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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was a franchisee with a networking business: a year ago I

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I was a franchisee with a networking business: a year ago I stood down from this, with just a couple of months left on my licence to renewal. I remained in the company as a 'Local Director'. The management and running of groups in Southampton were taken on by the Franchisor, and she appointed another Local Director. A new member joined a group, and completed an application form, (which I don't believe was processed) however her subscription fee was taken, and paid into the account of the Franchisor. The group has subsequently folded, and this member is asking for a refund on her membership fee. She has made the claim against the Franchisor. Pls note, I never handled her application, only met her a couple of times, when I went to the meetings as an ordinary member. Her payment was not taken by me, or processed by me. She herself in her document to the court has not mentioned me. I was no longer running the group, although it could be construed I was still until the end of January 2015, still the License Holder, yet I had no authority in the group in question. I learned this week, only, that the Franchisor as replied to the court that this person is not known to them, and that I or my former business, which has closed, is the person to make a claim against. They refuse to speak to me regarding this, have not informed me that they consider I'm at fault, and neither have I been given any explanation regarding this, or the contact details for their legal team. Having not handled this persons membership application, not taken their money, and not having received any commission on this, I'm at a loss to understand why I might be responsible for refunding.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So to clarify - you left the business as a franchisee by submitting notice to the main business and since then this person had joined through your old company?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I left the Franchise, and the person who joined, after I left, joined directly with the main Franchise company. Not through my 'old company' This may sound a bit confusing - as a Franchisee, I had my own limited company which was the licence holder.. their membership had nothing to do with me, either personally or in a business way. The MD of the Franchise had taken control of the group.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry, I'm going to have to leave the conversation for now, and come back to this. I'll pick up your answer, or any other clarification you need later.
Hello, sorry to have missed you earlier. In the circumstances I really cannot see how you would be legally responsible for refunding the customer. You did not have any dealings with them, you did not enter into any contractual arrangement with them, whether direct or implied and you simply had no dealings with them whatsoever. Therefore, the legal relationship to make you liable in any way is completely absent. It is also beyond me to understand why the main company has indicated that you are legally responsible for this debt but I do not see any legal grounds to make you liable in any way. Whatever your position, there is nothing stopping the customer from pursuing you for this as they are legally entitled to take this to court if they wanted to. However, that does not mean you would be made liable in any way and I would expect a court to quickly see this and strike out the claim or remove you as a defendant. It may still require you to put your case forward and provide details of the circumstances and the history behind this but that should be sufficient to show that you have no legal relationship with the claimant and that no liability should be aimed at you over this. 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
Hello, I see you have read my response 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? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
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