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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71048
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My MD has been presented with airline bills some 15+months

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My MD has been presented with airline bills some 15+months old that are apparently unpaid and he wants to know if he has to pay them as he can't remember that long ago to be sure they are correct?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Which bill is this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is from a travel agent for flights to New York from Manchester in August 2013. I'm surprised it wasn't a pay in advance type of charge.

Sorry, I see what you mean.
Does he dispute using the service?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He is not sure. It appears that a number of family have received a significant amount of charges dating back to then but they can't confirm or otherwise that they are legitimate. Is there any "statute" type of law that prevents debts being chased so long after the event when not previously advised of or known about. Some similar charges were actually paid at the time and some last year when presented but there appears to be a fresh set of invoices that have now been presented. He/they just want to know where they stand? What are the consumers rights if any?

Well, it depends on the type of service.
The Limitation Act 1980 does say that a contract cannot be pursued after six years from the date of last acknowledgement. That does not mean the date of the service. It means the date that it was last acknowledged. Acknowledgement can mean offering to pay, offering a settlement, asserting that you cannot pay etc.
However, some contracts are ongoing - for instance the provision of phone services. In those circumstances it is possible for providers to argue that they are continually kept alive because the debt is permanently acknowledged by the continued use of the service. With airline flights that would not likely be the case unless your company has an ongoing account with them.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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