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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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2013 my daughter in year 7 did judo in Portsmouth with Jon.

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2013 my daughter in year 7 did judo in Portsmouth with Jon Patterson. I paid him termly cash/cheque. This week I was tidying my finances only to discover a DD for £37 going out each month to NEST Management. This turns out to be for Gosport martial arts Budokan. A club that we never attended. We went to the Portsmouth club via a school arrangement. I got a copy of the DD back and sure enough I completed the DD but someone else filled in the centre number and centre name. That bit is not in my writing. I have asked the centre for a refund of £1184 as we never attended. They say no, tough!! I asked for details of the course my daughter was booked on and I have copied his email reply. But honestly we didn't do the 2 week taster course. Never even been through their door. So you can imagine how upset I am. So how did I get the DD form? i believe that the British Judo sent it in a pack with all their bump and in the rush of school papers at the beginning of term filled it in thinking it was for the club Rosie was going to in Portsmouth. More than that I don't recall. My final email to the guy tonight said that I believe a refund is reasonable given that Rosie never attended and I expect refund in 7 days. I then looked again at the DD to see that top right for the club details someone else had filled that it not me. What are my rights here? Here in speech marks is the guy's email " a signed up paying member it was your choice and you were and free to attend the classes we run, our are classes Monday to Saturday, they are ongoing, and as a member you were free To turn up to any of the classes for her or your age group, but Rosie's name wasn't on the DD As a student you were, kids classes are from 5pm to 6pm and 6pm to 7:30pm, and sat 9am to 4pm, for adults classes are from 7:30pm to 9:30pm mon to fri and again sat 9am to 4pm, you don't sign up for a course it's signing up to join the academy, to train in one or all of the martial arts we offer, either yourself or Rosie must of attended a two week free taster at the beginning to have been given a joining pack to fill in, and you must have signed up to the classes in our academy there is other way to sign up and join our academy and as stated in my last email either yourself or if it was Rosie were able to attend any of the classes we have on offer over the stated period of your membership, the proof of signing up is the Direct Debit Form of which you filled in and signed." How do i get my money back??

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

So to confirm, they have been debiting your account for almost 2.5 years?

Also, are they able to prove that either you or Rosie attended the free taster course?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
163;77 on October 2013 and then £37 a month after that. Noteworthy too is that during this time I have not once had any mailings or emails from the club about renewals or events or matches. Just a black hole.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no paperwork, no dates, no confirmation nothing because we didn't go.

OK, thank you for your response. I understand this must be very frustrating. I will go ahead and review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've asked but if you look at his email reply to me he says the the fee was for membership and we were free to go to anything but then he does contradict himself towards the end of the message. Surely for health and safety he must need to have a register of sorts. Right? Anyhow listen I have to go out to a 6th form college parent evening. I'll be back online by 10pm tonight. Sorry...I didn't expect such a fast response Ben.

Hi, in the first instance you may wish to consider trying the Direct Debit Guarantee which covers erroneous payments taken by DD. You need to contact you bank for this and they will be responsible for resolving this even if it was not their fault. More details here:

If that does not help you can consider the small claims court. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben. Three things before you go:1. Should I try the bank first and then wait and see what happens before moving onto the other steps you mention or something else?2. Letter? Will email not be sufficient given that I am in communication with the guy on email?3. Can you take a look at the email conversation below from today below in speech marks because I have given 7 days already and it seems he has already spoken with a solicitor.The guy believes that I must have attended the 2 week taster in order to sign up. I didn't. Whilst I have asked for evidence of my sign up and register of Rosie in class he cannot provide. Instead he states that the DD is the contract.ME "Thanks. I assure you we never did anything with your centre: no taster, no sign up to classes. You have never had me or Rosie on the premises there. I don’t understand how this mix up occurred. It was only ever Judo with Jon via the Portsmoouth Grammar School. Therefore I believe it is reasonable to ask for a refund for services not received. Should this not be forthcoming within the next 7 days then sadly I will revert to legal advise, which will be unfortunate."
GUY "I’m sorry Caroline but you had to of attended our academy to have filled in a form there is no other way it could have been done, and being a signed up paying member the services were there for you to take advantage of, it’s your choice as to whether to turn up or not, I have taken legal advice on this matter and have today spoken to our solicitor, we had a contract i.e. the DD And the services were there for you or your daughter which ever one of you were the student to use so under the terms of the contract no refund is applicable,
Sincerely ***** *****"!

Hi there

1. Should I try the bank first and then wait and see what happens before moving onto the other steps you mention or something else?

You may as well – you are not in a rush to start the legal procedure so you can try that route first before you go more legally heavy on them

2. Letter? Will email not be sufficient given that I am in communication with the guy on email?

By letter, I mean in writing. So email will suffice

3. Can you take a look at the email conversation below from today below in speech marks because I have given 7 days already and it seems he has already spoken with a solicitor.

He may have spoken to a solicitor, then again he may just be saying that. Also the solicitor may just be advising on the assumption that your details were submitted to them by you, which is not the case. So do not worry about that too much

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks. That's great. I'll get on to that.

you are welcome, all the best