Legal Clinic – expansys refund issue

The following is a post from our LegalAdviceUK. The reader describes how he was signposted, prepped for his CAB meeting what he did and the result.

A finance contract was opened to purchase a laptop. The company posted out the wrong laptop, presumably through human error. Once this was reported, several different reasons were given; with no resolution offered.

In the end, it was best to retain a professional tone; and try to minimise any potential loses. With the company failing to pick the laptop return up, an email was sent notifying them that the laptop would be returned using the cheapest (insured) postage so as not to incur any further delays.

Upon sending evidence of postage, and that the company signed for the laptop back – an arbitrary reimbursement was offered (£15, rather than £38). The rationale for this was ‘company policy’.
CAB were contacted, who outlined that this was a breach of contract whether inadvertent or not, and that the company were liable for any consequential loses. Furthermore, with this being a finance agreement, the creditors could be held equally liable for enforcing terms against the original agreement.

On advice of the CAB, a ‘final notice’ letter was drafted; making direct reference by name to all Staff involved – presenting a time line of events over the last 40 days. A fortnight was given for resolution, after which the case would be presented to civil court.

With the company not commenting or responding anymore, a public tweet was sent to their twitter feed. A request for help was published, and a link to a PDF of the letter and timeline of events was attached. 

It took half a day for them to respond after this public action, and all outstanding issues were resolved on the day.

Key points learned:
* Save all correspondence, take names.
* Remain professional! Constantly re-iterate the case why a refund is being sought, and present a fair rationale. I.e. you’re not seeking to profit, just return to ‘square one’.
* Offer comment on implications for the company – can they defend a claim with so much evidence?
* Give notice of your intentions throughout correspondence, when promises aren’t delivered follow through – there’s no surprises, and you’ve been transparent.
* In this case, it was advantageous to ‘play’ the supplier, and finance company off each other too. Make one aware of the others’ error. Whilst their conversations remain private, it probably added pressure to end the dispute.
* As a last resort, copy your ‘final notice’ letter onto any public twitter feeds as a ‘plea for help’. Whilst maybe not ethical, it appears twitter feeds get much more attention than private contact / support.

If you need help on who to ask or prepping for a CAB /ACAS/ Solicitor meeting do ask in the subreddit.

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About Arfan Bhatti

Arfan Bhatti is a Qualified Solicitor practicing Property and Public Law department dealing with all property related work and Judicial Review cases against public bodies.Read more about Arfan or give him a call.

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