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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25424
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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, During 2014 I booked a sports astroturf pitch over

Resolved Question:

Hello,
During 2014 I booked a sports astroturf pitch over the telephone for several months, but was never given any terms or conditions, I have never completed a booking form either.
However, I am now being billed by the facility owners for bookings dates I cancelled and they have also charged me for pitches I did not require, what are my rights?
Thank you for any help and advise you can give me.
***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Did they ever discuss with you their cancellation policy please?

Joshua :

You mention two different types of disputed billing. Cancellations and pitches you did not required.

Joshua :

With regard to the cancellations, how long on average did you provide them in terms of notice for cancellation?

Joshua :

With regard to pitches not requires, have they booked pitches you did not ask for or were these pitches you did book and subsequently cancelled?

Customer:

Hi Joshua,

Joshua :

Hi there

Customer:

the pitch lay out consist of 2x half pitches, they have me booked in for using both half pitches, even though I only used 1 half, I did at one point in January 2014 request to use the second half pitch as well as my already booked half pitch, but was told the second half pitch was not available, even though at the end of my bookings in October 2014 I noticed on the invoices i was billed for both pitches.

Joshua :

Thanks. The display indicates you are still typing. If you are not please let me know and I will continue.

Customer:

in terms of the notice I gave them to cancel various bookings was initially on the day, but then i realised that this was insufficiant notice, so honoured to pay for any bookings i tried to cancel on the day, i then requested to cancel all Thursday bookings and gave 7 days notice, they still said I had to pay for all future bookings too.

Customer:

all this with no booking form completed or terms of conditions given to me or on there website.

Joshua :

Thank you. The position is that if you give notice to cancel they are required to readvertise the pitches for booking and attempt to secure an alterantive booking to replace your own. If they fail to do so then they can seek payment for your cancelled booking. The more time you give them the less likely they will be able to seek payment as notice of a week or more should give them ample opportunity to rebook. Most organisations have a cancellation policy which gives certainty to both parties but here from what you say none was made available to you. Typically cancellation of 2 days or more for a pitch would be considered reasonable time for them to re book the pitch and they would struggle to recover monies for cancellations made more than 2-3 days beforehand

Customer:

They have also charged me for using the astroturf pitches for a period when the pitch was unusable , they relocated me to a grass area and have tried to charge me for this,

Joshua :

They can only bill you for the pitch you used. If they claim you owe for more than that pitch it is up to them to prove that you used and booked it. THis will be difficult for them to show unless they have evidence of your booking or cctv or something of that sort.

Customer:

thank you, ***** ***** asked them to prove this and welcomed cctv and any booking confirmation or agreement between myself and them, they have not produced any document or cctv,

Customer:

where is my standing also as no booking agreement form was ever completed?

Customer:

I have recieved a statutory Demand for the money

Joshua :

They may not charge you for facilities if they were not available for use due to conditions. If they provided alternative facilities you may seek a discount if they were of inferior quality.

Customer:

yes they were inferior,

Customer:

how about a booking agreement form, this was never offered to me or completed.. I have always said to them I am happy to pay for what I used even though I have not completed a form

Joshua :

notwithstanding the above, the contractual on their part is somewhat precarious in that they lack any correspondence but rather from what you say is based on their records of your bookings taken over the telephone. Unless they recorded your calls, this amounts to little better than their word against yours. accordingly, if you simply denied you made some of the bookings fo example, they would have little evidence to show otherwise. Equally if you say you cancelled some bookings a week or more beforehand again they have to prove otherwise. Accordingly unless you agree what they claim in respect of each booking, the position is little better than no word against yours which would not typically be sufficient. They must prove on the balance of probability that a contract exists for each booking.

Joshua :

a statutory demand can only be used if the total debt claimed is more than £750. If you dispute that you owe more than £750, you can simply applied to separate statutory demand aside and they will need to prove the debt in court in order to proceed further

Customer:

I have emails too that prove me trying to book the second half of the pitch in January 2014, but a reply email from them saying it was unavailable, and there for I did not use it. but i only noticed it on invoices months later.

Joshua :

You will need to apply to set aside the demand within 18 days of receipt. You need these forms to apply for set aside:

Joshua :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-to-set-aside-a-statutory-demand-insolvency-form-64

Joshua :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/witness-statement-in-support-of-application-to-set-aside-statutory-demand-form-65

Joshua :

Take care not to miss the deadline.

Customer:

Thank you, ***** ***** action this now, I feel I am being billed for all these bookings, my only fault was not acting on the invoices at the time they were issued,

Joshua :

It is for them to prove in each case that a contract existed if you deny a booking was made, or for them to show that you failed to give sufficient notice if they seek payment for a cancelled booking. You can point to industry cancellation periods as to evidence as to what is reasonable. From a quick google it appears that leisure centres typically ask for 24-48 hours notice. You can print off a few examples to support your position in this respect.

Joshua :

If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer:

Thank you Joshua, you have been very helpful... I will rate you now. regards, ***** *****.

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