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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70406
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have my own ltd company, we had a large scale fire at

Customer Question

Hi, I have my own ltd company, we had a large scale fire at our premises which started over a weekend, I needed a outside contractor to remove the fire water from our site, I was quoted emergency rates over the telephone which I agreed to and on the second day (Sunday) a contract was signed by my partner for the emergency works, it was verbalised that the quotation/contract was at a higher rate during the weekend and there was a from and to date on this quotation/contract which was for the dates of the weekend, the company continued to remove water in normal working hours mon - fri and have continued to charge at the emergency rate, with no new contract in place, they also changed disposal site and grading of waste to make disposal cheaper but I never received any decrease in price, the total invoice was £120k I've already paid £70k and when I asked for further documentation they decided to go straight to a solicitor, I have since that time received full disclosure from them where I have also found numerous inaccuracy's and duplications, I am acting as a litigant in person but I am getting nervous as they have now wracked up approx £30k in costs, I believe I have a strong case but in truth I am starting to get nervous, I'm wondering if mediation would be a better option to court, trial is due to take place in June.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I'm not sure what your question is about this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The particular question is they are trying to use the amounts quoted on the original signed contract for the first two emergency days (weekend) which was dated from the sat to the Sunday for the following days of the fire
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I understand.So what is your question about this ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the legal stance about the original contract, can I contract roll on when the last date has past ?? They never re issued a contract just continued to charge at that original high rate ??
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, sometimes but that doesn't seem to be what happened here.I presume you accept instructing them to do the work?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes 100% and am happy to pay all the costs incurred within that emergency period, after the fire I received two other quotes and they have basically tripled the cost of the works, as well as all the duplications, but the biggest thing is that contract and that they are reliant on that as a rolling contract but it clearly states the first two dates which was the weekend out of hours work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo are you still there
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
What does the paper contract say on the point of it rolling?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing in the terms and conditions, what is the law about rolling contracts, do you know
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Oh yes, they are perfectly lawful. Many contracts are rolling.It depends on the terms of this one though as to whether it is enforceable.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
There is no reason that in principle a contract cannot be rolling though.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
The OFT criticised some providers for renewing without checking but it was no more than that.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
And the OFT do not make law.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Whether this is rolling though depends on what was agreed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was very much verbalised that the heightened charges of the weekend rate were because of the out of hours work and the fact that they had to use a landfill that had to espicially open to take the waste, however on the Monday they immediately de classified the waste type and used a closer landfill, but still continue to charge me the weekend rate.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
What is their explanation for that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They said that they changed landfill as it was closer which I agree makes sense, but the de classification also made the waste water a lot cheaper, yet that never changed in there charge to me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The fact that they changed what was on the original contract surely counts against a rolling contract ??
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well the original contract had firstly expired then they changed where they were taking the waste
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
How does that affect the price?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The price hadn't changed but the site was stated on the original contract and they changed that
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
But is that why they are saying they can charge the same rates?The important point is this. 1 Did you instruct them to do the work? 2 Did you agree a price? 3 Have they varied it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes when they gave me the intial quote but that verbalised more than once that prices would be reduced after weekend but never issued another contract and just carried on charging.They have varied where they have disposed of the waste.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Did you carry on using the service?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was unaware until they served the invoice a few days after the fire finished, my business was on fire for 8 days in total, I was there the whole time dealing with all the different governing bodies, environmental agency, public health, police and obviously the fire services, I wasn't completely with it all of the time, I never left site until the fire was extinguished completely, not the greatest time and I believe this company took complete advantage of a terrible situation.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, but did they carry on providing the service?