Justice Prevails

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Background

After a decade of employment within marketing and communications, Roz Fernley made the decision to go freelance towards the end of 2015. Never having needed to file a self-assessment tax return before, Roz decided that it may be best to appoint an accountant to help, and managed to find one in the local area who was advertising free, no-obligation consultations.

Challenge

After attending the consultation, and ultimately deciding that the service on offer was not what she was looking for, Roz thanked the accountant for his time and politely informed him that she didn’t wish to take things any further. Unfortunately, the accountant did not take kindly to this, and almost immediately became extremely hostile, rude and threatening. The accountant told Roz that if she didn’t pay for his time spent on the “free, no-obligation” consultation, he would take her to court. Roz was confident that the accountant wouldn’t have grounds for the case because she had clear evidence of the basis on which the meeting was arranged, so she responded as such. Unfortunately, the accountant did not accept this fact, and continued to harass Roz over a period of almost six months with threatening emails. “It actually became extremely stressful and upsetting,” recalls Roz.

Solution

One day during the ordeal, Roz realised that she had access to free legal support through her membership with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), so she called up “on the off chance they would be able to advise me on my options.” The support on the other end of the line was Croner. Not only did the Croner advisor inform Roz of her options, they also provided significant reassurance of her position, and dictated word for word what she should write as a response. “It probably all took less than half an hour - the advisor grasped the problem straight away, explained a couple of options and, upon me choosing a route forward, proposed an immediate solution. “Within a few hours of putting the phone down and having followed the instructions, months of torment were suddenly over.” The accountant accepted the nominal settlement that Roz proposed, and agreed to draw a line under it.

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