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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16734
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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Cam you help me with some info about the goods and services

Customer Question

Hi, cam you help me with some info about the goods and services act
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Stockport Greater Manchester
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None yet I just want some advice if I have a case
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: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer.

I am one of the legal experts on the site and I am a dual-qualified solicitor (UK & Republic of Ireland)

Thank you for the question, I am reviewing the details now and I will aim to resolve it as quickly as possible for you.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

Could you please set out your question for me.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi, is might be a strange one. I passed to see a private consultant who gave me a diagnosis. The NHS consultant has said no they are wrong and they have just been taking my money and just giving out random diagnosis. A friend said I might be able to make a claim under the goods and services act. Us this right?
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Thanks.

You mention the Sale of Goods and Services Act - the Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaced that and gives extra protection to consumers against a business.

This would apply to you but as you dealt with a professional, it's  more likely to be a professional negligence case.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Under the consumer law, their service must be as described and carried out with reasonable care and skill.

It sounds like you can pursue them based on your question, for your money back.

In order to try and resolve the dispute without having to pursue court action, a formal letter before action should be drafted and sent, to demand payment within 14 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them.

See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation. The pre action protocol confirms you should send the letter to give the other party a chance to avoid court action and to pay you.

The courts encourage compliance with the protocol as it can result in a resolution without having to involve the court. You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards (who can be contacted via this site: Click Here).

If you decided to issue a claim, you would then need to register at this site: MCOL so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you.

The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are generally not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. This means the parties are on an equal footing, so you don’t need to worry about legal costs if you lost.

A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case. The court will then issue the claim and they will send you "notice of issue". 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.

The central court processing centre then sends the claim to the defendant's home county court for case management and directions - the directions will give a list of dates which you both must comply with.

The court should offer you mediation to encourage you to resolve the dispute early on - though for mediation to work both parties have to agree to participate.

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

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000. For sums over this figure you would need to use the paper method (I have the forms if required).

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment.

So for example if you were owed £10,000, interest would be £2.20 per day, which you can also claim. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim. If a hearing is required then there is a fee for this too. Again, that fee is recoverable if you win.

If you are on a low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits), you can ask the court for a fee remission so you do not have to pay the court issue fee.

If you do qualify for a fee exemption, you cannot use the money claim online site - instead you would need the paper N1 claim form (let me know if you would like a copy) as well as the EX160 fee exemption form which goes with the N1 claim form - then posted to court. If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days.

You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), application to wind up the company if £750 or more is owed (if suing a limited company), apply to summons them to court for questioning, attachment of earnings order against their employer (if employed), apply to bankrupt them if they are an individual or sole trader and they owe £5,000 or more - all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

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



Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

(insert their 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 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 you 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 the High 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)


Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

I hope this helps

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

It was a pleasure to assist you today and I hope this answers the question.

If you have any follow up questions or if you would like me to clarify anything I have said, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Many thanks,

Jim



Expert:  JimLawyer replied 15 days ago.

Just a final note that if you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JimLawyer.

Thanks again,

Jim