US Company Legal Power to AU Consumer

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


7 November 2020
I have an outstanding balanced of $80 owed to a US based hosting company for unpaid fees. I chose not to pay them due to incredibly poor customer service and general frustration with working with the company.

They work on a monthly post pay system and the amount has been owed since February 2020.

The amount itself isn't an issue but it's the principle of paying money to a company who offered a terrible service that I have refused to pay them.

Just recently their collections department emailed me saying that I have 10 days to pay or they will take legal action to retrieve the owed balance and I will be liable for covering legal costs accrued during the process.

Here are there terms of service which I "agreed to" by using their services:

2.4. Late Payments. Liquid Web may suspend all Services provided to Customer if Customer fails to pay any Fees when due. In addition, if any undisputed amount is not paid when due, Liquid Web may impose a late charge in an amount equal to one and onehalf percent (1 ½%) (or the maximum legal rate, if less) of the unpaid balance per month. In the event a payment is received by Liquid Web and is returned for insufficient funds or bank charges, Customer shall reimburse Liquid Web for all associated processing charges as well the late charge to the extent applicable. In the event that non-disputed payments are received late or returned by insufficient funds more than three (3X) times annually, Liquid Web may require that Customer establish a deposit and or pay with guaranteed funds. Customer will reimburse Liquid Web for all expenses Liquid Web incurs, including reasonable attorney fees, in collecting any amounts past due under this Agreement.

I am an Australian citizen, this company is based in the US. As far as I know the only details they have about me is my name and email address.

What grounds do these guys actually have to collect this money and charge me with the legal fees?

I have zero legal experience whatsoever, however I would assume they are powerless unless they take legal action in Australia.

My main concern is if they take legal action, will this be waiting for me if/when I ever enter the united states as a tourist?

Appreciate any advice.

Tim W

LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
In theory, they could chase you for the debt, across borders.
Or, they could sell it to a debt collector, who also could.
Not that it makes commercial sense to do for such a trifling amount.

Reality check - The price of peace of mind, and of future smooth(ish) entry into America,
is 80 (presumably US) dollars.
"The principle of the thing"... that isn't worth $80 + the value of your time.
You don't need advice to see the self-evident path here.