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whose clients are they...legal or not?

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Tickled Pink!

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A bit of help please....
I worked in (NOT for) a tanning shop and paid a staggering 40% of my takings for the privilige! I posted on this site about this a while ago it was the general opinion i was being taken for a ride - i supplied my own products, training, price lists and insurance etc. The crunch came when they produced a bill for their new 'combined' printed price lists and wanted me to pay 50% totalling £500!! I wasn't even consulted on this, let alone asked if i would like mine combined with their services and contribute. Anyway to cut a long story short, i told them i was leaving and went off on my holidays. All the clients i had were new clients (never having been in the shop before and have only ever been serviced by me). I never signed anything with the shop and like i said earlier i didn't work for them, purely on a s/e basis. I had a really good relationship with these clients and have built up great friendships and told them i would be leaving, never slatted the shop and if asked, told them that i would be working from home due to the high cost of childcare.
All these clients have been in touch and since i have been back from holidays my phone hasn't stopped ringing!
There is one other tech there now who also works on a commission basis (none of the clients in question have ever been to her)
I have now received a really aggressive letter from the shop saying i have broken the law by stealing 'their' clients and they are considering legal action. I know the subject of staff loyalty has been bought up on here before and i am not a nasty person and don't think i fall into the 'unloyal' bracket - i purely rented space.
Does anyone have any advise for me. I contacted CAB and they said they 'probably' wouldn't have a leg to stand on but i hate conflict and this is worrying me.
Thanks guys
 

Sassy Hassy

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Not being a solicitor I wouldn't want to give you wrong advice, but as you had no binding contract I would say they haven't a leg to stand on. You weren't an employee, you were self employed and so rightly they are your clients. Just write back and say you have taken legal advice (not mine - just pretend) and your solicitor says - see you in court! Or - you could see a solicitor, they often do a 30 min free consultation now. I did this when I was "bullied" out of a job, they were very helpful and gave me the options I could take. Just thank your lucky stars you are out of that now and pity the poor sucker who's there now!
 

perfect10kb

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Hi There ,

I cannot comment on the legal aspect of this as I am not sure myself . However from the things that you have said I can observe the following.


1. You did not 'steal' the clients as a) you were self employed and b) you did not solicit them they came to you of their own free will . That is their right . they can choose to go to whoever they want . The salon does not 'own' them.
2. As you supplied all your own materials ,price lists ect you cannot have been considered an employee of the salon and therefore have no obligations to them


I do not thick it is ethical for an employee of an establishment that subsenquently leaves to entice the customers to 'defect' to them but this is not what happened here


When I first started out I too worked from a hairdressers 2 days a week on the same sort of basis you did as well as working from home the other 4 days . When I left the salon all the clients there then came to my home . It was not a problem for me or the owner of the salon as I was not employed by them . By having a Nail Tecnician in their salon they appreciated that it was also bringing them extra customers for hair services .


If you are really worried it may be worth having a consultaion with a solicitor to see where you stand legally . I should not cost you too much and will probaly put your mind at rest . Try not to worry too much . I am sure it will not come to anything . Let us know how it goes .

Karen :)
Light Elegance UK
 

Up To Scratch

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What shame you don't know a solicitor - or mayb if you think hard enough about it, you do?


Get thinking really hard chick 'cos I'm pretty sure they're all mouth and no trousers and a quick - very general and non-specific - letter from a solicitor friend should be enough to put the wind up 'em.

My guess is they're just trying to scare you, so scare 'em back!!! :lol: Broken the law by stealing "their" clients, my arse... what a load of bulls**t!! :D
 

Lellipop

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I would say that if you were self employed, Then these people are YOUR clients regardless of what the letter says.
I would take some legal advice as already advised and take it from there.
Hope all goes well :cool:
 

The Beauty Zoo

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Surely clients have 'free will' and can go to who they like?? If they are the salons clients then they would have signed a contract with them????

We all know how fickle the public are ....... they can choose to have their nails done wherever they like.....I am sure they are trying scare tactics.

But for your own peace of mind get some legal advise......why not try the Citizens Advise Bureau???

HTH and good luck ;)
 

Tickled Pink!

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Thanks for your replies!
I think i will probably seek legal help so atleast i'll know in my own mind whether i am right or wrong.
 

novo

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Hi honey,

a friend of mine was in a similar situation recently (legal action pending) The client confidentiality cards are YOURS if they use this info to inform the clients of anything it means they have broken the data protection act which is illeagal (hence the CPS are prosecuting on my friends behalf). But yeah go and see a solicitor (they normally charge a one off consultation fee about £20) just for advice. Good luck and stuff them they were ripping you off and are still trying to by the sounds of it!

pamxx
 

Tickled Pink!

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I haven't yet taken legal advise but will next week but have just had a thought...the fact that all these clients paid me directly, surely that goes someway to saying that they were my clients, otherwise they would have paid the salon...? Most paid by cash but i did receive numerous cheques over the months from clients.
 

Sassy Hassy

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tickled pink these guys are snakes, not just cos they slither and have forked tongues, but sounds like they haven't got a leg to stand on lol! Don't fret, I am in a hair salon - I brought my own clients with me, I do my own advertising to gain my new clients, it's all my own equipment, my clients pay me and they are MY clients. Like someone else said - your clients choose who they go with and they WENT WITH YOU.
 

Tickled Pink!

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thanks again you lot.
I was loosing sleep over this but now feel calmer about it! Firstly, like i said i will seek legal advise so i am confident in my knowledge, secondly i am quite sure they are only threatening and wouldn't do anything.
I have heard from a couple of clients that they have been slatting me - bloody nerve - perhaps i should sue THEM for slander! At the end of the day, the fact that the clients want to come to me says it all - they must like what i do.
 

Bryony

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Hi,

Sorry, not a siolicitor so can only give my humble opinion. You have nothing to worry about!!!

"Broken the law for stealing their clients" ????? What law would that be?? The one that says 'Clients lose the right of free will the moment they walk through the salon door' ? - Did they have that placard clearly displayed above the door??
As far as I understand it it's not the 'done thing' to poach clients from others but I don't believe it's actually against the law - but as you haven't done that anyway then what exactly is their problem?

Get some legal advice even if it is purely to put your mind at rest.

B
 

andapril

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Tickled Pink! said:
Thanks for your replies!
I think i will probably seek legal help so atleast i'll know in my own mind whether i am right or wrong.
I have the same problem except I was fired for taking too long with the clients.
can you believe that?!!! Sure I understand time is money but is caring about clients a crime? She was a brand new client!! What do you think I really need another opinion. I would also like to know what do you charge for a new set of nails? fills? Thanks from Texas
 

Curzy

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When I worked as an Accountant before I started doing nail I had a clause in my contract stating that if I was to leave the firm I was not allowed to act for any of their clients for three years. This stopped me pinching them when I left.

This is standard practice in the accountany field but I was employed by the accountancy firm. Used their materials, computers etc. They advertised, tendered for clients and the clients paid the firm direct.

Like others have said, I'm no solicitor but as you had no written contract with them stating that you could not take clients with you, you were self employed etc etc they dont have a leg to stand on. Also did you have any verable agreement with them that you would not take clients with you if you left? If not I think you will be okay.

You have not broken any 'law', it would be more a case of a breech of contract, which is not braking the law. If you have no written or verbal contract with the shop, then which contract are you breeching?????

If they used this phrase 'broken the law' in there letter, I bet they have not taken any legal advise as this is a total mistatment of legal terms. It looks like its just a case of sour grapes and they are being funny.

Hope you get this sorted out soon. I know that things like this can play on your mind.
 

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