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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3654
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have a contact with a Franking machine provider that started

Resolved Question:

I have a contact with a Franking machine provider that started in April 2014, at the start of the contact I had 3 months free. In Oct and Jan, I got an invoice, both stating my contact start period was July 2014, as this is 3 months after April, I was lead to believe this was my actual start period. I have contacted the provided and they now tell me the start period on the invoice has no relevance and the actual start period is from April. Legally is my start period in April or July or both?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
What does the actual contract say? Does it say that the "Term" or "Initial Period" starts in April or does it say that the effective date of the contract is from April?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have asked them to email me a copy of the contact, two day later and I still haven't received one. I guess if the "term" or "initial period" is from April then the contact can start from July. If the effective date is April then the contact starts in April and the invoice has no relevance.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
If you agreed that the contract would begin in April 2014 - they can unilaterally change that without your consent.
Just because the invoice says the the contract started in July 2014 - it is the contract that you actually signed that will determine the effective date.
Is the term of the contract one year?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes the contact is a one year rolling contact. I have to give 3 month notice before termination of the account, hence, I thought the contact start period was from July, I give my notice now and the year has been paid up, but if they state the contact starts in April, I give my notice now and I have to pay the full year to terminate the contract. Have I been mis-lead, should they have advised me the invoice, on both occasions, was in-correct.?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
If you notionally accepted that the commencement date was July 2014 - then the amendment to the contract will become valid.
Are they refusing to accept three months notice?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I like the word notionally Smile. They are accepting the 3 month notice, they are not accepting the start date to be July 2014. They are stating the contract has not changed, they have sent out some in-correct paperwork and failed to inform me the paperwork was in-correct, I believe, leading me to believe the start day was July 2014. This seems to be a very grey area, would a court fall on the side of a signed agreement and dis-miss the incorrect document as irrelevant?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
The document/invoice changing the commencement date is not irrelevant.
What it comes down to is whether you were entitled to rely on it or whether it should have been obvious to you it was a mistake.
I would write to them and say the following:
- Through their poor management of your account they have misled into believing when notice could be served;
- Say it is entirely reasonable you are entitled to rely on the notice in the invoice that the contract was to end in July of this year;
- Say that this letter constitutes valid notice and you deny that they have any further claim to enforce a contract against you for another year.
- Say that you pay the notice period and use the service until July but then it will terminate;
- Say to them that any attempt to pursue you, you believe will be estopped by a court as it will be inequitable for them to claim that the notice was served in error.
- Say that if they do not accept your notice you reserve the right to report them to Trading Standards. www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your advice, it is greatly appreciated.