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To lie and pull the 'I'm contacting my solicitor card'

(33 Posts)
dlwelly Mon 22-Jun-15 19:56:45

This is my first post and I'm hoping it's in the right place! Have also just read through and apologise for such a long post !!!

I finished employment with one company on 31st December. I was in a role where I would incur various expenses (mostly travel but sometimes had to buy something from a shop for maintenance of the building as it was quicker than the usual purchasing routes).

At the end of each month I would put in my expenses claim to be authorised by my manager and I would then be paid back when I was next paid (around the 20th of the month)

This process always worked fine whilst I was with them until my last month. I was incurring expenses right up until my last day so sent my final expenses claim off to my manager (it would have been one of the last emails I sent).

By this point I had already received my P45 (as I had my last salary payment on 20th of December, last day wasn't until 31st)

I wondered how they would pay my expenses claim but figured they had all my personal details so could process a one off BACS payment or post a cheque at least.

Left it until the 20th of January (usual payroll day when I would get them if I worked there) and there's nothing. Left it another month and still nothing so I started to chase.

Several emails and calls from Feb until now and there's still nothing!

I have made some progress in all of this - the finance department first said they couldn't pay as they needed authorisation from my (ex) line manager, he then gave this but still weeks went by with no payment. Chased again, said I would receive a cheque (due about 4 weeks ago) nothing came, chased again, they apologised and said I would receive it last week but (as you've probably gathered) nothing has came.

Obviously I'm going to get back in touch but AIBU to say something along the lines of "I'm afraid I have no option but to involve my solicitors in this issue as there is clearly a problem"

Main problem is that I don't have a solicitor and don't know if they could even help. This is now 6 months since I left the company and it's caused undue stress.

I feel like I need a scare tactic to get them to pay up!

This is a big, national company. The money is a drop in the ocean to them but quite substantial to me.

So, AIBU to lie about contacting a solicitor ?

WyldChyld Mon 22-Jun-15 20:06:06

Solicitor could definitely help, but you may just find that the threat is sufficient! Worst case scenario, threaten to take them to small claims court - at which point, you'll charge commercial interest on the amount owed. Filing papers in a small claims court are not expensive at all and you will normally be able to claim for your costs back etc.

eurochick Mon 22-Jun-15 20:09:25

I agree. Assuming you are not talking about tens of thousands you could take them to small claims yourself. The process is designed to be used without a solicitor. But hopefully the threat will do the job!

edwinbear Mon 22-Jun-15 20:15:32

Small claims is an excellent idea, and you should definitely write and give notice that interest will start to accrue if it is not paid x date.

jeee Mon 22-Jun-15 20:16:57

I wouldn't bother with the you'll be hearing from my solicitor line - It's an obviously empty threat. I'd go straight for the small claims threat... tell them you'll begin small claims proceedings unless they settle up by x date.

scarlets Mon 22-Jun-15 20:17:03

Contact ACAS. They might mediate.

RagstheInvincible Mon 22-Jun-15 20:19:50

A judgement in the Small Claims Court - for however small the amount - can cause major issues with credit ratings for companies. If you go down this route, someone in the Finance/Treasury team will take it seriously.

JulyKit Mon 22-Jun-15 20:23:51

I think the most straightforward route would be to consider an application to small claims court.

Small claims procedures/applications are extremely straightforward, and designed so that claimants can apply without further legal support (sorry no link - but Google it, it's easy to find and fill forms). If the communications you describe (or some of them) were in writing, then so much the better, as you should have ample evidence for your claim.

karbonfootprint Mon 22-Jun-15 20:26:50

Never threaten anyone with a solicitor! Either use a solicitor or don't but don't make a threat to.

WyldChyld Mon 22-Jun-15 20:33:25

Having used the small claims court route, it is very easy. Best bet is to formally write to them requesting payment and advising if you do not receive this within 14 days, you will be pursuing this through the claims. After 14 days (or any other value which you advise them in writing, although 14 is pretty good / 10 working days), write to them again advising that you are now filing papers and will be awaiting their response in the courts.

tumsup Mon 22-Jun-15 20:37:34

Yes just send a formal letter with all the facts - when you contacted them, what they owe, how long you've been waiting, how many reminders you've sent - if I don't receive money by this date, I'll be raising a claim with the small claims court. Plenty of information online on how to do it.

You still might not get the cash - but it's worth a try.

CamelHump Mon 22-Jun-15 20:39:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redexpat Mon 22-Jun-15 20:44:12

What tumsup said.

tumsup Mon 22-Jun-15 20:57:13

Who have you been sending emails to up to now? If just your former boss, send a copy to accounts payable and MD. Sometimes you get a rogue who's adamant they won't pay you. Shame them. Registered letter better than email.

AyMamita Mon 22-Jun-15 21:02:11

Just call finance every day until they pay you. Keep escalating to higher managers.

DollsHouseTeaParty Mon 22-Jun-15 21:05:05

Twitter. Every day. Cause them embarrassment.

FireflyGirl Mon 22-Jun-15 21:06:15

The form you need is here

I would complete the claim form and send to them, recorded delivery, with your letter saying you want to resolve the matter without resorting to Court proceedings (ADR as mentioned in the guidance) but in the event you do not hear from them/receive the outstanding amount (you need to be very specific here) by x date then you will have no alternative but to submit your claim to the Court, and will seek to recover your costs and interest in addition to the outstanding amount.

Good luck.

Getthewonderwebout Mon 22-Jun-15 21:16:59

Unless you're prepared to carry through your threat, don't make it. If they call your bluff, you lose credibility.

Also, contrary to what someone else has said, costs are NOT recoverable under the small claims track. So if youvfobgovdown this route, you need to do it in person and not through a solicitor as unless you are owed a lot of money, it just won't be financially viable.

caroldecker Mon 22-Jun-15 21:18:29

It is almost certainly not deliberate, just a shit processing system and no-one taking ownership. A small claims letter will go to the legal department and get things moving.

Getthewonderwebout Mon 22-Jun-15 21:19:34

Whoops my spaces turned into 'v's!

tumsup Mon 22-Jun-15 21:56:27

Getthewonder - so where is she if she doesn't make the threat? What credibility does she have to maintain? She's left and they won't pay her.

tumsup Mon 22-Jun-15 21:57:50

Oh sorry - i see what you're saying now. Go down small claims route and not via solicitor.

EvilStepMama Mon 22-Jun-15 22:00:17

If they owe you at least £750 tell them you are beginning bankruptcy proceedings. I find this method extremely efficient grin

ChunkyPickle Mon 22-Jun-15 22:07:12

Google for an Intent to Claim letter - you should do that before going to small claims anyhow - I whipped one up for a non-paying client and they realised I was serious and paid up within a week - and that was for no cost at all (other than registered post)

WyldChyld Mon 22-Jun-15 22:15:08

Just to clarify by saying you can claim back costs - I didn't mean solicitor fees but you can claim the cost of the claim (mine was over £3k and cost about £100) and I also claimed the cost of an independent report about the thing about which I claimed (mine was a technical case about suitability of goods so you won't need this kind of thing but it was good to know I could get the claim fee back)

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