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Conveyancing solicitors, poor service and rip off fees

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My gripe is related to a firm of solicitors in Southport, who were recommended to us by the estate agent selling our house.  The lack of communication and customer services was in my opinion quite astonishing!

Firstly, they were supposed to provide us with written quotations/breakdowns of the cost of the conveyancing for both the sale of our house and the purchase of the new property.  These we never received despite making numerous requests.  Seven days prior to completion I received a phone call saying they everything was in place for the set completion date, oh and by the way they needed £7,000 to do this!  As you can imagine I was horrified at the sum and asked that they fax me a breakdown of the costs.

Conveyancing solicitors nightmare, house keys After my husband, our financial advisor and I had gone through this with a very fine-toothed comb, we couldnt reconcile this with the actual bill which should have been £1,600.  Quite a difference wouldnt you say?  At this point I decided to dig a little deeper and find out more information about this company.  The director of the company sits on all manner of law councils, and the person dealing with our conveyancing, her job title is "fee earner", which I thought was quite apt.

After our financial advisor had spent some time going over the figures with them, one of which was for a mortgage arrangement fee, which our advisor actually dealt with and not the solicitors, they agreed on the £1,600 figure.  I phoned them to make this payment with my credit card and was told that there would be and administrative charge of £70, which I thought was quite outrageous.  I insisted on speaking to someone more senior as I wasnt very happy about this extra admin charge.  I ended up speaking to the company director who eventually agreed to waive the fee.

However the saga continued right up to the day before we completed, when they rang to say we needed to sign a document.  I took time out of a very hectic pre-moving day to go to the estate agents where this document had been faxed, to sign this paperwork so it could then be faxed back to them.  I got home and just as I stepped through the door my mobile rang, it was the solicitors on the phone to say that they needed me to put in writing that we were happy to proceed with full knowledge of the contents of this document.

I asked why I hadnt been told this half an hour ago when I was signing the document and the reply I got was, that they do ask for the client to do something towards helping with the paperwork!  Arrgh!

At this point I saw red and I am ashamed to say swore at the "fee earner" on the other end of the phone.  As even our financial advisor said we were doing their jobs for them.  So after yet another trip to the estate agents, and a bad fall injuring my leg (not recommended the day before a big house move), everything finally went ahead and we completed the next day.

So after nearly 2 weeks of no sleep, a great deal of worry wondering if we were ever going to get moved, and then finally having to move ourselves as we couldnt instruct a removals company because of all the uncertainty; I am pleased to say we are now moved in and very happy.

All in all the whole process has been one long nightmare that I urge anyone to avoid.  I am also annoyed that the estate agents, who have themselves a good reputation, actually recommended these cowboys to us in the first place!


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Cornishman

Cornishman

We were charged 3 times the original estimate by Allen James Solicitors in High Wycombe. They charged for all phone calls by the minute and charged twice when my wife asked them to call me and tell me of any issues - We ended up paying £5000 for a conveyance on a 500K house.

We would never go near them again.
Cornishman
28th Aug 18 11:59

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Stupid Assumptions

Stupid Assumptions

Quote "...I suspect there has been a sanction..."

I think you wrongly "suspect" rather a lot...

Rather than reading and believing all this negative twaddle there is a small selection of positive and happy clients on their website. In fact more than there are negative ones here.

I'll say no more.
Stupid Assumptions
27th Nov 14 20:27

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The Big Ninny

The Big Ninny

You Will Have A Hair Cut???? More like you should use a spell checker! What rubbish
The Big Ninny
5th May 14 23:37

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You Will Have A Hair Cut

You Will Have A Hair Cut

The scam lies in the fact that solicitors use clerks to undertake conveyancing. These latter people are not full legal professionals but are grossly overpaid jerks. Solicitors who are scamsters themselves live off the back of these lowlife administrators. DOn't expect any porper legal advice int his situation. It's simply the Grim Reaper at your money.
You Will Have A Hair Cut
28th Apr 14 14:46

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Bent Lawyers Beware

Bent Lawyers Beware

Rachale, your story is not so uncommon as many might think. If you really want to repay them for what they did to you, get someone to phone SSP Law and ask them who their professional indemnity (PI) insurers are. (About 85% of the solicitors PI market is held by only 10 insurance companies.) Then send a copy of your negligence claim to the Risk Officer of that insurance company.
Most law firms have to renew their PI at the end of September each year. This year, as it was last year, insurers are looking for any excuse to dump high risk conveyancing firms. And solicitors can't, or shouldn't, practise without PI cover. That'll teach 'em! Good luck!
Bent Lawyers Beware
21st Apr 14 13:01

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Rachale Foster

Rachale Foster

I am the CEO of a mid size company with 15 employees. I hired and paid SSPlaw. Mrs Bahareh Amani Kholsari came on record but forgot to go to court. Leaving my company unrepresented during trial. Resulting in a severe financial loss. Mrs Bahareh Amani Kholsari forgot to inform court she was on record. My company works daily with lawyers but never heard of a lawyer forgetting to go to trial because she went on holiday and forgot about the court case. The owner of SSP law Paul Sowerbutts admitted his employee forgot to go to court and proposed 400 GBP damages. Currently our other law firm is filing a negligence claim against SSP law and Mrs Bahareh Amani Kholsari. Needless to say..do not hire SSP law or Bahareh Amani Kholsari a total rip off
Rachale Foster
20th Apr 14 23:08

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Sun Wukong, Great Sage Equal To Heaven

Sun Wukong, Great Sage Equal To Heaven

May their entrails be scattered amongst the Galaxies and Milky Way.
Sun Wukong, Great Sage Equal To Heaven
10th Apr 14 18:19

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Pankaj

Pankaj

I agree completely with most of you guys.. these conveyncing solicitors are so pathetic to deal with. I am in process of buyin a flat and as recommended by our estate agent 'Bairstow eve' I prefered to go with countrywide property lawyers. But for my surprise after wasting 3-4 weeks they came up saying they can't progress on my case as this is a leasehold property and they do not have expertise for this. They can only deal with simple dealings, hence they are transferring it to one of their panel member 'Lindemyers'. I didn't had any choice apart from agreeing with them as I a lot of time was wasted. Now LinderMyers started in a good fast way but to my surprise after 3 weeks I found that they have gone into administration and can not proceed any more.. Now I am again on the same place where I started from.. and don't know what will happen next.. and its just becuase of the solicitors playing with peoples hopes..
Pankaj
19th Feb 14 17:32

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Big shit

Big shit

"Big N" Your comments are unnecessary given that people's jobs have been affected by the appalling mismanagement of the company in question over a number of years.
Big shit
23rd Jan 14 22:14

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big N

big N

It has taken long enough for this useless company to come to it's just end. how they had the cheek to charge for it's work amazes me !!!
They nearly cost us the sale of our house .
Good riddance to bad eggs.
big N
23rd Jan 14 21:00

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Mattyd

Mattyd

The firm is no more. They went bust in January 2014.
Mattyd
22nd Jan 14 20:11

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Po

Po

And so endeth the firm known as Barnetts.
Po
22nd Jan 14 13:24

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S

S

Anyone using them? they were recommended by our estate agent but after reading this im really changing my mind
S
16th Jan 14 03:02

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Bob

Bob

Out of the hundreds of thousand happy customers Barnetts will have had over the years it good to see only a few horror stories.
Bob
8th Jan 14 20:01

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Anonny-mouse

Anonny-mouse

The irony of a poster using the name "Anon" after Steve's post calling out anonymous complainers is delightful........

In all seriousness, what kind of service do people expect when they agree to use a firm hundreds of miles from where they live?
Anonny-mouse
21st May 13 19:18

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