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Buachaill
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 8437
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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For Buachaill: AA has asked for money

Resolved Question:

I have been contacted by the AA a full year later in June 2013 stating I owe them 152.63 from May 2012 despite having a receipt sent to me in two forms by letter in May 2012. I have the first letter stating I paid 152.63 May 30 2012 and the employee's name who processed it (the same accountant who is calling us now). All other details are in this letter from policy name, number etc. Then I have a second letter stating I have paid the full amount of 152.63 so there is nothing additional to pay. Also dated May 2012. So a full year later I get a phone call saying they have gone through their accounting and I need to pay this by June 21 2013 or my policy will be canceled. Is this legal? How is this my fault when I called in and spoke to agents directly and paid each year a full amount in advance? I have never heard of this before, it is like buying shoes and the company calling a year later saying we did not charge you enough? I have also just found a new letter stating 'This was regrettably an error on our part, and I'm sorry for any inconvenience caused'. So they have admitted it was their error. Do I have to pay this money?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Ronan replied 1 year ago.
Did you in actual fact pay this money originally??
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought I had via credit/debit card. I called in and received two receipts for it by mail!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You have to be kidding me if this is legal. Payment should be confirmed and receipt provided and it was confirmed with receipts twice! And they admit this was an error on their part 'This was regrettably an error on our part' so how on earth can it be legal to contact customers in any field (retail, etc) and say whoops(!!) we didn't charge you for that and it was our fault, but it is a year later and now you have to pay?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can you imagine leaving a store after paying for shoes (or goods of any kind) complete with receipt having given your card number (I was paying for a year in advance at the time) and then they screw up their accounting so badly they call you a year later and say hey pal, you still owe us for those shoes. Who on what planet does this? What business? This absolutely cannot be legal. I paid via call in on phone, I gave my card details, I have two receipts confirming payment, and now a year later I am told I did not pay? My intention was to pay, and I did willingly at the time. I get a letter 12 months later they will cancel my insurance by June 21 2013 if i do not pay this amount? I used to own and antique space, I charged for items what I thought was correct, sometimes I undercharged by accident as it is an imprecise area of expertise, but in no way could I contact customers and ask them for more money. It is outrageous. Isn't there a statute of limitations for something like this where they cannot contact you after the fact?

Expert:  Ronan replied 1 year ago.
You still haven't quite answered my question. Did you pay it or not and if so, have you evidence of this on your bank statement.

Certainly, you can maintain that you did pay it and were issued with a receipt. Producing same as evidence receipt to a Court. This may well be accepted as sufficient evidence by a judge. In such an a scenario, the insurance company are entitled to cancel your insurance but must return your premium to you. (This will be provided for in the terms of their insurance). Even if it is not provided, you will only be able to sue them for the value of your loss. i.e. the premium you paid

If in fact you did not pay it and they can prove this. (Clearly difficult for them to prove given that you have a receipt) Then unfortunately there is no contract as there was no consideration from your point of view
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there I just called in and asked for buachaill instead as I meant to ask for him and you had yet to answer. As you can see she put his name in the header for me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Regarding Ronan's query above for Buachaill, I called in to pay in May 2012 and provided my card details, I then received two letters from AA confirming payment and one stating I owe nothing further (I could scan these if necessary). So I never checked my bank statement, I assumed I had paid as I spoke to a customer service agent when giving card details and then the two letters followed both arriving before the end of May confirming pay. I do not check my bank statements diligently, but I do keep receipts diligently. So then a full year has passed and all of the sudden out of the blue I am told my card was not debited and this was an error on their part. That the letters were automatically generated, that I must pay for the previous year's balance by June 21 or they will cancel my policy. I am in fact paid for the whole entire year of 2013-2014 and until this past few weeks had of course assumed I had paid in full for the previous year, based on my acceptance of card details and two letters confirming payment and no further payments due. So as they made this error and have treated us so terribly, do I in fact have to pay them for this past amount (it has not been debited from my account as I spent half the day going through last years statements which was a joy).
Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,


I’m Wendy, and I’m moderator for this topic. It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This question was for Buachaill, even though Ronan entered a response I wanted Buachaill, can you see that he gets my question? I called in to customer service and had them enter his name in the subject line.
Expert:  Wendy-Mod replied 1 year ago.
I sent your requested professional a message to follow up with you here, when they are back online.

If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience.

Best,
Wendy
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. YOu definitely do not have to pay this money. Once you have paid once and the receipt of the monies have been acknowledged, then you do not need to pay again. Simply make clear to the AA that you have paid previously and show them the letter acknowledging payment. clearly, there must be some accounting error here. Just because an accounting error has been made does not make you liable to pay twice. So, stand your ground and assert your rights!
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I checked my bank records from one year ago and my account was not debited. I even checked my other accounts, it was tedious, but I did it to make sure. I had been paying direct monthly debit and opted to pay the rest (1/2) in lump sum. I think they offered me a reduced rate for doing so, I then paid this year as a lump sum in full. So my account was not debited, I did not pay, despite having called in, spoke with agent, provided all details and received two letters of receipt. But my question is, can they come back a year later after an internal audit and demand payment despite this being their admitted mistake and not mine and threaten cancellation of a prepaid policy? This was a full year ago, I am paid in full for this entire next year. Isn't there a statute of limitations for this sort of thing? A retailer cannot contact a customer a year later and say whoops, we didnt charge you for those shoes despite you giving us your card details and demand return or payment of the shoes when it was their mistake can they? It is obscene isn't it?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. There is a three year limitation period within which the retailer would need to bring an action to force you to pay. Accordingly, if you definitely did not pay, as your account was not debited, then the AA are within their rights to request you to pay even a year later, as in law, you still owe the money. When answering previously, I was under the impression that you had paid the money as you received a receipt for payment. However, if you are certain you did not pay, then I regret to say that you will have to pay even a year later. Otherwise you do leave yourself open to legal action.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do the receipts mean nothing? Obviously I gave all details by phone, and they confirmed I had paid twice by letter, even stating I had nothing more to pay and I thought all was well, then renewed my policy paying in advance for this year. Does it mean nothing that this is 'their admitted error' and not my lack of efforts to pay at the time. I have no recourse whatsoever, simply paying it and nothing else even though they fumbled?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. I regret to say in law, if you have not paid the agreed money under an agreement, whether through error, mistake, or lack of proper accounting on either side, this does not remove the legal obligation to make payment of the money due. A receipt is not conclusive of payment being made if payment was not in fact made. You have made clear that money was not paid. If it was otherwise, then you can certainly refuse to make further payment. However, if you admit payment was not made, then the contractual obligation to make payment has not ceased. The one year period which has elapsed has not removed this obligation to pay.
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Buachaill, Lawyer
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Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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