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  #21  
Old 10.09.2020, 16:12
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

Hi Chuff, thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, I do not have his physical address at all. We have only corresponded through emails (and one video call). I only know his name, his phone number, and his email address. He does have a webpage online, but it did not list any contact information (no physical address, no email address, no phone number) -- there was only an online contact form.
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  #22  
Old 10.09.2020, 16:14
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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Hi Chuff, thank you for your answer. Unfortunately, I do not have his physical address at all. We have only corresponded through emails (and one video call). I only know his name, his phone number, and his email address. He does have a webpage online, but it did not list any contact information (no physical address, no email address, no phone number) -- there was only an online contact form.
Then just respond by email with your formal declaration and then do not respond again if he keeps trying to pressure you. The ball will then be in his court and if he wants to really press the issue he will have to go through legal processes to do so which will likely not end well for him if he has no hard evidence of agreement and it's his word against yours.

Does he have your full name and home address?
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  #23  
Old 10.09.2020, 16:17
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

He has my full name and the street name that I lived in xxxstrasse, but not the house number (although I think this could be implied because I mentioned I was in a student housing).
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  #24  
Old 10.09.2020, 16:22
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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He has my full name and the street name that I lived in xxxstrasse, but not the house number (although I think this could be implied because I mentioned I was in a student housing).
Well, with that in mind I would still do what I mentioned above, send an email declaring your position then never reply to his emails again. If you get anything in the post, then come back here for advice.
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  #25  
Old 10.09.2020, 16:24
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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At this point, I only want to know the amount of money that I am liable.
In my opinion: Between one and zero lessons.

If you pay something do not see it as a wasted money, but as a legal fee for all the information you got in this thread or a paid lesson on contracts, obligations, and such.

As a homework I suggest to read a bit in the Code of Obligations https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...009/index.html Specially Titles 1-3, 6, 8, and 13
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  #26  
Old 10.09.2020, 16:28
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

Thank you very much Chuff and aSwissInTheUS I will do the homework you gave
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  #27  
Old 10.09.2020, 17:43
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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...the tutor argued that the offer, including the price per lesson, was already written in the first email he sent to me.
Check your email messages again. Is there a price given?

Has he already filed a Betreibung or is just threatening to do so?
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  #28  
Old 10.09.2020, 17:54
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

I believed it was only a threat.

An update: he sent another email saying that "Let's agree on a misunderstanding, ok?" I suppose this means we will treat it as a misunderstanding (or am I right?)

Thank you everyone for very helpful legal advice. I will take this lesson not to repeat it again.

Last edited by danilins; 10.09.2020 at 18:05.
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  #29  
Old 10.09.2020, 17:56
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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This is common bully-boy tactics with low-rent teachers who need quick cash injections from easily intimidated expats who hear the word "Betreibung" and panic. By paying him anything you are only facilitating this scummy behaviour.

this is golden, sadly applies to other avenues of life, in Switzerland including.


OP, please read that again. You can also ask your swiss peers to see how would they react. I can assure you they know what is agreement and would never pay in such scenario.



If you are feeling like paying, choose a charity of your liking and make a donation.
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  #30  
Old 10.09.2020, 18:45
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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I believed it was only a threat.

An update: he sent another email saying that "Let's agree on a misunderstanding, ok?" I suppose this means we will treat it as a misunderstanding (or am I right?)
You're right. You can forget about it now.
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  #31  
Old 10.09.2020, 18:53
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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I believed it was only a threat.

An update: he sent another email saying that "Let's agree on a misunderstanding, ok?" I suppose this means we will treat it as a misunderstanding (or am I right?)

Thank you everyone for very helpful legal advice. I will take this lesson not to repeat it again.
This tutor obviously wasn't teaching English. What was it? Law? Cage fighting? Mud wrestling?
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  #32  
Old 10.09.2020, 21:46
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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I believed it was only a threat.

An update: he sent another email saying that "Let's agree on a misunderstanding, ok?" I suppose this means we will treat it as a misunderstanding (or am I right?)

Thank you everyone for very helpful legal advice. I will take this lesson not to repeat it again.
It's the same for every business conversation:
Summarise what you think was agreed upon or is the outcome, and ask for explicit consent, or alternatively where the other(s) disagree.
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  #33  
Old 10.09.2020, 22:52
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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It's the same for every business conversation:
Summarise what you think was agreed upon or is the outcome, and ask for explicit consent, or alternatively where the other(s) disagree.
Which is exactly what I did when my bosses were trying to get me to resign... And they were so stupid, they didn't disagree with my view!
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  #34  
Old 11.09.2020, 01:26
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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We called yesterday and agreed to start next week on Tuesday. Then, two hours later, I called it off.

Did he say "See you next Tuesday"?


Two hours is quick enough that he hasn't really lost anything and the worst that should happen to you is you feel a bit guilty.
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  #35  
Old 11.09.2020, 04:17
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

Yes, he did say "see you next Tuesday".

Also, now I read his message again. Could it be that his "let's agree on a misunderstanding, ok?" was intended to mean "let's settle (financially?) for this misunderstanding"? I am not familiar with this phrase, and it also looks ambiguous to me (apologies if I misinterpret it as I am not a native English speaker).

When I look up on Google this particular phrase and its two variants, "agree on _/a/the misunderstanding", I got a very few results. One result was that:
Quote:
Smyths Toys and Santa agree on misunderstanding and wish each other well. A Good Samaritan Santa Claus and Tamworth’s Smyths Toys have wished each other well and agreed there was a “misunderstanding” after he was asked to leave the Ventura Park store this week
which confirms my original interpretation.

Last edited by danilins; 11.09.2020 at 04:47.
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  #36  
Old 11.09.2020, 14:47
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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Yes, he did say "see you next Tuesday".

This has become a phrase with alternative meaning



Quote:

Also, now I read his message again. Could it be...

No, the English isn't good. He means to put it down to/agree that it was a misunderstanding and forget about it.
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  #37  
Old 11.09.2020, 16:13
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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Of course, anyone can file a Betreibung against anyone else in Switzerland. They don't even ask for the reasons. But if you dispute it, he will have to prove his side of the story or it won't go any further than a record on your Betreibungsregister. Which you can request to remove these days if he doesn't act on your dispute.
In view of his attitude I'd not pay him anything. Sounds like he's on shaky ground anyway. Just to clarify, if he takes Betreibung against you, there is a procedure he must follow, by sending an invoice, demand etc. You must then refute these by registered letter.

If he then opens a case (for which he will have to pay to begin with) nothing is registered against you until the matter is settled. It will go to a conciliation hearing and if you agree to pay something, and it's paid the matter ends. If you don't pay then he can have the debt registered.

You also do not have to agree in the conciliation. In which case he has to decide whether to pursue the matter with a full court hearing.

Personally I'd be inclined to offer two hours lesson as a compensation, without prejudice, let him confirm it in writing if he agrees, otherwise tell him you'll pay nothing and he'll have to take it further.
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  #38  
Old 11.09.2020, 16:20
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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Thanks for your answer, spark. Also, is this actually considered a 'legally binding agreement'? I am confused. Even if we agree on the weekly plan and the start date, it is not like we specify validity period [i.e. continue classes until when]. If he is legally entitled to pursue me, wouldn't it imply that I'm eternally liable to him for this 'weekly agreement' that I didn't specify the ending date. It is not like I make an eternal oath to this tutor and must pay him every week for the agreed time ???
I know of a case where a family employed a student to do some chores in the garden like mowing the lawn, weeding, raking the leaves. No contract was every signed, nothing was in writing, and payments were cash in hand.

One day they got into an argument with this student and basically the father of the family kicked him out of the garden and told him never to return.

The student ran to a lawyer and demanded a severance payment from the family. The lawyer wrote a letter to the family pointing out that even if nothing was in writing, there was an implied work contract. I think they ended up settling out of court for something like a month's worth of earnings.
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  #39  
Old 11.09.2020, 17:11
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

Thank you for a great example, amogles. To Landers, yes now I know it has an alternative meaning!


For this lesson, I got many valuable advices from forum veterans here how I should do a verbal agreement business in the future, so maybe it's good that this thing happened to me on a resolvable level and I learn it now rather than later, so thank you all very much .

Last edited by danilins; 11.09.2020 at 18:41.
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  #40  
Old 13.09.2020, 11:56
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Re: Can I get a Betreibung from a phone-call 'agreement'?

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I know of a case where a family employed a student to do some chores in the garden like mowing the lawn, weeding, raking the leaves. No contract was every signed, nothing was in writing, and payments were cash in hand.

One day they got into an argument with this student and basically the father of the family kicked him out of the garden and told him never to return.

The student ran to a lawyer and demanded a severance payment from the family. The lawyer wrote a letter to the family pointing out that even if nothing was in writing, there was an implied work contract. I think they ended up settling out of court for something like a month's worth of earnings.
Something very similar happened with us. We took on an au pair for our then very young boys, 5 & 8. He was 18 and we took him through an agency which was also a professional school so all was above board. Part of his job was to take and collect them from school. A 10 minute walk.

I was never really happy with him. His room was always a mess, he failed to do chores which he was supposed to do etc. One day my wife bumped into a police friend she was at school with, and from this she discovered the boy was taking our boys to the railway station where he'd meet his friends, smoke weed and allow our boys to run around! Not only that they learned some very inappropriate language for their age from him.

Long story short I spoke to him and he replied very arrogantly so I threw him out literally an hour later. Next thing we know we receive a very nasty letter from their lawyer demanding we fulfill the contract and pay him 3 months + holiday etc.

I refused and the school set up a reconciliation meeting. Amazingly the parents (from Zurich) did not mind he was hanging out in the station and smoking weed. They had no concern his job was to look after our children and retorted the bad language used is heard every day at Zurich station! Unbelievable.

They refused to back down so we gave it to our lawyer, one of the big boys, who started a very large counter claim for physiological damage, lack of care, not fulfilling his duty and so on. Even threatening to send them the bill for the evaluations. They managed to make a full page of complaints against him. The father was rather worried (we heard from the school) by this as it was against the boy, and the case would have been heard in Lugano, so in the end he agreed to withdraw all his claims and pay our legal costs.
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