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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have a problem with returning some goods. I filled in an

Customer Question

I have a problem with returning some goods. I filled in an online survey and was offered the choice of four gifts. I chose some makeup and paid the postage on the 28th Feb. two weeks later £201.62 was taken from my account as full payment for the makeup. I contacted the company they explained that by filling in my details for the postage I had signed up to receive makeup products on trial periods of two weeks if they are not returned the company then takes the full amount of the product. I did not knowingly and deliberately sign up for trial periods of makeup. I have contacted my bank and logged a Visa dispute and the cash is now back in my account. I have since got the products back, two of them have not been used and one has had a very small amount used. I contacted the firm by email offering to return the the products to them. They first offer me a discount of £60 to keep them, then on a later email increased it to £80 and last night offered £90 discount. They state that they will only give me the full amount back within 30 days of purchase and only if they are returned unused and in the original packaging. I do not have the original packaging but I am prepared to pay the postage..... they say they will only accept used product back within the two weeks trial period.
Could you please advise me where I stand and what to do next. Should I return the goods or hang on to it and do something else?
Thanking you in advance,
David ***********@******.***
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. You say that the money is now back in your account? If so, what does the company still owe you for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As far as I'm concerned ...nothing, but they have emailed me saying that once their automated emails are sent to the Visa dispute section at Nationwide they will have to pay them the amount of £201.62. They are saying that in these cases they win 99.99% which I find intimidating.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. Their response is intended to be intimidating – they will not just admit they are wrong and apologise and issue a refund, that is not what they are in business for. This is really a scam using certain loopholes to try and make it work. It does not mean it is necessarily legal though and you could have certain rights under consumer laws, such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In fact the general position in terms of fairness of contractual terms are:· Contract terms and notices must be fair. An unfair term or notice will not be binding on the consumer unless the consumer chooses to be bound by it.· A term will be unfair if, contrary to good faith requirements, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer.· A term of a consumer contract should be transparent (in plain and intelligible language and legible where written) and prominent (brought to the consumer’s attention in such a way that the average consumer would be aware of it). At this stage you should wait and see what happens with the bank as they may decide in your favour and allow you to retain the money. If they do not, then you can consider sending the products back, taking photos before doing so, and return the by recorded delivery. If you are still owed money after that you can consider the small claims court route to try and get that back. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you have to pursue them for any outstanding amount, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Should it get that far, 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.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, Thank you for your reply. Since this morning I have emailed copies of their emails and my one offering a return of the goods in exchange for a full refund to Visa Disputes at Nationwide. I will do as you suggest and wait until the Bank makes a decision. I will then get in touch with you. Many thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, happy to help again if needed