They haven’t paid. Can we ‘steal’ our goods back?

Hi Aunty,

A well known local developer purchased several items of furniture from our firm, had the items delivered and then put on show in his new display home.


Unfortunately his cheque bounced, and despite attempts to call him on his mobile and landline we have had no luck in contacting him directly or securing payment.


We are being told by his staff that the funds will be deposited directly into our bank account, but after a week this has not happened. Contact with the office is now becoming near impossible as phones are not being answered.


As part of our purchase agreement we state that ownership of the goods remains with us until payment is finalised. Can we just roll up to the door of the display house and load up our goods?


Fed up (with promises from customers!),




Dear Fed Up,


Some people are rotten, aren’t they? They are scum bags – and I mean you, “Well-Known-Local-Developer”!.


Let’s just take a minute to examine your actions. You grabbed the furniture, put it in your fancy display home, knowing all the time the cheque was going to bounce.


Now you won’t return the calls to the well meaning and trusting company that has supplied the gorgeous furniture. That means one of three things.


You are going broke, in which case you should not have taken the furniture in the first place.


You are a crook and have no intention of paying.


Or you are incompetent, which means you shouldn’t be in business.


We know times are tough and everyone is struggling. But I am afraid that with your actions – bouncing cheques, not communicating and not answering calls, you don’t deserve benefit of the doubt. You deserve a kick up the pants.


But Fed Up, I have bad news. As tempting as it might be, you cannot roll up at the display home and load up your furniture. Our legal adviser, Uncle P, (Peter Vitale) says that is trespass, and that you need their permission to go on to their property, even though they have your property!


Uncle P says to send then a written demand by registered post asking for the immediate return of the furniture. Tell them that otherwise you will commence action for the “conversion” of goods. Have a lawyer write the letter. I am sure Uncle P will do it for a few hundred bucks if you ask him nicely.


You could also try the police, but our good men and women in blue are very busy and it is unlikely they will be very interested in your story, as gripping as it is.


OK, good luck,

Your Aunty B.


Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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