How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 76021
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Customer is holding our product hostage and refusing for it

Customer Question

Customer is holding our product hostage and refusing for it to be collected even after we fully refunded them
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Fully refunded them, asked them to release our product and arrnaged a courier to collect Friday
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

How long has the customer had your product for?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Ok thanks Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

No problem. How long has the customer had your product for?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Its been since 4th Nov trying to get them to accept collection
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Customer was refunded in full on 12th October
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me and I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience. I am pleased to be able to continue helping with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the situation you have found yourself in.

If you have refunded the customer, they have 14 days within which to make the goods available for collection, or to send them back to you if that is what has been agreed. If, after that time, they are still refusing to allow for the goods to be returned, you can hold them in breach of their legal obligations and potentially pursue them for compensation for the value of them missing goods. In other words, you would be trying to recover the refund which you issued them with, or a similar amount to cover the actual value of the goods.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.