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Topic # 112027 23-Nov-2012 13:04 Send private message

A few months ago now, we had a call from reTone offering us an evaluation of it's products. Somewhere along the line they have sent us 3 toners and a bill for said toners. We contacted them to say we didn't ask for them, and they need to come and get them. 

They have been sending us statements and we have been sending the same email denying we asked or ordered them, now they are threatening debt collection. 

I have written to the financial controller and said under no circumstances will we pay, but the items are unopened and can be collected any time from our offices. We secure purchases with a purchase order and they don't have a PO from us. 

They are based out of Australia.

I feel I should contact the CEO, but I get the feeling this is the way they conduct business trying to bully people into paying. 

Anyone else had any experience with them?


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  Reply # 721859 23-Nov-2012 13:58 Send private message

You're right, unsolicited goods don't need to be paid for. Let them send debt collectors, when the debt collectors come give them the products back.




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  Reply # 721869 23-Nov-2012 14:15 Send private message

Are these invoices or pro-forma invoices, like the ones used by those domain name scammers every few months?







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  Reply # 721873 23-Nov-2012 14:22 Send private message

Invoices. I sent the controller a very strongly worded letter, stating we secure all items with a PO and if she didn't have one, then the items were not ordered by us. She ignored it and sent a statatory demand and a threat of debt collectors.

They say that you have 60 days to say you don't want the samples, but the staff member who spoke to retone says he wasn't even aware they were sending anything, nor that there was an obligation to return them or refuse them within a 60 day period. It's all a very strange business practice.

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  Reply # 721874 23-Nov-2012 14:24 Send private message

networkn: Invoices. I sent the controller a very strongly worded letter, stating we secure all items with a PO and if she didn't have one, then the items were not ordered by us. She ignored it and sent a statatory demand and a threat of debt collectors.

They say that you have 60 days to say you don't want the samples, but the staff member who spoke to retone says he wasn't even aware they were sending anything, nor that there was an obligation to return them or refuse them within a 60 day period. It's all a very strange business practice.


IANAL, but I do know that unless you explicitly agree to a contract in NZ law, it's not a contract and not legally binding.  That simple.  You cannot "presume" assent.

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  Reply # 721878 23-Nov-2012 14:30 Send private message

From what I know you're totally in the right. Send it back along with an invoice for postage.




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  Reply # 721879 23-Nov-2012 14:34 Send private message

timmmay: From what I know you're totally in the right. Send it back along with an invoice for postage.


But would they be legally required to pay that invocie? It would probably just leave you out of pocket, and they may still claim costs for the toners as they could claim they were used.
 
IANAL, but I don't think they can send it to a collection agency if you dispute the account. Also I don't think they are legally able to make you pay the costs associated with collection, unless you sign a contract that says you would pay those costs.

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  Reply # 721947 23-Nov-2012 16:46 Send private message

It sounds similar to those scam invoices for advertising you never booked.

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  Reply # 721950 23-Nov-2012 16:50 Send private message

mattwnz:
timmmay: From what I know you're totally in the right. Send it back along with an invoice for postage.


But would they be legally required to pay that invocie? It would probably just leave you out of pocket, and they may still claim costs for the toners as they could claim they were used.
 
IANAL, but I don't think they can send it to a collection agency if you dispute the account. Also I don't think they are legally able to make you pay the costs associated with collection, unless you sign a contract that says you would pay those costs.


No and yes respectively.  They can send it to collections, but the collection agency will actually be even easier to get off your back - you simply demand proof of the debt and if they cannot present such proof then the agency will refuse to attempt collection.  You are correct on the second part that they cannot claim costs unless such was agreed to in a contract though.

IANALBIRLWB (I am not a lawyer but I read legislation when bored).

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  Reply # 721968 23-Nov-2012 17:13 Send private message

networkn: Invoices. I sent the controller a very strongly worded letter, stating we secure all items with a PO and if she didn't have one, then the items were not ordered by us. She ignored it and sent a statatory demand and a threat of debt collectors.

They say that you have 60 days to say you don't want the samples, but the staff member who spoke to retone says he wasn't even aware they were sending anything, nor that there was an obligation to return them or refuse them within a 60 day period. It's all a very strange business practice.


If retone ignored you instead of discussing it like any other business would maybe they get complaints like this all the time.

Pro-forma invoicing is illegal most places and comcom here have a page on it which includes inertia selling.

http://www.comcom.govt.nz/unfair-sales-techniques/

I guess it's hard to know at this point what is going on but a quick report on comcoms contact form will clue them there might be a problem if other reports arrive.

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  Reply # 721976 23-Nov-2012 17:26 Send private message

Too bad you cant charge them for storage.

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  Reply # 721983 23-Nov-2012 17:57 Send private message

I recall this from years ago its a well known scam just google it as it sounds the same.




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  Reply # 721984 23-Nov-2012 18:04 Send private message

I think that going to the Commerce Commission is the best advice so far. Being an Australian company, there's probably little the ComCom can do, but they may well be able to liaise with their Australian counterpart and have them sort out ReTone. Also, it means the ComCom knows what is going on and can add it to their list of scams.

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  Reply # 721985 23-Nov-2012 18:08 Send private message

One other thing: you should probably send only one final email to them, reiterating that you won't be paying and that they can pick up their crap from you, and point out that you've complained to the ComCom and all further communication should be directed to them. After that, don't waste you time on them.

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  Reply # 721995 23-Nov-2012 18:29 Send private message

nickd: Too bad you cant charge them for storage.


I recall reading something that is a company doesn't pick something up after a period of time, and you have requested them to, you can then dispose of it. But can't remember exactly where I read that, so the OP should check first.

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  Reply # 721996 23-Nov-2012 18:32 Send private message

There's a similar "offering" going around in the USA and some even call is a scam...


What she really wanted to know was if there was somebody else dumb enough to give her our printer info. You see, my father-in-law owns the office supply business from which we buy all our toner. I was going to tell her that, but she hung up on me before I got a chance.

What this "Robin" was trying to do is an old scam that people still run today. It has various names but is generally regarded as the "toner scam" or "ink cartridge scam" because it always involves laser printer toner cartridges or inkjet printer cartridges. 


The way the scam works is they find out what kind of printer you have and send you some ink for it, even though you never ordered anything. They let you keep the ink for a while in the hopes that you will use it, then they send you a bill. Their prices are always way more than what you'd normally pay anywhere else. If you call them to question the bill, they will try to guilt you into paying and some of them even make threats. Many people pay the bill because of this, otherwise they might feel like they are stealing.





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