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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45351
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I bought a franchise in April this year. The cost was £35k

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Hi, I bought a franchise in April this year. The cost was £35k with an additional £10k they said for set up costs. I then invested a further 10k for cash flow. They sold the franchise as unique and cost effective with many other claims. They also did a forecast for my first year and based on all of this I bought into it. Subsequently after having worked it and seen many clients I see it's not a unique model and far from cost effective. I have lost allot of money. They said they had a unique database of candidates yet all they do is sent me candidates from CV library! That's not unique.
I raised my concerns with the franchisor early Sept and then wrote a very serious email on 15 Sept raising many issues where I felt things were wrong and gave multiple suggestions to turn my loss around. This was mainly ignored only point she came back on was to give me a bigger territory...I then wrote again 7 working days later explaining my disbelief in her apathetic attitude to my financial concerns. To date I have still not had a decent response to any of my questions/issues. I have told her that they have misled me and oversold their franchise and am looking to tear up the contract and get some money back. To date I still have no breakdown on where my £10k went which I have asked for multiple times. This should not be allowed to happen again to any other franchisee. I am her first franchise and I feel she has got her model wrong. Please help as legal fees would cost me more money again and I cannot afford losing more than the £55k already invested. Kind regards Laura
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve in this situation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben,

I would like to make the contract null and void with no further obligations to them. I would also want a breakdown of my £10k. Furthermore I would want some money back for being oversold and misled. If any other franchisee knew their model in the detail I do, they would never sell another franchise again.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and what assistance would you like from us, bearing in mind we are an online Q&A service. Do you want me to discuss the ways of taking this further for example?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes please. I would like to know what my options are and what course of action I can take.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
What do you think the value of your claim would be?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Excluding the £10k breakdown for set up, which there shuold be money left over. I would be looking for around 15k back.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. So if you are looking at a claim of around £25k, this would be a matter which would have to go to the county court. However, it does not mean you need to spend a lot on legal fees because you do not actually need a lawyer to make the claim and take it further. You could do this yourself and save thousands on prospective legal fees. Of course the issue there is that if you were to lose, then you may be liable for some of the fees of the other side, if they had decided to use a lawyer to defend the claim. However, they may be in the same position as you and defend themselves personally, in which case even if you lose, you should not have to pay out much in addition to what you have already paid out to start the claim.
In terms of the initial costs, a claim of £25k would attract a claim fee of 4.5% of the value of the claim so you are looking at around £1125. If it proceeds to a hearing there would then be a fee of £545 for that hearing, assuming it is assigned to the fast track in the court, which it should be.
You could also get a refund of some or all of the hearing fee if you notify the court in writing that the case is settled or discontinued. The following amounts will be refunded where the court is notified:
• more than 28 days before the hearing, 100% of fee;
• between 28 and 15 days before the hearing, 75% of fee;
• between 14 and 7 days before the hearing, 50% of fee;
• fewer than 7 days before the hearing, no refund.
So you may find that you start the claim and the other side is notified and as the case progresses they have a change of mind and do not wish to take the risk in continuing, so they try and settle with you and you agree on an amount then you may discontinue the claim partway through.
In terms of progressing this matter further from here, whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45351
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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