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Law: New financial year – make some new year's resolutions

Do you like hassle? Do you like being ripped off? Lawgistics have three top tips to make 2008 a better year for you.


  • Tip 1. Do not agree to take services with utility companies, (ie gas, electricity, phones etc) over the phone.

    We get far too many problems from clients getting bad deals through getting themselves locked into telephone contracts, which are expensive, and contain extremely unfair terms, such as totally unrealistic notice periods which allow for the contract to roll over for additional periods.

    The reality is that no one can grasp all the terms of such deals when talking over the phone.

    Always, always ask for the details to be put in writing to you before saying yes or anything that can be inferred as yes.

    They may say that the full terms and conditions will follow with a cancellation period.

    Be totally negative on the phone and wait until the details materialise.

    Many clients say they can’t remember receiving the terms in the post and it is questionable whether they are ever sent.

    Gas and electricity companies also have another trick up their sleeve.

    If you are moving into new premises you might think that the prices will stay the same as for the previous occupiers.


    The previous prices were agreed with previous occupiers, and as soon as they stop paying you move on to a ‘deemed tariff’ or ‘out of contract tariff’.

    This will almost certainly be higher than for the previous occupiers, often substantially higher.

    You may then find that you will receive a telephone call, which can offer you appreciable savings, but which, of course, are savings off the higher price.

    In reality of course, very few people have an appreciation of the relative overall savings off electricity and gas unit prices.

    Standing charges may well soak up a huge part of the bill.

    Mobile phone companies also have a neat trick where they offer brilliant deals on mobile phones possibly with tempting cash back in the future.

    Unfortunately if you agree to move, there are two contracts, one or the phone, one for the service provider.

    You are not happy with the service when you change eg poor coverage but when you try to cancel the deal, no one answers your call and you are tied into a new supplier.

    In addition that cash back never materialises because the company has gone out of business!


  • Tip 2. Read the small print when signing the contract

    If you are at all unsure don’t be pressured into signing quickly.

    If in doubt give Lawgistics a call.

    We have had many complaints regarding businesses that promise to reduce your business rates.

    The reality is to have a go yourself before you get someone else to do it for you.

    Another tip here is to make sure your staff know they shouldn’t sign anything, such as protective clothing contracts, waste removal, drinks machine services etc, unless they are expressly authorised to.


  • Tip 3. When Buying Don’t Assume

    A lot of deals turn sour from many reasons and a little more care could save a lot of hassle later.

    #AM_ART_SPLIT# Firstly, is the seller who they say they are?

    If you get an address of, say, 1 London Road or there is a fascinating story why the name on the logbook (V5) isn’t the seller then stop the deal straight away.

    If the person is lying the usual reason is that they want to see you left holding the baby.

    Check identities as much as possible.

    Secondly, is the car what it seems?

    HPI, Experian etc are good as far as they go but the information you get is only as good as the information they are given.

    Insurance and finance companies can take an inordinate amount of time to register information and you are flying blind in the meantime.

    Where is that promised service history?

    Don’t let the new car go until it is in your hands if it is agreed you will have it.



    Just to mention one specific name which seems to emerge from time to time – European City Guide.

    This organisation attempts to get you to part with your money for entry in the European City guide.

    Many feel that what they are signing for is merely an update of a free entry but European City Guide argue it is an enforceable agreement to relieve you of money for the entry.

    The important thing is don’t be panicked into paying.

    If you get persistent debt chasing mailings then let us know.

    There is a website dedicated to this particular company.

    Visit or call 0870 26 77 118 for more information.

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