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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48785
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Not sure what category this goes under, but is regarding

Customer Question

Hi, not sure what category this goes under, but is regarding booking exhibition space at a wedding show.
I booked a space for a wedding show as the same stand was available a year before the next show.
I signed to say yes I will want the same stand as it was advertised as same position for a year on.
I paid a deposit at that stage (one week after the previous show)
About 6 months after they changed halls for the show and advised that a new hall was being used and allocated me the same stand number although it was in a totally opposite layout. Originally I wanted to be in the far left hand aisle(as I believe most people would see my stand before any other stand) PHOTOBOOTH COMPANY.
However with the new layout they positioned me on the far right hand side aisle (which is opposite to what I had before.)
I informed them that I was not happy with the arrangement and would not want to exhibit unless it was in same position as the first show I did with them.
They told me it was the perfect position and would be better, (not according by my past experience)
I said I would not exhibit unless they secure the same stand as requested on the contract.
They then did not get back to me for about a week. Which I then took mean it was not going to happen.
Then they sent an e-mail saying they had now secured the stand. But unfortunately I did not see the e-mail as it had gone into a junk mail folder.
When they sent me a statement which I did receive (about 3 weeks later), I called them and asked why they were asking for money when they had not assured me of the stand I requested.
They said they had e-mailed me, and while on the phone with them I checked for the e-mail and found it in the junk mail folder.
I said I can see the e-mail was sent, but only saw it now.
However they wanted full payment now which I could not do as I was under the impression it was not going to happen because of the wrong stand number.
I offered to try and get the money and pay them a week later(after the show) as I would definitely want to exhibit at the correct stand position. It has always been beneficial.
I mentioned that they were partly responsible for their making me assume the position would not be available. The lady then said I must let her know by that afternoon so that the sales team could try and let it. But that I would still be liable if I did not pay the for the show by that afternoon.
I couldn't get the money together as I had already spent some to try and get business another way.
I let her know that afternoon I would not be able to pay that.
They now still want full payment. They did have another person take up the stand for the weekend. So they certainly did not lose out totally.
Can they force me to make the full payment, considering they were also at fault for some of the misunderstanding? And if so can they force me to pay the full amount and in one go?
Please can you advise.
Thanks
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.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Please can you briefly outline the terms and conditions of the booking so that I can look into this for you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, plse see attached files
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi there. OK, thank you for your response and for sending me the attached documents. 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.
Many thanks for your patience. The position here is relatively simple – there is an argument that both sides were partially at fault for what happened and some shared liability will exist. However, this has all been more or less resolved by the company finding a replacement exhibitor for the stand you had initially reserved. Even if the company try to argue that you had acted in breach of contract by not proceeding with the booking you had try to make, a breach of contract claim can only recover compensation for any losses suffered by the wronged party. So for example, had you not proceeded with the booking and they could not find anyone to replace you and take up the stands, then clearly losses would have been suffered as they would have lost out on the booking fees for that. However, if they managed to find a replacement exhibitor and they recouped the fees they would have received from you had you exhibited instead, then obviously no losses would have been suffered and as such you would no longer be liable for these fees, even if you were initially in breach of contract. Put it simply – breach of contract compensation is not there to penalise the wrongdoer, especially if no losses have been suffered; it is only there to compensate the wronged party for the genuine losses they have suffered as a result of the breach. So if no losses have been suffered, no compensation would be payable and trying to penalise you by sill making you ay will amount to a penalty clause which is legally unenforceable. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the best approach to deal with this and try to put an end to this, 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
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,yes please can you give me more detailed advice for you in terms of the best approach to deal with this and try to put an end to this. Thank you for your help so far
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks. First of all you need to contact them to remind them that by booking the pace to someone else they have mitigated any potential losses that they would have incurred by you not proceeding with the booking. Tell them that any breach of contract claim is only there to compensate them for losses they have suffered from the alleged breach and if these losses have been reduced or completely removed, then the party alleged of the breach will no longer be liable for the full losses. They would either only be liable for the difference of the original losses and the recouped ones or no losses at all. Ask them to provide you with evidence of the losses they have still suffered by you taking into account the fact that the space was re-booked and advise them that if they were to pursue you for any losses they have not suffered then that will be a penalty clause which is legally unenforceable and that you will pursue them yourself for any costs incurred by you in defending a claim which will have no reasonable prospects of success.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, thank you again.
What happens if they say they did not sell the space for the same price. How could I find out what they did let it out for?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
you can ask for evidence, but they do not have to provide it at this stage. However, they are the ones that need to make a claim and if they did they will need to provide details f this as evidence in court so sooner or later it will have to be disclosed, assuming they decide to take it further
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. If they threaten to hand it over to Solicitors as they said they would do, what would be the best way to reply to possibly get them to back off, Ben.?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
it all goes back to what I said before - they cannot penalise you just because you initially may have acted in breach f contract, only ACTUAL losses can be pursued so if they cannot prove these then they will be making a claim that is likely vexatious and without reasonable prospects of success and you will seek the court to order it be struck out and it will be a waste of time and money for all involved, you would also make the other party liable for any legal costs you have incurred in the process.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben, you have been very helpful, thank you for your expert advice. Much appreciated! Wayne
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, all the best