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  1. #1
    houseremovals's Avatar

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    Default I have been scammed by a devious customer

    Good morning I have a problem customer and not sure the best way of resolving this.

    I was instructed by a customer to pack up their house and carry out the removal which was done on Friday 17th November and the customer refused to pay my driver after he unloaded with all types of excuses, apparently we left two storage boxes behind in Cornwall so she refused to pay us saying the job isn't complete and also she was not happy with the way the boxes had been packed etc etc, It was a 370 mile round trip

    She also wanted details of my insurers as she wanted to put in a claim but sounds like she just trying it on, in fact I am convinced she is as no claim has been put in and no evidence of any damage has to been sent to me

    The job was for £1,350 and she paid a 10% deposit agreeing to pay the balance immediately on completion.

    Anyway I got the scammer to pay half by bank transfer and she agreed to pay the rest when she received further delivery of the 2 outside boxes that we apparently left even though they were not on my itinerary.

    Text message exchange between us

    James, our two outside storage boxes weren't delivered. They were left unlocked for packing and are now in Helston unattended with my husband's tools, lawnmower etc for anyone to take. I'm also really unhappy with the care taken with our goods which were stuffed into boxes and bags. Damage to shoes, nest of tables, baby mat evident already. I will ring you tomorrow when we've fully unpacked and assessed if there is any further damage, take photos and ring you then to discuss.


    Liz I'm sorry to hear this. Any damage will have to go through our insurers. Out the bag of the property are two large boxes which were pad locked there was also a large toolbox which had a note on it leave in Cornwall. On that basis can you make payment please as Jon has a 1/4 tank of fuel and I need to pay my workers as it stated all to be paid immediately on completion. Please do report any damage to me via email. Lots of bubble wrap was used. Sorry that you are not satisfied.. regards James


    Those outside boxes are not on the itinerary. If Adam can wait I can get them to him on the 28th at the latest.


    Padlocks were unlocked. I did this so know it was definitely done. It was the clear plastic box under the toolbox that was to be left in Cornwall. On that basis I'll transfer half tonight, assess damage tomorrow and ring you then. When you came to view the job we went outside and showed you the boxes. In the meantime please email me the process for going through your insurers so we can start that process Monday. The 28th is too late as we have to leave the house in Helston by Wednesday.


    I've lodged £607.50


    Jon is travelling to kings Lynn Norfolk. Leaving Cornwall at 3am on Wednesday 22nd so this could be dropped to you either en route or on the way back from there which will probably be late evening. So they could be picked up from Helston either Monday or Tuesday. Why are you withholding payment and when will this be paid as it supposed to be in one lump sum. I will email you details of our insurers as requested.

    I am due to start another job by midday. Witholding cause's massive problems and has a huge ripple effect on me and my next customer who I won't be able to move as I don't have the finance's to fund it. Please do send me an email with any supporting evidence of anything you claim was damaged due to us and I will get it across to my insurers. Please can you transfer the outstanding balance which you agreed to pay immediately upon completion. Many thanks James


    James, the move isn't completed. We still have goods in Helston. I will get my husband to leave the back gate open Tuesday evening so John can pack and then deliver the remaining items to us on Wednesday. Looking at the email, who sends all the paperwork to the insurers as I don't have some of the information. As far as I am concerned the job is not complete (damages aside).


    The weighing scales fell out of the truck when the door was opened because it was so stuffed. I'm not going to claim for the scales.


    We took what we were instructed to take unless you have any evidence to support your claim. I deal with the insurer. I am delivering these as a good will gesture. I don't like an unhappy customer. Please could you pay me what's owed and I will ensure they are delivered as agreed. Thanks


    I'm beyond an unhappy customer. I'd have looked past the expected evening delivery leaving our drive at 10.30pm, the insufficient packing boxes and material, our items stuffed not packed, the stress of thinking my husband and I would have to unload, when not physically capable, because the van was overloaded had all our goods been delivered. I will not be paying until all goods are delivered. I'll also be seeking advice from my solicitor on Monday regarding this

    Then a few days later.......................

    We picked up the boxes from her garden at around 4am and drove to Bristol and my driver dropped it off to her and was instructed to get payment,, she then gives him a brown envelope with a cheque in saying "paid under protest"

    So I sent her a message saying

    Hi Liz unfortunately I don't have a business account so I can't do anything with the cheque you gave to Jon this morning. I am a very tiny business and the £607.50 outstanding is causing me a considerable strain and a lot of stress trying to get it. Can you put a stop on the cheque and as a goodwill gesture and because I am in dire straights financially I will accept £500 in full and final settlement of outstanding if you can pay the balance by bank transfer same as when you initially paid me. Many thanks James


    Hi James, my solicitor advised payment via cheque with 'paid under dispute' cited. She has also advised proceeding with 'service not provided with reasonable care and skill' under the consumer rights act of 2015. The initial step in this process is to discuss a price reduction with the trader. I also want a speedy resolve to this and am willing to lodge £250 today, stop the cheque and any further proceedings should you agree to this. Please let me know how you would like to proceed. Regards, Liz


    Hi Liz I have no option but to accept the £250. Thanks James


    Hi James, I've put a stop on the cheque and lodged £250 in final settlement. Regards, Liz.



    Sorry its long ladies and gents but its important to give you the full story, I feel she has ripped me off and its a lot of money for me to lose.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    thedirtyhound's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    Well you totally had her by the balls when she gave you the cheque, for had you paid it in and the cheque had not been honoured you could have sued for the cheque alone, for which there is no defence in law other than fraud or total failure of consideration.

    You are a business (with insurance) but you do not have a business bank account? That's very strange. You must have some kind of bank account? Why didn't you pay the cheque into that?

    You appear to have caved in to this lady at every point down the line, settling in the end for £250.00. Your words "I have no option but to accept the £250.00".

    Bluntly, she's had you and got away with it.

    I'll give you a tip. Next time, if the client doesn't pay you up front, don't do the job!

  3. #3
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    Well I think that's been a big tough lesson for the future, take photos of the property and all items/boxes etc in situ particularly any notes, before packing, and take photos of a finished packed box/crate and the loaded vehicle. Get a business account so you can accept cheques ( you can get a trading as account easily which will enable you to accept cheques made out to the company name ) and a paypal account might be a plan as people like to pay by card for the protection that offers rather than bank transfer ( and cash isn't viable for large invoices ) Also in your email chain, you let her know she had you over a barrell which is why you ended up having to accept the low amount without any evidence of issues with the actual work you did.

    You have now agreed that £250 was in full and final settlement so that sadly is the end of the matter. On the plus side it seems you also won't have to sort anything out with insurers for the alleged damaged goods.

    Overall she's paid £995 of the £1350 quote ?
    Is paying 10% upfront standard ? can you amend your terms to 50% upfront ?
    do you get the quote and itinerary agreed and signed by the customer first ?


    ( crossed posts with dirtyhound - glad he agrees, I felt like I might be being a bit hard on you )
    “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.

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  4. #4
    houseremovals's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    There is nothing strange about not having a business account dirty hound, If you are not on the voters roll its a no go.

    All is done through my personal account of which she transferred the initial 10% deposit and then half of the balance when goods were delivered.

    Her husband was/is in the RAF and i thought they would be of good character, how naive I am,

  5. #5
    thedirtyhound's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    The more you say, the more in a way the plot thinkens!

    Why are you not on the Electoral Register?

    Is it actually compulsory. Furthermore, it now operates on a rolling basis. Up until quite recently it was compiled once a year and that was it. But now you can go on it as soon as you move house.

    With regard to the cheque, why didn't you get her to make it out in your name? Then you could have paid it in to your personal account.

    I'm also being serious for a minute when I say this. Dealing with a business that doesn't have a business account and an individual who isn't on the Electoral Register would not fill me with confidence! I always want to know exactly who I'm dealing with, ie limited company, partnership or sole trader.

  6. #6
    MIKE770's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    called on the lump??

  7. #7
    houseremovals's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    You are missing the point here and going off on a tangent, Keep in line lad!

  8. #8
    houseremovals's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    Hi Amethyst

    No the 10% isnt standard, some ask for the whole lot to be paid upfront, whilst others ask for 50% upfront 50% on completion, I feel I have been naive and foolish and certainly too trusting. The initial itinerary wasnt agreed by the customer it was for my own use, Thanls for your advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    Well I think that's been a big tough lesson for the future, take photos of the property and all items/boxes etc in situ particularly any notes, before packing, and take photos of a finished packed box/crate and the loaded vehicle. Get a business account so you can accept cheques ( you can get a trading as account easily which will enable you to accept cheques made out to the company name ) and a paypal account might be a plan as people like to pay by card for the protection that offers rather than bank transfer ( and cash isn't viable for large invoices ) Also in your email chain, you let her know she had you over a barrell which is why you ended up having to accept the low amount without any evidence of issues with the actual work you did.

    You have now agreed that £250 was in full and final settlement so that sadly is the end of the matter. On the plus side it seems you also won't have to sort anything out with insurers for the alleged damaged goods.

    Overall she's paid £995 of the £1350 quote ?
    Is paying 10% upfront standard ? can you amend your terms to 50% upfront ?
    do you get the quote and itinerary agreed and signed by the customer first ?


    ( crossed posts with dirtyhound - glad he agrees, I felt like I might be being a bit hard on you )

  9. #9
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    Sorry @houseremovals - sadly some people just take advantage if they sense they can get away with it xxx You need to cover your own back too.
    “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

  10. #10
    beaconsman's Avatar

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    Default Re: I have been scammed by a devious customer

    Seems cheap compared to our house move in 2006! 12 miles, large house, small garden to a smaller end terraced house in a rural area with huge garden. I'd hate to move now ..with a full workshop at the end of my garden. I think back then it was around the £900 mark if not more.

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