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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I run a small charity and the director of a commercial waste

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I run a small charity and the director of a commercial waste company donated a bin and weekly collection as part of their environmental payback. The bin turned up, waste collected. The company was then taken over by Graham Brown Waste who sent a letter saying service would continue as normal, no change to existing contract. I phoned to check and was told yes, carry on as normal.

Some considerable time later another letter arrived say FCC had taken over, no change to existing agreement. So I didn't query it.

Then the monthly bills started to arrive. I emailed explaining the situation and got no reply. The bills kept coming so I sent another email and rang Graham Brown as well and asked if there was any change after the takeover. They asked if I had received a letter informing me of any changes to contract and I said no, on the contrary it said it would stay the same. They said in that case the bills were probably automated so ignore them.

3 months ago a woman rang asking to talk to our accounts dept. I explained everything and she said she would get back to me. I sent yet another email to the accounts department to cover what I had said. No reply and nobody got back to me.

Then a final demand arrived for almost £900. I called FCC and spoke to customer services, explained yet again and she said she would get back to me. She didn't. So today I called again. When she finally came to the phone I was told:

They don't provide any services for charities.
They wouldn't be continuing with the service.
They would appreciate it if I paid the bill immediately and they were willing to give me a small discount but that was it.

I told her that I had never signed any agreement with any of the companies, had never signed anything with FCC to the effect that I would pay for their service, and had no intention of paying for it, discount or no discount.

Sorry this goes on a bit but am I correct in telling them to sling their hook?

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Sorry if I'm missing the point but why did you need to explain the situation? What were you explaining? The contract carried on as before?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The bin and collection were free. They were donated by the Director of the original company so we got our waste removed, no charge. This carried on with the second company. The new one are demanding £900 and saying they don't do charitable donations. Their original letter said our previous agreement would continue.


Obviously there are free to discontinue the contract. Whatever you did agree with them there will be an escape for both parties.

The question is whether they can retrospectively apply charges. If what you say is correct then they cannot. They may well be telling a different story though. Its difficult to say on these facts. If you have a letter from them confirming the old arrangement and you can prove that the old arrangement involved no charge then its difficult to see how they could escape from that.

They are not going to accept that lightly. They will probably continue to debt collect upon this sum. You are perfectly free to refuse to pay and invite them to sue you. For £900 its quite unlikely that they would as its not worth the manpower but they could. If they do then you would have to defend it in court although the worst that would happen is that you would be liable for the sum in question plus about £100 in costs.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's fine, thank you.

No problem and all the best.

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