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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Two things: I am a self employed freelance transcriptionist.

Resolved Question:

Two things: I am a self employed freelance transcriptionist. A company I do work for called me yesterday and shouted at me. She later told me, in a subsequent voice mail that she had recorded my call. Is this allowed without her telling me first?
I originally said I (in the above telephone conversation) and in a subsequent email that I would not be invoicing someone, this was yesterday, but today I have decided that I really should invoice them, and I was perhaps rash to say that I wouldn't. I have sent an email saying that I have changed my mind and will be invoicing them in due course, but is this allowable/legal.
Also - third thing - I work for the transcription company. They said that their client wouldn't pay me, but surely my contract is with them and not their client. The transcription company gets the work from the client and assigns it to appropriate transcriptionists. When I have finished the work I invoice the transcription company but they say that they don't pay me until the client pays them.
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 :

Do you have any form of contract with the company please?

Customer:

I originally signed a contract back in the summer of 2012. However, then I heard no more until the autumn of last year. When I had problem with payment the lady referred me to the contract that I signed in 2012 which says

Customer:

  1. Standard payment terms are 30 days and payment made when we have received payment from our client/s for the work undertaken.

Customer:

I am more concerned that, at the moment, yesterday she called me and was rather nasty to me on the phone and I ended the conversation saying that I wished to stop working for her and was not worried about the outstanding money. I immediately regretted this. She then called back and left an answer phone message saying that the call had been recorded and that was evidence that I didn't want to be paid. Unfortunately I then emailed and said I was fine with this and wouldn't be invoicing her. With 24 hours to think about the situation I wrote again this afternoon and said that I had changed my mind and would be invoicing her. The amount is about £700. Also I do not think she should have recorded the message, and I think she is saying this just to 'frighten' me. I think I should have been told if the phone conversation

Customer:

...had been recorded?

Customer:

Obviously she has got written evidence (in my email) saying that I wouldn't invoice her. But I feel that was a rash decision on my part, and now wish to invoice. Just wondering if this is okay and whether if she doesn't pay I can go down the route of the small claims court? Or does the fact that she has an email from me saying I won't invoice, mean that I can't.

Alex Watts :

Ok - can they record your calls - no

Alex Watts :

They can only do that if they have your permission

Alex Watts :

What else did you want to know?

Customer:

Thanks, ***** ***** have my permission.

Alex Watts :

Ok, what else do you need help with?

Customer:

Well...the contract, where it says about the standard payment terms - shown above earlier in the chat, is this allowed? She seems to say that I have to invoice her, but then wait for her client to pay her, before she pays me? So, if her client didn't pay her, she wouldn't pay me...very odd,

Customer:

And secondly...sorry to bombard you, but...yesterday when I was so cross, I said I wouldn't email her. She then sent me an email saying

Customer:

As per your last phone conversation I have passed on to the client that you do not want to be paid (phone call recorded) and I have given the work elsewhere.

Alex Watts :

in theory yes.

Alex Watts :

However clearly if you have done work you need to be paid.

Alex Watts :

They can not reasonably expect you to do the work for free!

Alex Watts :

They can probably give the work to someone else but can't stop payment

Alex Watts :

That is just ridiculous

Customer:

I then followed up her email saying that I wouldn't be invoicing her, but then last night when I thought about it, I thought it was rash of me to say I wouldn't invoice, so can I change my mind? I sent an emai today saying I would be invoicing but she has just ignored it.

Alex Watts :

I agree, it was clearly an error in words

Alex Watts :

They can't therefore assume that you dont want payment.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Right, so would you mind saying to me what I should say to her, if I have said in the first email that I don't want to be paid, and now have changed my mind? I think she is clearly lying about the phone call being recorded, as I have requested a transcript of the call, and these requests have been ignored.

Alex Watts :

It was clearly an error.

Customer:

Is that the best phrase to use?

Customer:

And the phone call being recorded wasn't allowed and won't be 'admissable'?

Alex Watts :

Correct, even if it was the Judge wont find against you just because of that

Customer:

Sorry, think I'm getting there...can I just ask...the contract, where it says this:

Customer:

  1. Standard payment terms are 30 days and payment made when we have received payment from our client/s for the work undertaken.

Customer:

Do I have any comeback on this at all? It is a transcription service company, I invoice them and they invoice their client for the work I have done. They take a cut of the money, in other words they give a quote to their client for doing the job and then farm the work out to a transcriptionist. I do the work, send the transcriptions back to them, and they then send them to the company. So I never have anything to do with the client.

Alex Watts :

Yes. this is a difficult term which really you should not have agreed to

Customer:

I know...could kick myself, because I have never come across it before. I have worked as a transcriptionist for many years, and have my own clients as well as work for other people and have never come across this before.

Alex Watts :

Sadly this is a hard one to overcome - you agreed to the terms

Alex Watts :

Thats the problem - you agreed

Customer:

I know, but was it a fair clause?

Alex Watts :

Probably not, but you signed it

Customer:

Mmm! And finally...

Customer:

So what would your advice be? Send her an email saying it was an error regarding the invoicing and attach my invoice. Should I mention that it was illegal for her to tape my phonecall, or should I just leave that?

Alex Watts :

Correct. I would do that.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

Yes, thanks so much for your help...ana basic computing bit of information now if possible? How do I save this conversation? I don't want to lose it

Customer:

And if she doesn't pay, I can take her to the small claims court?

Alex Watts :

Correct, if the debt is under £10,000

Alex Watts :

Once you rate the format of this chat changes and you can save the chat or print

Customer:

Thank you. But she can always come back at me with that stupid contract I signed? I guess the court might ask for evidence that the client has or hasn't paid her?

Alex Watts :

Sadly yes.

Customer:

Sorry...I keep going on...but if the court asks her to prove that she has or hasn't been paid...if she has been paid by the client then she has to then pay me?

Alex Watts :

Yes that is it

Customer:

Thank you very much for your help. I think I will try and invoice her again and use the phrases you have recommended.

Alex Watts :

Great. 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:

No that's fine, I will rate you and then hopefully be able to save our chat. Thanks again for your help.

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