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Refusal to pay my bill

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Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:35 am

Hi all not been on here for a while, but could not resist telling you this story about Argos refusing to pay me.

I got a call from a customer asking me to come fix up bunk beds from Argos.

I go to do the job, spend an hour there then notice bits are missing and bits are wrong.
The customer and I call up argos and explain this to them. They said no problem we will send out the bits you need. They sent out another delivery, but the bits are wrong again so we call again, and this time they sent a complete new bunk bed package and took the other wrong stuff away. So the 3rd time I can do the job.

whilst on the phone to Argos I ask who is going to cover my costs of 2 days lost work, as I cannot charge my customer as I could not do the work she hired me for, due to the 2 delivery mistakes made by arogs. They said no problem just send invoice and we will sort it...good we thought.
I sent Invoice via paypal, as they said that was cool to do. A month or so later i heard nothing. So I email them and ask whats going on. They said sorry we cannot read it for some reason please send PDF. I sent PDF and no reply. I email again and this is what i got back.
Sorry but we cannot pay because your invoice is not on company headed paper, also it would not pass an audit should we get audited! I explain that I do not never have had company headed paper, i am not a company. I also explained that everyone else in the world for the 30+ years I have been self employed have accepted these invoices. Reply was sorry no basically.
I call them and whilst on the phone she gave more reasons as why they cannot pay it. Your are not a registered business, you are not VAT registered, you are not our customer!
i asked them to show me in their T&Cs, in Law some place its says they can refuse to pay this lawful bill. No we dont have to its our policy. I ask to speak to Superior. The boss came on and said the same not VAT registered, registered business etc. I ask again show me how you can refuse to pay for these reasons, as I believe they are arbitrary decisions. She said she will speak to some one and get back to me.
Few hours later I get a call from Argos fraud and investigation team.
Hi this is Sue from fraud investigations team. I asked if she was investigated fraud. No she said. so why are you calling me, we do customer services to, so why introduce yourself as fraud investigator and not customer services then? this is just a courtesy call I will not answer any questions, you just have to listen is what she told me WTF I thought. I told her that is the epitome of a dictatorship. No it is not she said. Then she said we are not going to pay you. I said well then I will file a claim against you then, please do she said!
What complete and utter arrogance.
The woman I did the work for has a disabled child, she is also disabled, she saved up to pay me to do it. i cannot take money from her if I did not do the work through not fault of her own, or anyone disabled or not. Argos admitted to the wrongs and told me to invoice them!
Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by Lopsum on Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:53 am

send dca round
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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:16 am

Razz Razz Razz Razz

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actinglikeabanker on Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:03 am

Hey,

If you have written evidence then just take them to small claims. Personally I would consider adding all the time to chase payment to the bill as well.

As far as I am aware there is absolutely no reason/requirement to register for VAT unless your business earns over 100k.

If you start a small claims then I would not be surprised if they just pay you as the costs to send a solicitor to small claims and deal with the claim will probably exceed your bill.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:14 pm

actinglikeabanker wrote:Hey,

If you have written evidence then just take them to small claims. Personally I would consider adding all the time to chase payment to the bill as well.

As far as I am aware there is absolutely no reason/requirement to register for VAT unless your business earns over 100k.

If you start a small claims then I would not be surprised if they just pay you as the costs to send a solicitor to small claims and deal with the claim will probably exceed your bill.

 
Yes these were my thoughts to. I will defiantly be adding for my time and can I add late payment fee as others do?
I have emails from them telling me to send invoice and may have a recording to, have to go through them when my phone is fixed.

I thought it was only 51K for vat? never mind matters not, as for letter headed paper! they making it up as they go along.
She did say that no one will communicate with me, which is fine.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by aarons1950 on Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:28 pm

Yeah small claims but dont' file it as breech of contract as you didnt' have a contract with Argos. File it as negligance - along the lines that, but for Argos's negligance, you'd have been able to do the job on the day. But because they were negligant in sending the wrong stuff, youv'e suffered loss as a result.
Alternative, the customer could file as breech of contract, as it was her who had the contract with argos.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by Tiggy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:48 pm

With a negligence claim you have to look at the Duty of Care aspect, did Argos owe a duty of care to Andy or their customer?

I would say the customer, so you may be on REALLY dodgy ground if you began a claim.

I think it's up to your friend to bring a claim, using a breach of the Customer Rights Act 2015. She will have to show she paid you double what was necessary and is looking to recoup her loss.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:31 pm

Yes Tiggy this is what they said, or words to that affect.Although I agree with what aarons1950 says.

The customer did not have the money to pay me twice or 3 times including the time they got delivery right, she is on benefits and saved up to hire me. How can I take her money? I could not to what I was hired to do due to a mistake from Argos not my customer, morally I could not do that, i did it extra cheap when i did do it.
Also why did they not make this clear to me in the first place, they told me to invoice them. I have email from them saying please send again we cant read it, not saying all the excuses they are giving me now, which change every time i communicate with them. Does this not show liability, or acceptance?
Do they not have to give me a legitimate reason for refusing to pay, when it is obviously their fault I could not do what i was hired to do. As far as I am concerned the ever changing excuses are arbitrary, not a good reason to refuse to pay for a mistake, under the circumstances. They as far as I can see owe me because they made a mistake that had a negative affect on me, cost me my time. A Man is worthy of his hire.

This would be my argument. If they said no at the beginning we would not be in this position.
Would it be right to say that due to their mistake, and the fact they have acknowledged the mistake as their fault, created a contract of sorts. they may well be in breach of the contract between their customer and my customer, but that has nothing to do with me. I had my contract with my customer. Just a thought Smile

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by Lansdowne on Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:45 pm

The argument that Argos can't pay you without a letterhead is crap, and the same for not being VAT registered as you say (unless you did something silly like quote VAT on your bill!) But obviously they are most used to paying large business not small ones. Just one question, was your arrangement entirely with the customer or are you "known to" Argos i.e someone they might recommend to install products?

I agree you are probably on weak ground taking a claim in court without any contract/relationship with Argos. But it could be argued that the person on the phone who said "just send in an invoice" was making a promise i.e. agreeing to cover your loss of earnings as it was their mistake that led to the loss.

An alternative would be to write a letter to head office, giving all the facts, saying that in your business you often recommend their products,usually good quality etc but maybe this was a one-off, might be reluctant to do so again, etc. Enclose a good looking copy of the invoice and quote the phone promise.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by iamani on Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:50 pm

Hi actionmanandy

i don't know how friendly you are with your customer, will they not help you?

Write an invoice to your customer and get them to write a covering letter, send both to argos. They should ask customer to pay it and send a receipt for reimbursement. Or just have them send the invoice and receipt with cover letter.


You never know, they might pay.

Cheers!

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:27 pm

Do I have to have a contract with them to file a claim against them? I cannot see why a contract or lack of one would negate liability. Their wrong, which we have evidence of caused me a loss, it did not cause their customer any loss. They told me to email them invoice, then gave invalid crap reasons as to why they will not pay it.
iamani I am friends with her now yes. She has a hard life as it is and cannot really deal with the stress. I was thinking of getting power of attorney off her to sort it maybe.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by man on Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:29 pm

When Argos told you to email them an invoice, is that not them either making an offer to you (which you accepted by sending an invoice) or confirming that they already have an agreement to pay you?

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:03 pm

man wrote:When Argos told you to email them an invoice, is that not them either making an offer to you (which you accepted by sending an invoice) or confirming that they already have an agreement to pay you?

To me it is yes.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by man on Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:23 pm

As you've sent them an invoice, you can now send them a Notice of Fault and Opportunity to Cure and if they still do not pay up, send them a Notice of Default. After that you've done what you can so you'd then take them to small claims, which they might settle out of court or if not you should win in court.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:01 am

Yes man exactly my thoughts.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by Ausk on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:19 am

If you have a copy of their communication to you and evidence of your acceptance of the job and their T&Cs you have a contract.

look up the principles of contract law and assess what you have from these people against what you learn.

All the rest is just excuses trotted out not to pay. Its likely they never had any intention of paying you in the first place.


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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by iamani on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:30 pm

Hi guys

actionmanandy - you do realise that technically you can be seen by argos as a third-party interloper?

Once upon a time i knew someone who, when, in a similar situation to you, told his customer that if the insurance company didn't pay out he would not seek it from the customer. He then wrote his invoice along with a receipt implying the customer had paid, dictated a short covering letter for the customer to write and sign, and sent it to insurers. Insurers paid customer who passed the proceeds to my friend. Sorted.

Obviously i can't recommend this course of action to you.........

Cheers!

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by Tom Bombadil on Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:52 pm

Your contract was with the buyer.

Within your contract one needs a clause indicating action or payment if you are unable to do the job for the customer.

If I call out a washing machine repair man to give my just purchased secondhand machine the once over, and when he got here it was not yet delivered, the I would expect to give him a call out fee or somesuch because he had a clause!

Next time be more precise!

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actinglikeabanker on Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:46 pm

The third party/contract creation etc is obviously relevant in some circumstances (and used a lot here in general) but, argos have already agreed to pay (which is evidenced) if an invoice was provided. argos requested actionmanandy to formalise the verbal/written agreement (which can constitute a form of contract) and actionmanandy performed as requested.

Now they are saying that because actionmanandy is not vat registered or that the invoice was not on letter headed paper then they wont pay. To me it looks clear cut, they agreed to pay and now they are essentially saying that they do not believe actionmanandy operates a business.

If it were me, I would escalate it to the top of the food chain (not a manager, the CEO), be reasonable and polite about it, make every attempt to settle the matter amicably. If this were to fail then personally I would consider small claims.

The problem they have, as I see it, is that they have already agreed to pay. All of this should be done in writing but, once that email lands in the CEO's mailbox, and depending on how oneself is presented then a call from a senior manager normally happens pretty swiftly.

iamani gives a good example above that should end in payment. It is not like you are doing anything wrong, you provided the work so passing the invoice to the customer and getting them to request payment should work also. Which, had you known at the time that argos would not act on what they agreed to then this may have been the route you had taken.
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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by daveiron on Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:53 pm

I agree with ALAB.
The only issue i can see is , does andy have proof they said send the invoice ?

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by aarons1950 on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:02 pm

daveiron wrote:I agree with ALAB.
The only issue i can see is , does andy have proof they said send the invoice ?

Ask for a copy of the call recording. Or the customer could do a SAR if they wont' provide it.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:25 pm

iamani has it right I think, but I have a feeling they just dont want to pay. They called my customer and started asking questions about me!
I have email from them saying they could not read the first one I sent them via paypal and one telling me where to send it. I have an old phone with a broken screen, it might have recording on it from the original conversation, not sure though.
As actinglikeabanker said them asking me to send it is them telling me they will pay it, a contract formed, a promise to pay Smile
I have emailed the CEO and he said no. My email was not very good at putting my point across. I was telling him how arrogant his staff are, maybe not such a good idea, cant help it though.

I think I have a strong case really, i am not obliged to charge my customer if I could not do the work, because of argos. I should have been given a real reason on the initial phone call. then my time would not have been wasted, I would not have sent 2 invoices and phone calls emails etc.

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by assassin on Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:29 am

Forget contracts, contract law doesn't favour you in either English Contract Law or European Contract Protocols.

No contract is in place between you and Argos, and you only have a parol agreement between you and your customer, so nothing in writing, and Argos know this and are luring you into the "he said, she said scenario" safe in the knowledge that no contracts exist.

Civil Tort is the answer here.

Customer employed you based upon an expectation of correct delivery of merchandise from Argos, Argos delivered incorrectly and you lost time on other jobs, Argos tried to remedy the situation and got it wrong again, but they did try "remedy" and they delivered another product.

Argos have cocked up in several ways here:

1] They have realised you are a single individual after assuming you are from a multi-national and trying it on.

2] They have made an offer of remedy and asked you to submit an invoice on two occasions.

3] Is this employee legally trained or a corporate officer of the company? if not legally trained she cannot give "legal opinion" and has done so, and if not a corporate officer she cannot speak on behalf of the company with any authority and has done so.

4] She has made fraudulent and vexatious claims, she claimed they only work with VAT registered businesses and not the self employed. If you have a washing machine, tumble drier, gas fire, dishwasher, or indeed any other appliance from Argos they offer a fitting and disposal service, they only employ SELF EMPLOYED STAFF who are suitable qualified to do this and I doubt people like washing machine fitters reach the VAT threshold, so she is lying to you.

Make hand written notes of all the conversations and ensure they contain the relevant notes before anything else, they are your notes and you can certify your own copies.

Send them a lawful notice and give them "opportunity to cure" and a timescale of 14 or 21 days, and cite they have already made such representations which is why in fairness you are giving them this opportunity.
Include your original invoice and a fee schedule for anything over your allotted timescale of 14 or 21 days.

Do not mention the above points in your correspondence as you need to keep your powder dry, they dont know you know this so play dumb and keep it as evidence for any impending claim.
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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by actionmanandy on Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:39 pm

Thanks assassin that sounds like the correct approach to me.
I have told them I would be charging them a late payment fee, also that my time dealing with this will need to be paid for to. she said please take us to court!
I will send them a lawful notice.



2] They have made an offer of remedy and asked you to submit an invoice on two occasions. Doe this not create some sort of contract?

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Re: Refusal to pay my bill

Post by assassin on Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:11 am

Yes and no Andy, it is an implied contract based on probability.

Go to court? they are bluffing as they neither want the costs involved in defending it or the large media publicity surrounding such a case as if they lose it opens up a raft of other claims as others always come out of the woodwork when such cases go public which introduces even more costs and negative publicity.

Why would they bother with all that and the costs involved, they are simply trying it on and hoping you will go away and not bother.

If you submit papers my guess is they will be falling over themselves to reach an out of court settlement, in either case it is written off against expenses so if they pay you out it still doesn't cost them anyway.
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