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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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In my role as a company director I have been charged excessive

Resolved Question:

In my role as a company director I have been charged excessive cancellation fees by a company that cold called and then pressured me into signing a contract for work even though I said we may have to leave our building due to finanical difficulties. I am already unwell with the anxiety of our current difficulties and I feel this company has misrepresentated itself and pushed us into signing when we were not a suitable client. How can I go about fighting this excessive charge please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know if you read the contract before you signed it please?

Customer:

I did read it but no indication was given of the amount of cancellation fee, I also asked the staff several times if cancelling due to having to move out due to financial difficulties was ok as they had asked me if we were planning to leave. I had said not planning but our finances were fragile and we may have to leave and they said that was ok.

Alex Watts :

Does the contract tie you in for a fixed period? What does the contract say about cancellation?

Customer:

Attachment: 2015-02-03_140044_blue_skies_contract.pdf

Full Size Image
This is the contract, not sure if it is readable? It is PDF.

Alex Watts :

Ok, so this is a rates appeal.

Alex Watts :

They want to charge you for the reduction for the whole term.

Alex Watts :

Are you closing the Limited company?

Customer: No I am not, they want to charge what they may have earnt from the appeal. But firstly no work was carried out at all, just the cold calling and sales pressure to get me to sign despite my repeated mention of possibly closing. And secondly it was no win no fee so it seems an excessive cancellation fee to ask for this amount.
Customer: S
Customer: We are a very small company, now hugely in debt, most staff made redundant but I am continuing to run elements of the business online and via a local cafe that hosts us. This is so I can pay off the remaining rent owed on our lease.
Alex Watts :

Ok- but did you get any reduction in rates?

Customer: No they have not done any work. I signed contract on 5th Nov and they were informed that we couldn't afford our running costs so we were closing before they sent any surveyor to do any work. The only cost they can have incurred is paying their sales team.
Alex Watts :

Ok, so no rate reduction and you stopped the contract before they did any work?

Customer: Yes that is correct.
Alex Watts :

Ok, then I can not see on what basis they are charging you.

Alex Watts :

The fact you have signed a contract ordinarily would mean you are stuck. Even if you did not read it, because you are in business that would cause you a problem.

Alex Watts :

But in this case they have not done any work

Alex Watts :

Under the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 they are entitled to a reasonable fee for reasonable work done

Alex Watts :

In this case no work was done and therefore in my view, save for a charge for administration they can not charge you

Alex Watts :

If they try to you can refuse to pay

Alex Watts :

All they can then do is issue proceedings in the County Court. If the claim is for £10,000 it would be a small claim and no lawyers are needed.

Alex Watts :

You can argue they have done no work and therefore can not charge this fee

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: Thank you Alex, sorry I have been very unwell with the stress of all this but I'm back on form now. Thank you for the response which confirms what I had read. I have told them I will have a solicitor answer this letter and I will still do this but if it goes to court I am grateful to know that I would not necessarily need a lawyer thank you. Are there solicitors who do one off letters like this in th UK do you know? Where would I find one please?
Alex Watts :

You can get any High Street Solicitor locally to do this for you.

Alex Watts :

http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer: Yes thank you this has all been helpful.
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