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WA Paid UK Athlete for Bike Parts through Paypal - Options?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by drew_the_spew, 8 September 2015.

  1. drew_the_spew

    drew_the_spew Member

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    First off, sorry if this is covered by Australian Law.

    I bought some bike parts to the value of $700 AUD from an athlete in the UK after he contacted me on Facebook messenger.

    I have the full conversations saved. He suggested I pay on Paypal using "send to a friend or family member" function. I was a little naive, I guess, and agreed. He acknowledged payment had been received and said he would sent the parts to arrive in 5 days. It has been 7 weeks and I have tried contacting him at least 20 times to which he was initially replying with excuses for the first 2 weeks but now nothing.

    I've tried Paypal, my bank, the Australian Federal Police, but nobody can help. I have contacted his employer and they can only suggest he sort it out, but that's all they have done. He is being paid a decent amount of money each time he rides for his club a couple times a weeks. I have heard that I can get his employer to give me part of his income until I am paid off but I'm not sure about the legal procedures and costs involved.

    Can somebody help please?
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Drew_the_spew,

    Is the seller a private seller? By that, I mean, was he selling in the course of his business or was he selling as a private individual? If he is a private seller, you will not be protected under Australian Consumer Law for this. However, you sound like you clearly have a cause of action. It would be in breach of contract. You and the seller entered into a contract (verbal and/or written agreement) where he agreed to provide bike parts in exchange for your money. You performed your part under the contract but he has yet to perform his part. If no time was specified in the contract, then a reasonable time is implied. 7 weeks does not sound reasonable.

    What you can do is to initiate an action against him, either through the State Administrative Tribunal or the Magistrates' Court (Civil Division). Once you have judgment against the seller, you can then enforce this by getting an enforcement order in the UK. From here, one of the actions you can take (if granted by court) is to present it to the seller's employer and take a portion of his wages directly from the employer in satisfaction of the damages awarded to you. However, this (enforcement order and actual enforcement action) is governed by UK law, so you're best off talking to a UK lawyer about this.
     
  3. drew_the_spew

    drew_the_spew Member

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    Hi Sarah J,

    Thank you for your help. The seller was indeed private. I had never met or spoken to him before and he contacted me on facebook asking if I would like to buy some parts from him. He clearly stated that he would have them delivered to my door in 5-7 days. All of this was on facebook messenger so the entire conversation is saved.

    Ok so I will look into the State Administrative Tribunal as suggested and see what needs to be done. And once I have completed that step, I will try to get in touch with a lawyer in the UK to take the next step. The only thing im worried about is the legal costs involved. The value of the goods was only about $700 so I need to make sure that solicitor fees aren't going to eclipse that to the point where I get nothing back. Or can I also recover legal costs in the same action?

    Regards
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi drew_the_spew,

    How did the matter turn out? Did you end up contacting the State Administrative Tribunal? The beauty of the SAT is that it's relatively less expensive than the courts and you don't need a legal representative present. However, you may run into issues enforcing it against the seller in the UK (given it's a tribunal decision and the hearing will likely occur without the seller physically present). On this point (i.e. enforceability), you should speak with an English lawyer.

    Best of luck.
     

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