Happy New Year, unfortunate that i have to start the year on this topic.
Let me explain the situation in detail.
I run a start-up out of Brussels, Belgium. In my sales process i used a leading provider of customized online webinars from UK preceded by a email campaign to get participants. During the sales talk on phone , they said i can expect anywhere between 60 to 120 participants (i have notes taken based on the call - but not a email). And the whole purpose was to convert the participants as leads and have meaningful conversation.There were detailed discussion with their in-house analyst who explained the process etx etx.
During the email campaign driven by the organizer (focused on geographies USA and EU) based on their database of contacts and industry influence it turned out that the expected registrations where much lower. We eventually set a number of 20 participants at-least (this i have in mail indirectly where they said we will send out so many emails to get at-least 20 participants) i offered to post-pone the event citing low registrations, but the organizer refused as they had to incur costs etx.
Eventually on the day of the event there were 13 participants, of which 3 where from Africa / China and some double dialed. So eventually 8 of them. I sent a mail that i am extremely disappointed, the internal analyst sent me a email saying they are also very disappointed with the turnout.
Now i have not paid the invoice yet and i am disputing that is not fair to make me pay this when they acknowledge failure. They offer me to exhibit at their event for free but it makes no sense for me.
They cite the contract as the base where they say that they have not mentioned anything about minimum participants or outcomes - but they used this heavily in their sales process. (also its not normal that companies do webinars just for the sake of it without outcomes)
They argue that this is not how big companies work, but i had made it very clear that mine is a startup from the beginning and that the primary purpose is to get leads from the webinar.
I am willing to bear a part of the cost that they incurred in people and time but not willing to pay the full invoice. Can they proceed against me legally and what are my chances in case they do so citing the only basis as a contract which has no outcomes in it.?