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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Got a quote from a removal company to move us from Essex to

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Got a quote from a removal company to move us from Essex to Lincolnshire. I had been given quotes by a few other companies who had all done surveys of our property before giving a price for the move. Unfortunately by the time we were given a moving date all of the companies were booked up so I had to ring around to find someone else. The only company that could do the move for us was in Lincolnshire and did not want to come and visit our property as they were very busy and we only had a week until the moving date. The man I spoke to said that he could do the job because he had had a cancellation and wanted to know how much I had been quoted by other firms. He phoned me back a while later to say that the cost would be £1800 but that he needed it transferred to him immediately as he always requests full payment a week before the move. I paid him in full and on the 29th July he and his crew turned up to do the removal. He had a look around and then said that we had a lot more stuff than he'd anticipated and he wasn't sure if he would be able to move us out and then in to our new property on the same day. Later he came and told me that he might have to charge me " a little bit more" as the job was taking longer than he thought it would and his men were having to pack some things. I had to leave my old property before they'd finished as I had to pick up a key from the estate agent before they closed. My son remained with the removal men and when they'd finished drove up to Lincolnshire to my new property and confirmed that we would not be getting our belongings until the following day but that two of the boys from the company would deliver us a couple of our mattresses so that we had something to sleep on for the night. The following day our belongings were delivered by two boys and when they were almost finished the owner of the company arrived and spoke to me about the extra money he wanted. He asked me for another £540 and I responded by telling him that his total charge of £2340 was more than I had been quoted by any other firm. He said that he needed to cover the cost of his lorry being used for an extra day and I told him that I was not at all happy about the charges. Since then I haven't heard from him until last night when he turned up at my property when I was out and spoke to my son about the money he says I owe him and also said that if I don't call him and arrange payment he will take matters further. I have nothing in writing, no signed contract and I wasn't even given a receipt for the£1800 I sent him and I wondered if he has a legal right to demand more money from me? I am really worried about this as I have just got divorced after 30 years of marriage and apart from when my son visits or my daughter is at home with me I am alone in a fairly isolated place and am concerned that he may call demanding money when I'm alone. Please let me know what my legal rights are in this awful situation so that I know where I stand. Many thanks Sue Budd.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long ago did this all occur?

My apologies. So to confirm, he has not requested any payment from you since the move on 29th July, until yesterday evening?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He called round to my house when his crew were moving our things in on 30th July and told me he wanted the extra money and then came back again yesterday evening.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice in a while 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. This would be a contractual matter based on what was agreed at the outset and any such agreements would be contractually binding between you and the other side. In this case, there was an offer made by the removals company for a specific price which based on their own enquiries. If they were not satisfied that they had sufficient information to decide whether the price is reasonable, then they should have either rejected it or asked for more detail or even visited the property. They decided not to and they took the risk on to themselves to do the job for the agreed price. This price was not conditional on anything, it was not subject to them inspecting the load and deciding if it was indeed reasonable – it was an unconditional acceptance of a set price and it means that they would have to honour it.

Whilst there is nothing stopping them from asking you for more money, you certainly do not have to pay them. The only way they can force you to do so if they take you to court and win and in the circumstances I doubt that would happen as they would have a rather weak claim.

If they do not make a claim and just continue being a nuisance, contacting you and asking you for payment, then eventually this may amount to harassment and you will have further protection to deal with them if necessary.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on harassment and how it can apply to you here, 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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Thank you. As mentioned, their conduct could potentially amount to harassment, which could be both a civil matter and a criminal one. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.

Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.

In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.

So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.