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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 27
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I made an agreement 5 years ago to take on a franking machine.

Customer Question

I made an agreement 5 years ago to take on a franking machine. Apparently there were two separate agreements, one through through NCS and the other with Siemens Financial Services.
I asked NCS when I could cancel this contract and they advised me it was a date some three months ago, at which point my contract with them dissolved and the machine has no longer been used. They did ask me to ring Siemens - but being very busy I failed to do this.
Since then I am being charged £55.00 a month by direct debit by Siemens. I rang them last week and was sent the contract I signed for 5 years which expires in 10 months. So I have to pay £715 for the privilege of receiving no service whatever since I terminated with NCS.
I regard this as sharp practise, I assumed all this time I had been dealing with one company, even so when it is agreed my contract with the one has terminated I should have been able to then terminate with the other. Otherwise it becomes impossible to terminate the service at the end of a contract period without huge penalties from one party or the other.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Can you tell me why the contracts expire at different times if they are both for five years?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have just made 7 phone calls to NCS (actually one was to Francotype-postalia - who gave me the Glasgow 0141 number)- to find the answer 'when did my contract finish with you and how long was it for?' I finally ended up with "Junior is on lunch and will call you back - we are just the switchboard" from ph. no. 0141 (###) ###-####

I have no idea why the two contracts ended on different dates, but obviously they must have done to have ended up with a 10 month overlap. So in fact it has been utterly confusing dealing with three - not two companies involved in the cancellation of this franking machine. The time I have spent on this, supposedly, simple matter is ridiculous!

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
I wonder if one contract is for the financing of the machine, whether hire or purchase and the other for service and maintenance. That might explain the different lengths of contract.
Let me know if you can provide any further information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well yes, this is the reason for the two separate contracts of course. When one cancels the one the other is left dragging on so one has to continue paying till the end of the contract for absolutely nothing. Thus I assume this is unfair or sharp practise. It certainly is wrong.

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Which contract is which?