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Thread: Contractual Dispute

  1. #1
    Crystalline Entity's Avatar
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    Contractual Dispute

    Anybody have any thoughts?

    The story:
    Aunt went to talk to an accupuncture walk in shop and paid 10 for a discussion about her shoulder. Aunt explained she had Frozen shoulder and they asked for 80 for a one off session.

    She had the session which was painful. At the end, on the doctors couch she was told that she needed 15 more sessions as her injury was so bad. Half naked and very groggy after the treatment, she was told she could have a ‘package ‘ which would save her a lot of money. The card machine was produced and she put in her card.

    She found out she had spent 1345. She contacted the doctors and explained that she was bruised and in much greater pain after the session and with less movement than before. The clinic told her it often got worse than it got better which was why she needed 15 more sessions. Then they refused to offer her a refund.

    She asked to see the contract and they sent over the attached 'Registration Form'

    Edit: For clarity, she signed this form BEFORE anything was done to her.

    Edit 2: She paid 10 for a consultation, she then paid 80 for the first session, then she paid 1345 for 15 more... to clarify





    So far: I have thought about undue influence and duress, which I don't think quite fit with the definitions set down. I asked if they subjected her to wacky 'eastern smokes' or hallucinogens.. she said no, the treatment was more needles and heat.

    The practise doesn't belong to an 'official' chinese accupuncture society but there is one. I have browsed through the Sale of Goods Act, I admit not massive depth..but didn't see anything that could help her get a refund.

    Brother suggested trading standards, Aunt tried but they direct her to the CAB who say they might be able to get back to her in 3 weeks.. and her bank says if the transaction isnt fraudulent they won't reverse it...

    I think she has been the victim of hard selling and she should live and learn

    So yeah, looking for thoughts or advice?
    Last edited by Crystalline Entity; August 21 2014 at 10:14:33 AM.
    "I think we could all do with sitting back a bit and detaching ourselves from the situation to really think about how these issues reflect on our future and how we discuss them here and be a bit less aggressive or defensive because everyone has a complicated set of circumstances that has led the to place importance on particular issues and it doesn't meany any of them is less valid, we just need to look at the broader picture"

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  2. #2
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    So she actually paid it? And after having been told the price?
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  3. #3
    Keorythe's Avatar
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    There is nothing on that form that says she agreed to 15 treatments.

    "Unless there is fundamental fault with the treatments" - What is fundamental fault exactly?

    There is a lot of chinese gibberish on the registration form. Why is it not in legible english and what does it mean?

    That wouldn't really hold up too well even in American courts. But the big question is: Is it cheaper to eat the cost and go to the treatments or is it cheaper to hire a lawyer and fight it? What legal options do you have available that are cheaper than 1345?

  4. #4
    Donor TheManFromDelmonte's Avatar
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    For that much money I'd do a charge back and argue it in court. But if you've already agreed with the bank it's not a chargeback situation you can't change your mind now.

    That's a really, really shitty way to do business though. Even for a placebo seller like acupunturists.

  5. #5
    Melichor's Avatar
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    If you fight it you can probably recoup legal fees if you win right? Also it may be easy win due to your mom's age and a spotlight on elderly abuse

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  6. #6
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Can the firm produce a bill of sale for the 1345 quid? If not, it's possibly fraud. Thought I doubt you will get anything back, even if you went to small claims court.

    Your best bet is to take the matter to the press and get some small publicity. Asians will not patronize an establishment that is unscrupulous and dishonest. That pressure alone might make them cough up.
    Last edited by Nordstern; August 15 2014 at 12:58:10 AM.
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  7. #7
    Ask me about midgets Donor Mendolorian Girl's Avatar
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    small claims court is your best option.. odds are they'll cave as soon as they receive the summons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Just goes to show how lowbrow the tastes of the British public are.

  8. #8
    Donor TheManFromDelmonte's Avatar
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    The small claims limit was changed. I don't think this would be small claims now.

  9. #9
    Ask me about midgets Donor Mendolorian Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheManFromDelmonte View Post
    The small claims limit was changed. I don't think this would be small claims now.
    the small claims limit was increased http://bit.ly/1oUCsdx
    irony1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Just goes to show how lowbrow the tastes of the British public are.

  10. #10
    Donor TheManFromDelmonte's Avatar
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    My mistake! Good to know.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Global Moderator QuackBot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheManFromDelmonte View Post
    My mistake! Good to know.
    Thats good to know.

  12. #12

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    At least in the US, if the contract language is vague it is interpreted against the person who wrote it. I.e. "Unless there is fundamental fault with the treatments" is vague and therefore worth arguing that since the pair got worse, it is fundamentally flawed.

    Another part of contract law is that there must be "a meeting of the minds" which means that both parties need to understand what they are agreeing to. It sounds like she had no idea how much they were going to charge, so there is another point of contention that could stick. Considering that it was 80 for 1 session, that 15x80 is only 1200, and that she "was getting a deal" with the 1345 package, there is another thing that points to this being bogus.

    Do you have a consumer protection agency, nonprofit or governmental? They should be able to help you out. Going to the media is good too.

    This sort of shady business practice relies on people just accepting the 'hard sell'. Don't be one of the suckers that propagates this shitty behavior.
    Last edited by Ort Lofthus; August 16 2014 at 05:05:45 AM.

  13. #13
    balistic void's Avatar
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    Just get her to do a chargeback. Ring card company up, solved. Say they took money which was not authorised.

    So easy to do this... My local GP in Ireland refuses to take card payments anymore for this reason.

  14. #14
    Crystalline Entity's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

    Cheers
    "I think we could all do with sitting back a bit and detaching ourselves from the situation to really think about how these issues reflect on our future and how we discuss them here and be a bit less aggressive or defensive because everyone has a complicated set of circumstances that has led the to place importance on particular issues and it doesn't meany any of them is less valid, we just need to look at the broader picture"

    Smuggo - Brexit Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crystalline Entity View Post
    Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

    Cheers
    What they gave her, or what you are sharing is a receipt for a 10 pound consultation fee, which is non-refundable blah blah blah. I see nothing about the session she received nor the 15 future sessions she paid for. Unless there is something else contractual she signed they need to give the money back.

  16. #16
    Crystalline Entity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenta View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Crystalline Entity View Post
    Thanks for the input guys, p much as I expected.

    Cheers
    What they gave her, or what you are sharing is a receipt for a 10 pound consultation fee, which is non-refundable blah blah blah. I see nothing about the session she received nor the 15 future sessions she paid for. Unless there is something else contractual she signed they need to give the money back.
    ....there is a whole post there that I am not going to TD;LR...
    "I think we could all do with sitting back a bit and detaching ourselves from the situation to really think about how these issues reflect on our future and how we discuss them here and be a bit less aggressive or defensive because everyone has a complicated set of circumstances that has led the to place importance on particular issues and it doesn't meany any of them is less valid, we just need to look at the broader picture"

    Smuggo - Brexit Thread

  17. #17

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    You cannot sign away a right. Most countries have consumer protection laws that protect people from things like this, by enforcing a "cool down" period. So after signing a contract, you have 14 days or whatever to cancel, regardless if the paper says "no refunds" or not. I'd call up your applicable agency and explain the situation.

    My dad signed something similar. He went to a "cooking workshop" and ended up buying $3000 of cheap pots and pans. They literally locked everyone in a room and gave them a 3 hour show that ended with everyone signing up. After coming to his senses, we returned the stuff, wrote them a letter explaining that the transactin was void, and that was the end of it.

    Also, that paper means nothing as she signed it with the understanding it was for just the one treatment or consultation or whatever. I don't see why you could sign something that voids your rights for all further transactions.

    So:

    1. cancel the transaction, chargeback, whatever.
    2. if you really want to cover your bases, write a letter formally declining the services, explain under section <applicable section> of <the UK consumer protection act> the contract is null and void. Several angles you could take: your aunt was under duress, in pain from both her injury and the painful treatment. She was not in a state of mind to agree to any contract. They lied about saving money, as someone else said the math doesn't add up. UK must have a cool down period for contracts, so you can probably cancel it anyway. Get a note from her doctor saying the treatment is fundamentally flawed. They can't prove that it works (it doesn't). Lots of things you can do.
    3. send it registered mail, and save a copy
    4. you'll never hear from them again, end of story.
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  18. #18
    Super Maderator DonorGlobal Moderator Hels's Avatar
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    I got a couple stories from the pacific and Asians giving me hard sales.

  19. #19
    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    The obvious thing to do here would be to tell her credit card company she authorised a 90 payment and the larger sum is therefore fraudulent, and then following the chargeback let the company try to sue (they wont). Don't admit that she agreed the 1345 payment (don't try to claim she did but was groggy etc, just say she didnt).

    She hasnt signed a contract. That registration form is merely a release of liabilility and doesnt in any way constitute an obligation to pay for 15 sessions. This kind of situation is why credit cards are awesome - tell them its fraud and let them fight it out.

    Is there some reason she cant do the above?

  20. #20
    metacannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool09 View Post
    You cannot sign away a right. Most countries have consumer protection laws that protect people from things like this, by enforcing a "cool down" period. So after signing a contract, you have 14 days or whatever to cancel, regardless if the paper says "no refunds" or not. I'd call up your applicable agency and explain the situation.

    My dad signed something similar. He went to a "cooking workshop" and ended up buying $3000 of cheap pots and pans. They literally locked everyone in a room and gave them a 3 hour show that ended with everyone signing up. After coming to his senses, we returned the stuff, wrote them a letter explaining that the transactin was void, and that was the end of it.

    Also, that paper means nothing as she signed it with the understanding it was for just the one treatment or consultation or whatever. I don't see why you could sign something that voids your rights for all further transactions.

    So:

    1. cancel the transaction, chargeback, whatever.
    2. if you really want to cover your bases, write a letter formally declining the services, explain under section <applicable section> of <the UK consumer protection act> the contract is null and void. Several angles you could take: your aunt was under duress, in pain from both her injury and the painful treatment. She was not in a state of mind to agree to any contract. They lied about saving money, as someone else said the math doesn't add up. UK must have a cool down period for contracts, so you can probably cancel it anyway. Get a note from her doctor saying the treatment is fundamentally flawed. They can't prove that it works (it doesn't). Lots of things you can do.
    3. send it registered mail, and save a copy
    4. you'll never hear from them again, end of story.
    This, also CC chargeback say you authorised 90 bux and they charged 1.3k

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