Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.,
For now please let me know whether they signed off the project as formally complete?
If so, is it in beta testing or is it fully functional?
They have not signed off the project, but it is complete.
The website is an online company formations (live linked to Co House) you can incorporate a company, change director details etc...very complex, and each stage is tested at a time. All elements are functional and have been tested.
Do you need to see the contract?
No, I do not think I need to. What is the value of the works and payments outstanding?
The website initial value was £18,750.00, we have also had to rebuild a substantial database as theirs was broken/floored, which took 5 weeks (part of the delay) we charged and additional £2000.00 for this, the balance excluding VAT is £9500.00
Ok - was timing part of the contract, ie the website would be completed by x date?
Timing was part of the contract, and we self invoked a penalty of 5% of the contract value for each week is was late. When we realised we would not complete the project on time, i asked to be released from this contractual element and they agreed.
Did they agree in writing?
They agreed in email
Ok. They never complained about the lateness or functionality of the website?
They have verbally expressed concern about how long it was taking, but have not issued anything in writing, or issued any verbal or written deadlines or consequential communications if the website was not ready by xxxx at no stage have they issued any deadlines or else, type communications, verbally or email. The functionality so far has not been questioned either they have simply said 'The Quality of our works' is not to satisfaction!
Ok - did they see the functionality and test it before completion? ie step by step?
They have been testing functionality since September, at each stage they have liaised with our programmer to make amends, fix bugs etc. c10 days ago i was requesting any final bugs/amends and we received just one, now fixed.
Ok - so no issues until now then, even though they have been testing?
Yes issues but all addressed along the way
OK - I understand.
Your position is this:
You have provided a functional website to their specifications.
You are very late, but they have released you from a penalty clause
There have been issues with the website but these have been addressed.
At no stage until now have they said that there is a serious problem, as you would expect someone to do so
If they were spending this sort of money you would expect them to raise issues at an early stage
They are not taking issue with it being late just that it is not a quality product
This is strange given they have had input and been testing parts
No one expects a significant design to be 100% working straight away
It has to be tested and de-bugged, but that is why you work with the customer.
As for their position they can only claim under Section 13 of the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act, that is not acted with all reasonable skill and caer.
* care *
However you have been working with them, so my view is that their position is weak
You may have to make a deduction for late delivery but in terms of functionality I can not see what else you could do
In any event if they don't pay you can issue proceedings in the County Court.
To keep it a small claim you would need to limit any claim to £10,000 in total. Above this it would be a formal claim and you would need a Solicitor.
However of course until they pay you or this is resolved you could refuse to carry out more work or indeed with hold files.
If you have done the work and they have not paid then you own the files.
You could take them off the server if you have access
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
The detail above is quite detailed, are you able to give an indication as to what advise they will be receiving so that i may tailor my position to suit their argument?
Sadly I dont know what they have told their Solicitor. Their lawyer may just be saying that you are in breach because you are late.
If they have released me from the lateness penalty is this not agreement or acceptance of the new position?
Well you are released from the penalty, not from the fact it was late.
Could we reasonably expect to be advised of their position due to lateness prior to the website being comlplete?is being late a legal argument
Yes being late is a legal argument. But again you would have expected them to raise it at an early stage
But if you accept its 70% your fault then clearly that could be an issue
An issue to cancel, not pay, get a refund for payment made etc? This is a huge point as it will form their attack/position.
A reduced payment, but I don't think they can cancel and refuse to pay
I think it may mean you wont be able to charge 100% for it.
But again they should have raised it earlier
Perhaps no surprise but, should have and could have's are very hard to form a way forward. Naturally i shall be trying to find an amicable resolution, but it takes two, and if they are unreasonable i need to understand the strength or otherwise should it go to court.
Does the VAT element place it over 10k or is this not taken into account?
I think you have a reasonable chance if you go to Court, above 50% which is what you need.
VAT element IS taken into account so you need to make sure its £10,000 or under to keep it as a small claim
I think in reality you can issue a claim, but it is likely it would be reduced by a Judge because of the delays.
But I think you have a claim
You did the work - they did not raise an issue until the end.
okay, i may need further advise after my meeting, how do i reconnect with you?
You can post any new questions FOR ALEX W
I can then pick them up
Even if I am in Court I can usually respond within a few hours
Can I clarify anything else for you about this?
Thanks Alex, your advise so far has been quite succinct. Do you think i should set out my position prior to our meeting, and if so is their a particular legal format i can copy?
I would wait and see what they say.
You dont know what they are going to raise and you dont want to make something of an issue of something they do not consider a problem!
Does that help?
Good advise Alex, thank you...no further questions for now
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