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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48787
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I'm a freelancer worker, i did some work company and

Resolved Question:

i'm a freelancer worker, i did some work for a company and completed and delivered the work, and then invoiced them... they asked me to fill out a "new supplier form" which i did...
now it's been over 30 days since i invoiced, and still no payment, when i contacted them they said "our payment terms are 60 days which you agreed to" i rechecked the supplier form and in tiny print "font 5" it states that their payment terms are 60 days, but this information was presented to me a) too small to read b)after i had completed the work...
can i take them to court to make them pay up now?
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. So just to be clear - 30 days have already passed and you have another 30 days before you are due to get paid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes i contacted the company and they offered to pay by october 1st... but I need payment of this invoice now...

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Going to court is not really going to help you I’m afraid. The whole process will take weeks, if not months. By the time you submit the claim, it is processed by the court, acknowledged, correspondence sent out and a date set to hear it you will be way past the payment date and are likely to have already been paid. So you will just be wasting time and money pursuing something which is likely to have been resolved by then. So it is unfortunate that you may have to adhere to the company’s terms and let them pay you when their terms state. You could try and twist their arm by sending a letter threatening to go to court, but I would not actually advise that you go ahead and make a claim due to the reasons mentioned above. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks ben, one last question, i have done this through small claims before and everything was resolved within about a week... is that not likely to be the same again?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi, do you mean you had a hearing arranged and you attended it within a week?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no they sent out letters, and funnily enough them sending out the letter made the company pay up!

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
oh yes letters will be sent out fairly soon after but that does not automatically resolve your case. If the matter is defended then this can go on for a much longer time. In fact they have 14 days from the date they receive the claim to file a defence or settle this, so if you think it takes a week to send the claim notification to them, then they have 14 days to deal with it, it still takes you to the time it would have been paid anyway. The difference is that by claiming you would have had to pay a claim fee and would be down financially. That is why I suggested you send a letter threatening court yourself and give them a deadline within which to pay - it is free and could have a similar effect to getting a court letter
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks ben, you've been great, my only remaining question is this...

are their payment terms legally binding, or is the fact they are written in small print and the fact they where presented to me after the work make them irrelevant?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
The small print is not an issue really - as a business yourself you are expected to carefully check all terms you agree to, whether in small print or not. The main issue is that these were not issued to you until after the work was done. For example, if they had and you were not agreeable to them, you may not have taken the work on or you would have negotiated for a change to these terms. So your main argument that they are not binding would be that they were not discussed before the work was completed. However, that does not mean you can force them top pay now - if they really wanted to they could still wait another 30 days and let you try and pursue it via other means, like court, although as mentioned that does not guarantee immediate resolution.
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