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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23485
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I have used your service before regarding trouble with

Customer Question

I have used your service before regarding trouble with Publishing company. I didn't get a response.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Birmingham UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have tried to negotiate money back and to end contract with Publishers as they are uncommunicative and I don't think they have my best interest at heart.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: How do I know I will be connected when I've paid the £5
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed

getting back to you.

I cannot see the previous question, but that we try to assist you from scratch.

Could you explain the background in detail please?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

Let me answer this as far as I am able before you get back to me.  I can expand my reply later once I hear from you.

It seems to be very common with publishing/advertising and website companies that they sign somebody up to a service payable over a protracted period of time and then they don’t deliver and then, when the customer wants to cancel, they move heaven and earth to avoid refunding but still don’t deliver!

Sometimes what they do deliver is absolutely abysmal.

It could well be therefore that the company doesn’t want you to cancel and not only are they not wanting you to cancel, they may be wanting to pursue you for the balance of the price.

If they will not negotiate or pay up what you are asking for then your only remedy is to take them to the Small Claims Court provided the amount is under GBP10,000 otherwise it’s fast-track and you are at risk of having to pay legal costs if you are not successful.

https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

If they believe that you owe money until the end of the contract, they will counter claim from you and defend the action.

If you can give me the full background detail, I can expand my reply for you.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for your reply. It's just the same conclusion I came to. They keep stalling until they have received the full amount. I only owe £300 now, as £1600 already paid. I signed the Agreement in December 2019. They had 280 working days to deliver first draft for me to look at. I didn't get this edit until March this year, and when I did receive it, the first comment in the right hand column was "please ask the author if she wants this done in First or Third person context. This implies to me that the Publisher/Editor knew it is his/her job to make this change as necessary. Surely at this stage the editor at the time should have telephoned me to ask the question, but instead went ahead and edited the WHOLE book in two differenet contexts. I say "he or she" as to date, I had no idea who was editing my work. They have NEVER once contacted me, telephonically or by email. I have phoned them on occasions and have still yet to speak to anyone of importance, only the reception area. Most importantly, the edit they sent was the incorrect version. I decided early on to change the format of the way the book read. I ask them if they could do this and they said they would charge for this, so advised that I did this myself. I did this, which took only a week, and sent them the updated version. How they managed to edit the incorrect version is beyond me. I have to say that having waited for 15 months for the first edit, I was astounded to say the least when I received the correct edit in just one week. They have changed editors working on my book and have made several mistakes in the process this far. I have all the evidence I need to go to small claimes court, which is what I intent to do. All I am trying to establish is WHO is/was responsible for putting this work into the correct context/format. That's all for now.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
When I do Email them they always take at least one week to reply. When I complained about the wrong version being editied, I sent them a Registered Notice telling them, as per the agreement, that they had 90 days to get the correct version edited. This only took them one week. If they can't get this part correct, the most crucial part of making the story the best it can be so as to sell more, then I shudder to think what the rest of their work will be like. I 100% think that once the whole amount has been paid it will be hell on earth to get them to do anything on time. If I stop further payments, can they then sue me? This is the only reason I have not stopped payment so they cannot come back and blame me. Id this correct in your eyes.Thanks *****
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
have you received my email Stuart. Thanks
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
By the way, when I said They never once contacted me, that is not unless I communicated with them first, and it always took 1-2 weeks for them to reply.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

I think that deciding to put it either in the first or third person should have been one of the very first things that they should have done!

With regard to making mistakes, it’s clearly not acceptable because that’s the reason that you engage them in the first place!

I don’t know what the book is but of this is a consumer contract then the Consumer Rights Act applies and if it’s a business to business contract then the Supply of Goods and Services Act applies although the provisions of the same:

They have to carry out the job with reasonable care and skill and

If no timescale is agreed, and the timescale must be reasonable.

I think by anybody’s interpretation, between December 2019 and now is not reasonable and in any event, you say they had 280 working days which they would in breach of and as they have taken almost twice that, then to my mind this strikes to the very heart of the contract and you would be entitled to rescind and have return of all your money.

As I say in my first response, this is only too common.  That’s why I guessed what had happened from your initial brief post.

Ultimately, if they won’t refund you and you cannot come to a settlement, your only remedy is to take them to the Small Claims Court.

The new Beta system is much easier to use: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim than the old system.

You need to give them a deadline, in writing, telling them exactly what you want and that if they don’t do it, you will issue court proceedings against them.  Prepare the proceedings now and save them ready to pop in the post when the deadline expires because I can tell you now, from experience, they will not pay up without a fight.

Don’t be at all surprised if once you issue court proceedings, they do everything properly and arrives with you in their defence is that “we have done the job now”.  The voice of experience.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I cannot read on phone pls email. Thanks.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

I’m sorry, but all communication has to be on the website.  Sorry.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I am 66 years old on pension and cannot really afford £44 at the moment, I just want to know where I stand with this company. Thank you Stuart. I canot read such small writing on the phone as I have recently had eye surgery. Sorry.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

Please don’t worry about the offer of a telephone call, it’s just one of the additional services that we provide because you can cover an awful lot of ground on the telephone.  We can just carry on on here.

There is a Just Answer app which I understand makes it extremely easy to read.

You can download it from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.justanswer.google&hl=en_GB&gl=US

Kind regards

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hi Sturart, thank you so much. I have read your comments and I am going to add a few things to my email to the Publisher and send it registered post. I will indeed start proceedings at the Small Claims Court. Do you think 10 days is enough time for them to respond? There's no way I'm giving them another 90 days at that takes me to the end of payments. Also when we get to court, do I ask for the full refund of £1900. Had they come back to me already, I was quite willing to give them £400 for their editing so far, but as they have not even bothered to respond I think I should go for the full amount. In any event, by the time this comes to court I assume I would have paid the full amount anyway. Do you get many queries of this kind, it would be interesting to know if this particular company do this all the time. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

Ivan 10 or 15 working days.  The choice is yours.  But do make sure you give to a particular date rather than a number of days because then there is no dispute over when the deadline expires.  My personal preference is to specify the date and the time being either close of business or 4 PM.

Small point but always put the year as well because if this does get to court, it could be 18 months down the line and the judge would want to know what year it was.

I would ask for the full refund of GBP1900 on the basis that they miss their deadline not just by a few days or weeks but probably 50% if not more.

I have had exactly this question before so unless you have posted it on here before, the circumstances are exactly the same although I can’t guarantee the company is the same although even if you told me the company name, it wouldn’t mean anything because I don’t know what the company name was on the other question I dealt with on Just Answer.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
ThNk very much
Expert:  Stuart J replied 12 days ago.

it was my pleasure to assist you.  I hope you get it sorted.  Kind regards