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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I own a one man very small double glazing business, few weeks

Customer Question

I own a one man very small double glazing business, few weeks ago by mistake, I used a old contract form, where does not state, that customer has 7 days cooling off period to change their mind.

The customer, contacted me four days after the cooling off period, contract signed 12th July, customer contacted me on 23rd July.

What I would very much like to know is, should I take this matter to the small claim Court, would I win or loose, please.


Thank you very much.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So did the contract that she had seen and used to base her decision on whether to deal with you, have the 7 day cooling off period?

JACUSTOMER-bl07jhu3- :

no, it does not, by mistake I used a old one

Ben Jones :

So is there anything in her contract about cancellation, or about the inability to cancel once the survey has been passed?

JACUSTOMER-bl07jhu3- :

no there is nothing else, only that she cant cancel once survey has been passed to factory

Ben Jones :

how did you get her business, was this a doorstep sale?

JACUSTOMER-bl07jhu3- :

no she came into my showroom, and asked me to go to her home and quote for the job

Ben Jones :

Was she aware that the survey had been passed to the factory?

JACUSTOMER-bl07jhu3- :

will I have to wait much longer for your answer?

Ben Jones :

please see my last query above

Ben Jones :

timed 10:15

JACUSTOMER-bl07jhu3- :

sorry, I didn't see it, no she was not, but she did ask for the work to be carried out a.s.a.p., because she told me, she had been burgled 5 times in the last 12 months

Ben Jones :

First of all I must make it clear that no one can tell you whether you will win or lose. Legal proceedings always carry a certain degree of risk and uncertainty and a decision will often be made based on the evidence you have and give, how you perform as a witness, whether the judge thinks you are credible, also on how the other side performs and what evidence they provide.

In terms of the situation you have found yourself in, it is unfortunate that you used an old contract but you cannot retrospectively try and use the terms on the new contract and argue that there should have been a 7 day cooling off period. The customer relied on the contract you issued her with to enter into this contractual relationship and as such the terms in that contract would apply.

However, all is not lost as there was still a cancellation clause which prohibited cancellations once the survey had been passed on to the factory. The customer would still be bound by this term as it was part of the contract she agreed to. Assuming that had already happened and there were no other clauses she could rely on or no breaches on your part, then she may indeed be too late to cancel this.

Before you consider suing i suggest you follow these steps:

  1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been unanswered, the other side needs to be sent a formal letter (preferably by recorded delivery) asking them to pay the money they owe within a specified period of time, usually 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do pay, legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the money owed. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action, which should be a last resort. It is therefore essential that it is sent.
  3. If they fail to pay as requested or do not make contact to at least try and come to some form of arrangement, this matter can be taken to the next stage and formal legal proceedings can commence. If this is just about an attempt to recover money the claim can be submitted online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. There will be a court fee to pay depending on the amount to be recovered (this is usually refundable if the claim is successful) but at least this will kick-start the legal process and hopefully prompt the other side into resolving this without the need to go to a formal court hearing. If the value of the claim is below £10,000 it will most likely be assigned to the small claims track which is a relatively straightforward process.

Finally, it is also strongly advisable to keep copies of all correspondence in relation to this, in case it is needed at a later stage.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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