Company forcing me to pay

Sorry if this in the wrong section but I thought this is the closest to my topic.

A company called me in regards to providing advertising for my business and they said they would provide a sample of the work they did. Because I was busy with work I didn't check the email for a while and when I said that I wasn't interested after looking at the work they did (it is crap and would of taken me 5 mins to do) they called and said I had to pay the graphic cost of $200 because I passed some 10 day period thing. They said they recorded all phone calls with me and I have signed nothing in regards to getting the work done or published.

Am I liable to paying this $200?

Because I have signed nothing and it's all apparently "word of mouth" on phone I don't think I have to pay them anything but I would like to get others opinion on this matter if possible.

Comments

  • +9

    Looks like at scam , Ask them for a copy of the contract so you can show your lawyer

  • +8

    I'd tell them not to contact you again, and let them sue you. They wont for $200.

    Sounds like an old fashioned shakedown.

    IANAL

  • +3

    I have no legal background, but it sounds pretty fishy. No contract, no written communication, and only "recordings". Even if you did agree to something over the phone, I assume they would have had to clearly state that they will be charging xyz and you agree to pay that (then you say yes/no)… rather than offering "a sample" as you say.

    Perhaps you can say you did not agree to any service, and if so, can they provide the recordings and contract to you for review.

    Out of curiosity, I'd also be looking up their ABN and website etc to see how legitimate they seem (eg does their website even have a Contact Us section, and so on), and if anyone else has had a similar experience online.

    Depending on the reply you get back, you could also contact LegalAid (which is free I believe) for more specific help.

    Good luck! Keen to understand what happens here.

  • I just checked on the numbers of this issue. The first email was sent on the 6/10/15 and I replied back on the 12/10/15 saying I'm not interested so that means I replied 5 working days. The PDF file they sent me is a scanned copy of the "invoice" and the date of agreement on it is 30/9/15. That still means I cancelled 9 working days after the agreement.

    This is also from the PDF file they sent me - "You have the right to cancel this agreement within 10 working days from the day after you receive this agreement".

    so because I received this on the 6/10/15 and I cancelled on the 12/10/15 that means I cancelled 4 working days after receiving it.

    So why would the person call me and say I have already passed the 10 working day period…
    Either the person can't count or is trying to scam me into paying that "graphic design fee".

    • Because I have signed nothing and it's all apparently "word of mouth" on phone I don't think I have to pay them anything

      Verbal agreements can be just as legally binding as written ones, as long as they are valid contracts. If they offered to design advertising examples for you in exchange for money, and you accepted the offer, then it may be an enforceable contract.

      But why don't you simply email them back stating 'any agreement with you has been cancelled within 10 working days as per your terms.'

      • +1

        First year business law study said so.

        But in reality, did the other party tell OP that the call was being recorded. It is illegal to record your voice without being consent, secondly, was OP warned he was to enter the contractual agreement and had replied that he clearly understood the term and conditions, and "intend" to bind. For example, if he guys says to provide a "sample" - it is assumed to be free, In any stage, it was mentioned to have a charge.

        OP, can you clarify how did you know this guy? Did the guy "cold call" you? Direct marketing needs to follow the law. If there is a breach, the cooling of period can extend up to 6 months. It also tells you where to make the complaint.

        Also agree with @Mr Happy. Does this guy have an ABN (should be in the invoice) - check out if it's legit and owner.

        • But in reality, did the other party tell OP that the call was being recorded. It is illegal to record your voice without being consent, secondly, was OP warned he was to enter the contractual agreement

          Second part first - does it really matter if the agreement is valid in this particular case?

          If it isn't a valid contract, OP can't be forced to pay. The supplier obviously wants to argue it is a contract.

          If it is a valid contract, OP cancelled it within the 10 working day terms of the supplier. They are the supplier's own terms, they can't argue against this.

          So why argue with the supplier about the contact validity when OP can say that any agreement with the supplier has been cancelled as per their terms - valid or not.

          First part - in Victoria it's not illegal to record with an external recording device a private telephone conversation that you are a party to without consent of the other party.

        • . @Thrift:

          So why argue with the supplier about the contact validity

          Agree with you - in this particular case, as OP has confident with the evidence and dates, case is closed.
          As a technical discussion, it is more to do with consumer law than valid contract which you mentioned earlier.

          in Victoria it's not illegal to record with an external recording device

          I am not so familiar with Vic law, but may be worth a while to read re bugging which can be a serious offence,

    • Here's some info on your cooling-off rights

  • +6

    You might be best to contact ScamWatch to see what they recommend.
    I would not engage in further contact with this third party until you have atleast spoken to ScamWatch

    https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/protect-your-small-bus...

    I'd suggest phoning this one in due to the nature of the transaction.

    Contact the Scamwatch ACCC Infocentre on 1300 795 995 if you are:
    considering sending money and are unsure if it is a scam
    concerned about someone you believe is being scammed.
    Operating hours: Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 6.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

    Best of luck :)

    • Wonder how many other people these guys have scammed. I agree with going to Scamwatch. Think of it as community service to get these cowboys out of commission.

  • Is it even legal to record/use a recording if you haven't given permission for you to be recorded in the first place?

    • Exactly what I wanted to say…. It should have been the first thing they said AND be present on any 'recordings'

      • +1

        The law varies from state to state.

    • -1

      AFAIK you can only record if you are being called. If you are making the call, you must ask permission for the call to be recorded otherwise it is illegal.

      • +1

        AFAIK you can only record if you are being called

        wrong

        • Legal in QLD, not for the other states.

        • @eatwell365:
          http://www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/legalinformation/livinginthec...
          "When can I record a telephone conversation?
          Bugging or intercepting a telephone conversation is illegal. It is not illegal to simply record a telephone conversation if you are a party to the conversation as long as you do not attach anything to or in the phone or its connections."

          We're not bugging or tapping into phones. We're recording once the sound leaves the receiver of the receiving device.

          According to your article as well it looks like a few more states may be covered, but it's not government official so I'm not too sure how much I'd trust it.

        • @charzy: The 'interception' laws deals with communications "passing over" the telecom system, end-device to end-device. Once the phone has output the signal, the 'private conversation' laws are in effect - and the restrictions are different between states.

        • @charzy: so if your from QLD and you call someone interstate… then your "all good"???

        • @sleepy120:
          I remember reading that if you are made privy to the private conversation then 'You're all good'. Not the other way around.

  • Don't pay anything and tell them to only make contact with you in writing so that you can show it to your lawyer.