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Thread: A slight problem with a security company.

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    A slight problem with a security company.

    When I started my new shop last year November I got quotes from different security companies and picked the one I thought was best. I started having problems with them pretty quickly, calls at odd hours telling me that the alarm had gone off, about once or twice a week.. This went on for a couple of months, during that time they sent over a technician once. The problem it seems was that I was on a radio system, which is unreliable. I eventually gave up with them and moved to a company that I had been using and we switched the system to GPRS which now works fine.

    We informed the first company that we had switched and with in days they came to remove the radio transmitter – something I thought I had paid for, but it didn’t bother me – as what was I going to do with it?

    Later the next month I get an invoice for 1 months security. I phone up to ask why and they say I am on a 3 year contract which I had signed. Certain that this was incorrect, as no one mentioned this to me, and I had only signed a 1 year lease, I went around to their offices to see where I had signed. On the back side of a form with all my details is the contract – which I nether saw nor signed nor at anytime was this pointed out, I did sign the front side though.

    They are sending me an invoice every month. It’s time to get my head out the sand, how should I proceed?

    (I am writing this before it get's to the situation that POP is in....)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Do you fall under the protection of the National Credit Act?

    And

    What exactly are you paying for? Montoring and response or is there a leased equipment aspect?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Do you fall under the protection of the National Credit Act?

    And

    What exactly are you paying for? Montoring and response or is there a leased equipment aspect?
    a: not sure on the first part, I am refusing to pay, not unable to pay, so not sure if that would help, but could be an angle.

    b: Paid for the alarm and installation cash. So it's just monitoring - they do not have armed response in Piketberg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pap_sak View Post
    On the back side of a form with all my details is the contract – which I nether saw nor signed nor at anytime was this pointed out, I did sign the front side though.
    I would guess it depends on what it says on the front side. If it refers to their overleaf terms and conditions, you may have a problem.

    If it doesn't, you may have a leg to stand on. Based on this you now need to decide how much time, effort and money you want to spend on this argument.

    Maybe a few hundred bucks on a lawyer would be the simplest route to go to get a better idea of where you stand (based on the wording of the contract) and also to show them you are serious about defending this matter.

  5. Thank given for this post:

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    I am not Afrikaans - and the form is. As far as I can see, on the front, the part I signed, it says"......, reaksiemag en dienskontrak voorwaardes."

    On the back is does say "the minimum period for a service agreement is 36months"

    Would I have a leg to stand on, because:

    a) No-one ether told me or pointed this out
    b) the back is not signed

    I stopped the service for lack of service, surely, legally, if a supplier cannot supply a service to a decent level, then that is breach of contract?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pap_sak View Post
    I stopped the service for lack of service, surely, legally, if a supplier cannot supply a service to a decent level, then that is breach of contract?
    That would be the fair and logical conclusion. Unfortunately that does not necessarily mean its the legal view.

    You are now entering the grey area of who's definition of "decent" level are we referring to? Yours or the security company?

    I'm not a lawyer and even if I were I would need to look at the whole contract, not just selected pieces, before I could give you decent advice.

    The fact that you signed in the beginning means this is most likely going to cost you money. Either you pay out the contract or you pay legal fees to get out of it.

    There is always the outside chance that you could explain your views to a senior manager of the company and bluff your way out by explaining your reasons for cancelling the contract and that you are prepared to defend your opinion in court. They might think you are more trouble than its worth and just let it go.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusFact View Post
    Maybe a few hundred bucks on a lawyer would be the simplest route to go to get a better idea of where you stand (based on the wording of the contract) and also to show them you are serious about defending this matter.
    I agree. A letter from a lawyer may do the trick.

    My question on the NCA was because it could give more scope to strengthen your argument, but in a retail situation having a turnover of under R1 million per annum is probably unlikely.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Eish, I thought I was in the right on this one. But cheers for all your input. I certainly do not want to bring the cost of lawyers into this as it's only R100 per month. At the same time I do not want to mess up my credit rating, what I dislike is paying this on principal - I would never have signed up if I was on contract, nether would I have changed suppliers - I would have gone there and caused more of a fuss.

    I'll try chat to them and see if we can sort out maybe a smaller amount and get this nipped in the bud.

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    Ok, you are going to hate me for this but, if you signed it you are in for a bit of trouble regardless of contract law. See there are laws that protect people from this kind of abuse, to access those laws is going to cost you more than the R100 per month for 36 months that is only R3600.

    Now the lawyer I normally use charge me R600 per 1 hour “that is actually considered cheep” now let us say you go to court this might take 4 hours or all day... so you are looking at R2400+ for only one day! Now remember a case can take a long time and will end up costing you a lot more than just R3600!

    So if I were you "And this is only a suggestion" I will go to my lawyer and state that there equipment was removed by them and that they are no longer providing a service that you pay for. “Make sure payments are up to date” this will allow you to claim that they are not delivering a service AND they did not cancel the contract.

    They will then have to explain why they are charging a fee for an undelivered service AND they will have to justify removing the equipment without informing you that you are still liable to pay when you canceled the service. “This has to be done in writing”

    If your lawyer is clever enough and if the situation was handled correctly you will probably have a stronger case. But there is always ways around it so make sure your lawyer explains it all to you in detail. But it will not be worth it to argue the case in court, it will be too costly.

    Rather than pay for the service and have the radio reinstalled "Pay for the reinstallation if you have too" and give them 36 months of pure hell!!!

    Also keep a log book of every problem you have with them, and keep track of any and every mistake. Then go to the consumer council and start complaining about all the problems and provide the proof.

    I found that if you give a service provider enough hell, they might be open to cancelling the contract without penalty. “Always demand for a cancellation of this nature in writing”
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pap_sak View Post
    I'll try chat to them and see if we can sort out maybe a smaller amount and get this nipped in the bud.
    Given the value involved, definitely the plan. You do have grounds for a countersuit and I'm sure they'll be just as excited about the prospects of running up a legal bill over this as you are.

    Good luck
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  14. Thanks given for this post:

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