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Thread: Disputing A County Court Claim

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  1. #1
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Disputing A County Court Claim

    I have received a county court claim form from someone i sold an item to privately (though ebay), i know the item was in perfect condition when it left me but the buyer has told me it was damaged 6 weeks after they bought it, i gave them every opportunity to check it out but they refused, paid the money then left, now i'm left in this situation with a court claim which i know is unfair, any ideas on the best way forward would be greatly appreciated, its probably not relevant but i did have some nasty voicemail's and text messages from the buyer saying they would wait outside my house etc so its not been a pleasant experience up to now
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Was the purchaser given the opportunity to examine the item before buying, and did they avail themselves of that opportunity?(just seen they didn;t bother)
    Did they collect the item from you or did you send it?
    If you sent it, what method did you use?
    What was the item?
    Can you post up "particulars of claim" please?

    Don't think they have a snowball's in hell on basis of your post but give us more info to be sure.
    Last edited by des8; 8th August 2017 at 18:16:PM. Reason: read orig post again!

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    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Thanks for your reply
    Yes they were given every chance to check the items, it was an inflatable tent which was collected from my home (why would i let a complete stranger come to my home if the goods were faulty??) they have also left negative feedback on my ebay account which was 100% positive till now
    Particulars of claim are:
    I purchased an inflatable tent on the 1st May and sundry items from ebay and paid £750 cash on collection, he assured me again that it was all in perfect condition, on erection of the tent on our family holiday at the end of may the tent was unusable due to severe damage to the inflation tubes and we had to sleep in the car

    The tent was purchased on the 21st April to start with and i have proof from ebay, i also informed them not to use a mains electric pump to inflate the tent as this would cause damage and this is what i'm suspecting has happened since it was hard to pump up with the supplied manual pump but again that was explained on collection, instructions and a warning badge were sown into the tent bag, the buyer has also asked for a partial refund in their recent letter sent to me but has not mentioned giving the tent back and same within the claim

  4. #4
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    When was the claim received?
    Was it from MCOL?
    Have you acknowledged claim and indicated you will be defending in full?
    How much is the claim?
    Is it worth defending?

  5. #5
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    When was the claim received?
    Was it from MCOL?
    Have you acknowledged claim and indicated you will be defending in full?
    How much is the claim?
    Is it worth defending?
    No wasn't from MCOL, i only received the claim on Saturday the 5th through the post although the issue date was the 28th July so i haven't responded yet, the claim is for £435.00, its worth defending as i know the buyer is lying, i sold the goods from my family home in good faith i would never put my family at risk

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    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    So your way forward is to file and serve a defence.

    As the buyer declined the opportunity to examine the goods before purchasing the tent he did so at his own risk.
    He claims the tent was damaged prior to the purchase, but that is what he has to prove.

    Feel free to post up your defence for comment before sending it to the court and claimant

  7. #7
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Quote Originally Posted by des8 View Post
    So your way forward is to file and serve a defence.

    As the buyer declined the opportunity to examine the goods before purchasing the tent he did so at his own risk.
    He claims the tent was damaged prior to the purchase, but that is what he has to prove.

    Feel free to post up your defence for comment before sending it to the court and claimant
    Thank you for the advice i will be writing my defence tomorrow and i will post it up here before i send it to the court,
    Thanks once again

  8. #8
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Ok so my defence would be something like this:
    I sold the tent on the 26th April 2017 through ebay on a "best offer", buyer came to my home to collect and paid £750 cash, i gave the buyer the opportunity to inspect the tent and other goods but she declined to take me up on this, she packed everything into her car and left, one month later on the 27th May i received very unreasonable voicemails and text messages suggesting i sold a faulty tent which i know left me in perfect condition after all i only used it 3 times from new, my suspicion is that a mains or car pump was used to inflate it which i advised against when the tent was collected, it also warns against this inside the tent bag, if the factory supplied pump is not used then the inflation tubes risk being damaged, we have previously come to no mutual agreement since we were just going round in circles, the buyer has also suggested a refund with no indication of returning the so called faulty tent which seems strange if it is unusable, my ebay account has also been effected since she left negative feedback something which i could have done back to her but i refused to do so, in any instance i would not invite a total stranger to my home to buy faulty goods potentially putting my family at risk

    What do you think?
    Thanks in advance

  9. #9
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Heeds work and setting out properly!
    I'm off out for a while now but will be back later

  10. #10
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    That's great thank you

  11. #11
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    First thing is to return the acknowledgement of service sent you in the response pack as this will give you 14 extra days to prepare your defence.

    Here's my offering, others may suggest a different wording:

    DEFENCE
    1, The Defendant denies that he is liable to the Claimant either as alleged in the Particulars of Claim or at all. Save where otherwise admitted each and every allegation in the Particulars of
    Claim is denied

    2. At the relevant time the Defendant and Claimant were acting as private individuals

    3. It is admitted the Defendant advertised an inflatable tent and sundry other items for sale on the internet site "eBay" on a "best offer" basis,

    4. The Claimant agreed to purchase the items from the Defendant on 26 April 2017 for £750 (seven hundred and fifty pounds)

    5. It is admitted the Claimant paid for and collected the goods on 01 May 2017

    6. It is admitted the Defendant confirmed the condition of the tent as perfect prior to completion of the purchase.

    7. It is averred the Claimant declined an invitation to inspect the goods prior to completing the purchase.

    8. The Defendant has no knowledge of damage that may have occurred subsequent to purchase.

    9. It is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the amount claimed or any interest on such amount

    STATEMENT OF TRUTH
    I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true
    tolson7

  12. #12
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Thank you for that, i have now returned the acknowledgement of service using the Money Claim Online service, should i send the defence that you sent me or see if anyone else has any suggestions?
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Did you ask her to bring the tent back after she said it was faulty and wanted a refund, so you could inspect it etc ?


    ( pm'd something )
    Last edited by Amethyst; 11th August 2017 at 17:41:PM.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    Did you ask her to bring the tent back after she said it was faulty and wanted a refund, so you could inspect it etc ?
    But couldn't that be read as tantamount to admitting the tent was faulty when sold?
    Why would OP want to inspect the damage?


    Have you looked on her facebook ( sorry I'm just over cynical ) - a ruined family camping holiday where the tent didn't work and everyone had to sleep in the car would be prime news...
    I like the idea of a FB search, but as I'm not on FB it wouldn't cross my mind

  15. #15
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Ahhh I took my FB idea down and Pm'd it.... was just a suspicious mind of mine idea.... I'm getting cynical in my old age.

    It would be a bit odd to ask for a refund and refuse to return the goods wouldn't it? - anytime I have claimed something is broken etc after purchase I have returned it for them to see before I've expected any refund, I've been quite suprised a couple times with Amazon just accepting my word for it and saying no need to return - but thats B2C not C2C. But I can't see that's admitting any fault is it ?
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

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    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    I have tried facebook but not found her, she did however state that she would smear my name all over social media on a voicemail, i didn't ask her to show me the damage as she texted me a few photos of the burst tube, i did advise that if the tubes were burst during inflation then a repair kit was available but she rejected this straight away

  17. #17
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    Ahhh I took my FB idea down and Pm'd it.... was just a suspicious mind of mine idea.... I'm getting cynical in my old age.

    It would be a bit odd to ask for a refund and refuse to return the goods wouldn't it? - anytime I have claimed something is broken etc after purchase I have returned it for them to see before I've expected any refund, I've been quite suprised a couple times with Amazon just accepting my word for it and saying no need to return - but thats B2C not C2C. But I can't see that's admitting any fault is it ?
    That's what i thought, at no point has she asked to return the goods for a refund, she just wants the £400, i did ring a few tent spares places to see if it can be repaired and i found out that it could, that's one of the reasons i bought it in the first place as Go Outdoors use it in their sales pitch that all inflation tubes are replaceable and are better that traditional fibreglass poles, she said it was beyond repair for some reason

  18. #18
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    But it doesn't matter if it is repairable or not, or how much it would cost, or if she is returning it.
    Your defence is "caveat emptor"
    It was a private sale.
    The purchaser had the opportunity to examine the goods before purchase.
    She declined that opportunity at her own risk.
    the tent belongs to her, not tolson.
    To get involved in discussions about the damage and its extent and cost is to set red herrings which will divert from the main argument.

  19. #19
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    I agree with you Des, I was simply thinking that it shows her unreasonableness - but that isn't part of the defence as it is not necessary, more part of a later witness statement. The main defence should rightly be that she purchased the tent in a private sale, no guarantees were given and she had the opportunity to inspect the tent before purchase, which she declined.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Find Solicitors offering fixed fees on our sister site - JustBeagle.com

  20. #20
    Diana M's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Do you have a copy of your ad on ebay so the exact wording of your 'offer' can be analysed? This might shed some light on her legal expectations. How did you describe the tent such as pre-owned, only used once, simple to inflate, no extras (e.g pump) needed, excellent conditon etc etc.

    When you buy privately the requirement under the Consumer Rights Act for goods to be of 'satisfactory quality and fit for purpose' doesn't apply. But they should be 'as described'.

    If the the goods (i.e. the tent) weren't as described then she could argue breach of contract. Fortunately for you she appears not to have taken legal advice since she's not pleaded breach of contract in those POC.

    So how did you describe the tent?

    In the POC she says she purchased the tent "and sundry items". What were those sundry items and were they included in the £750 i.e. that sum wasn't just to cover the cost of the tent hence the reason she's claiming a lessor sum?

    Were any of the sundry items related/relevant to the tent and the way it functions?

    I don't know whether it's true or not that as a direct result of the tent malfunction they had to sleep in the car but if a lawyer were advising her they might have suggested a claim for damages for the loss of a ruined family holiday on top of a refund for the tent..

    However from what you say it may have been a case of 'pilot error' (using the wrong kind of pump) although that's only your "suspicion" since you weren't there to witness it.

    From what I've read so far this is a case which can hopefully be settled at Mediation (a free telephone service offered by the court). So far there seems to be a lack of tangible evidence on either side - it's a case of 'he said she said'.

    During Mediation you can ask for all sorts of things to be agreed not just a settlement of the financial issue. You could ask that she gives an undertaking to remove all negative feedback about you on ebay/social media especially if you use ebay a lot so your reputation matters.

    Mediation is legally binding but not a CCJ.

    Just my thoughts

    Di
    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

    This forum’s site rules don’t allow me to give advice by PM but if you need to contact me please email di@joannaconnollysolicitors.co.uk. Our initial advice is always free.


    Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any advice I provide is without liability. If you are unsure please seek formal legal guidance or contact your local citizens advice bureau at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

  21. #21
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Quote Originally Posted by Diana M View Post
    Do you have a copy of your ad on ebay so the exact wording of your 'offer' can be analysed? This might shed some light on her legal expectations. How did you describe the tent such as pre-owned, only used once, simple to inflate, no extras (e.g pump) needed, excellent conditon etc etc.

    When you buy privately the requirement under the Consumer Rights Act for goods to be of 'satisfactory quality and fit for purpose' doesn't apply. But they should be 'as described'.

    If the the goods (i.e. the tent) weren't as described then she could argue breach of contract. Fortunately for you she appears not to have taken legal advice since she's not pleaded breach of contract in those POC.

    So how did you describe the tent?

    In the POC she says she purchased the tent "and sundry items". What were those sundry items and were they included in the £750 i.e. that sum wasn't just to cover the cost of the tent hence the reason she's claiming a lessor sum?

    Were any of the sundry items related/relevant to the tent and the way it functions?

    I don't know whether it's true or not that as a direct result of the tent malfunction they had to sleep in the car but if a lawyer were advising her they might have suggested a claim for damages for the loss of a ruined family holiday on top of a refund for the tent..

    However from what you say it may have been a case of 'pilot error' (using the wrong kind of pump) although that's only your "suspicion" since you weren't there to witness it.

    From what I've read so far this is a case which can hopefully be settled at Mediation (a free telephone service offered by the court). So far there seems to be a lack of tangible evidence on either side - it's a case of 'he said she said'.

    During Mediation you can ask for all sorts of things to be agreed not just a settlement of the financial issue. You could ask that she gives an undertaking to remove all negative feedback about you on ebay/social media especially if you use ebay a lot so your reputation matters.

    Mediation is legally binding but not a CCJ.

    Just my thoughts

    Di
    Hi,
    I have taken a look on my ebay but its disappeared off my sold items due to the time scale, i basically said it was in perfect condition and only used 3 times since new and came as a full camping set up, the sundry items included things like tables, air beds, chairs, cooking items etc, she got around £1500 worth of goods when they were new, i listed it all for £950 and took a best offer of £750, the only evidence i have is that one of the close up pictures she sent me of the burst inflation valve had a bundle of mixed inflation valves in the background, this is something seen on a universal pump which can be used to inflate air beds and inflatable balls etc thats what made me think that another pump had been used
    Thanks

  22. #22
    ostell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    So you have reasonable evidence that the wrong pump had been used, contrary to your advice and the instructions on the tent.

  23. #23
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Yes it certainly looks like another pump in the background of the picture, i'm pretty sure the proper tent pump has only one nozzle attached to it and not a mixture for use on other inflatable items

  24. #24
    tolson7's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Ok so i now have the questionnaire from the court asking if i want to use the mediation service, i do feel strongly about defending my case so is it a good idea to use the service or just go straight to the hearing? that's if the claimant agrees too of course

  25. #25
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disputing A County Court Claim

    Agree to mediation as you must appear to be reasonable.

    The mediation is carried out via telephone through the mediator.
    You will not speak directly to the other party.

    Just to be pragmatic it could be worthwhile offering a little just to avoid the hassle of going to court.
    Set yourself a figure below which you won't go, stick to it and see what happens.

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