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Cancelled an order less than 24h later and being taken to court for 30% of the value

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  • Cancelled an order less than 24h later and being taken to court for 30% of the value

    i made an appointment with a bespoke Taylor for wedding suits, we attended a meeting which was advertised as a free of charge consultation. we showed a picture of what we wanted and was told this was a load of rubbish and would not suit us. the man was intelligent and very well spoken and very insistent, it was early evening and we were locked into the shop. he asked if he could dress us in suits to show us, we said OK and then he pit some jackets and trousers on us and started taking measurements. we didn't like the suits or the look or the colour.

    he then presented us with a bill of £3500 for both suits we said we hadn't come to get suits, he was our first and we wanted to get prices from several places, his attitude changed and he became rude and condescending. and demanded we pay as we had agreed to be dressed we agreed to a contract. just to get out of the shop we paid £200 deposit and were made to sign a direct debit mandate but gave incorrect bank details, at this stage he then gave us a receipt but had added on VAT which previously he said was included within the price.

    the following morning i called the store and advised that we wanted to cancel and he said we couldn't as he had ordered the materials, bearing in mind we left his store at 20:00 and i called him at 09:00 the following morning. i asked for the £200 deposit to be refunded. he has now taken us to court for breach of contract for £1900, 30% of the order value, a design fee and court fees.

    the paperwork sent through has been done by a legal firm and we can not afford legal fees to defend, and saying i breached contract and there is no cooling off or cancellation on this type of order

    can someone advise

  • #2
    You can handle this yourself. Have you actually received a claim form from the court? You paid under duress as you were locked in the shop and he wouldn't unlock until you gave him an order. So where is your copy of the alleged contract and what does it say?


    • #3
      Can you tell us the name of this "legal" firm.
      There are numerous outfits around which sound all legal and use legalese to frighten peeps into paying up.
      If you have received proper court papers can you post up word for word the particulars of claim?
      Have you acknowledged the claim?


      • #4
        I have received the direction questionnaire today, there was never any contract just a receipt and the direct debit form which i earlier said we incorrectly filled in. there is no law firm name that i can read (hand written) but the correspondence address is not the business or the directors address

        The defendant is in breach of contract and the claimant seaks damages in reparation.

        Details of Claim: designing two wedding garments for the defendant and his partner taking various detaild measurements as outlined in the attached statement; assessing and noting body shapes and configuration for drafting pattern details for two hand made garments.

        design £472.00, loss of profit £1,110.00, vat £316, court fee £105 total £2,003.40 less £200 paid £1,803.40

        in the statement, it is basically lies about what happened apparently we were extremely happy with the design and when we first arrived we had no idea of what we wanted in the store however it states

        9.1 there is no specific charge for consultations however there is no offer of a free consultation as such
        9..3 the claim that the defendant had to pay a deposit to lave the premises is strenuously denied. this is a shop premises and open to the public
        (i had sent an email to him following the cancellation and had mentioned how threatened we felt. the meeting was in the evening and the store was locked by key from the inside)
        9.4 the defendant signed a direct debit mandate therefore reaffirming that a contractual agreement was made
        9.5 the defendant claimed in correspondence that the addition of VAT was added in a "cunning" way to increase the amount charged, this is denied our prices are always net of vat.
        10.1 This is a firm contractual agreement and is not subject to cancellation
        10.2 This is not a finance agreement or any type of regulated agreement and therefore not subject to a 7 day cooling off period.


        • #5
          What do you mean by Directions Questionnaire? Was this a form from the county court ? Is there a claim number and a court name in the top right hand corner? Can you post up a redacted copy of it please.

          I'm also not sure what is happening here Directions Questionnaire comes after you have submitted a defence. Have you submitted a defence? Can we see it?


          • #6
            no not submitted anything yet, it only arrived yesterday, it is a genuine form as i have called the county court it was assigned to and they confirmed the forms sent were genuine


            • #7
              So normal sequence is you get a claim form, you send a defence to the court then you receive a directions questionaire. Something is out of sequence and not making sense


              • #8
                So go back to the court and tell them you have not received the claim form, you have not acknowledged the claim and you have not filed or served a defence.
                Then ask why you have received a directions questionnaire.
                BY what date do you have to return the Directions Questionnaire?


                • #9
                  I received both the directions questionnaire and claim in the same package. I need to file both back to the court tomorrow. I am just asking how I should set my defence and if there are any legal points I should quote In my defence. I understand that it was done under duress, and done some research, the direct debit form was for another company owned by the claimant and it is registered as non trading company but further research I have found it is a members club. Not admitting that any formal contract was agreed but I would have thought that in any case I would have the right to cancel, the DD mandate would indicate a form of credit agreement and therefore would then be subject to cooling off period??


                  • #10
                    Your defence has to dispute the claim point by point.
                    Start with:
                    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.

                    And end with:
                    Statement of Truth
                    I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.

                    The in between bits are more difficult to advise on as we have not seen the particulars of claim


                    • #11
                      i have managed to get an extension and written the following defence, could i have some advice on it please
                      1. On the 7th March the Defendant contacted the Claimants business contact number, The Defendant spoke to a female whose name was not noted. The Defendant advised that they had recently booked a wedding and were starting the process of looking for wedding suits to be made. A free initial consultation was offered with an appointment at 13:30 on the same day.
                      2. The female employee from the Claimant later called back and advised that the Taylor Mr was unable to make the appointment abs was asked if a 16:00 appointment was suitable, this was accepted.
                      3. The Defendant arrived at the Claimant stores address at approx. 15:45 along with his partner Mr . The door to the shop was locked and there was a Buzzer, this was used and a few moments later a female came up the stairs and opened the door invited the Defendant and Mr into the store and locked the door behind them.
                      4. The Defendant and Mr were taken upstairs, and seated and hot drinks were offered, it was explained that Mr was held up during a hospital appointment and would be there as soon as possible.
                      5. At 16:45 The Defendant and Mr left the upstairs room with the intention of leaving however the door was locked and there was no way of opening it without a key, the female employee must have heard the movement and came upstairs, as she was apologising for the delay Mr arrived. he unlocked the door let himself in and locked the door behind himself.
                      6. The Defendant and Mr were invited back upstairs where further hot drinks were offered, Mr apologised for his tardiness and introduced himself and his business.
                      7. The Defendant and Mr advised My that they were just starting their wedding planning and were in the process of gathering quotations for all the aspects of the wedding, The Defendant advised that he had found a suit they liked but could not find them for sale anywhere and therefore were exploring the options for having them made, a photo of the suit was shown to Mr .
                      8. The Claimant claims in 2.4 of his statement that the Defendant had some ideas but were vague, this is strongly denied we were clear on want we wanted, the exact suit shown with the exception of the waist coats being purple to match the colour scheme.
                      9. Mr explained that a bespoke suit would take hundreds of hours and every detail was hand made even down to making buttons and drilling the buttonholes, he explained that this type of suit would cost in the region of £3,800 each.
                      10. The Defendant and Mr explained that they were sorry for wasting his time as this cost was far more than they expected, Mr then explained that there was the Made to Measure option which removes most of the hand made element and would be in the region of £900 per suit.
                      11. The Claimant claims in 2.5 of his statement that the Defendant had already seen these prices on their website, this is denied and at no point during the meeting was the Claimant website discussed.
                      12. At approx. 18:00 the female member of staff interrupted the meeting to advise she was leaving.
                      13. The Defendants continued to discuss these options with the Claimant , the Claimant asked us to stand so he could examine our body types and how we stood and made comments on our posture.
                      14. The Claimant made comments on our skin colours and told us that Black was not our colour and we should have the suits made in Navy-Blue, the Defendants were clear they did not want Blue suits and were clear that the colour was to be Black.
                      15. Mr then showed the Defendants 3 different Navy-Blue Samples from 2 fabric books and informed the Defendants that there were the best colours, The Defendant ignored these options and continued to state that they wanted Black and asked to see some Black samples.
                      16. The Claimant claims in 4.1 of his statement that some 15,000 fabric samples were offered, this is wholly denied.
                      17. Mr then asked the Claimant if he could dress us to show us what the suits could look like. The Defendant and Mr agreed. Mr went first and was Dressed in Grey trousers and a Navy-Blue Jacket, as he was dressing Mr , he took approx. 15 different measurements. Once Mr was complete the same process was conducted again with Mr.
                      18. Mr then left the Defendant and Mr in the room alone, it was discussed that the Claimant was not taking on board what they wanted, and they agreed to leave and ask for any quotations to be forwarded on.
                      19. After approx. 10 minutes Mr returned with a rough sketch of a suit which did not look anything like the suit shown at the beginning of the meeting, when this was questioned Mr advised that he had changed the design so that after the wedding the tails could be removed so the jacket could be used as an every day suit jacket.
                      20. The Claimant claims in 5.1 of his statement that various changes were made to the design and that we were delighted with the final design. This is strongly denied, and it was made clear to Mr that the suits he was designing were not what we wanted.
                      21. Mr insisted that we trust him and that his suits would look amazing and would be better than what we first said we wanted.
                      22. The Claimant claims in 5.2 of his statement that the design process was aided by samples, this is denied, other than the 3 samples as mentioned earlier in this statement no further samples were offered.
                      23. The Claimant claims in 5.4 of his statement that 48 exact measurements were taken, this is denied. There were 15 measurements taken for the Made to Measure design. This is backed up by the Claimant ’s own website. “Our made to measure suits are a great way to create an individual suit to match your preferences and fit. This process bridges the gap between handmade bespoke and ready to wear suits as it is crafted to fit using a mixture of hand and machine processes. A consultation is conducted where detailed measurements (approximately 15 measurements are collected) are taken and cloth and details are explore”
                      24. Mr then presented us with a quotation of £3,700 for two suits not including the waistcoats or shirts. The Defendant and Mr advised the Claimant that they would be getting other quotes and would decide once all options were explored.
                      25. At this point Mr attitude changed and he became intimidating stating that we agreed to be dressed and therefore the design would cost us £1,100 which he needed to take payment for before we could leave.
                      26. Both the Defendant and Mr felt extremely uncomfortable, especially knowing we were locked in the store alone with Mr , He was pressuring for payment, it was explained that we could not afford a deposit at that time as we had no intention of placing an order straight away.
                      27. Mr asked how much the Defendant had in their bank, he was advised that £200 was available. He asked for the card to take payment. at this stage the Defendant and Mr felt this was the only way to leave the shop safely. Payment of £200 was made.
                      28. Mr then produced a receipt for £200 deposit and the total bill, it was questioned why the price had suddenly gone up from £3,700 total to £3,700 plus £740 VAT which was never explained that his quoted prices were excluding VAT.
                      29. Mr said all his prices were excluding VAT but would not add any further costs for the cost of shirts.
                      30. The Defendant and Mr asked the Claimant if he would open the door to allow them to leave, he said they would need to complete a Direct Debit mandate for monthly payments, the Defendant explained that he wasn’t wanting to set this up yet. Mr said it had to be done now.
                      31. The Form was passed to the Defendant and it was noted that the company it was made out to was ???, it was questioned as to why it was a different company. Mr explained it was a credit company set up by Taylors, so they got paid up front, so they had the money to purchase the materials needed to make the suits.
                      32. The Defendant completed the Direct Debit Mandate but gave an incorrect digit on the account number
                      33. The Claimant claims in 6.1 of his statement that payments in stages was agreed, any such agreement was made under duress.
                      34. The Claimant claims in 6.2 of his statement that order was confirmed with £200 payment, such payment was made under duress.
                      35. At approx. 09:00 on the 8th March the Defendant contacted the Claimant and requested that the order is cancelled as were not happy with the design offered or with regards to being pressured into making a payment. The Claimant requested the Defendant attend the premises to confirm the cancellation and discuss alternatives at 15:00 on the 24th March as the Claimant was going away on holiday.
                      36. At approx. 11:30 the Claimant called the Defendant, he advised that the materials had been ordered. He was questioned as to why the materials were ordered after a cancelation was given. Mr advised the order could not be cancelled. He then stated that for the free shirts we would have to provide him with photos free of copyright. It was explained that we had cancelled the order. The Claimant stated that this could be discussed during the meeting.
                      37. The Claimant claims in 7.1 of his statement that the meeting was arranged for the 9th March and there was no hint of a cancellation. Both points are denied.
                      38. The meeting was attended, and it was made clear to the Claimant that the order was cancelled as from the 8th March as we were not happy with wat was offered however did state that if he could design the suits we actually wanted we would consider his quotation. Mr threatened us to state we couldn’t cancel unless we paid him approx. £1,700 for his time and effort. The meeting ended with a clear understanding that the order was cancelled and that we wanted our deposit returned.
                      39. During the meeting the Claimant stated that the fabric ordered was used on another suit so wasn’t an issue should we decide to continue with him to make a different suit with another fabric.
                      40. The Claimant claims in 7.3 of his statement that the meeting was to revisit the fabric choices, this is denied as is the comment that the Defendant agreed to put the order on hold while alternatives are considered.
                      41. At approx. 21:30 the Defendant sent an email to the Claimant documenting the cancelation and requesting the £200 deposit was returned.
                      42. As no response was received to the email sent, a further email was sent on the 4th April giving a pre action warning that if the deposit was not refunded a we may submit a court claim.
                      43. On the 11th April as there was still no response from the Claimant a text message was sent to his mobile advising that we had send two emails and not received a response.
                      44. The Claimant claims in 9.1 of his statement that there are no offers of a free consultation. This was confirmed during the initial contact that it was a free initial consultation. The Defendant believes that the Claimant entrapped them by using a phrase “will you allow me to dress you” which was agreed to by the Defendant when the Claimant should have been clear that he was entering a chargeable design stage. If this was made clear the Defendant would not have continued the consultation. We have also called the store since posing as another customer and have it recorded that the initial meeting and design service is free of charge.
                      45. The Claimant claims in 9.2 of his statement where the Claimant address the claim of forcing a design as being nonsensical as the Defendant could chose whatever colour or design, they wanted. This is exactly what the Defendant thought would have been offered but was not.
                      46. The Claimant claims in 9.3 of his statement he claims the shop/showroom are open to the public; this may be the case, but the doors remain locked until the buzzer is used and the garment making room is in the basement and the consultation room is upstairs. The initial meeting was late into the evening well after the stores advertised opening hours. The doors were locked for the entirety of our visit. We called since posing as another customer and recorded the conversation where a member of staff confirms the door to the store is locked and only opened to allow access egress when the buzzer is rung.
                      47. The Claimant claims in 9.5 of his statement he makes a comment assuming that the Defendant has visited his website, this was not the case and at no point during the consultation was it ever stated until the receipt was produced that prices were exclusive of VAT.
                      48. The Claimant claims in 10.1 of his statement that a firm contractual agreement was firmed and is not subject to cancellation, the Defendant denies this and maintains that no contractual terms were discussed. Notwithstanding any omission of such contract it would have been made under duress and therefore non-binding.
                      49. The Claimant claims in 10.2 of his statement that this was not a finance agreement and therefore not subject to cooling off period, it was explained by the Claimant in paragraph 31 the Claimant had explained the separate company the direct debit mandate was for acted as a lender and therefore would be subject to a cooling off period. The order was cancelled on the 8th March and then confirmed once again on the 24th March.
                      50. No contract was ever presented to the Defendant and no such contract was signed by the Defendant. No terms or conditions were set out and defined at any time.


                      • #12
                        What you have written is more akin to a witness statement than a defence, and I note in any case you haven't included the wordings suggested in post 10.
                        So you can receive meaningful help please post up redacted copies of all you have received,


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