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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Is it a breach of contract if you wrote out a landscaping

Resolved Question:

is it a breach of contract if you wrote out a landscaping quote for a client that clearly states a certain material the client wanted and your admin team accidentally ordered the wrong material. The original material costs more money therefore the quote needs to be adjusted and the client refuses to pay.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

So just to clarify, the client has had the work completed with the wrong material, without knowing that was the case until the work was done, and is now refusing to pay the extra?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
no the material arrived on site and the client noticed it wasnt the correct material. We then said there has been a mistake we will purchase the correct material but the quote will have to be adjusted as it is more expensive. We actually quoted on the cheaper material in the original quote but named it the correct material (mistake) in the quote and because of this the client refuses to pay shes saying its a breech of contract
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
because of this, we sent a email saying we want to terminate works because she refuses to pay. She paid a £635 initial deposit. We have worked 2 full days on the job and completed all other jobs on the quote apart from the artificial turf. For labour and materials this comes to a total of around £580, but we stated out of goodwill as it was a mistake will will be happy to charge your £200 just to cover labour and refund her the rest. She isnt happy and wishes to take legal proceedings. I can send over the emails for you to take a look at what has been said?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

It can indeed be a breach of contract because the legal documentation (the formal agreement you both agreed on) states a specific material and a specific price. Whilst the material may in reality cost more than what you quoted for, that is not the customer’s concern. Their legal relationship is with you and that relationship had a formal agreement for material X to be provided at price Y. So if you do not provide material X and the quoted price Y, then yes, you are likely going to be in breach of contract.

Whilst you cannot be forced to install the more expensive material, even if you had contractually agreed to do it, it does mean that the customer is then open to taking this further for breach of contract. In such a claim they would be seeking compensation for any losses incurred as a result of your alleged breach. This could commonly be the difference in price to get someone else to fulfil the quote you had given at the outset, but failed to honour. Whether the customer actually goes to court is a different matter, but that is the potential risk.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the client did say face to face that she didnt want us to continue with the work as she felt uncomfortable. Could this be taken into account?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

If you are willing to honour the original agreement, but she refuses to allow you and then pursued you for compensation, then yes that would be relevant because she is likely to have unreasonably prevented the completion of the contract. So if she has done so and then tries to claim losses, the court would certainly look at her conduct and ask questions on why she actually went out of her way to incur these losses, when the matter could have been resolved without any further costs. Hope this clarifies?

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

You are welcome