Friday, 1 January 2010

Gill's Story

Me and my partner own a pub in Cambridgeshire. On the 23rd of November 2006 we asked for a rep from rta to come to see us, we had flown in from Spain as the people renting the pub wanted to come out so we decided to sell it.The salesman arrived and the first thing he said was I need an upfront fee. We said we can,t give you anything so he said he would up the withdrawel to £6000 + vat. We did ask him what this involved and he said as long as you do a year you don,t pay the withdrawel fee. The money is just to cover there costs.I myself initialed the changes on the contract but my partner didn,t. I think this is why they only took me to court. They valued our pub at £470,000 which we thought was excessive it is wet sales only it has a three bedroom apartment upstairs and a beer garden and car park.We reckon it was £100,000 to much, we had one viewing in the twelve months and they had to get our number from Bt because rta didn,t send them any details so they stopped asking and got the number themselves. After that we had no more phone calls so in October 2007 we sent a registered letter informing them that as from the 23rd of November we no longer required them to advertise our property. They sent us a letter asking for £6000 + vat about a month later which we ignored because the rep told us if you do twelve months you don,t pay. They then sent us another saying they had passed our debt onto a debt collector who sent us a letter asking for £7400, which we ignored. In January 2008 rta rang us and said they had a Mr Johnson who wanted to look round the pub. I told them that he couldn,t because we were no longer on there books, the girl told me yes you are as you havent paid the withdrawel fee. I told her I wasn,t paying because of what the rep said and she said she would contact there legal department, so I said carry on. We then received about a month later a bill for £20,000 + vat, because we had stopped them earning there commision. When I was back in England I contacted our solicitor who said he had to read the contract four times before he understood it and that we shouldn,t have signed it. Then rta decided to take us to court in the small claims which is no more than £5000. The first hearing had to be adjourned in front of Judge Farquot because our solicitor forgot to tell us we had to be there and we were in Spain. Rta tried to claim £1000 expenses which the judge said was excessive and awarded them £200.

We went back to court the 16th of September in front of judge Dak at Huntingdon county court, when we won using the 1999 consumer protection act as a defence. They appealed and on the 28th of October we went Peterborough county court in front of judge De Mille,we won and were only awarded £80 costs for one flight for me from Spain. I have now received the letter with the cheque from them and have framed it. We have suffered for three years with this and now its time for other people to use our defence and make them pay. I will do everything I can to help other people to take them to court, I have already had many people contact me for information.

You can see Gill's full details of her case here

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