Sounds like I may learn a few more lessons, as, for a change someone is trying to sue us!
What is weird is that we have been trying to actually sue this customer for not paying for ages, and the big issue we have is working out who they are! They have a "name", but it is not something ending in Ltd, and we don't know a company number. Indeed, rather lax on our part, we do not know what legal entity they are. All their letters fail to say what they are either. We have a procedure for checking new customers, but it sounds like this one may have fallen through the cracks.
Now, they only owe about £300, but we were getting nowhere with this and it was looking a lot like we would have to write it off. Then, out of the blue, we get a summons, from a Scottish court, for nearly £3000. They are claiming service was not working and that there are some consequential losses. In practice, the service was working fine, but even if it was not we make it crystal clear that we only offer a money back guarantee and limit our liability. They have not spent that much in total with us by a long way. This is not just stated in the contract but one of the items ticked on the order form and confirmed on the order confirmation and initial invoice, and in the info pack we send.
But apart from simply defending a daft court case, and sending a counter claim, we have a load of other fun things on this one...
1. The company making the claim, with the same basic name but now as a limited company, was only formed last month. This is later than all of the events for which they are claiming. I would hope that this fact alone can get the case thrown out! It almost seems like they created a company just so that they can sue us!
2. They have never sent any notice before action, or said what amount they were after (even on their dodgy letterhead), and the last letters we have had (refusing to pay our bills) predate this company being created even.
3. Our contract says that English courts apply. I wonder if that is valid and if that allows us to get the case thrown out.
In practice, next step is checking with our solicitors (which will have a small cost for us), and trying to get this case chucked out.
Oddly, it seems Scottish courts are way more efficient as they already have a hearing date listed for next month, only in Scotland!
I'll keep you posted.
P.S. pursuer confirmed company number, so we have written to court asking for it to be struck out, but have meeting with solicitors anyway so will be checking if that was the right thing.
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