Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
For now please let me know whether you ever formally instructed or signed a contract with the agency who is trying to charge you?
Hello, good to hear from you. No I never signed a contract.
How do you mean 'formally instructed'?
did you ever say, hello please do this work?
No, we were in negotiation phase since 05/08/2014. The closest we got to saying to do the work was as outlined in the case report to the left.
OK - then you dont need to worry
If you did not formally instruct, but negotiate and you never signed a contract then you can NOT be liable
But I did say that I would be happy to proceed.
Only if you gave a formal instruction or signed a contract agreeing to the work would you be liable
But that's when the cost did change.
But you have not, so you are not
They are saying the following:
We don't normally do designs by spending the costly time of our designers until projects are confirmed, but you led us to believe that the project was ready to be commissioned if you see convincing design from us which made us to put one of our senior designers to work on your designs.The amount outstanding of 1,050.00 GBP is due on or before 1 Nov 2014. If you fail to pay this, we will have to hand over the case to our debt collection agency and that may affect your credit rating.
that was agency 1
Ok - well I would not worry about this.
This is agency 2
If they try and register a default you can sue them and apply to the court.
Again, the same applies. No contract no instruction
So technically, I could say 'I agree to everything, I agree to the proposal you have sent over, I agree to send over a deposit, I agree to sign at a later date', but if I have not signed the proposal contract, they cannot hold me accountable??
Exactly - it was all negotiation and subject to contract
So I have to physically sign the document for it to be valid?
There's no other way around it?
Yes you have to sign the contract OR agree in email that they are formally instructed.
Negotiations are not enough
I sent this email:
That's fine, thank you for letting me know. I am happy to say that I am>ready to start with the project and would like to choose FDC for the>delivery of the website. I would be available for a meeting on Friday 3rd>October if this is convenient for you?
This is where they are most sensitive about me saying 'yes'
Ok - but even then this seems like negotiation
The issue is that I essentially agreed to a previous price (£11K + VAT)
but then I realised certain aspects of the website build had not been considered, so needed this costing up
Again when I say 'agreed', this is the agreement that you read in the email I just sent over
Yes I did.
But again I think that is a counter offer, so again not a contract, or even negotiation
im trying to play devil's advocate here :)
Yes but you have not said outright I accept, but yes, that is ok - but.......
So counter offer
But if I did say outright that I accepted
Because I did in that email no?
It's just that I forgot to ask about another website feature
Yes but there is still NO CONTRACT
But I was reading that contract can be verbal/written too?
There needs to be
If they said: This is our offer X,Y,Z
And you wrote back and said: I accept
That is a contract
You said you are ready to start. That does not say that you agree, or accept their terms at this date
You mention a date for 3rd Oct
That suggest negotiation
Right OK, I have to go now, but I will be back a little later on. Thank you so much for your time.
What is the next step I should take?
Ok, can I clarify anything else for you today please/
I obviously dont want to go into court
You need do nothing
The ball is in their Court
But even if they took you to Court if any claim is less than £10,000 it would be a small claim
:) nice pun
They would need to prove you agreed to a contract
I sent a text on 09/10/2014 that 'some areas of costing still need clarifying (as there were still additional costs to be made) and then I will be able to go ahead with a deposit'
Ok - so that is a counter off or indeed negotgiation
still not contractual?
Its not acceptabcem
I am a dental student too
I cannot have court proceedings in my criminal records
will this go to my record?
Its not criminal.
what about an enhanced CRB?
At most if you went to Court and lost it could be a county court Judgment
No, not on CRB
Even if you lost at Court and paid in 1 month you would have no CCJ
But no CRB, anything
its not criminal
I dont have the money to pay a solicitor for court
if they were determined to take me, would I have to oblige?
If I don't go, I will lose?
The matter can be considered on the papers. You dont have to attend.
Better if you do, but you dont have to
In your experience, is this often a scare tactic, or is it pushed through?
agency 1 stated they will get debt collection agencies if i do not pay in 2 weeks
Does that go through the same court proceedings?
Dont worry about that - debt collection agencies cant do anything
Yes they could
Can I clarify anything else?
Thanks Alex, I have to go now, but I'll speak later on. You have settled my mind significantly.
If this does answer your question can I ask you to rate my answer - the button should be at the bottom of the screen
If you need more help please click reply
Just wanted to ask about this case: Would I need to get a solicitor to write a letter to these agencies? Also with one of the agencies, I used a document that they created as part of the proposal stage to give to another agency to get an estimate quotation. Because I used their work for this purpose, do they have any right for payment?
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/