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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47354
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We had a company build a website and it has several

Customer Question

we had a company build a website for us and it has several bugs and keeps falling over. They told us we would need to pay more to get the bugs sorted because we discovered these outside our 30 days bug fixing
We had a Code Audit done on the website by a third party and it appears the original designers have hacked code and made it impossible for us to upgrade or scale up the website without paying them
we now have a website that fails reguarly on checkout and have been told we would be better off getting the whole thing re-written
do we have any recourse with the original developers. Can we make them fix the website (without paying more) and can we make them correct the code so that the website is built to "best practice" or do we simply ask for our money back (something i think will be fruitless!)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What did the terms say in regards ***** ***** bugs - did you specifically have 30 days to bring these to their attention, otherwise they would not fix them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenYou will not be surprised to know that this is a bit of a grey areaThe quote said the support contract included all bug fixing. We agreed to take the support contract but just before launch they told us that we could not have the support contract because we would not host the website with their servers (something they did not tell us was part of the agreement) We told them we would stay on our own servers before they quoted for the service agreementThey eventually agreed to a 30 day bug fixing after launch but this got extended to 45 days because the website kept failing.We would never have known that the website was badly written had we not got a Code Audit and we would never have commissioned a Code Audit if the website did not keep breaking.In our original specification we specified that we must have a website that we could grow into and they told us we should go with Magento software because this is the best on the market. They also put in the quote that this would be built using "Best Practice"According to a Magento expert (who did the Code Audit) they have not used Best Practice and have hacked the code to try to stop the website from breakingWe now have a website that is out of date and cannot be upgraded. A major problem as Magento have just released a fix for a major security issue
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience. As this was a business to business contract you will not enjoy the same protection as a consumer would have in the circumstances. So for example you cannot rely on the Consumer Rights Act or similar legislation. Instead, you would have to rely on common law principles, such as a breach of contract. This would occur if you were sold something which did not match the description given to you at the outset, or agreed in any subsequent discussions. The main argument here is that you were promised a webpage which would be written using ‘Best Practice’, yet you were provided with something which was written with hacked code, rendering the promise of Best Practice useless. This is in contravention to what was originally agreed and it is why you would be arguing that they have acted in breach of contract.
The issue is that you cannot force them to fix the issues or to rewrite the website. Of course they can agree to such a resolution but that is very much left at their own discretion. So what you are likely to be looking at instead is financial compensation for some or all of the money paid for the work. If you had obtained some benefit from the work they may try and deduct a proportion of that but as you did not receive the overall product you had ordered then you should be able to recover the majority of the fees, assuming the court agrees too.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the procedure you need to follow to take things further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben. This is pretty much what i suspected. You advice on the procedure to follow to take things further would be much appreciated
look forward to hearing from you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenThis course of action does not make sense as, unless we invoice them for the cost of the website, they do not, currently, owe us moneyQuestions:1) Do we send them a letter stating that they have not provided what was agreed and, as such, enclose an invoice for the amount paid?2) Do we have to give them a chance to correct the situation or can we simply demand our money back?Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, sorry I should have clarified that the money they owe is the money you haver paid them for the work, which they have not delivered. So you are either looking for a full refund (which may not necessarily be easy to get if you have obtained some benefit from the work provided), or at least a proportion of the fees paid. Ideally you want to allow them to correct this so perhaps give them a deadline within which to respond to agree to resolve the issues but if that does not happen, then tell them you will simply go ahead with recovering damages for the poor work. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenWe were under the impression that Section 75 did not apply to businesses, nor does it apply to Breach of ContractYour advice pleaseRegardsTracy
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi Tracy, sorry I automatically mentioned Section 75 but what I meant was a chargeback. But s.75 does indeed apply to breach of contract