The great hosting con!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by JessopSmythe, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    Just a word of advice for any webmasters out there. Stay well clear of a hosting company called Legend Communications Plc. They also trade as Business Serve and as

    Untill recently I had a website hosted by them. It got so little use that, when the hosting came up for renewal a few weeks ago, I decided to cancel it. I received an Invoice for the hosting fees for 2005 - 2006 and wrote back to say that I did not wish to renew. Last week (a month after writing to them) I got a nasty letter advising that court procedings would be started within 3 days unless I paid the outstanding balance of £11.69 + £27 court costs, £50 reminder fees and £50 solicitors fees. Also that interest would be calculated, at base rate + 8% on the account back to the date of the original invoice as per the Late Payments of Commercial Debts Act.

    I politely wrote back, pointing out that
    a) you cannot sue for late payment on an invoice which is for advance payment; you simply withhold the service until payment is made.
    b) you cannot claim court costs unless the matter has actually been to court
    c) I had received no reminders so did not consider any fees were payable.
    d) The Late Payments of Commercial Debts Act relates only to debts between 2 business and is unenforcable against a private individual
    e) I did not care for their blatant attempt at intimidation or for their customer service standards in general.

    Yesterday I received in the post a credit note for the original invoice. No hint of an apology or even an acknowledgement of my letter, despite the fact it was sent recorded delivery and a quick check on the Royal Mail website showed it being delivered and signed for on tuesday!

    This bunch of con artists obviously use this tactic reglularly, knowing that most people, when faced with a letter threatening court action will simply panic and pay up.

    If anyone receives this kind of threatening letter, make sure you take some kind of legal advice before you pay anything as there are more than a few companies prepared to use the same con for easy profit. Had I filled in my credit card details and faxed the letter back as they demanded, I'd have finished up paying almost £150 for a £10 service which I didn't want anyway.