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Retailer gone into liquidation, service not delivered, Finance Company refuses refund

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  • Retailer gone into liquidation, service not delivered, Finance Company refuses refund

    Hi, I need some advice with regards suing based on Section 75 Consumer Credit Act.

    BACKGROUND

    I purchased a course from Retailer LTD CO financed by a Finance Company. The course was purchased in August 2018, to start in March 2019. The cost of the course was over £5,000.

    In the pre-contract information, pre-contract and the contract itself which I have signed in August it is clearly stated that "The loan may only be used for the purchase of the goods or services that you have selected from the retailer who is the Credit Intermediary named in Pre-Contract."

    In November 2018 the retailer named in the pre-contract and contract has gone into voluntary liquidation with debts over £200,000. A new company was formed with the same director as a previous retailer, offering more or less the same/similar courses.

    I have decided I do not want to take up the course from the new company and in December 2018 asked for refund from the Finance Company for the monies paid so far (around £2,000) based on the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, because the retailer/supplier of the service is not able to provide the service as it has gone into voluntary liquidation three months prior to service being due.

    The Finance Company rejected my claim saying the courses are still happening by the new company and completely ignoring it is a different brand new LTD company that is not part of my contract.

    I have then lodged my claim with the Financial Ombudsman in January 2019, and have now received their decision that, whilst they acknowledge the contract is breached, they felt the Finance Company has provided a suitable alternative which I must accept. The response was that "As the finance provider, the Finance Company has the responsibility to ensure that the alternative course that is offered is one that is like for like of the previous." and that I must accept the alternate course by alternate provider instead.

    I have scrutinised the pre-contract and contract and it nowhere mentions any possibility of any alternative if the original supplier is not able to provide the service. I have informed Financial Ombudsman that I do not accept their decision.

    QUESTION

    I believe my next steps now are issuing the Finance Company the "Letter Before Action" and pursue the matter through Small Claims Court. I am prepared to do this, but I would like to know is there any chance that the court would say I have to accept the alternate course? Clearly, the contract has been breached, this was acknowledged by Financial Ombudsman, is this enough to win the case on the Small Claims Court?

    I am not asking for any damages, I am just asking for my money back.

    I would like to add that I am still paying Finance Company every month because I do not want to damage my credit rating, but I have written to them and to Financial Ombudsman that I am paying under protest and that I will be
    asking in my claim for all monies back which I have paid so far.

    I would value your opinions.
    Tags: None

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