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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11442
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I left university last year to work on my own business

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I left university last year to work on my own business producing models as a model maker, so am quite new to the world of business - to justify some embarrassing mistakes below..
I have a client who i have done work for, spread over the last 6 months, there have been some problems and delays, but now at the end of the process, he refuses to pay my invoice for any of the work over the last 6 months (all of it would usually come to £1119)
Unfortunately, i did not give him a quote and the prices involved with each stage (wont be making that mistake again!) But the client did agree in writing for each stage to be carried out and approved the work as it was going along until the very last stage and final delivery, when he claimed everything i had produced was wrong and he wouldnt pay for any of it. Is it reasonable that having not quoted him, the work is now worth 0?
I backed down and gave him a hugely discounted invoice which just covered my materials (£305) but he refuses to pay that also. (probably the wrong move here also)
A second part of the question would be if he refuses to pay, are the moulds and models we have produce for him, ours? So can we sell them to cover our losses. They are based on his sculpture.
Many thanks for any assistance
Best regard
Ed
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
You don't say what the complaint is about the product and whether you agree with the complaint to any extent.
-Could you explain your situation a little more in this context?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yep sure, the complaint was that there were some defected castings we provided in the delivered batch of models. I explained this was since we were training new staff, i would agree some pieces had minor defects barely visible perhaps 10%, and a further 10% of the batch had major defects. I did offer to replace defected casts free of charge as we have done before on a couple of occasions with other customers.For a lot more detail: I quoted him via email £7 a casting. Like previous jobs we have done for him, that price includes cast price and mould making costs included (for example £5 cast and £2 contribution to moulds) although this isnt laid out in any written terms. We dont usually charge for moulds and instead factor their cost into the price of each casting.
Since he refused to pay for any castings in the end, the invoice i sent was just the costs of making the moulds (£306).
He then backtracked and said that all the work we had done so far was not of a good quality and the project he would restart from scratch and he would not pay for any 3d prototyping or mouldmaking. Although we had sent him images and sample casts throughout the 6 month process and he had confirmed in writing that everything looked excellent up until the final casts being delivered with some faults in the batch.A bit of a fiasco unfortunately, ill definitely be providing quotation documents in the future with some sort of T+Cs to sign.
Three main points:
Would there be any chance to claim the mouldmaking costs off him in a small claims court?
If not, could we sell the castings we have produced to claw back some costs? The sculpture is his property however.
If not, can we give them away free?Thanks for the help with this
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
I would offer to make another 20% to make up for the faulty ones. If he doesn't accept that sue him for the value of 80%. The problem with just suing for the mound is that you are accepting his rejection of the whole lot and he will argue that if he is entitled to do that he isn't liable to pay for the mounds as they weren't any use to him.
If he owns copyright in the work, you could not sell copies nor could you give them away.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks JGM, a little tricky position since he returned all the castings so far. The agreement was to produce 60 castings initially with the expectation of repeat batches, but the first batch we sent was just 20 castings. So minus rejects would only be a little over 100 quid, which is probably not worth the bother.
I guess i lost out there, painful lesson learned