Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. As the contract was conducted by what is known as "distance selling" - a cooling off period applies by law. It does not have to be in her contract. I would write to her as follows -
(i) Say she is in breach of your consumer rights by denying a cooling off period. All contracts that are sold by distance selling - are subject to the Distance Selling Regulations;
(ii) Say while you are prepared to pay reasonable expenses, if the deposit is not otherwise immediately returned you reserve the right to either:
- Report her to trading standards;
- Or commence proceedings against her in the county court.
(iii) Say ultimately she never informed you the deposit was non refundable, and you believe a court would just view the charge as a penalty for terminating the contract - which is unenforceable.
I look forward to hearing from you.Kind regards AJ
Hi, Thank you. The cooling off period is 14 days from the date the contract was made. So if you cancelled the contract on 4 June you are within the cooling off period. The term in the contract cannot contract you out of your consumer rights ie your right to a cooling off period. Presumably she did not actually provide you with any services other than the meeting?
Hi, Thank you. It is just 14 calendar days. Not 14 business days. Kind regards AJ
Hi, Thank you. Did you pay the deposit on the 20th May? When did the deposit money reach her?
Hi, Thank you. I think you have enough discrepancy in the time line for you to argue that the 14 day cooling off period is still valid and you gave notice accordingly. Unless you have a contractual right to termination, this is the easiest way of ensuring that your deposit is returned. I would at least try and press her to repay you. At the end of the day you have offered to pay reasonable expenses. If she kept the rest of the deposit, that would just represent a penalty for contractual breach especially when no services have been provided.
Hi, Thank you. If she still refuses to return it then you can complain to Trading Standards
https://www.gov.uk/find-local-trading-standards-office or you will have to consider suing her.
Hi, Thank you. ***** would be of the opinion that the 20th is correct date, but given you are relying on the cooling off period and she has acknowledged it applies then you have grounds to argue it is the 26th on the basis that this is the date she acknowledge receipt of payment. You get some leeway given that you are a consumer.
In relation to the offer you can either accept it or make a counter offer. Personally I would try and settle this as quickly as possible, going to court will waste time and money that you will not necessarily recover even if you won.
Hi, Thank you. Please see attached a link to the government advice on the topic. https://www.gov.uk/online-and-distance-selling-for-businesses/overview - selling over the phone falls under the Distance Selling Regulations - this means you have a 14 day cooling off period. Kind regards AJ
Hi, Thank you. I would refer to the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. Kind regards AJ
Hi, Thank you. My apologies was your last question:
Hi, Thank you. Did she ever provide you with written terms and conditions say the contract is non refundable? Is the £800 refund still on offer?
Hi, Thank you. There are two issues going against you (i) There is some question mark or doubt as to whether you are within the cooling off period and (ii) The WP terms and conditions state that any payments are "non refundable". If you did not accept her offer you would have to sue and it would be up to a Judge to determine he to side with. Has the WP done any work of any use? I.e provided supplier contacts etc? I would consider the £825 offer if you consider that going to court is going to be hugely time consuming. Kind regards AJ