Businesswoman ordered to pay £4,000 to T-Mobile after losing court battle

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A businesswoman has lost a court appeal and been told to pay thousands of pounds of her own money to phone giant T-Mobile after her company went into liquidation.

Vicky Goodall was held personally liable for a cancellation charge when her company went into liquidation, a debt she argued should have been the firm’s and not her’s.

She said she had written to T-Mobile and all other suppliers when her company, ASG Electrical, became a limited company at the end of 2006, telling them they would need to take payments from the new company’s bank account.

T-Mobile did this for four years, but when the company was liquidated, the phone operator said the debt of £3,799 was Mrs Goodall’s and not ASG Electrical’s.

Mrs Goodall, aged 39, of Farm Close, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, represented herself, with the help of her brother, at Northampton County Court last Thursday.

She was appealing against a previous decision made by a district judge.

She said: “The contract was not with me, it was with ASG. My understanding was that by sending them this letter, my personal liability ended.”

James Bruce, for T-Mobile, said the case was no different to a student holding a mobile phone contract, and the bill being taken out of their parents’ bank account. He said: “There is no difference between the invoices before and after the change to a limited company.”

Recorder Andrew Tidbury said: “Without the respondent’s permission, the other person cannot transfer liability for the limited company. The other party must ratify the contract. I have every sympathy with the appellant in her current plight, but I must dismiss the appeal.”

Speaking after the case, Mrs Goodall said: “T-Mobile knew what they were dealing with.

“What concerns me is how many other people are there in the same situation who are totally unaware?”