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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I ordered a digital product which promised far more than it

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Good afternoon, I ordered a digital product which promised far more than it delivered. I could only fully see what was delivered by downloading an app. Within 1 day or purchasing a 1 year subscription, I cancelled it and requested a refund as it was not fit for purpose. I was then told by the company that unless the product was "defective" I could not have a refund. This was upheld by PayPal dispute as I paid through PayPal. Is there anything I can do about this? The company is based in the EU.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in the UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I contacted the company then PayPal who upheld their claim
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The digital product was a 1 year subscription, cancelled within hours of receipt

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

You can allege breach of contract on their part - EU law applies so if you are a consumer then you have strong rights and you can easily sue them for your money back. If you are a trader or classed as a business you have fewer rights but contract law rules would still apply.

You should send the company a letter before action to demand your money back within 14 days, failing which you will issue court proceedings against them.

The attached letter is generic and needs to be tailored (and quote the above breach).

You can sue them and ask the UK court for permission to serve the claim abroad. You need the defendant's address in the EU country they reside for the purposes of the claim form.

You need forms N1 and N510, available here :

The N510 - the first tick box at section 2 is required to be ticked. You then send 3 copies to County County Money Claims Centre, PO Box 527, Salford, M5 0BY for the court to issue.

You must include the issue fee - the fee depends on the sum claimed. The fee is listed on page 5 (under court issued claim) : https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/904862/ex50-eng.pdf

If you pay the fee it needs to be made payable to HMCTS, or your an pay by phone if you ring the court on 0300(###) ###-####/p>

The court will return them to you, you then serve them on the shop by posting them with N215 (available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952023/n215-eng.pdf).

The papers are served on the defendant who then has 14 days to acknowledge the claim - they do this by filling out an acknowledgment of service and they post it to the court. They indicate their intention when they do this, i.e. whether they admit the claim in full or partly, or if they deny the claim.

If they want to defend the claim then their defence is due by 28 days from the date the court served them with the papers. If there is no settlement then the claim will be dealt with at a final hearing which takes anything from 9 to 12 months from when you start the claim - longer if the claim is higher value. You can pursue the claim yourself or use a law firm. For the hearing you can use an advocate if you wish, though it's not compulsory.

Note, if they fail to respond to the court proceedings then you can ask the court for judgment in default - meaning you win in a matter of weeks and you then have a CCJ against the defendant.

I have details of law firms and advocacy agencies if you would like those. Though in a small claim (a claim with a value under £10K) you won't be able to recover their charges from your opponent. A small claims hearing is easy to do, it's quite informal and no lawyer is required.

Once you win then the judgment can be registered at their local civil court for enforcement assuming they still refuse to pay you.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps?

(insert name and address) (insert date)

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

Dear Sirs,

Re: Claim for (insert sum)

I refer to the above matter. (Insert details of the dispute).

This letter is being sent to you in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol (“the Protocol”) contained within the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”). In particular, I refer you to paragraph 7 of the Protocol, and paragraphs 13 to 16 of the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols regarding the Court’s powers to impose sanctions for failing to comply with the provisions of the Protocol.

I therefore put you on notice of my intention to issue county court proceedings against your company for my losses should I not receive payment in full by 4 pm on (insert date 14 calendar days).

Should court proceedings be necessary I will claim the court issue fee and statutory interest. Should I succeed in obtaining a judgment, same will be transferred to your local civil court for enforcement against you whereby further costs will be added to the judgment sum.

I trust the above will not be necessary and I therefore look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Yours sincerely,

(insert name)

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim

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