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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3557
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I signed a document service in place of my wife. I have

Resolved Question:

I signed a document for a service in place of my wife. I have no legal ties to her self employed business. The contract was for a period of 5 years not one as we anticipated the cost was mis quoted as £ 78 per month but they forgot to mention VAT so it was in essence £102 per month. Is the contract legally binding?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Did your correspondence with the company previously say it was only for one year?

Alex J. :

Does the contract contain a notice period?

Alex J. :

If the contract did not specify that the price was exclusive VAT then they cannot charge you the VAT on top.

Alex J. :

I look forward to hearing from you.

Customer:

The contract is one page one side only they never referred verbally that it was to be a five year contract I assumed it would be a standard 12 month contract in view of what we told the consultant about Bev business. Bev is self employed manager for the pub The Bay Horse Inn no formal lease had been signed at time of signing and we explained that basically until Bev's employer signed a lease she could theoretically be given one weeks notice at any time. The lease was eventually signed in August 2014. Bev would never commit to a 5 year contract with that knowledge and the Avensure rep was well aware of that fact.

Customer:

The contract does not contain a notice period.

Customer:

The contract just states exclusive of VAT we assumed that to be the case NO VAT.

Customer:

Also Client details on the Contract is "The Bay Horse" Beverley's trading name is "Beverley Taylor Bay Horse Bentley" Thank you

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. If the contract says it is exclusive of VAT then I am afraid you do have to pay VAT. On the notice period - do you have any evidence other than a phone call that suggests the term was only agreed for one year? Kind regards AJ

Customer:

The only conversation took place the day the contract was signed, there was no mention of a five year deal, we were both under the impression it was a one year deal. particularly as we expressed our reservation about the future being in doubt. Russell was very sympathetic and said they would not persue us if the business was in decline.

Customer:

Does it not make any difference that I signed when clearly it should have been my wife as it was her business not mine?

Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you. It would make a difference, but who is actually paying for the service? Is it you or your wife's business account?

Customer:

Well they are pursuing me because I was the one who signed the contract. The contract was for the Bay Horse which is my wife's business. Because I signed the contract Bev my wife could not include the debt in the IVA. I cannot put the debt into a Debt Management Plan as they say it is a business debt so I am in a catch 22 situation.

Alex J. :

Thank you did you sign the document for and on behalf of the business?

Alex J. :

Or Has the contract actually named you as a party to it?

Customer:

Signed as "Signed by an authorized signatory on behalf of the client" Named as "I am primary contact Bev is secondary contact"

Alex J. :

And is the client actually named as the business?

Alex J. :

I would write back to them and say that:

Alex J. :

(i) You did not sign this in your personal capacity;

Alex J. :

(ii) you signed it on behalf of the business;

Alex J. :

(iii) You have never personally paid for the service;

Alex J. :

(iv) Continuing to pursue you like this is potentially unlawful harassment under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970;

Alex J. :

(v) If they continue to chase you, you reserve the right to report them to Trading Standards


www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/

Customer:

Yes it is under Client Details, Name Of company, "The Bay Horse" Would you like me to send a PDF of The Contract?

Alex J. : Hi. Thank you. Yes if you can send a copy of the PDF that would be great. However if it was definitely signed on behalf of the business then I would write to them as I have outlined above. I look forward to hearing from you.
Alex J. : kind regards AJ
Customer:

Ales having trouble inserting PDF I have to go out will be back about 1.45 - 2.00 pm and will try again thank you Mike



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Alex J. :

Hi, Thank you very much.

Kind regards AJ

Customer:

Alex

Customer:

Alex I have tried to upload the pdf on four occasions it just wont do it??? do you have an email address I can forward the contract to?

Alex J. : Hi Thank you. I will switch to Q and A and mode you should be able to do it then. If not let me know and I will find the best email for you to send it to. Kind regards. AJ
Customer:

Sorry Alex still no joy uploading the document.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex I think I am going to need alternative email address to forward the contract. Regards Mike

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I will send you the details shortly.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex thank you I await your details. Mike

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No response yet Alex

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay.
Please can you send the document to ***@******.*** for my attention?
Thank you very much.
Kind regards
AJ
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I can confirm I have just received the document. I will review it revert to you as soon as possible.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Alex

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I have reviewed this. It is clear you have signed it on behalf of the "client" and not in your personal name.
However the client is effectively a sole trading entity.
What I suggest you do is write to them as I have outlined above. If they still pursue you, you will have to either defend or try and negotiate a notice period with them.
I think if you make it clear that you did not sign in a personal capacity that should be sufficient.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3557
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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