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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Hi. My situation: I run small removal business. Recently

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My situation:

I run small removal business. Recently we completed one job, the customer was happy with the service (sent us a text saying what a brilliant company we are) received but fail to pay as agreed ( on completion of the job by cash or bank transfer). Every day promised to pay tomorrow.

We got paid on day 5 after due date. The same (few hours before we got paid) day we offered to pop in and collect the payment as we were working in that area and could do that if it was any good for the customer. The customer said - "that's fine" but some time later she made online transfer (so she said). We only could see the money on the account 3 hours later.

Later our offer to pop in was called a threat, our questions about "when to expect payment you promised yesterday" were called harassment. And the main reason for me to ask for help is negative feedback on various review sites as below:

"Like having the Mafia ! I offered to pay by cheaque which the head of this little company refused and i said i was not online yet and no landline yet . BT lost my ordered telephones...he told me to pay him online and i lived away from my bank and didnt drive so i would sort it asap. He threatened me today with him sending one of his men round.I thought omg !!! I rang the police who stated he was breaking the law and to ring them if he or one of his men arrived. Terrible company !! And they lost bits on move "

I believe the person actions have no grounds and wish to seek justice. Prepared to go to court if it makes sense.

My question:

Is it worth taking this mattes to court? Those feedback will cause damage to my business. They are groundless and should not have been put there. That is defamation.

If yes - how to start.

Screen shots of texts available.
There was more details of course. Please ask if more information is required.

Thank you.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have these comments been made on just one site?

Customer: Hello.
Customer: on two sites so far, that's within 7 hours
Customer: Dear Ms Kerry Kent,Good afternoon, I trust you are well. Thank you very much for taking time speaking with me over the last few days. We very much look forward to being of a service to you. Just to confirm, our proposition to you was as follows, there will be three physically strong men and suitable vehicle(s) two XL Luton type vans with tail gate lift to make your move being possible all in one day and one trip. We are a professional removals company, having been in this business for some considerable time, I can re-assure you, our standards, attention to detail and customer service are second to none. Protective blankets, security fixtures - straps, sheets etc are used as standard and of course are carried by all our member's of staff in our vehicles and we do have all the necessary insurances etc.We are 100% flexible and are completely prepared to adjust to your individual requirements - circumstances.Totally inclusive price of all taxes will be £685 for the physical move only, payable on completion on the day preferably in cash or bankers transfer please (including carpet protector, specialist mattress and furnishings cover packaging provided at no extra cost). We will also be delighted to assist you with any necessary dismantling and the reassembling service for your furniture completely complimentary. More importantly we are a credible company with good reputation too, just take a look at our customer feedback.Generally we prefer to have a four weeks notice, but do of course understand this is not always possible. Please could you be so kind to let us know your thoughts as soon as possible so that a provisional booking can be made for you.You may recall during our telephone conversation I have mentioned the fact we are little old fashioned and do prefer our clients to write their thoughts about the process and the way their move was handled - feedback on completion of the job into our little book we carry with us and every few months we scan and upload these for all to see, rather than now days people go onto websites and leave feedback, we feel individuality and attention to detail is by far most important.You are welcome to click the following link to see what our clients have to say about our service for whatever the reason the link above does not open the presentation, could you please copy this link and paste it into your browser, thank you.Also when we last spoke, I have promised to provide you with the details of our packaging supplier and also the 10% discount code, please see below: code: GP0112If the link above doesn't work, please search for Globepackaging via google.Please feel free to contact me anytime if I could be of any assistance. We very much look forward to meeting you and being of service.Kind RegardsMichael WebberLSR Less Stress Removals07557 668 628
Customer: ***this is our offer to the customer which was accepted
Ben Jones :

Whilst this may appear to be a potential case of defamation (this includes libel if it is in written form, or slander if it is in oral form), such claims are extremely difficult to pursue. Many people are intent on suing for defamation without having any appreciation of the law behind them, so I will try and clear things up for you now.


First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:


1. The statement has to be untrue.

2. It must directly identify the complainant.

3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.

4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.

5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.


Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect.


You must also consider whether the party alleged of making the defamatory statement can defend the claim. Even if you satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion.


There is of course nothing stopping you from contacting the other party and threatening them that what they have done amounts to defamation and that you will consider pursuing the matter further if they do not retract their statement. This could prompt them to reconsider their position, but I would not recommend that you actually proceed with a claim for defamation due to the issues highlighted above.


Another possibility is to claim for malicious falsehood – this is generally cheaper but again involves the courts and this is always something that should be considered as a last resort. So try to resolve this with the customer, then try to contact the website hosts to ask them to remove the comments and only go to court as a last resort.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry it took so long to leave a feedback, I'm not always online.


I would like to ask few more questions about this matter if I may please.


Is it a must to have a legal helper in high court? Can this be done by claimant himself?


If yes, how to start and where?


Thank you

Hi, no problem at all. It is not a legal requirement to have a legal representative in the High Court but the procedures are complex and you would be expected to have a reasonable grasp of the law as you will be the one that has to present your full case and ensure that the correct procedures have been followed so many people find that the process becomes too much after a while. Of course you can have a go but how successful you are will depend a lot on you and how much work you put into it. If you wanted to start a claim then you will be filling out form N1 available at your local county court or their website