You have a B2B or business-to-business contract with them, meaning consumer law does not apply so you have few rights. The courts are of the view that businesses know the terms they are signing up to. However if the contract is unfair or you were forced to sign, or misled, you could void the contract you have with them.
You should now make a formal complaint and if that does not resolve the matter ask them for a "deadlock letter", which is a letter giving their final response. Their complaints procedure will be available on their website - you should threaten a report to the Financial Conduct Authority (tel: 0800(###) ###-#### when you make your complaint to them.
Once you have the deadlock letter the next step would be to escalate this to the Ombudsman - they will investigate and liaise with the company which would hopefully result in a cancellation of the contract and they can order the company to make a financial award for inconvenience if they have acted poorly.
Once you have their final response, you can make the complaint here : https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/businesses/resolving-complaint
Or by email:***@******.***
Based on the circumstances, assuming the company does not uphold your complaint, I am sure the Ombudsman will do. The Ombudsman will look at this case independently and will make a decision based on what happened. Their decision is binding on the card company.
During the above process (initial complaint takes up to 8 weeks, then the Ombudsman another 16 weeks) they should not try to enforce the termination fee if you refuse to pay. If the Ombudsman does not help, they may escalate this and use a debt collection agency.
Debt collectors are not bailiffs - they have no powers as such. They will simply try to collect the money their client thinks you owe. You can turn them away if you dispute the debt and they visit you - they can’t enter your home and take goods. They would report back to their client they were unsuccessful and it’s then up to their client whether to take matters further.
If they do sue, you will receive court documents (a response pack) which you must complete and return to the court. It is a tick box exercise for the most part and there is a short section to write a defence which is easy enough though please feel free to come back to this site if you need any more help. A claim will also take 9-12 months to be decided at court. If you lost then you would get 14 days to pay the judgment before the claimant can enforce the order, and 30 days to pay in full before it is registered with credit agencies. The claimant cannot recover legal costs if they win, in a claim under £10K (a small claim), all they can claim are the court fees and interest.
If the claim has no merit then you have an option (after your defence is filed) to apply to strike the claim out. The court will consider an application if the claim has no merit, or is misconceived. The application costs £255 but this is recoverable if your application succeeds. If you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you can ask the court to waive the court fee. If you won the application, the claim is struck out.
The hearing (if the case gets that far) is likely to be held remotely, it's you, a district judge (who is a practising solicitor or barrister) and someone from the claimant company. The Judge decides and if you lost, you get 14 days to pay the sum. If paid in full within 30 days then nothing goes on your credit record. But certainly I think you would succeed in a defence, just to be clear.
If you lost and if you were unable to pay the full sum owed at that point you can also ask the court to pay by instalments (a simple form is sent in, form N245, and a fee of £50 unless you qualify for a fee exemption so if you are on a low income, have low savings or in receipt of benefits then you would qualify). If the CCJ was not paid in full though bear in mind the credit record would contain the CCJ details for up to 6 years. After that it comes off the credit registers.
I can assist you going forwards if it gets to the point they issue a claim. If you need a law firm to assist you to defend the claim, here is an example for you and they offer a fixed fee : https://stormcatcher.co.uk/practice-areas/dispute-resolution/small-claims-lawyer-service/