BEWARE HANDEPAY/ MERCHANT RENTALS CONTRACT!

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Haverhill trader

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Feb 26, 2014
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BEWARE HANDEPAY CONTRACT - Just a warning as I've fallen foul of handepay (Merchant Rentals) contract! I signed a 36 month contract - no problems there as I knew that was the term - this expired in September 2013. I am currently looking to retire and thought I’d save a few pennies for my business and changed to a cheaper credit card rate provider. I sent my written request to cancel contract which they denied receiving it as it was addressed to Handepay merchant services and not Merchant rentals (they are at the same address and all initial correspondence and folders and terminal has Handepay plastered all over it) I then received a very curt phone call advising me that the contract had defaulted as they hadn't received my letter and I needed to write another letter to give them 12 months notice that I wanted to cancel!!! even though the expiry of the 36 months had been paid up (it got very confusing here as they had an answer to everything).
I didn't know at 24 months that I'd not want it to continue so I wouldn't have given notice at that point. Secondly whilst it is in the contract (I now see!) the contract was taken away by the salesman and only returned to me 3 weeks later by which time I just popped it in with all the other stuff they'd sent and thirdly whilst the salesman was very specific about the 36 month term, there was absolutely no mention of this ridiculous "on the dot, 12 months in advance" notice period.
The result is they want £439.06 from me and return the machine to them(which I have)
I don't have the money to pay them as business is defiantly not booming.They won't budge on the contract and have sent numerous demand letter and now red warning letter. So please remember if you go with them to make sure you cancel the contract after 24 months then at the end of the 36 months you can find yourself a new provider who does not have this unfair and unreasonable clause in the contract! and remember to address your letter to Merchant Rentals not Handepay as I did! Should all us small traders get together and ask BBC watchdog to inform traders of this contract. Let me know your thoughts x
:'(
 

kulture

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Aug 11, 2007
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No, don't wait to cancel. Write the cancel letter the day you get the new terminal. This is what their rep recommended to me. Then you should get a confirmation letter confirming the future cancellation. File this together with the full agreement and you are fine. Then in 2-3 years time when the contract is due to expire, and as you have already cancelled it will not automatically renew, you are free to find a new supplier or negotiate a new lower rate with them.

You will find that the vast majority of card machine providers will have a similar contract. You should always read business contracts. You should always get a confirmation of any cancellation. You should always leave enough time before any deadline to get or chase this confirmation.
 
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Haverhill trader

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Feb 26, 2014
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I have learned a harsh lesson and I will always read my contracts in full now! I have written letters of cancellation now thank u Kulture for you advice. I have blogged everywhere so other traders do not fall for the same unfair and unreasonable contract tricks. If I can stop them getting one new business then I will.
 
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Stephen Black

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Feb 4, 2013
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To add to the thread, not all card providers/processors have is automatic contract extension. There are quite a few who don't albeit there are (unfortunately) quite a few who do. As kulture wisely said you either need to be sharp and get the cancellation in quickly or alternatively, go with one who has a "normal" termination period after your minimum period expires.

The other related point for you sole traders/partnerships out there to consider is whether your terminal rental agreement is structured as a "rental" or a "membership". If the latter then the Consumer Credit Act which allows you to terminate after 18 months is not likely to apply, otherwise you could terminate after 18 months with minimal costs. Again, there are quite a number of providers who do structure there terminal rental agreements as memberships to get round this legislation and there are a few who don't. DO CHECK. Unfortunately I think Handepay are in the membership category.
 
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Haverhill trader

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Feb 26, 2014
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Hi I got so fed up with their threating letters and final demands I agreed £5.00 for 87 months lol not sure if I will be around for that long. Just for peace I will pay them till I close my business but please other traders don't go with Merchant Rentals or if you are with them now write your termination notice a year before your 36 months is up then no worries you will be released from the contract and you can find a new respectable merchant that only requires the normal 28 days notice.
A good helpful forum is : All about debt forum They have help several Merchants with their templates x
 
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Its a shame that this post is still being copied and pasted by those falling foul of these nasty companies - Handepay and Merchants Rentals are owned by the same directors !! Ive just got through the forced extension period and they only tried to put on another year !! and now today they say they havent received my terminal back, luckily i sent it recorded to their head office - they say i should have sent it to another company?? why would i do that?? now they want £397.20 in 7 days or they will start legal precedings. I tried the toothless ombudsman and the business secretary Vince Cable - no luck - there is however a very good reply to my post on business start ups - which if your brave enough you could try, wish i had
 
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Talay

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Mar 12, 2012
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Of course they are complete shits and should be denounced as such but if I said to you that you would have to pay me £500 in 3 years' time or you could read a bit of paper and not pay me £500 then I guess you'd read the paper.
 
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Houdi

Free Member
Jun 2, 2015
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Like it seems a lot of people I fell foul to this company who tried to extend my 3 year deal, for a further 2 years when I closed my business. My original deal only required 3 months noticed, when I extended for a further 3 years I wasn't informed of the terms had been changed. Yes it was hidden away in the small print, but in print so small, it was virtually impossible to read.
The good news I took this case to the Financial Ombudsman, who ruled that whilst I had to pay the 3 years as agreed, which i accepted, that the 2 year extension were onerous and that I should have been made properly aware of the changed terms. So it is worth fighting , and I found the ombudsman service very helpful and its free.
 
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Jonathan Wells

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Oct 29, 2015
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I have joined this forum as it was helpful in preparing me for our our case against Merchant Rentals and Handepay. We won our court case just a few days ago. Merchant Rentals took us to court for payment of the contract and we were able to show the judge that handepay and Merchant Rentals ARE connected, that their contracts are not enforceable for sole traders as we are and indeed the judge also refused all their costs. I have set-up a new website that details all the documents and submissions so whilst I can't help everyone who suffers, I can post what I did. the website is merchantrentalscourtcase.com
 
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Jonathan Wells

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Oct 29, 2015
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Thank you for the link - always good to see this from a long standing member

And of course, this applies to Handepay too. It's Handepay who sign you up for the contracts. I've just heard from someone else who had a four year contract. On the day of the 4 years are up he sent the terminal back and has now been sued by Merchant rentals for £822 because he should have given 12 months notice at the end of year 3. Because he didn't, the contract automatically renews into a another three years and so on.

A sole trader with a relatively small income and all Handepay and Merchant Rentals want to do is go to court to win a case to get more money. I shall be writing to the Consumer Credit People too, in an effort to have their lending licence withdrawn following the judges comments in our case about their claims in the documents. Until i see the judges notes written I can't say what the judge said about them but once I get the case notes, i will.

I must admit that I am lucky to have some time and indeed resources to take on these companies, and help others do the same. They will learn the hard way that trying to rip me off was not a good decision on their part.

I would encourage all people with issues to also go to the Handepay Trustpilot site (on their home page) and enter their contract details and leave them an honest rating. Handepay had my first post removed within 5 minutes but the second one had to stay as it was completely factual.
 
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Karen Cowley

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Feb 29, 2016
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I joined this forum after looking for any previous court cases involving Handepay Ltd and Merchant Rentals Ltd. After reading Jonathan Wells replies I have tried to access the website that was set up after he won his case in court against them but it doesn't appear to be accessable now. Jonathan if you read this I would really appreciate any help as I am also trying to prepare a defence case against them! Many thanks
 
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