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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I had a meeting with Peach telecom regarding a maintenance

Resolved Question:

I had a meeting with Peach telecom regarding a maintenance contract for our business phone system. During the meeting the handling of our lines and calls were discussed and it was suggested by Peach that not only would it be preferable to have all facets under one supplier (thus avoiding conflict of blame if a system goes down) they could also reduce our lines and call costs.

Having agreed i signed a contract for maintenance and one for lines/calls. Two months later i was advised by Peach they would not be able to do the maintenance (no reason given) but the contract for lines/calls still stands.

Now if i move the lines to a new supplier who will also do maintenance (so as to achieve the ultimate aim of having all under one roof) Peach are enforcing a penalty of 50% average bill for the remaining period of the 5 year term. Approx £7500.

Had Peach not said they could do the maintenance i would have moved the lines so can this be deemed misrepresentation?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi, thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

In short, yes, if the wrongly told you that they would do the maintenance too, and you entered into the line contract on that basis, then this could be misrepresentation.

tdlawyer :

You should check to see whether there is an entire agreement clause in the agreement (usually near the end) which says that anything they tell you is immaterial. Do you know if this exists?

Customer:

The T&C's are 8 pages long so i'll have to go through them and check. Would this absolve them of any culpability?

tdlawyer :

Not if the representation was made fraudulently, i.e. persuading you to contract on this basis when they knew, or was reckless to, the fact that they would not be offering that service.

tdlawyer :

However, did you not enter both contracts together?

Customer:

i did, at the same time.

tdlawyer :

OKay, then they would be in breach of contract in relation to the maintenance agreement, but I appreciate your point about wanting to end the agreements by claiming misrepresentation. However, it may be open to you to get the maintenance somewhere else too, and then sue them for the additional costs you have had to pay over and above what they agreed with you in the overall package.

Customer:

the contract mitigates their liability to 12 months of charges. Over the 5 year period, given the premium companies charge for not carrying lines as well as maintenance, i would be out of pocket to the tune of £4000.00. Can the contract be one sided so as to limited their liability to one year but extend mine to the period of the term? Do contracts not have to have equal rights for both parties?

tdlawyer :

They dont have to have equal rights, but if their standard terms seek to limit liability, that limitation must be reasonable under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.

tdlawyer :

Whether it's "reasonable" is very hard to say, it depends on what terms you get in the industry generally and whether there was an inducement to accept the term, amongst other things.

tdlawyer :

It's not easy to answer that - but I expect in this instance, you would have grounds to argue that there was a misrepresentation and that it would be manifestly unfair in those cicumstances to limit their liability in this way.

Customer:

Thank you for that.

tdlawyer :

You're more than welcome.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else I can assist with?

Customer:

No that's fine thank you. I feel encouraged enough to go to my own solicitor.

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