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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I purchased four cases of fine wines some 5 years ago. I

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I purchased four cases of fine wines some 5 years ago. I have paid for storage and insurance,etc., I decided that I would prefer my wine to be held in my account at London City Bond. The merchant argues that to move my wine from his account to my account at London City Bond would require me to pay 5% of the original cost of the wine.
I depute this and argued it is my wine which I paid for and I have paid for storage and insurance so the wine is mine.
Is this fair and ethical?

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

Is there a minimum term agreement with the merchant?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. What is fair and ethical would not really matter because your rights are not determined by ethics, rather than by what as contractually agreed at the outset. In the first instance you need to check all contractual documentation you had with that seller to see if there were any terms dealing with the moving of the wine between accounts. If the contract contained clauses detailing the fees to do this and they are as they have quoted now then you would be contractually bound by them and there would not be much you can do about it. Ethics or fairness will not even come into consideration because there would be a contractual agreement between you which covers such situations.

If the contract contained no clauses dealing with such transfers, they could still attempt to levy such charges if they would genuinely incur them in the process. The wine may be your property but the original agreement was for them to store it in their account and if charges were going to be incurred for moving it, they can charge you for these. If you are making arrangements for the transfer, then any percentage levy simply for you moving hem can only really be charged if the contract allowed for it. So in the absence of such a clause you can try and argue that they are basically penalising you for moving the wine and as they are not contractually entitled to do this, that such charges should be unenforceable.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should they refuse to budge and still insist on those charges, 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

My initial response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question and whether you want me to provide the further details as promised? In the meantime I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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Thank you, ***** ***** checked to see if those charges are part of the contract?