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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a customer who paid fencing project in full prior

Customer Question

I have a customer who paid for a fencing project in full prior to us starting the work. We provided them with an estimate and completed the time we had allowed for the works however the ground was very difficult and we could not complete the rest of the fencing for the estimated cost given. We stopped work on site and advised the customer that we needed to discuss the additional costs because they were going to be very high. nearly 3 months later they have come back to us stating that they believe that a sum of money is due to them because we walked off the job without completing it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Did you have any form of contract? Does the paperwork clearly say estimate?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No formal contract signed by us the contractor or the customer. Yes the paperwork clearly says estimate in more than one place.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Did they ask you to leave or did you walk off the job?
How much are they seeking back?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The ground was very bad, we advised them that we would stop the fence and make the site secure until we could quantify the additional costs involved in the project and how to move forward ie would they want to pay the additional cost. Following that network rail advised us that our customers didn't have permission for us to be there and stopped us working. The last communication I had with our customer was that they were negotiating with network rail to allow us to continue work to date I haven't recieved any conformation of the outcome of this and they haven't advised us that they didn't want us to continue the work. Now they are saying we walked off the job we quoted for and they want a sum of money (that they have calculated) back by way of a cheque
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Estimated cost was around £60 k - sorry I don't have the paperwork in front of me. They are asking for 20k back.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then you are ok. If you have used up the money to do the works then you are fine. But if you had charged for say 100 hours and only done 20 then you would have to give back the 80 hours worth.
But the fact the ground was difficult, you provided an estimate only, additional costs hadnt been agreed and in any event Network Rail had not given your customer permission I dont think you are liable.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I told them before we started that the duration would be 3 to 4 weeks. We have completed that time period. Do you have any advise as to how I can respond to their latest email requesting this money back?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Just say that you deny it and that you gave an estimate, you have done the hours quoted and most important they dont have permission from NR
That is not your fault. You took all reasonable steps and notified when it became obvious there was an issue with the ground works. You are not to blame.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok Thank you. I will respond to them with that. I don't agree with the figure that they have calculated it is inaccurate and doesn't contain some costs. Does that matter? or is it simply the case that we have completed the time allowed so it is irrelevant what they think it should cost?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you have done the hours paid for then that is enough. So it makes no difference what they think. If it was a quotation that would be a different matter.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's great thank you. ***** come back to you again if I need anything further regarding this?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Sure.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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