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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Amex have withheld funds due to us as a 'merchant' under section

Resolved Question:

Amex have withheld funds due to us as a 'merchant' under section 7 of their T&Cs and refuse to openly communicate with us as to the reason why or when it might be they will release the funds. We know the funds have been collected from the buying client. I suspect they want to retain the funds in case the client requests a refund. The payment made by the client is for disbursements and Amex's behaviour has created a risk. I have offered that if the client issued a letter of satisfaction would this help, Amex said no. It is likely this non communication is not 'reasonable' in law. What action can we take, do I report it to the Police, ask a solicitor to take action?
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 please let me know why they wont tell you the reason and how much the transaction was?

Customer:

Because it is their policy not to

Customer:

3 transactions = £80,000

Alex Watts :

Do you have any idea what it relates to or which customer(s)

Customer:

yes 1 customer major blue chip

Alex Watts :

Ok, do you know why they charged back?

Customer:

Sorry what do you mean by 'charged back'?

Alex Watts :

I assume the customer contacted Amex to say they were not happy with something?

Customer:

No exactly the opposite the client is very upset about it

Alex Watts :

Ok, have you run this amount through Amex before?

Customer:

sorry that might be mis-read - client is very happy with us but not happy with Amex

Alex Watts :

Sure.

Alex Watts :

Was the £80,000 a usual transaction?

Customer:

yes

Alex Watts :

Ok, so a normal transaction, customer didn't initiate complaint and Amex wont tell you?

Customer:

this relates to a client of mine and we have recently liquidated their old co. NewCo was a dormant company but that notwithstanding the client has paid Amex, Amex has collected the money, Amex has requested info from us which has been supplied now they are requesting further info

Customer:

Customer has not made a complaint - customer whom we know very well is upset Amex has not forwarded the money onto us

Customer:

regardless of the details of this case how can i force Amex to be open and communivcate

Customer:

As a responsible business my client has to manage their cash flow and this lack of information means it is impossible

Alex Watts :

Ok - this is a difficult one. You need to write and make a formal written complaint. They will then investigate and provide their response. Once you have a final response then and only then can you go to the Financial Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can investigate at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Alex Watts :

The only other option is to go to Court and ask the Court to either:

Alex Watts :

1) Amex pay the money

Alex Watts :

2) Specific disclosure as to why they are holding it

Alex Watts :

You would need to issue proceedings using form N1

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

And N244 if you want specific dislosure

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf

Customer:

Formal complaint already sent

Alex Watts :

Or N16a if you want them to pay you:

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

The only difficulty in the injunction to make them pay you as is per Section 7 they have a right to with hold.

Alex Watts :

Therefore it may be that you have to get specific disclosure first.

Alex Watts :

However its not an immediate solution, it will take a week or so to get the matter listed at Court.

Alex Watts :

An injunction can be immediate listing but my concern is just the terms and conditions allow them to withhold.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Although their Section 7 T&Cs allows them to do almost anything which for example in the of investigating say money laundering, is understandable surely it is not reasonable for them to withhold information that would allow us to manage our business, that might help progress the situation or because of their lack of communication in fact is creating the risk - And it is already established that this has nothing to do fraud or anything serious

Alex Watts :

I agree. But if they refuse to tell you anything that is why you need a court order for specific disclosure. That is the quickest way, rather than wait months for the Ombudsman

Customer:

Agreed thank you

Alex Watts :

Thanks. Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

No I think that is as much as we can do at this stage - thank you very much for your input which via this method of communication is difficult to get the full picture. Are you allowed to tell me about where you practise? Good lawyers are hard to find!

Alex Watts :

Sadly I am not allowed to act for you, its against site rules.

Alex Watts :

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

OK thought as much - enjoy your weekend only a few hours to go!!

Alex Watts :

And you! I will be on here over the weekend!

Customer:

Oh no working, well it is cold outside if nice and sunny

Alex Watts :

Indeed. Have a good one yourself and please remember to rate before you go

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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