So I said if I didn't have my video published by yesterday I was going to cancel everything ans ask for a refund. I had the video published yesterday, and this time it was the correct file, but the photo was wrong, they did not put the links to the digital stores and was simply not good as it was. I have written an e-mail to the director and he answered that they have done what they were contracted to do and this was my faulty to provide a video of inferior quality. As the director did not care I have decided to remove everything from them, but now they are asking for £240 pounds to remove everything and let me go.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
What I need to know is what they agreed to provide that they had not?
For instance, did they actually say that this would be in MP4 format before you booked?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, they have not said they could accept MP4 in the beginning. After the Avi file didn't work I asked, why you don't accept MP4, my video producer said he has been providing it to all his customers and never had a problem. Only them they said I could deliver it in MP4.

What they have not done was to provide me with the iTunes part of the pakage. iTunes are asking for various types of format and this is very difficult to do and if I have to pay someone to convert the video on their format it will cost a lot of money, so it 's not of interest for me anymore. When I signed up to that package I didn't know it was going to be so difficult to get those formats, but my producer said he can't make them, so I do not have the specifications needed to have the video submmitted o iTunes. too. So, this is the part they have not done and do not want to refund + the fees for removing.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok.
But at the time you agreed to this deal, did they say that it would be available in those formats?
You need to show that they have not delivered on promise not just that you are generally displeased.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

On the page of their web site where you pay and check out there is a note at the end that says: When delivering music videos to the iTunes store, there are strict guidelines you must follow when formatting your videos. Please contact us to receive copy of the iTunes video specifications.

No problem, I saw this note and thought, Ok we can follow the instructions and we can do that, but in reality it is not that easy, the specifications is impossible to provide unless you are in the business and have enough money to splash on it.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have only mentioned the iTunes part, for the Vevo part there is no mention that a MP4 would not be accepted. When I've tried to upload my MP4 on the site, a message come up saying I needed to upload an AVi file. As I didn't have one I converted the MP4 to be able to upload on the site.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. There is no way around that then. They haven't made any specific offers that haven't been complied with.
The only question is whether their service can be challenged under the supply of goods and services legislation on the basis that it was not of a 'reasonable' standard. I note they do seem to hotly contest that allegation.
In relation to paying for the video to be removed, it depends what the contract does say on that point and whether or not that represents their loss in doing so. They cannot fine you for behaviour that they want to discourage. They can only claim the sum of their loss from you.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

On their terms and conditions that the director made sure to send me together with his answer says that if a video is removed within the first 3 months a charge of £100 pounds will be made. Somewhere else in the site it says that the fee to remove videos is £50 pounds. As I have asked to remove the video and the single from the shops he is charging £100 for each + 20 of VAT for each and no refund for the iTunes part of the package. This was a big mistake for me. I will end up without anything and will have lost the £115 pounds I've paid. But I do not see any other way, after all this I can not trust them to collect money and representing my daughter on royalties collection.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The terms and conditions are what is relevant although you could argue that there was misleading information on his site creating uncertainty.
Unless the terms and conditions said £100 plus VAT for each he cannot charge it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The terms and conditions do not say that it is £100 + VAT, only £100 but it says fee for removal of the audio and video.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it is as I said.
Also if you were to sue he would have to prove that was the sum of his loss.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I will pay for it, because I want it removed from them. There is no way I can continue with them. What do you advise I should do after I pay and they remove the video and single?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is ultimately a matter of how much risk you want to take.
You could sue. You may well recover something from the cost of removing the items.
You do have a claim for a full or partial refund on the basis I mentioned above but it is fair to say that is not such a strong claim.
I am happy to continue with this but please leave feedback for my answer.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69992
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well, if it is not a strong case, I do not see the point of spending more money on it. I just feel so frustrated that these companies are operating on line in such a manner and there is nothing that can be made to protect the clients. I will leave a bad review for them on line. I will not tell lies, only the truth. Thanks for your help anyway and I will get in touch if I need to take it forward.

Regards. Rose.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Sometimes they do settle though to avoid the manpower losses of going to court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But this is going to cost me more money, isn't it? And if it's not a strong case, I may lose even more.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes.
It is probably a small claims court sum so the costs are not great but there is that risk.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Any idea how much more?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Depends on the sum of the claim.
Usually about 10%.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday. As the answer didn't come for a while I thought you had gone. What I've decided to do is to pay their £240 fee to have the video removed from them and to put it somewhere else. My daughter who is only 16 and just starting on her music career is very distraught with this situation, we didn't expect that the release of her first single would bring so much pain. My priority at the moment is to amend the situation and sort the video situation to keep her happy. After this is done I would like to make a claim against this company, not because of the money, but because of the pain and stress they have put us through. I will print evidence from their web site today and keep it before they go and change it. When I am ready to do a claim how can I contact you again? Thanks for your help. Rose

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can just post back on here whenever you are ready.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo,

I have paid the company to have the video and single removed and now it's with another company. I had taken the time to write a sequence of events to make it easier to understand all that happened since the beginning. I wonder if you could have a read and let me know if I stand a chance on a small claims court case. If you think so, I would like to do it. I am enclosing the document. I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks. Regards. Rose

Attachment: 2014-12-02_233043_sequence_of_events.doc

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid I cannot open those documents and I won't be able to until I am back which won't be until the 13th December.
I am on a course in an area with really low coverage.
If you need an answer earlier then you can post another question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Jo,

I have attached the document as an image because there is no option to send it as a world document or PDF, so I don't know if you would be able to open it anyway. Is there any other way of sending the document?

It's a shame if I can not do anything before 12/12 as I'm going away on the 12 and will only get back on 10/01. Would it be too late for doing anything when I get back or should I do it now? Is there a time limit for these things? Thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I can't see the documents so I can't say whether it is dangerous or not.
I don't think the problems lies with your sending of the document. It is my inability to open it at the moment.
They could have imposed a time limit.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That's OK. If you can't open the document there is nothing we can do. Although I will be on holiday from the 12/12 I will still be contactable on my e-mail and after you get back and manage to open the document, please let me know what you think and what do you advise me to do.

Thanks for your help so far.

Rose

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Jo,

I'm back from my holidays now and I was wondering if you ever managed to open the document to read the sequence of events and advise me on how to proceed on this case. If you are unable to open the document, please let me know how I can send it to you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Rose

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is really as I have said above.
You could sue. You may well recover something from the cost of removing the items.
You do have a claim for a full or partial refund on the basis I mentioned above but it is fair to say that is not such a strong claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, what do I need to do to proceed?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can issue here
www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
but I would send a letter before action first warning them that you will sue if they do not pay within 28 days. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not but it is free.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is that something that I need to do myself, not through a solicitor like you?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can send a letter before action yourself.
You can use a solicitor. That is more expensive but it does carry more weight. It is a matter of balancing the cost against the effect.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think I would rather use a solicitor (depending on price) as you said will be taken more seriously. How much would be for an initial letter from you?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
We are not allowed to write letters I'm afraid under the rules of this site.
It would probably cost £50-£100 plus VAT for an initial letter.
You can always use a barrister under public access which is cheaper generally but they have to have done the recent top up courses.
If you tell me where you are roughly I can make some referrals.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I live in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The London Chambers are perfectly accessible to you then.
You can try either
www.5pumpcourt.com
or
www.churchcourtchambers.co.uk
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, I can find someone to write me an initial letter from there and if I have no result, I can go to the money claim site and sue them from there. I think that's all I need to know.

Thanks again for all your help.

Regards

Rose

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jomo1972’.

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