Back in September of 2009 I signed up for a credit card machine with Handepay which the salesman said would be for a term of three years. Last week, I decided that the time had come to terminate the contract since the iZettle card payment system is a much better mechanism for my business. Today I received a letter from Merchant Rentals demanding the sum of £1153.30 to cancel the contract!
I rang Merchant Rentals to ask why it is that there is such a huge charge for the termination and was told this:
The Handepay contract is for a MINIMUM of 36 months, but you have to give them 12 months notice of cancellation. Since 12 months notice was not issued, the contract then automatically extends for another 24 months.
So, because I didn’t issue a cancellation in October 2011, the contract automatically extended to October 2015. However, because I didn’t cancel in October 2013, the contract is further extended to 2016! Needless to say, the polite salesman who sold me the contract neglected to mention this little nugget of information!
To me, this seems to be a dirty, underhand way of doing business.
What I also don’t understand is why it is that they should demand £1153.30 when I write and tell them that I want to terminate my contract – why didn’t they say “Oh, your contract doesn’t expire until October 2016, we’ll cancel it then?”
Upon challenging the charges, Merchant Rentals – they reduced the cancellation period to 9 months and the fee to a little over £320. The nice lady on the phone said that it was Handepay’s contract that stipulated the terms and not Merchant Rentals. When I pointed out that both Merchant Rentals and Handepay have the same address, she confirmed that they do but that they are totally different companies.
I thought it was interesting to note that one of the directors for Handepay is a gentleman by the name of Mr Andrew MacAuley whilst Merchant Rentals have a director by the name of Mr Simon MacAuley. Additionally, former Handepay director Mr Michael Christopher Prendergast is currently listed as one of the two directors of Merchant Rentals. It almost seems like a family affair.
I personally feel that such a contract is immoral and unjustifiable.