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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48769
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I am a small business arranging coach breaks club

Resolved Question:

I am a small business arranging coach breaks for social club groups.
I recently had an issue with a coach company who I paid to provide coaches for 2 groups (80 people) travelling to watch the Monaco Grand Prix on 20th & 21st May 2015.
The coach company cancelled the coaches within 12 hours of the departure. They did not replace the coaches, but instead i had to find another coach company to fulfill the contract at short notice. This cost me an extra £7500. In total, i am nearly £15000 out of pocket, taking into account other expenses i had to pay to ensure the trip went ahead.
As of today the original coach company still owe me £500 of the original fee i paid them for the job. I also believe they lied about the reason for cancelling. I want to find out if i have a legal case to bring against them to claim back compensation for them cancelling at such short notice to help cover the costs I incurred.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What reasons did they use for cancelling and what did your agreement with them state about the option to cancel?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They told me that a coach had a crash and DVSA visited their yard and suspended their licence. I contacted DVSA and they said that the company had been refused a licence in April 2015 and did not hold a valid passenger licence. DVSA are investigating my allegations as they believe no one from DVSA would have visited the coach company as they did not hold a valid licence. I have no terms and conditions from the company regarding the cancellation. I only have a copy of the invoice that I paid.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
the starting point would have been any contractual agreement you had with the company, whether written or verbal, which detailed the options on cancellation. It could have been that cancelation was allowed in certain circumstances or with minimum notice given. If no such agreement existed then one could assume that cancellation was not possible unless both parties had agreed to it, or if there was an unforeseen event which made the completion of the contract impossible. They may have tried to use the reason with the DVSA but it appears this is not a valid reason in the circumstances. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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