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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45291
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have issued a claim against a supplier who over a period

Customer Question

We have issued a claim against a supplier who over a period of a couple of years and due to a flawed, automated billing system has overcharged us quite large amounts. The amounts are made up of a number of monthly repeating subscriptions for a service that was either terminated via their on line portal or which moved away to a different supplier.
We discovered these mistakes and brought them to the suppliers attention and they have refunded some of the overcharges. However they have dug their heels in and refused to pay the amounts we have identified. the key is that we identified these errors recently but the period they relate to is up to 2 or more years ago. In their defence, just lodged, to our claim they are relying heavily upon a clause in an agreement which we did sign (as do all of their cusomters) where it states "if the customer reasonably considers that any error has been made in the calculation of any charges or that any invoice is incorrect, it shall give written notice within 7 days of receipt of invoice, identifying those charges in dispute and the reasons.....where notice of such a dispute is not provided by the claimant in accordance with the forgoing it shall be deemed to have accepted such invoices". There is a long explanantion and a large number of reasons that we could give as to why this in fact is totally impracticle (but in short the sheer volume of repeating services, the invoices received are consolidated into one lump sum and the timescales would not work for a normal busy accounting function). We have been told, but not by a legal expert, that this clause would not stand up in court but before we test it we thought we would ask. Is there a time limit or I guess you could call it "a statute of limitations" regarding the time period after which you cannot ask a supplier to correct an invoicing mistake??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How old is the oldest overpayment, when was that made?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Bear with me Ben while I dig out the initial claim
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
no problem. Just to let you know I am in and out of court today so may not be able to respond immediately but rest assured I am dealing with this query
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
okay so the oldest mistake appears to be in May of 2011. In other words, this particular "subscription" was cancelled on that date with our supplier via their portal. We stopped charging our customer at that point. Our supplier then went on to charge us unitl March 2015. This one amount alone was £925 over paid.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
their portal is flawed and in some cases it does work the other way around, they have for example just sent us an invoice for £1700 for a subscription they forgot to bill us for going back to October 2014
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this case I think the period actually goes back further than this but they are only invoicing back to October 2014 "as a gesture of goodwill". (possibly they had the pedning court case in mind...)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your patience. I agree that such a clause is rather weak and unreasonable. For example, there could be circumstances where it is not immediately obvious that there are issues with the charges and this may only surface at a later stage and past the initial 7 day period. Such clauses may be enforceable if the errors were clear at the time the invoice was sent and there was an unreasonable delay in bringing this to the other side’s attention, thus implying an acceptance of these charges. However, something which was not clear at the time and no reasonable person in your position would have been expected to immediately notice, could still be challenged later on, even if it is against the specific terms of such a clause. In terms of a limitation period where an invoice cannot be corrected, there is nothing specific in law which sets that. Technically, one can challenge an invoice at any time after it was issued, be it days, months or years. The key is not how soon after it was challenged, but when did it become clear that the invoice was wrong. If the errors were clear at the time of issuance but nothing was done and these were only challenged once an unreasonable delay had occurred, it could be implied that the invoice was accepted with its errors. However, if the errors became apparent at a later stage, even if it is years later, but it was challenged within a reasonable period of time, it is still possible to pursue this and challenge said invoice. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45291
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben, thats exactly what I hoped you would say. The errors were in fact only discovered much later and not were not clear at the time the invoices were issued becasue if they had been we would have raised it then. I figured we were on solid ground but it's always nice to get another opinion which will give me confidence when it comes to being in front of the judge.
thanks again for the speedy response.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, best of luck!

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