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Thread: Legal help re bounced cheque ..... Please!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member DiscoMagic's Avatar
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    Default Legal help re bounced cheque ..... Please!!!

    Back in December I did a 2.5 hour Childeren Disco for an 11 year old for £150 and after presenting the clients cheque to my bank they have advised that it was stopped due to "reported cheque theft".

    Now I don't normally accept cheques but this was for a friend of a friend, and I thought that it would be OK. Moreover the client had already cancelled and re-arranged once because the child had broken his arm on the day of the party, and although I was within my rights to demand full payment I felt this was a bit harsh from a customer service point of view and so I agreed to postpone to a mutually agreed date.

    So as you can see I looked after the customer as one should.

    On receiving the stopped cheque I emailed the client, advising that the cheque had stopped and that the payment was still outstanding and needed to be paid. I received no answer!

    I have today contacted her, and before even explaining the reason for my call, the client leapt into saying that she emailed me twice and text messaged me the after the party, saying that she had a number of complaints from other parents saying that I was loud, aggressive, shouted at them and even manhandled a girl off the floor where she was sitting down whose father was a senior police officer and wasn't very happy. About two minutes into the call she said she had another call coming through and she would call me back in two minutes. Three hours later i'm still waiting!

    To me this is total nonsense.
    1. Firstly the children were fairly boisterous, to say the least and at one point the birthday boy was punched in the balls (to give you an example) for fun.
    2. Secondly, Although I was fairly firm, I only shouted once, and that was to bring things to order for a game that the client and her son were keen to play.
    3. Thirdly. I never manhandled or picked a child up from the floor. The closest scenario is that at one point the children has removed a girls shoe from her and were throwing it between themselves with the girl running around trying to get it. From my point of view, a H&S issue as the floor was wooden and can be slippery in socks.
    4. Forthly. The mum spent most of her time in the kitchen and didn't bother getting sorting things out.
    5. and finally. The mum never said anything to me on the night, depsite me making a point of checking that everything was OK during the Party and at the end. Additionally The birthday boy also thanked me for the night and some of his friends said that they had a good time.


    To me I think it is a blatant attempt to try and get out of playing, and in short I want to know the best of getting my money back.

    What should I do???
    Ralph @ Disco Magic
    www.disco-magic.co.uk
    www.toastmasterinsurrey.co.uk


    "Creating Magical Memories and Exceptional Events"

  2. #2
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    Letter by recorded delivery stating:

    1. The contract was fulfilled
    2. Cheque had bounced (and supply the reason that the bank gave)
    3. Dates/times of attempts to contact
    4. Then state that no concerns or complaints had been raised prior to contact and, similarly, you had no complaints from any other party on the day.
    5. Payment is due, and intentional cancellation of a cheque after issue amounts to fraud
    6. If no response within 14 days, small claims proceedings will be started and if judgement is found against her then it will affect her credit rating.
    7. If she has a genuine issue with the quality of your service, then she first needs to settle the debt, and can then follow your grievance procedure (supplying evidence of her complaint) which may result in a full or partial refund.*

    * No.7 is optional

    No response within 14 days, straight to small claims.

    I'm stereotyping here, but if I know this type of customer, you're unlikely to ever see your money unless you get judgement against them and then take the small claims process right through to recovery direct from earnings. Her credit rating is probably already shot so another CCJ isn't likely to make much of a difference and she's unlikely to ever volunteer the money, even if you get judgement.

    In fact, she's unlikely to even turn up to defend if you do take her to small claims.

    Julian
    http://www.bristoldiscohire.co.uk - Quality Disco and Equipment hire for Bristol & Bath
    Weddings, Birthday Parties, Kids Parties, School Disco's, Quizes and more

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sapphire Disco's Avatar
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    What she has done is deception the courts will look very dimly at that, take her through the small claims court and add on as much in costs as you can without going over the top with them.

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    MDD Founder Solitaire Events Ltd's Avatar
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    https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

    It works.

    Before you do that, Google for debt collection letter as there are plenty of companies out there who do them for free.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DiscoMagic's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, great advice... I'll let you know the outcome

    Ralph @ Disco Magic
    www.disco-magic.co.uk
    www.toastmasterinsurrey.co.uk


    "Creating Magical Memories and Exceptional Events"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solitaire Events Ltd View Post
    This is actually a simple way to use the Small Claims court. I've done it twice and won both times, though the second time, the company I was pursuing went out of business before the bailiffs went in, so I never actually got my £325 back.

    But yes, a clearly worded letter with a bit of legal jargon threatening legal action or courts usually does the trick because it puts the fear of God in the "defendant" as they often think you're bluffing.

  7. #7
    King Of Cheese Moderator DazzyD's Avatar
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    Good advice. And a good example of why you should have a clear complaint resolution procedure in place. I wouldn't even look at a complaint whilst the client was witholding money, though.
    Dazzy D
    Lightning Disco & Entertainment

    Born to make you party!


  8. #8
    Senior Member DiscoMagic's Avatar
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    Letter send by recorded mail and email today, if you're interested!



    Dear xxxx

    RE: Unpaid invoice DM/NAGNT/85/08 - Notice of intended court proceedings
    Further to my recent email dated 17th Jan 2014, and our subsequent telephone conversation of 21st Jan 2014 at 11.44am, I write regarding the outstanding amount of £150 in reference to the above named invoice and the service of disco entertainment for your sonís birthday on 29th November 2013.

    I am disappointed to learn from our telephone conversation that you have deliberately withheld payment for the disco entertainment that I provided for your son, xxx and his friends to celebrate his 11th Birthday. Moreover, I am certain that William and his friends had a great time, which was cemented by the fact that xxx and some of his friends thanked me for the evening and stated that they enjoyed themselves. In addition, I might point out that at least once during the party and again at the end I checked with you to make sure you were happy with everything (something I do with every function I attend), to which you responded that everything was fine.

    Although I wanted to avoid taking the strong approach, I do feel that I have to point out the following factual elements of this situation.
    • You entered a contract with Disco Magic to provide the service of entertainment for your sonís birthday party in exchange for the fee of £150.
    • The contract was fulfilled by myself on 29th Nov 2013.
    • You paid by cheque on the night of the event, which was subsequently stopped for the reason of stolen cheque (as advised by your bank - Santander).
    • I have attempted to contact you twice as detailed in the opening paragraph of this letter. I received no response to my first email, and the telephone call was cut very short with a promise that you would ring back in two minutes. I never received such a phone call.
    • I have received no complaints from yourself or any third party in reference to the service provided, other than your allegation made yesterday, to which I highly disagree


    In my opinion, you have deliberately made payment by cheque which you had either already stopped or intended to stop. Again in my opinion this is tantamount to fraud and deception.

    I formally request payment the outstanding amount of £150 to be paid into my bank account within 7 days. If I donít receive the funds within the required timeframe, I shall be forced to issue court proceedings against you. This could lead to a CCJ filed against you as well as you having to pay more than the original amount.

    Bank Account: xxxxxxxx
    Sort Code: xx-xx-xx

    I hope that we can bring this matter to a close, and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
    Yours sincerely
    Ralph Heijmer Disco Magic
    Last edited by Excalibur; 22-01-2014 at 11:10 PM. Reason: Removed bank details.
    Ralph @ Disco Magic
    www.disco-magic.co.uk
    www.toastmasterinsurrey.co.uk


    "Creating Magical Memories and Exceptional Events"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sapphire Disco's Avatar
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    Spot on Ralph I would imagine you will be receiving payment very soon hopefully

  10. #10
    Disco Dude! DeckstarDeluxe's Avatar
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    Good luck with this.
    The Cheltenham Wedding DJ
    www.cheltenhamweddingdj.co.uk

    DDWES Event Hire

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