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Could we see a ban?

It’s been rather a tumultuous week which began with an email on Monday from our old friends the 3rd Party Utility Broker UK Direct Business Solutions (cue pantomime boos). Their email stated that Radio 4’s Money Box Programme on which my case had recently been featured had done nothing but justify their claim for lost commission. Furthermore, they felt that the solicitor Melissa Worth who appeared on the programme had supported their position so there was nothing left to do but take The Flower Bank to court. After my initial feelings of shame, disgust and incredulity subsided I contacted Melissa, who’d given me her number following Money Box and the fight back began. She really has been incredible helping me write my reply and formulate a plan - what UK Direct Business Solutions failed to hear on the programme was her urging me to challenge their claim. Apparently I’m not the only CIC to be treated this way and OFGEM has growing concern for this sector, the issue is that there’s no cooling off period in contracts when you’re a tiny micro business and you have no protection under consumer law. I’ve contacted my MP Theresa Villiers who has kindly offered to speak to the company which is wonderful but I want her to get the law changed to help protect the sector. I’ve even spoken to a journalist trying to get him to highlight the issue - Direct Business Solutions really has picked the wrong person to mess with. Thank you to Olivia and Mike McCrone for kindly listening to my tale of woe. Great news on Friday as the Church of England is being urged to ditch floral foam in their funeral services. We’re open this afternoon for Valentine Day flowers if anyone feels that they’re in need of a recycled bunch. Have a great week. Ursula

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