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I have been stupid - is there anyway out of this or will I have to just pay up?

(13 Posts)
curly13 Wed 23-Oct-13 09:52:43

I have been very stupid and verbally agreed to a 12month contract with a company that provides a Google Places management service. I honestly believed when they phoned that it was a genuine call from an authorised Google partner and that everyone had to pay to use this service. I have since found out that I could have managed my Google Places page myself free of charge. I have tried to cancel but they have said that the verbal agreement made on the telephone is legally binding and that if I don't pay they will take me to court. They have provided a transcript of the call and on listening to it I suspect I don't have a leg to stand on as I did agree to their terms. Apparently Distance Selling Regulations don't apply when it's a business selling to another business.

So should I:
a) pay, learn from the experience and move on, or
b) ignore the invoice and hope that after a few threatening calls/emails/letters they drop it (They are an English company and my business is in Scotland so they would have to go through the Scottish courts and this may be too much trouble for them?)

My conscience tells me that I've been stupid but that I did verbally agree the terms and legally I have to pay but it's frustrating because they called me out of the blue and I really did believe that they were genuine and I don't like being taken for a fool! It is a few hundred pounds and although my business isn't very profitable at the moment I can afford it. The situation is making me very stressed and I think I ought to just pay to make it go away but then they, with their bullying tactics (they were very aggressive when I tried to cancel) have won...

IComeFromALandDownUnder Wed 23-Oct-13 09:56:03

Is this the crowd that tells you they can get you higher up in your google rankings through pay per click advertising?

PeterParkerSays Wed 23-Oct-13 09:59:13

When did you agree to this? There should be a cooling off period for the contract.

IComeFromALandDownUnder Wed 23-Oct-13 10:00:52

Just checked and it is. They are not authorised agents for google. How can they sell something that is free!

Similar stories here and advice here:
http://productforums.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/webmasters/ZIirT11x5FI

curly13 Wed 23-Oct-13 10:06:02

Thanks for the link - it's a different company name but exactly the same modus operandi

curly13 Wed 23-Oct-13 10:06:53

Trading standards have advised that there's no cooling off period.

Reality Wed 23-Oct-13 10:08:54

Just don't pay. They are scammers and there is no way they'll pursue this.

I got ripped off and pressured into buying photos door to door once, they threatened me with all sorts but u never paid and they never took it further.

curly13 Wed 23-Oct-13 10:13:45

Part of me suspects that if I ignore them for long enough they'll go away but I'm not sure that I can cope with the stress in the meantime. Having heard from them again this morning I'm too wound up to be able to concentrate on my work. But if I just pay up then their bullying tactics have won...

Plus I pride myself on being an honest person and think that if I made a mistake I should pay for it but it's not a level playing field when you're dealing with dishonest people who are trying to make money out of people by misleading them and bullying them

IComeFromALandDownUnder Wed 23-Oct-13 10:25:15

Can you contact google legal and find out if they are authorised agents via email. When they reply copy the email google sends back to them saying you are not paying as they misrepresented themselves.

curly13 Wed 23-Oct-13 10:59:48

I think that they would argue that they didn't misrepresent themselves. If you listen to the recording of the call I think they are very careful about what they say as they clearly know exactly what they are doing.

When they first called it was a lady who said that she was just checking my contact details were correct and she advised what the fee would be for the coming 12 months. She led me to believe that it was a service I was already using and when I said I didn't remember paying previously she said that was because I'd had an introductory free trial (which in hindsight I doubt). I was then transferred to a man to confirm my details so that they could go live. They've only sent a recording of the second part of the call so I will request the first part...

There is a law that requires all contracts by distance selling have a cooling-off period.

Besides which, they are scammers.

Just ignore them, they don't have a leg to stand on.

Reality Wed 23-Oct-13 11:05:39

Not business to business, unfortunately. But yes, they are scammers so just threaten them with the police.

noseymcposey Wed 23-Oct-13 11:08:29

is it a lot of money to pay out? The fact that they have provided the transcript says that they are prepared to follow up to a certain extent.

Can you see in the transcript where they say you had an introductory free trial? Would that be ground for ending the contract as that seems to me to be misrespresentation?

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