NCH member and former accountant Trevor Bedford took on a dodgy sales team and won. Here is how he did it.
To continue the discussion raised in past journals, where letters and articles have warned of the dangers of placing advertising with cold calling organisations and not receiving the service and/or being overcharged, I would like to admit that I too was caught but managed to get my money back.
I received a call from a company, purporting to represent Google and as I was too lazy to use the advice in your journal on how to get my website on the front page, I decided to invest in their offer to do it for me for the sum of £99 for one month to get at least 15 more clients. Once trapped, the cost moved to £142 for the administration and I handed over my credit card details.
Subsequently reading an article in Hypnotherapy Journal, I realised I may just have been caught in a scam, so monitored my listing (their promised service) with the help of friends. I never appeared on the front page as contracted, but I did receive numerous calls from them offering to upgrade my contract, covering other specialised areas, which I politely declined.
At this stage I cancelled my credit card and wrote them an email asking for the contract to be terminated and my money returned as they had not delivered the promised service. After three emails, I never got even one courtesy reply. I now started to be gracefully assertive when they phoned me, telling them I was about to take legal action, so please stop the unsolicited calls. The calls did not stop. Luckily, in a previous life I was a chartered accountant (don’t stop reading now, it is getting exciting) and so I was aware of my rights and quick and cheap legal processes.
There is a truly great government website (not a contradiction I promise) www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. If you register, you can use it as a small claims system for the princely sum of £25, which is fully reclaimed from the person or body you are claiming from. I registered my claim for the full amount and pressed submit. Two days later I received a call from a very irate young man, asking who I thought I was taking this action. Remaining relaxed and calm, I explained my case, despite his constant indignation. He requested I withdraw the claim, which made me even more happy and relaxed.
We ended the call with him left with no option but to comply with the letter of the law. Two days later, the money was in my account and the company followed it up gracefully to enquire if I was now a happy customer; I explained I was a happy ex-customer. Being curious, I asked him the miracle question, could they improve their happiness by providing a better service? The clerk on the other side replied that they had lots of complaints and was in complete awe of my accomplishment, informing me that they had never repaid any customer, I was the first.
In the event of the defendant disagreeing with the claim, I was happy to spend a morning in court representing myself at no cost and had no real worry about having to win the case. So, remain solution focused and brief. Good luck.
Trevor Bedford HPD, Clinical Hypnotherapist. Website: www.naturalhealthnetwork.co.uk.