Hello, the development of the incident is complicated but basically I am thinking to write a letter to a company that I would like to cancel the purchase agreement. The product is a modelling portfolio, and the photography firm has their no cancellation policy claiming it is a bespoke product. I have contacted a modelling 'platform' (not an agency, they say) which gives advice to aspiring individuals, in my case was my daughter, for free. They said they need to assess her and book a test shoot. The test shoot was booked with the above photography firm, and they contacted me and required a deposit of £50 for in case of not turning up and that is 100% refundable - they sent a form for that. On the day of test shoot, after the photo shooting there was an assessment time. My daughter and I were told to come to this very small and closed room where we discussed with the 'assessor' looking at the photos taken. We were told the result was successful, send the portfolio to the above modelling 'platform' for them to assist further. By the way way the portfolio cost xxx - xxxx. They showed us the price chart, and told us we had to make a decision there and then, once we were gone out their door the images will be deleted. I felt pressed, but the person from the 'platform' had been attentive and helpful - I made the decision to purchase a digital portfolio. I went home and sent an email to the 'platform' - I didn't receive a reply for some days so I called the office, she was not available, second time - her colleague answered and she said she would have her call back (but never called back). Then I started to feel suspicious about them, as now they got what they wanted, they dropped us - that's how I felt. As I lost confidence in them, I emailed the photography firm that I stated that I have lost confidence in them and would like to cancel. The next day, I called them and said the same, the same man who spoke to us at the test shoot turned aggressive and rude. He constantly talked over me, talked down to me, demanding an apology from me for calling him or implying him a liar and questioning his integrity - although I never mentioned those things. I called the CAB, and explained. They said I could write a letter to them that I felt pressurised to purchase the goods due to their misleading practice, and communicate with my bank about arranged payments. The adviser told me the letter needs to be posted within 7 or 14 days. I also reported my case as (potential) fraud to an authority, and they said it requires approximately 28 days for them to investigate and get back to me with their findings. In the meantime, I am wondering whether I should stay put not communicating with the 'criminal' (as the authority put it), or should go ahead and write this letter before too late and send as recorded delivery. I would like your professional opinion, and if I should write that letter, then I would appreciate it if you help me with appropriate wording and getting the point across. Thank you, ***** ***** time and patience to read a long description.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with thnis.
For now please let me know what is it you want to achieve?
What was the cost please?
Hello, thank you for your response.
What would like to achieve is to cancel the order and get the full refund.
The cost was :
I have paid £250 so far.
* this £250 consists of £50 deposit paid prior to the test shoot + £200 as upfront payment towards the product.
Was anything actually done, ie photos taken?
Yes, the test shoot was done, and we were shown the photos.
Why do you want to cancel?
Because I think - all in all - it is a scam, despite what they say in their websites in a convincing way.
Is it one single contract you signed?
Yes. The contract had 2 parts, one was for copy rights and the other was for the purchase of portofolio.
Ok, but the main contract was for the portfolio, that was the one you signed to agree to take the matter forward?
Thanks. Its bad news I am afraid. I dont think you can claim your money back and cancel.
The reason is this. Even if the cooling off period did apply (and I think it did because I can not see how it is custom) that can be skipped if you allow the service to start
You allowed the photoshoot and there they do not need to give you the cooling off period.
For example if you sign a mobile phone service online, they give you 14 days to cancel.
But if you start to use that mobile phone service they don't have to honour the cooling off - because you have started to use that service.
The portfolio was no mentioned until the photoshoot was done
However I can outline the procedure for claiming the money back if you wish?
it was an option presented later on
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 claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Of course. What is it you would like me to clarify?
May I ask, what they can do about this, i.e. against me, if I sent the letter as you explained above?
The worst they can do is issue proceedings against you for the sums owed. But it would be a small claim. Even then you can argue Regulation 5 of the Unfair terms in consumer regulations which states:
5.—(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.
Does that help?
Yes, it does. So basically, they cannot counter claim(?) for ...I don't know some kind of damages or defamation(!?)
They can only claim for the amount you have not yet paid. That is it
Ahh, I see. So there is no pain in my sending the letter to them and talk to my bank and stop the arrangement?
Yes I would try that
Okay, thank you so much. Could you help me with the letter please?
All you need to write is that they didnt offer you a cooling off period, you want to terminate the contract, any terms they wish to hold you to will be unfair and you won't be making future payment
That is it
Oh okay, what about this 'bespoke' aspect they are arguing?
they said they are in the process already
I can't see that. Its a generic service.
I see. so should I just skip this 'bespoke' point of discussion, and just mention what you said above?
Yes I would.
Thank you so much!
May I ask, one last question regarding this letter?
Should I or should I not mention their (this person's) bad manner/customer service?
You can but that is neither here nor there in the whole scheme of things. But it adds to your claim
I see. Perhaps just mention that the quality of their customer service over the phone was not professional.
Yes I would do that
Again, thank you so much.
If this answers your question can I ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen
If you need more help please click reply
Yes, of course.
Thank you and have a lovely weekend.
And you. Dont get too cold!
Hello Alex, I hope this finds you well. I am not sure if you are on-line today. I have come back home and written up the letter we discussed, and if possible I wanted to check what I wrote was appropriate with you, before posting it tomorrow.
Thanks for your response!
Here is what I wrote:
I am writing to cancel the following product with immediate effect:
Digital portfolio of 40 images of CD
Deposit of £250 was paid by debit card
I have paid £50 as booking deposit and £200 as additional deposit towards the goods on 29 February by misleading practice. You did not offer me a cooling off period, I would like to terminate the contract, any terms you wish to hold me to will be unfair and I will not be making future payment.
I am also writing to complain about the customer service I have received from [company name]. My complaint relates to poor service and manner carried out by one of your staff. It was not professional, he constantly talked down to and over me, and even demanded an apology by accusing me that I called him a liar and questioned his integrity which I did not do. This has disappointed me and aggravated my concerns towards your business.
In order to address this matter I would like you to make a refund of £250 in full within 14 days of today’s date. If above total is not paid by 23 February 2015, I propose to commence court proceedings against you in the County Court without further notice.