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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12092
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am director for my small business registered in England

Customer Question

Hello, I am director for my small business registered in England and business premises in Glasgow Scotland, we facing legal case against us by water company. We moved in our business premises in November 2014, we sorted everything with energy and gas supply. However with the water company we received an invoice in APril 2015 , as there was no contract with water company so we decided to get quote and contract made from another water supplier the new company gave quote far less than what the previous charged us. Later we tried switching to second supplier called clear business water but the first supplier didn't let it happen unless the due until April was paid. We argued that this will paid but they cannot stop us from switching over and keep charging any random amount.Now the case is in Glasgow sheriff court for the outstanding till date, and we offered them to pay until April 2015 as that was the time when we wanted to change with another supplier on less price. The Court has advised me to take legal advise on this. Could you please advise us where our position stand and what necessary steps we could take. We do not understand how can a supplier force their consumer to take their service and get billed till date. YOur suggestions and advise will be really helpful for us.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

If there was no formal contract with the first company there can be no condition of contract which compels you to pay their account in full prior to the switch. The switch should have been honoured and the second company should be charging from that date. Are you saying that you have been billed by two companies for the same period?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response. No we haven't billed by two companies in same period. However, the company which has filed case against us has stopped the process of switching over to another supplier in April 2015 and since then they sending us invoice for the payment. We were comfortable with second supplier in market as they had good prices.
Tomorrow is our hearing and their argument is we should have disconnected their service before entering in the premises, we tried to disconnect after we got our first invoice which was a random amount to be paid. Could you please suggest on what legal ground we could sue them for not letting us switch over to another supplier and sending us random bills every month even after filling case against us in court.
Many Thanks
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

Your remedy would be an action for damages representing the amou thou would have saved had the switch over happened when you asked for it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Sir,
We have been given a date to submit our reply on each paragraph the pursuer has filled against us.
Most of them are untrue and we will be filling our reply soon.
However, We need to know what statutory rights a water company supplier to business premises holds. On the basis of your reply we mention in the court that there was no contract so company cant compel us to pay and switch must have been honored. However, the pursuer lawyer argued that they have statutory rights to collect the sum from us even if there was no contract in place. Judge has asked us to submit a reply on each paragraphs and a date has been given to us. Our question is, what statutory rights this supplier hold on what legal ground ? Could you please provide any explanation available to you on their statutory rights as we are unable to understand this.
If possible for you we would like to speak to you in this regards.
Many Thanks
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

Please scan and send a copy of the relevant court papers to***@******.*** and ask the moderator to forward toCustomer

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Sir, We will do now.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for sending the summons. There is a statutory obligation to pay water charges under the various bits of legislation they quote in their statement of claim. However your defence is, as I understand it, that they didn't implement the request for you to transfer to another supplier notwithstanding that you said you would pay their charges up to that time. That appears to me to be a good defence to the action or at least for the charges occurring after that date.