Late payment legislation

Discussion in 'Legal' started by visagephoto, Feb 15, 2008.

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  1. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    I'm a self employed photographer, and seven years ago I became a member of a trade association, Last year I decided not to continue my membership, and despite receiving a couple of invoices I didn't pay my annual subscription when it became due on September, assuming that my membership would lapse.

    In January I received a payment demand from a debt collection company, which included a late payment of commercial debts penalty of £48.00 + interest, which as far as I'm aware only applies to business to business agreements. I contacted the trade association who reminded (informed) me that they operate a rolling membership, which requires three months notice to quit. Anyway the payment demand stated that if the total amount £151.83 wasn't paid within seven days, the debt would be registered with a credit reference agency, and as I had just applied for a new merchant account, I couldn't let that happen, so I paid in full.

    membership to this organisation is open to full time, part time, employed and self employed professional and semi-professional photographers including students, I could close my business and seek employment as a photographer and it would have no effect on my membership.

    I am now wondering if this debt should have been exempt from the above legislation as the application process and T&C's are identical for all members regardless of status, and on checking my original application I realised it's in my personal name and not my business name, at my home address (which was also my business address), The only reference to my business name was in the email address I provided, However I had to pay my annual subscriptions with a business cheque as I don't have a personal chequebook.
     
    Posted: Feb 15, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
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  2. profitxchange

    profitxchange UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I would say irrestpective of your status you have demonstrated a continuing membership for 7 years and there can be a presumption that you were aware or expected to be aware of the T&C's of the relationship.
    I think you will find it very difficult to find any alternative other than to payup.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: profitxchange Member since: Apr 16, 2005
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  3. Cred-X

    Cred-X UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    781 65
    Hi,

    You are correct.

    Late payment compensation under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 only applies to business debts and cannot be applied to a consumer debt.
    Section 2.1 applies

    The debt collection agent should have checked the status of your debt before attempting to collect it.

    I think you are fully entitled to seek a refund of the late payment interest and compensation.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Cred-X Member since: May 16, 2007
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  4. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    592 54
    profitxchange,

    I'm not questioning the validity of the debt or their t&c's, hence the reason I've paid in full, I am however, unsure whether I should have been responsible for a penalty under the "Late payment of commercial debts" legilation.

    Cred-X

    Thanks, I'll give them a ring on Monday and see what they say about it.

    Thanks
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
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  5. Kent Accountant

    Kent Accountant UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Is that a typo as charge should have been £40 see Late Payment website

    So far as the charge is concerned, I would have thought that you are liable as you are in business
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Kent Accountant Member since: May 30, 2006
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  6. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Bob

    Just checked the demand I received, and it states the following.

    Principle sum outstanding: £99.00
    Days late: 129
    Compensation costs: £47.00
    Plus late payment penalty interest: £5.55
    Total penalty fees payable: £52.55
    Total outstanding sum: £151.55 (includes compensation costs and late penalty interest)

    The invoice & receipt I received from the trade association is addressed:
    Mr Alan Cullen
    Visage Photography*

    *This is the name I provided for their directory listing, it's not the name I used on the membership application when I joined.

    The demand from the collection agency is addressed:
    Visage Photography
    Alan Cullen t/a

    ps. Just checked your link Bob, Is the £40 penalty subject to Vat? if so that would bring it up to the £47.00 as charged.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
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  7. Kent Accountant

    Kent Accountant UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    No, it's outside the scope of VAT or at least that is what I have always understood. The Late Payment does not refer to whether or not it is vatable
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Kent Accountant Member since: May 30, 2006
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  8. Ashley

    Ashley UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    bob since it seems to be the fact it had VAT added, is it input and can it be offset?

    Alan, I would ask for a VAT receipt, and I really would report them to HMCE for collecting VAT and not handing it over if they don't send one.


     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Ashley Member since: Jan 25, 2008
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  9. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Well I had a look through the papers I have received from this company, and now I'm even more annoyed.

    When I received the first demand from them dated 02/01/08, I was being charged 373 days interest on £99.00 which was due 01/01/07, I was informed at this stage if I hadn't paid by 09/01/08 my debt would be registered with ROSI, however on the 06/01/08 I called them to dispute their figures, as the £99.00 wasn't due until 01/09/07, they confirmed this with the creditor and called me back, informing me that they would have to recalculate the interest and issue another invoice, and therefore I would have an additional seven days in which to pay.

    I received the amended demand on 10/01/08, dated 08/01/08, last payment date 08/01/08 or it would be registered with ROSI on 08/01/08, I sent a cheque for the full amount on 14/01/08 (well within the extra 7 days),

    They sent me a letter dated 15/01/08 acknowledging receipt of my £151.55 cheque and subject to clearance my indebtedness and late payment costs are fully discharged, and they also state that they will forward a receipted Vat invoice, I don't recall receiving this, although I have received a receipt from the original creditor, dated 24/01/01 acknowledging receipt of £99.00 (the principle sum).

    Now I'm not 100% sure of the legalities of required information on invoices etc. But I can't see a Vat registration number anywhere, either on their paperwork, or their website. and what's worse is I just checked the ROSI register and this debt was registered on 08/01/08 and is still listed as unpaid.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
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  10. Ashley

    Ashley UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    sorry to be thick but what is "ROSI register"?
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Ashley Member since: Jan 25, 2008
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  11. Ashley

    Ashley UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    found it, some sort of trick to shame people into paying pmsl.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Ashley Member since: Jan 25, 2008
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  12. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Ashley, It's the "Register of OutStanding Invoices", I hadn't heard of it before either.

    www.outstandinginvoices.com
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
    #12
  13. Ashley

    Ashley UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    as a sole trader you have the protection of the "data protection act" and I doubt very much they have the right to process your data in this way.

    Good job it not me as I would make it my pet hobby to cause as much trouble as I could for them.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Ashley Member since: Jan 25, 2008
    #13
  14. Ashley

    Ashley UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    222 38
    you see they are trying to also share that infomation

    Please choose the level which best suits your business:
    £279.00 - Up to 1000 ROSI searches (just 27.9p each)
    £379.00 - Up to 2000 ROSI searches (just 18.95p each)
    £479.00 - Up to 5000 ROSI searches (just 9.58p each)
    All figures are exclusive of VAT.




    unless you give them (the trade boby that is) a contractable right to share data about yourself, they simple do not have any right to do so.



    They try to use this caveat on there website that "The Register contains information on businesses only. It does not hold records of unpaid consumer debts." that is not my understanding of the act, sole traders enjoy the very same protection as consumer the reason is simply that your name is your personal data. Of course Ltd comps have no rights as there is no person to protect. Off topic totally there is an interesting court case in appeal at the minute that would give companies the protection of consumers, it would be a very 2 sided sword if that where to be IMO.
     
    Posted: Feb 16, 2008 By: Ashley Member since: Jan 25, 2008
    #14
  15. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Thanks Ashley,

    I think maybe it might be a good idea to give the FSB legal helpline a call on Monday, regarding all of the above, before I contact either company or take it any further.

    I checked the IR website and it states that it's illegal not to include a vat registration number all invoices, The letters I received don't claim to be invoices, but as they are demands for payment, and list all elements of the total sum claimed, would they be classed as such.
     
    Posted: Feb 17, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
    #15
  16. Ashley

    Ashley UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    222 38
    where abouts in Scotland are you? I need some photography done, but I can not get anyone else to agree in the business as we had some done last summer and it was awful. Fancy a weekend in the Lakes in return for some photography for a hotel brochure? worth a try otherwise I am going to have to it myself, which TBH will be far better then the stuff we paid for, it was really soulless if you get my meaning.
     
    Posted: Feb 17, 2008 By: Ashley Member since: Jan 25, 2008
    #16
  17. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Hi Ashley

    I'm in Glasgow "The Lake District of the North"? A name we've earned because of the condition of the roads and the seemingly never ending rain we get.

    I would love a weekend in the "Lake District" in return for some images for your brochure, however I have very little experience of interior/exterior architectural photography, The last time was over ten years ago for a college project, And I don't know how good or bad your previous shots were, therefore I couldn't guarantee that I could do any better.
     
    Posted: Feb 17, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
    #17
  18. Chippie

    Chippie UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    805 140
    So, lets see, you joined a trade association which you were a member of for 7 years. In those 7 years you did not read their T&C's and assumed your membership would lapse. The registered postal address you supplied was also your business address. The e-mail address you supplied was a business e-mail address. You paid your fees with a business cheque.

    I think they are quite right to consider you a business member. Stop moaning, take it on the chin, learn from it and get on with life!!
     
    Posted: Feb 17, 2008 By: Chippie Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #18
  19. visagephoto

    visagephoto UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Thanks Chippie, Very good advice.

     
    Posted: Feb 17, 2008 By: visagephoto Member since: Apr 15, 2004
    #19
  20. Chippie

    Chippie UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    805 140
    Sorry, I was a bit harsh really but you can always rely on me to say it the way it is! It's really not worth the effect on your blood pressure for a few quid though is it? :)
     
    Posted: Feb 17, 2008 By: Chippie Member since: Jan 3, 2008
    #20
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