On many occasions we are the duly appointed agent of our clients. When instructed we put the resorts on notice that our client will not tolerate any direct contact from resorts or their collection agents. All correspondence and communications (howsoever made) must be made via TESS Law.
Any court proceedings to recover disputed maintenance fees will have to be instituted in the UK. As our clients are generally UK citizens and enjoy protection from Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 (“the Act”) which makes it a criminal offence for a resort to harass our clients. In particular, by virtue of Section 40(1)(a) of the Act resorts are prohibited from making demands, or seeking to pursue recovery of disputed debts using methods which are calculated to subject our clients to “…. alarm, distress or humiliation.”
When we have been consulted and instructed to deal with a dispute we ensure that our clients are not subjected to alarm and distress that would naturally arise if they were to deal with this matter alone.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has given guidance as to what circumstances would be considered harassment, including but not necessarily limited to:
- Frequent and persistent demands for payment;
- Ignoring disputes about whether or not a debt is owing;
- Deceitful and/or unfair dealings including specifically refusing to deal with advisors acting on the consumer’s behalf;
- Adding unfair charges to the disputed debt;
- Failing to engage and exchange information in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
In the event that a resort persistently attempts to contact our client directly, or continually fails to respond to our letters, the resorts or its agents will be committing an offence under Section 40 of the Act and we will advise our client to take steps to protect themselves by:
- Complaining to the Police;
- Complaining to the OFT, Trading Standards or the European Consumer Centre;
- Issuing court proceedings seeking injunctive relief and damages.
Last modified: 28th August 2020