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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47360
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I went (following a broken ankle) to a 'retirement

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I went for respite (following a broken ankle) to a 'retirement home'. The food was not brilliant and I was left to fend for myself ( I admit there was a buzzer system which I used a couple of times) but the response time to the buzzer was quite lengthy. There were people in there who asked to be taken to the toilet and on 2 occasions were made to wait 45 minutes.I have written to the owner (back in August expressing my concerns and asking for a reply). I have telephoned several times asking for an update to be told that the owner has my letter and the person I spoke to would 'remind' the owner meanwhile I paid almost half the bill and told the Finance Manager that I am not refusing to pay the balance and will do so when I get an answer to my letter.
I am willing to set up a standing order until my letter is answered then I will pay the remaining balance.
Please can you advise whether I am in the right or should I pay the balance and forget about any hope of getting a reply
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What were the payment terms, when was payment due? Please note I am in court today so may not be able to reply immediately, thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was in the home for 3 weeks from 17/7/15 to 7/8/. I was billed for the period 17/7/15 to 26/7/15 which I paid by cheque on 20/8/15.The balance was due by the end of August, as I have stressed during several phone calls to the Financial manager I am not refusing to pay I just want my letter answered. As an act of good faith I have offered to set up a weekly standing order with my bank until the matter is sorted out. If I am in the wrong then I will pay the grudgingly pay the balance Thank You
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You cannot really withhold or delay payment just to get an answer to your letter. You may have raised certain concerns about the services offered, but they are not legally obliged to respond to you. It is of course good customer care to do so, but they cannot be forced to. As far as the legal position is concerned, you were contractually obliged to settle the bill within a specified period of time. Failing to do so would have amounted to a breach of contract by you. Unless you could show that they had breached their contract in the first place, such as by failing to provide things promised to you or providing such a bad service that it was not possible to agree that they had discharged their obligations under contract, you would be expected to settle the bill as normal. Delaying payment until the letter is answered is not really a legal remedy or option. Of course there is nothing stopping you from doing this and trying to force an answer that way, but if they refuse to and take the matter further they will be entitled to do so. In the circumstances it would mean going to the small claims court. If that was to happen then I suggest you consider settling the bill straight away and discussing any issues separately. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I 'll make the payment Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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