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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69983
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I supply industrial chillers to small and medium businesses.

Customer Question

I supply industrial chillers to small and medium businesses. My normal business terms are 75% payment with order and 25% upon installation. Delivery of the equipment is normally 3/4 weeks.
A customer is complaining as his chiller will be about a week late, he completely over reacted when I visited him to explain and is basically saying that he won't pay the balance on completion. I intend to write to him and request the balance before delivery and installation, i will offer him the option to have delivery without paying the balance and arrange installation himself.
If I take either option am I exposed to litigation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Does the contract say time is of the essence?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No it does not.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Does it say anything about the date?
are you tied in at all?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the quoted delivery time was 3/4 weeks and I have explained to him that it was going to take an extra week as the machine had to be made to order. We are not tied in to anything and when he placed the order there was no comment about having to stick absolutely to the 3/4 week delivery window.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
In that case, he doesn't have a claim against you. You are late. That is a breach maybe. He hasn't suffered loss so there is no claim. Time is not of the essence and so he cannot just cancel. If he has said he won't pay the balance then you cannot be expected to complete. Tradesmen don't work for nothing in the UK and nobody expects them to. As long as you have evidence that he is threatening to refuse to pay there is no court in the country that would condemn you for refusing to perform.In any event, nobody can force you to contract with anybody in the UK. If you suspect he won't pay then that is perfectly reasonable ground to refuse. Can I clarify anything for you? Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69983
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much that is very helpful.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem.
All the best.

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