Small claims for money owed

  Garfield2 09:20 20 Jul 2006

If any of you are frustrated and feel you are owed money by stores such as PC World, Dixons, Currys etc due to faulty products or their unwillingness to replace items, it is really easy to file a claim. Try to sort it out locally if you can and keep any letters, logs of conversations in person or on the phone and who you spoke to. If local resolution fails, go to your local county court and get a form for money owed (small claims if less than 5k), pay a fee (could be up to £100 initially for a small claim) and then file the papers. They cough up sooner or later. Honest. They will argue hotly of course but if you are persistent (and willing to take a little risk) go for it! Try and find out if anyone has had similar experiences. This forum and web site is a good place to start. You don't always have to settle for vouchers or replacement products.

  namtas 10:00 20 Jul 2006

It may well be that for you, doing as advised above gets a smart result with little effort, but this only happens if the party you are suing caves in and stumps up.

It does not all go this way and you might well have to go the full course, this then becomes a time consuming and precise exercise. From my experience not for the faint hearted.

  Garfield2 10:34 20 Jul 2006

I wouldn't say it's little effort, but you are right about being given a hard time but if you feel you have been wronged it is worth it. You have to be smart about the situation and what can be gained from it otherwise they will argue that you are trying to benefit from the claim. It does help if you are a good communicator and have access to legal advice.

  €dstowe 10:46 20 Jul 2006

"If any of you are frustrated and feel you are owed money by - - -"

"if you feel you have been wronged"

Sorry but you have to KNOW these things, not just have a "feeling" about them.

Any store or business concern will vigorously defend themselves if they know that they are in the right.

Before you go filling in court papers, make absolutely certain of your facts and figures. Otherwise you could find yourself very much financially embarrassed even if it is only the small claims court.

  Garfield2 10:59 20 Jul 2006

I had a feeling I was being wronged. I pursued the matter which led to knowledge and a claim and I got more than I expected. Yes, you do need the knowledge but you won't get it by giving up and being pessimistic and passive about it. Yes, you do need to be certain that the company you are suing has done something wrong. You should be able to get advice on what to do in any event, e.g CAB, or if you get free legal advice through your union or other channels.

  anchor 11:29 20 Jul 2006

Here is a list of the current scale of fees:

click here

  spuds 12:16 20 Jul 2006

Feeling that you have been wronged, cannot always justify that you follow up with a small claims procedure. Always make sure that you have researched the complaint and the person or company that you wish to take action against.

There's nothing more demoralising, than going the full circle,winning the case, then having the loser totally ignoring the small claims court ruling.

  Garfield2 12:48 20 Jul 2006

You all make very valid points about caution, don't get me wrong. My message is don't give up at the first hurdle, that's all. Garf.

  €dstowe 13:50 20 Jul 2006

Let me put this from the viewpoint of someone who was recently involved on the receiving end of a small claim.

A (now ex-) supplier claimed that I had not paid for a delivery of paper I had ordered for a special run. It wasn't a large amount - £4,500 (ish). I knew I had paid and I had all the invoices, receipts and bank statements to prove it. Try as I might, I couldn't persuade the other party to believe me so I was taken to the small claims court. I didn't actually attend myself, I employ people to do that for me but, cutting out a load of boring detail, I came away with my reputation intact, all my expenses paid and an amount of compensation that made the procedure worthwhile.

This was all caused by some office junior being, shall we say, less than diligent in their job and not caring about any consequences.

The small claims court does not represent a procedure where the body bringing the action automatically wins - which is the impression given in your starter post of this thread. This is why I pointed out things in the way I did in my first contribution here.

  Garfield2 14:17 20 Jul 2006

"The small claims court does not represent a procedure where the body bringing the action automatically wins" - that's true and apols for misleading anyone, not intended. Got my money today for what I at first thought was a lost cause so was feeling 'trigger happy' when I started this thread earlier! Thanks for sharing your story

  duncy d 16:13 24 Aug 2006

For those of you who want free onling legal advice I can recommend click here. It is a very clear informative site which provides a free step by step guide. They also offer free advice and apparently will soon be offering free podcasts which will give advice on a load of subjects again all free!!! The only thing you have to pay for is a DVD which gives a short 20 minute guide on everything you need to know about the small claims court. There is talk on the site of also offering employment and family advice as well. There is nothing on the site at the moment but I emailed them with a query and got a response on it. Good stuff and all free. There are some good solicitors out there !!!

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