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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have a company chasing me to some rental furniture I red

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I have a company chasing me for damages to some rental furniture I hired out several weeks ago. I'm refusing to pay for the damages as the person collecting didn't come to me, as the onsite company representative, for a signature and to show me the damages. I've tried to speak to them about the matter. But they keep pointing me to a section of there T&C's
"8. It is the duty of the Customer to provide at the site of hire a duly authorised representative to sign a written confirmation of the items returned to the Company on termination of hire. If the Customer fails to provide for this the Customer will not be permitted to dispute subsequently the number and/or condition of the goods returned to/collected by the Company on termination of hire. period not exceeding twelve days."
Even though I was onsite for the duration, their collection person made no effort to find me and lied about trying to call me, I sent them my call log with no missed call and they back down from that claim. They instead obtained a signature from someone not related to my business.
Am I fighting a losing battle? Any help would be appreciated.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Did the collection person provide proof of contacting you on the day?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,He rang me to say he was on his way and to give me an ETA.

Hi there. Apologies for the delay and thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Many thanks for your patience. No, you are not necessarily fighting a losing battle but at the same time you will not be able to guarantee that you will be successful in asserting your position. In such circumstances, your rights and obligations are very much determined by contract, rather than by law. This is a matter where the terms and conditions will be those agreed between you and the other party and it would be the agreement between you which will be the governing document as to what your rights in this case are.

A lot will depend on the circumstances of what happened. Contractually you were obliged to provide the representative in question so if one was not there at the agreed time of collection, whilst the company would have been expected to make reasonable attempts to try and find them, eventually they would have been able to collect the items without the representative’s attendance. So you can challenge them on their efforts to try and find the said representative. I think in the circumstances this would be your best defence because you were expected to provide for this and it would then come down to whether the company had made reasonable attempts to find this person or if they made no attempts at all.

In their support, they called you to notify you of the fact they were collecting and when they would do so, therefore if you had no plausible excuse as to why you were not there or made attempts to be there at the time, it will potentially go against you. But this is all part of the overall consideration and nothing in particular will determine with certainty that one party will win.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have now and what the other side’s options are for taking this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,Your response has clarified my point of the case. The collection process took them over 2 hours, to which I was there for the entire duration and no effort was made to find me or make contact with me in a small/medium office workspace.How do I go about drafting an official letter to resolve the case with them? I have had contact with two people within the company, but my argument is falling on deaf ears and they're persistently chasing weekly, whilst adding loss of hire on to the bill for every week that passes.

Thank you. If they want to ask you for damages then they can make as many requests and threats as they want, but they can only force you to pay if they take you to court and are successful in their claim. To do this they must prove that you had been guilty of causing the damage and that in turn you had failed to follow the contractual obligations you were under in term of handing over the equipment. So there is still a long way for them to go before they ae able to actually force you to pay them what they are asking. They may never go that far and if they do then you can always evaluate your position and decide if you wanted to try and settle in order to let them drop any claim they have made.

In terms of drafting a letter, you can either do that yourself or get a local solicitor to do it in order to make it more official. Whilst my involvement is only limited to online assistance, I can take a look at any letter you have drafted for an additional charge and make any necessary amendments. Thanks