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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Are 'terms & conditions' that are not provided until after

Resolved Question:

Are 'terms & conditions' that are not provided until after payment had already been made and accepted legally valid and binding?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I paid a firm a large sum of money - over the 'going rate' - for their services on their promise that these services would be of superior quality. They told me that they would begin their work for me immediately on receipt of my payment.

Only after they had received my payment did the firm send me a letter of 'terms & conditions' which stated among other things that neither the fee nor any part of it were refundable.

For various reasons their services turned out to be not as promised, most unsatisfactory, below an acceptable standard and their behaviour was so unethical & unacceptable that eventually I terminated their engagement and asked them to return all or part of my fee.

They now stand on the 'terms & conditions' that they did not advise me of until after receiving my money.

I say that 'terms & conditions' that I was not advised of until after they had accepted payment are not valid.

- What does the Law say?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
The law says that at the point of contract only those terms which have been agreed at that time are part of the contract. Therefore if you made a payment, that could be deemed that was the point of contract. It is like when you buy something from a shop, when you hand over the money that is the point of contract.
The seller can't then say as you walk out of the shop, oh by the way I should say you are obliged to buy another one.
Only the terms at the point of contract can be included, non other.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you cite any particular law or act that confirms that only terms at the point of contract can be included?

On the basis of what we have told each other, is it worth consulting a solicitor with a view to suing these people?

If so, is there anyone in the Bristol area who you can recommend?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Contracts are governed by common law and therefore not a particular act.
It is common knowledge about the legal principles. For a contract there must be:
1) offer
2) acceptance
3) consideration (money)
4) intention to create legal relations
5) terms
Once a contract is made the terms cant be changed, unless that contract allows for a change.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It helps.

Should I take it further by consulting a solicitor with a view to taking the matter to court?

We are talking about ca. £4,000.

As long as I have a good chance of getting at least a substantial part of my money back I would not mind paying it to a lawyer just to make sure that these people don't profit by their dishonesty.

Obviously a 'no win, no fee' basis would be better since this would ensure that my representatives take up the case only if they believe that they have a good chance of winning.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
No, its a small claim so any costs cant be recovered. You may want a Solicitor to write a letter for you. You have a decent chance because of the terms. Sadly you wont get a no win no fee because this is a small claim so any costs cant be recovered.
I am sorry. Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it helps.

I would be quite happy to use any money recovered to pay the solicitor costs as long is it means that those people will not be able to keep it for themselves and will have had an experience to take warning from.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Indeed. Good luck and let me know.
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.

Alex