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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45339
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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After getting to the end of the line with trying to sort out

Customer Question

after getting to the end of the line with trying to sort out an issue with ***** ***** about a car I bought, the final thing now is to put a claim in online to the courts, or Money Claim Online to be specific. ***** *****'s head office is in Glasgow, which obviously falls outside the postcodes allowed to make a claim on the Money Claim Online service (which is England and Wales only). I did buy the car from the Huddersfield motorstore though, which luckily has an English postcode! When putting the claim in, can I make this against the branch rather than the head office? If yes, then what security do I have if they come back and say all claims need to be made against head office rather than the branch (which is highly likely with a dodgy company like ***** *****)? I have had mixed answers but no concrete ones. As it costs £410 to set up a claim for the amount i'm claiming, I need to know 100%, or at least 99.9%. I'm thinking that if you were to make a claim against Apple or Microsoft for example, surely you wouldn't be expected to go to America to court? PLEASE HELP!!! Thank you
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi
Are you able to answer my query?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hi there. Yes of course. In order to provide you with the best advice, please can you provide me with some background information on the claim you would like to make. Thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Excellent. So there are a number of issues with the car which I have argued with ***** ***** about. They said they needed to inspect it or I could pay for an independent inspection to be carried out by the AA. So I paid for AA to carry one out at the price of £202. They highlighted the issues I'd raised and graded each issue on a traffic light system basis, with one fault coming back at red. The inspections are carried out as if you haven't bought the car yet but are looking to. Anything red basically means the car shouldn't be sold this way and amber means the issues really should be sorted prior to selling. ***** ***** said if any faults are found then they will accept my rejection. However once the report was done and sent back, they went back on their word and said they weren't accepting my rejection as the car has passed it's MOT (conveniently done by themselves just before I bought the car). However, I'm arguing that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 that the car is not in 'Satisfactory Condition' and not whether it will pass an MOT. After giving them enough chance to respond and accept my claims, I am now taking this to court level. As mentioned in my original question though, you can only use the MoneyClaimOnline service for postcodes within England and Wales and ***** *****'s head office is in Glasgow, Scotland. I bought the car from the Huddersfield branch in England and just wanted to know if I could instead put the claim in against the branch rather than the head office. And if I can put it in against the branch what security I have if they come back and say all claims need to be made against the head office, not the branch. It costs £410 to put a claim in for between £5000 and £10,000 (I'm claiming just over £8,700) so I need to make sure I won't lose out if I put the claim in.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ben, any news?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hi there, sorry I was engaged in court earlier. There are a couple of factors you need to consider here. First of all was there anything in the contact of sale which stated which country’s laws would apply to this situation. It may well be that the company is registered in Scotland but that its contracts for business done in England are governed by English laws.

Secondly, the courts have the power to decide that the laws of one country should be applied in a particular case. The factors that determine this is if the nature of the transaction means that the contract was performed in that country. So even if you had a Scottish company on the other side, but they sold you a car in England through their English dealership and you were also domiciled in England, then it is clear that the performance of the contract was undertaken in England and that English law should be the most appropriate one here.

So it would be best to sue the company even if registered in Scotland and to use the Huddersfield address as the address for service.

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

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45339
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ben,
No problem, I understand.Thank you for this - this has made it much clearer. I checked the credit agreement or loan agreement I think it's called last night to check that and it did say 'Scotland law applies with this agreement' I think, or something along those lines. That is with Barclays (bank) though and ***** ***** (with the Huddersfield motorstore branch address on the contract) as an intermediary.
Also, is there anything online that states about the fact if everything has happened in England then I should be ok, just in case the branch fire it back at me? Also, once I put the claim in online, I believe they have 2 weeks to respond. If they say it needs to be dealt with by head office, can I just fire back at them saying they have 2 weeks to respond and if they don't then I win? How does it work?
And I will do the feedback now. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Thank you. If they do not respond within the deadline and you have not heard from them with an explanation as to why there has been a delay, you can ask the court to consider issuing a judgment in default - basically you would automatically be declared the 'winner' of the claim just because they have not bothered to repsond to it. However, once such an application is made it usually prompts them to get their act together and they will be given a chance to respond, even if done late. Some brief text that backs up what I said can be found here, just for reference :

http://www.smallclaimscourtgenie.co.uk/small-claims-court-uk/

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for this. If they do respond, can they reject responding to it due to the fact they want it to go through the Scottish Court or is that up to the English court to decide this? Also, if the English court rejects the claim and says it needs to be taken up in Scotland, would I get the fee back of £410? Think I feel more comfortable claiming against the branch in England rather than the Head Office so I appreciate your help! Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

They still need to give valid reasons and then the court will decide if they are indeed valid otherwise it will be treated as a no response. It's a difficult one with fees, they say that you need to be sure that the claim you are making is correct otherwise the issue fee will not be refunded, so you may have difficulty getting it back but I cannot guarantee it won't work as I have never had to request a refund myself so not sure what they will consider

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I understand where you're coming from with all that and obviously the refund is a bit of a grey area. I would argue that my reasons for making the claim in England is valid as everything has occured in England, regardless of the fact their head office is in Scotland. I really appreciate your help with this - you have definitely made me more comfortable about putting the claim through using the MoneyClaimOnline service through England.All the best,
Alex
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

You are most welcome, all the best

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ben,
If the Credit Agreement from Barclays, which includes the address of the Huddersfield branch of ***** ***** as an intermediary, says in the Terms & Conditions says the law of Scotland applies to this contract, would this affect things? Or could I bypass this based on the information you said yesterday about the fact that everything has happened in England and I could argue this?Thanks,
Alex
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hello again, even if the agreement says it is under Scottish law, the courts can decide that English law is the most appropriate here, it is just that there is no guarantee of that so it will always be somewhat of a risk claiming there and hope that they agree with you.

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