Are verbal agreements binding??

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by la gran siete, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    Bloke phones me up the other day and starts going on about me agreeing 6 months ago to paying a sum of money for an advert which is supposed to ppear on the bcjk of some dairy which would be supplied to a local school. Anyway I said I wasnt interested and put the phone down. HE rings back reiterates about my agreeing to making this payment . I tell him I am with telephone preference service but it makes no difference. This guy was very very persistent, he wnet on and on and on and doubt crept into my mind A far as I am concerned an agreement is only binding when its involves a signature and even if I did agree verbally I can change my mind and that is that. I say that for I have no memory of this agreement having being made but its possible that if I was bit drunk one night I may have done so.
    Now I am bloody angry about this because i am quite certain this is a scam( of course he vehemently denied that) and i think it needs to be stopped. So far I have spoken to trading standards who gave me the number of Business Link which I will try tomorrow. I want to know where I stand legally ( the offending company are sending me an invoice and claimed they would be taking me off their data base which I do not believe)I shall also speak the school concerned. Reason i mention it is because this so called charitable company (called TTP) target self employed tradesmen so if any one gets such a call deny deny and deny.I nknow i should have doine but as I said doiubt crepot oinot my mind and an uncertainty as to what my legal position is ie are verbal agreement binding , am I liable and if I refuse to pay could they sue me. They will have a recording of my voice which wopuld be editted to fit their case:confused: :thumbsdow :mad:
     
  2. Dave

    Dave
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    Same thing happened to me with an ad company from a local newspaper when I worked for a youth forum.

    They insisted that someone had authorised the ad and it must be paid for. I insisted that no one except the commitee could authorise things like this so there was no way we were going to pay.

    Needless to say we didn't pay and they had no choice but to accept it. AFAIK a verbal agreement is not legally binding unless they can provide proof that the ad was authorised by yourself. I'd tell em to shove it personally.
     
  3. GBDG1

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  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    In answer to your question, verbal agreements are legally binding but there are a few scammers operating in the so called charity print sectors and whilst many have recently been wound up by the DTI they still keep springing up.

    Most of the rogue companies are connected and seem to operate from the Manchester or Liverpool areas but Google the publishers name and you may come up with other complaints
     
  5. pixelated

    pixelated
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    Technically verbal contracts are binding. Where the burden of proof lies can differ in certain situations I think. They're a nightmare to regulate but yes, they are legally binding. :)

    Looks like Ian beat me to it!
     
  6. Dave

    Dave
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    Once again I spout completely duff information.:suicide: :D

    Thanks for clearing that up Ian and Stuart.
     
  7. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    the firm is called TTP and yes theyt aree from up north judging from accents. The thing is they are very devious and no doubt( as i said before) would edit any phone conversations to make it look as though I HAD entered into an agreement when I had not intended any such thing. This is my concern. To me its entrapment pure and simple and the law should be quite clear about this. Verbal agreements of this sort should NOT be legally binding and people should have the right to"change their minds" if they feel thewy have been entramped. I do not wish to end up in court so i must find out what my position is but I do feel something ought to be done about these scammers. Maybe Watchdog or something:mad:
     
  8. GBDG1

    GBDG1
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  9. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    ok m8 that gives me encouragement:smashin:
     
  10. njp

    njp
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    Definitely a scam, as others have said. You should also complain to the TPS about receiving the call in the first place. Although TPS have no enforcement powers, they do pass on complaints to the ICO. In theory, companies can be fined £5000 for violating the TPS restrictions. In practice, I suspect all that happens is that if enough people complain they get a letter telling them not to do it again! Probably worth a couple of minutes of your time though.
     
  11. Pat_C

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    Reminds me of an old April fool when we had a secretary trying to order a verbal agreement pad from the stationery supplier :devil:
     
  12. Keyman

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    I believe it is either a ad saleman putting through an order for commission/sales target or it is a total scam. You might want to establish which one it is, but I believe you do not need to pay in either scenario. I believe they have the burden of proof whcih usually means a signed contract. Most legit printer/PR company will not go ahead with the work without signing the proof (proof of OK on the artwork and an purchase order form)

    These scams been around for some time now. There may never even be a circulation of the so call advertising in the first place.

    This is how it goes:

    The con artist would bring a single copy of a wall calender (or something similar, school mag, student paper etc) to you to ask if you want to advertise (now this is a low run single copy to con you, a tool). This copy will usually contain existing ads from similar business or competitors, therefore make you think you may miss out if you do not place an ad.

    If you agreed to advertise, they print another one copy with your ad on and a single copy of the revised calender and send to you and ask for money---job done.

    If you did not agreed, they may print a copy anyway and send you an invoice, if you pay, job done. This is done because of few reasons, the account department may not know of any better and pay up, some businessman/manager may pay up since they think an ad had been run anyway, or they are afraid there may actually be a court case follow which I cannot see how the printer or promoter can win. Anyway one print for them to see if you pay, good return on investment for them.

    If I was in the same situation, I would remind them I know of such situations and if there is further harassment, I would inform the police of such possible scam artist about.

    My guess is you might have fallen victim of some scams before without you actually knowing it. The con artists might have a inter-exchange (or for sale) database for where and who to get scams. So if you have been scammed once, there will likely be a lot more attempts. Rule of thumb for me, anyone ask for money, think. Anyone claim to be a charity, I say I have a donation to my charity every year and I do not give out anymore especially through cold calls. You will be surprise after a year or so, you will get a lot less scam calls etc.
     
  13. NackNack

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    First thing that alerted me to this scam you're having doubts about..

    "6 months ago"

    This is where a rolleyes smiley comes in. ;)

    If you'd actually agreed to it, they would have had money up front for an advertisement (if they were reputable and/or not scammers), and/or requested payment via an invoice within a week or two after confirming.
     
  14. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    As others have said, Verbal agreements are legally binding. However, if any of these scammers try to claim money out of you, tell them to take you to court, and even tell them that you'll be more-than-willing to make a personal appearance, and can't wait to see all their evidence in order for you to pay up. I can assure you, that they'll soon stop calling you!

    Failing that, tell them your nearest (appropriately-fictional) relative, is working for the DTI, local Trading Standards Offices, BT or something similar, and that the number they are calling from is currently being traced by the local constabulary, and that they can expect a nasty knock on their doors, in the next 30-minutes or so. Hang up immediately you've said this, and that should also do the trick! :devil:


    Pooch
     
  15. Miyazaki

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    Verbal contracts are supposed to be legally binding but they're not worth the paper they're written on.
     
  16. unique

    unique
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    verbal agreements are legally binding, however proving it in a court is another story

    thing is, most companies that would rely on verbal agreements (ie. phone banking and other telesales, etc) would record calls so they can be used as evidence in the case there is a problem. you usually get a warning like "calls may be recorded for training purposes, press 9 to enter into a long waiting game to speak to a human on the other side of the world that doesn't speak english, etc..."

    simple thing is, don't agree or even suggest anything to them verbally that you may have ordered (even when drunk) in case they record that and use it as evidence. if they keep on at you, ask them for the contact details and name so you can call them back, and make a note of names, dates, times of calls, and simply ask them to stop calling you, and if they want to make contact with you in future they will need to do so in writing so you can pass it to your lawyer to deal with. of course don't give them your address or any other personal details, or any other information. if you placed an order, they would have got all that from you in the first place. if it was genuine, then they will write to you and you can take the matter further, but at that point in time i'm sure pigs will be flying outside your window and paying the bill will be the last of your concerns. you can always ask them to mail you a copy of the invoice along with signed purchase order and copy of the diary so you can pass it to your accounts department for payment, get them all worked up!

    i think i've heard of this particular scam before. it's just a simple numbers game. make enough calls and you'll find someone who will give in and pay up. personally i find telling telesales people to F off 3 or 4 times in a row works as they are usually instructed to hang up the call if they are verbally abused 3 times. if they stay on the phone after a tirade of verbal abuse, it's unlikely they are kosha
     
  17. johntheexpat

    johntheexpat
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    I bet you've also forgotten about the five grand that you said you would give me .
     
  18. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    This is where doubt creeps in because after I was subjected by this bloke to aload of diatribe telling me i had definitely agreed, he put me onto some woman who then told me that it was being recorded for training purposes etc an d she is sending me an invoice. It is at this stage where i might said I agree or words to that effect out of exasperation.I cannot really remember I was so wound up. I assume I can still demand proof of agreement and a copy of the book in which my advert is supposed to appear.They do have my name and address btw:( :mad:
     
  19. Keyman

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    Normal practice for an ad is that the artwork proof need to be sign so argeument on accuracy of ad afterwards. If there was not such request before (falling out of industrial norm), it is odds on that it is a scam.

    Stick to it. This is what I would have done.
    1. You did not order the ad.
    2. The ad would have been wrong anyway that they should consider themselves lucky that you are not suing them on using the business name in a way that you do not want it done.
    3. Any further harssment, you would inform the police of possible scam.

    Let them know you mean it, I would put some f words in between for entertainmant value. :D
     
  20. unique

    unique
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    getting your name and address wouldn't be difficult, so don't worry about it. they have these things called phone books with names and addresses like a written version of google or something

    anyways i doubt they will take it any futher, but just ask them to mail you a copy of the invoice with a copy of the signed purchase order and copy of the diary with the ad so you can pass it to your accounts department. they will prolly arugue it's a verbal contract and won't print the diary till you've paid or some crap like that, so tell them they will need to put any further correspondence in writing so you can pass it to your lawyer, and your not prepared to discuss the matter any further on the telephone. make sure you get the persons name and number and note the time when you do this. i'd bet you never here any more from them except perhaps an invoice you can ignore

    if they were serious, they would need to get a lawyer to send you a legal letter, then take court action which involves you getting a legal note giving 21 days to settle before court action. if you pay before then you don't have any CCJ's etc, but if they are dodgy they won't go that far. even if it was legit, the court would decide if you should pay or not, you won't even need a laywer even if worst came to worst, which i very much doubt it woudl
     
  21. spwj

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    I am in a similar position also. The company in question say that i agreed to an advert and that they have "recorded evidence" etc.
    I received a default notice as i haven't yet paid their invoice, which incidentally i never received.
    I must have made at least a dozen calls to them asking them to provide me with this recorded proof, and each time there is no one in that department available and on Friday when i called i was told that their system was down and someone would call me back. Not once have they done so.
    I just want to clear the matter up. Is there any legal time frame that says that the company have a certain amount of time to provide the proof once requested? It's been over 3 weeks since my first call to them.
     
  22. Zeromajor

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    it's a scam, pure and simple. Just ignore it or call trading standards and have them investigated.
     
  23. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    ignore it mate as its a scam .As long as you dont say you agreed anything because then they will record that.Just keep denying it, put the phone down and they'll leave you alone eventually.If they think they have you they ca be pretty persistent.
     
  24. eric pisch

    eric pisch
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    or sending trainee surveyors to buy a box of sky hooks or 10mm metric holes
     
  25. THE_FORCE

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    We were getting these calls all the time last year, and they were ALWAYS Manchester based. They employ cheeky skagheads to ring you up and give you grief.

    I used to give them so much verbal abuse down the phone it was hilarious. I found out where their offices were based from a google on their phone number, rang them up, and told them the old bill were on their way round to raid them. The girl cacked her wack and hung up lol !

    They also said they had recorded evidence of us agreeing to an advert in their Crime Prevention Blah blah book wallplanner thing, so I said 'So what - take me to court then !'. I think they were all closed down a short while after.:D

    These folks are opportunists and play on people's fear. Laugh at them down the phone, just as they will get laughed out of court if they ever attempted it. They know they don't have a leg to stand on.:smashin:
     
  26. FunkyMunkey

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    A friend of mine used to work for a company that did somthing similar to this. They would call up companies and say that they'd agreed to sponsor some sort of charity publication. They'd send an invoice thru, and it'd usually get paid, then they'd send the company a copy of the "publication", which was just some generic BS they sent to everyone.

    I think they were called Honeybee Publishing
     
  27. Iccz

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    If i've agreed to something, i've signed for it.

    If I havn't then i'll see them in court, see where they get with their "verbal agreement"


    I think a lot of banks are finding this out with credit cards and unsecured loans pre april 2007... some contracts are turning out to be unenforcable.
     
  28. unique

    unique
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    if you are still worried about this, call them one more time, ask for the department, when told no-one is there, ask for the full name and job title of the person you need to speak to, they will um and aw perhaps, then ask for the full name and job title of the person you are speaking to on the phone and tell them you are making a record of the dates, times and names of your calls. then call trading standards, pass on the info to them, and ask them to get in touch on your behalf to sort it out for you

    as i mentioned in an earlier post, they would need to formally take you to court to get the money out of you, and provide all the evidence etc. as they don't have that, they are simply hoping that if they get in touch with enough people they will find some that just pay up to avoid any hassle
     
  29. Westindieman

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    I actually used to work for a company that worked like this though I wasnt aware of the full workings when I joined the company. I left after a few months. This one was called National Childrens Safety Books. There was a department that went through phone books and called companies trying to get managing directors or marketing departments to sponsor these books that would go to schools free. Some companies would agree, but some of the smaller businesses might call the schools and find out the schools didnt want the books, or already had a stash of books they thought were useless and didnt want anymore, or the schools had seen the books and contacted other sponsors before to thank them and found out how much they had paid for these books that werent even worth half. A lot of these smaller companies would change their minds and the company NCSB had a collections department within that would chase, hound and threaten these guys with court, using these official looking documents that collections companies do.
    In the end if you refused, the dept had to be written off as no court is going to side with these companies.
     

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