Shopper wins 16-year credit battle over PC World laptop – Telegraph.co.uk
He returned the laptop at 9am the next day because it did not have an internal
modem and asked for his deposit back and for the credit agreement to be
PC World refused to accept the rejection of the goods and did not cancel the
credit agreement. Mr Durkin eventually had the £50 deposit returned in an
HFC, now part of HSBC, said he had to keep making payments under the credit
agreement and later issued a default notice to credit reference agencies.
The notice remained on their registers until 2005.
Mr Durkin, an offshore surveyor, argued that being wrongly blacklisted meant
he was unable to buy a house in Spain in 2003, as well as being shut out of 0pc
balance transfer deals. He claimed damages of £250,000.
Mr Durkin took his case to court and initially won damages of £116,000. He
appealed the assessment of damages and the ruling was later overturned.
Mr Durkin told
the BBC that the Supreme Court judgement was a “victory for all
He said he was disappointed the Supreme Court did not restore the full damages
awarded by a Scottish court.
Mr Durkin said: “This decision is a great victory for all consumers and I am
proud to have been the driving force behind it.”
“As a result of the decision, no consumer will have to endure again what I had
to put up with – the loss of the ability to buy a family home because of
wrongful blacklisting of me.”
He added: “Taking a case to any court is a huge stress, but taking it to the
highest court in the land with all the risks that go with it was the most
stressful thing that anyone could voluntarily put themselves through.
“But sometimes you have to do what is right, and not what is easy.”
The Supreme Court in London today ruled that Mr Durkin was entitled to rescind
the credit agreement and had done so “validly”. Five justices delivered
Mr Durkin’s solicitor, Ross Slater, an associate at Glasgow-based law firm
Patrick Campbell & Company, said the Supreme Court decision was a “significant”
case for consumers.
“The practice of referring debtors to credit reference agencies without
making further enquiry about that debt will no longer be acceptable,”
Mr Durkin said: “I am grateful to my legal team, and to the Law Society
of Scotland who funded the court fees which I could not afford.
“But I am most grateful for an end to this matter now, having fought a
long and difficult battle which at last is over.”