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Intention to Sue Letter from Removalists - What Should I Do?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by DOVE, 26 May 2014.

  1. DOVE

    DOVE Member

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    Dear sir/ma'am,

    We moved to our current location 7 months ago. The removalist company gave me an estimate, not counting the supplies used. Having to take out a loan for the move, as it wasn't planned because our landlord decided to sell out. I needed them to tell me the most I would need, so that I borrowed enough, yet not borrow way more than what was needed.

    After prices were discussed via phone and in emails. I asked if it would be safe to say if I had $5,000, it would be enough to cover our move. She told me yes that would well covered and I should get some back.

    On the day of the move, after pack up, I paid the driver $3254.50. And the following day I asked how much the pick up/delivery would be? And was given a price of $3004.50. ($1259.00 over what I was told the worst case max amount would be.)

    I called the lady up and told her what the driver said and that I did not have that. That I would be going into money for groceries etc... But I had $2500.00 only. I was told not to worry about the rest she would take care of it. So all up, I paid the company $5754.50. With a balance of $504.50. We spoke the next day and was reassured not to worry about it that she would take care of it. I felt like I should be given back the $754.50 that I was over charged.

    So, for 7 months I hadn't heard from anyone. As far as I was concerned, it was taken care of. Then on the 16th of May, I got a call from the removalists asking me when was I going to pay my overdue bill of $505.00? I explained things to her. And she said she would check into it and call me if there was a problem. The following Monday, I get in the mail an invoice with an intention to sue letter, stating that they had written me with no reply back. And was giving me one week to pay them in full.

    I never heard from them till that phone call and then this letter for over 7 months. If I must pay this I can only make small monthly payments. I'm not trying to cheat anyone if I owe something. But I paid well over what I was told to expect. And I have all the emails. I made sure to cover this in emails not just over the phone.


    Sorry this is long but I needed you to know a little about what took place. So my question is, if I have emails assuring me that if I have $5,000 for the move I was well covered and should get some back, would it be proof enough that I am not liable for that $504.50 + $25.00 they said I also have to pay them under Australian Consumer Law?

    Thank you for any advice you can provide me.

    Kind regards,

    Dove (username)
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dove,
    Just to confirm - this issue relates to your dealings with a removalist?
     
  3. DOVE

    DOVE Member

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    JOHN R,
    YES THAT IS CORRECT.
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dove,
    I've re-read your question. Moving can be stressful at the best of times!
    1. Did you take notes (or remember) the name, position and dates that you spoke with the female representative of the removalist in relation to the $5,000 quoted before your move and/or how you were "reassured not to worry about it that she would take care of it"?
    2. Is the "Intention to Sue" a letter (that would generally be called a "letter of demand") or a court form?
     
  5. DOVE

    DOVE Member

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    HI JOHN R,
    THE COMPANY HEADQUARTERS IS IN VICTORIA AND THEY SUB-BRANCH AUSTRALIA WIDE. YES I HAVE HER FULL NAME, SHE IS THEIR SELLS REP. AND ALL DATES ARE FULLY NOTED AS WE SPOKE ONLY 3 DAYS PRIOR TO THE MOVE. THEN MANY EMAILS BACK AND FORTH. SHE TOLD ME VIA PHONE THAT IT WASNT MY FAULT THAT SHE UNDER PRICED THE MOVE. THAT IT WAS HER FAULT AND SHE WOULD HANDLE IT.
    JOHN I HAVE MOVED 29 TIMES (EX MILITARY WIFE) AND HAVE NEVER HAD A MOVE WHERE THERE WASNT A WALK THRU AND A FIXED QUOTE. AND I TOLD HER SO. SHE ASSURED ME THEY DO IT ALL THE TIME. AND BY ME TELLING HER THE CONTENTS... THEY KNOW WHAT IS NEEDED IN WAY OF CONTAINER AND SUPPLIES. HOWEVER I HAD TOLD HER FROM MY MOVE FROM SYDNEY TO NORTH OF PERTH... THAT I HAD ALL THE PAPERWORK TO GIVE HER A BETTER IDEA OF WHAT WAS NEEDED. (EX: 2X 8 TON TRUCKS)

    THE LETTER IS ON THEIR LETTER HEAD FROM THEIR ACCOUNTS DEPT.
    I DIDN'T PUT NAMES DOWN BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW IF I WAS SUPPOSE TO IN THIS FORUM. SO THATS WHY THEY WERE OMITTED.

    AND YOUR RIGHT MOVES CAN BE STRESSFUL. BUT I CAN SAY I HAVE MANY MOVES UNDER MY BELT... AND THIS ONE WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT STRESSED ME OUT. I SUFFER FROM NERVE PAIN AND WAS/AM BED BOUND. SO I CERTAINLY DONT NEED ANY STRESS TO PUT ME IN HOSPITAL AGAIN.
     
  6. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Dove,
    Unfortunately, removalist complaints appear to be on the rise in Australia.

    As a first step, you should consider writing to the removalist to reply and dispute the "intention to sue/letter of demand" that you've received.
    Your letter should set out the factual summary of the events to date (similar to what you have written above but with clear headings, checked for spelling, etc.) and a request for the business to withdraw their intention to sue because, under Australian Consumer Law, you refuse to pay any change to the agreed costs.

    The Queensland Office of Fair Trading's "Resolving a Complaint" page has sample letters and further information that may assist.
    Page 9 of the Australian Consumer Law's Industry Guide to Personal Services also sets out a case study that appears to be similar to your situation.

    If you do not receive a satisfactory resolution to your complaint from the business within a reasonable timeframe (and assuming that you're based in Western Australia), you can submit your complaint to the Western Australia Department of Commerce for investigation.

    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
  7. DOVE

    DOVE Member

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    JOHN R,,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INFORMATION YOU PROVIDED. IT WILL BE OF GREAT USE TO ME IN DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE. SINCE I HAVE TO MAGNIFY THINGS TO SEE AND THE NERVE ISSUE MAKES IT HARD TO TYPE (HANDS ARE NUMB YET SEVERELY PAINFUL) SOMETIMES I CAN NOT REPLY BACK IN A SPEEDY MANNER. BUT I WANTED YOU TO KNOW HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE YOU TAKEN TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO ASSIST ME. BEING AMERICAN, MANY THINGS ARE TITLED DIFFERENTLY HERE. SO IT HAS BEEN HARD TO LOCATE THE INFORMATION NEEDED. SO I THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH TO PUTTING ME ON THE RIGHT PATH. I CERTAINLY WILL KEEP YOU AND THE FORUM UPDATED ON HOW THINGS TURN OUT.
     
    John R likes this.

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