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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47340
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have an emailed confirmation from a big corporate to

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Hi, we have an emailed confirmation from a big corporate to appear on our website - there is a cost involved - the client considered the offer over two months and then confirmed by email. We sent an acknowledgement along with our terms and conditions which have a 50% cancellation charge included. Another month has passed and now they want to cancel but are refusing to pay the cancellation fee. The person involved is in a fairly high position at this organisation. The organisation involved are very big and are just dismissing us with regard to the cancellation fee. How do we stand legally?
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. Was the cancellaiton fee discussed or know to the company before they agreed to the offer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, but it is in our terms and conditions which were sent with the acknowledgement. The client received the acknowledgement with the terms and conditions a month ago and now appears to have had a change of mind.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Can you justify the 50% charge - would you have suffered these losses in the circumstances, considering you have a duty to mitigate your losses and perhaps get a replacement customer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When we get a client in a particular sector we then stop all marketing activity in that area as we now have that one. If they cancel we have to start again and have wasted the period between them confirming and cancelling. Is a change of mind grounds to cancel?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
So would the period between you stopping and starting recruitment and getting a new client be covered by the cancellation fee or is there a big difference where the cancellation charges are much larger than the losses?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I will reply n the meantime anyway. If the company had knowledge of the terms and conditions, including the cancellation charges, and they accepted your offer based on that, they would be bound by them. Whilst you can certainly rely on these cancellation terms to expect them to honour the cancellation fees, you must also ensure that these fees are a fair reflection of the costs you have incurred as a result of their cancellation. These fees should compensate you for the genuine losses suffered as a result of their cancellation but it should not be used to penalise them further or allow you to make a profit, otherwise it could amount to a penalty clause and be unlawful and unenforceable. A change of mind can be used to cancel the contract but it does not mean they can ignore the cancellation clause and any associated fees. So you are still able to pursue them for any cancellation charges due as a result of their termination of the contract. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can take to pursue this further if they refuse to pay, 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, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, the terms and conditions where sent with an emailed welcome pack on the day of confirmation from them. We work on the basis that if there is no query within 7 days that the terms and conditions are accepted. This organisation took 2 months to make the decision and then a further month to change their mind. That for us is 3 wasted months. I am also a bit annoyed with their attitude towards the whole thing. They are just rolling over us as we are so much smaller than them. It is in my opinion almost bullying. I think that I am going to invoice them for the 50% and when they do not pay I will pursue them through the small claims court. Unfortunately they will definitely have an inhouse legal team who, if I attempted to sue them, would tie me up and make sure my bills went through the roof. Not a lot small organisations like us can do against these behemoths. What do you think to my plan?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The plan you have is certainly reasonable and yo have the right to pursue these fees. What you should be aware of though is that if you keep the claim below £10k and go to the small claims court, each party would be responsible for their own legal fees. So even if you lose, you would not have to pay the other side's legal costs. What you may find is that if you were to make the claim, they could look at settling with you just to get you off their back. So they may play hard ball right now but with time and the close it gets to court they may just throw some money your way and pit and end to this. Time will tell and in the meantime you can do as you had planned. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
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