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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My child is in private school and we pay the yearly fee in

Customer Question

My child is in private school and we pay the yearly fee in advance/up front and they give us a discount normally 5% circa. We paid fees for sept 2012-Jul 2013 school year in August with the agreed amount written in a letter showing the breakdown of the 3 termly fees and the discount given against each term and the final settlement figure at the bottom, as I say which we paid the figure from this letter in August. We have just had an invoice stating we owe an additional £1000.00. When we reviewed the invoices against this original letter, it showed the bursar had quoted us for the incorrect termly amount, hence why they are now asking us for the additional 1000.00 We have written showing all the information and it is quite clear its the bursars fault, so we asked him to credit us the £1000.00 for his mistake, sadly his missed the point and said this would equate to 14% discount if he did this, but if its all in writing and we've paid in good faith the amount he asked for. Aren't they legally obliged to take the fall for this £1000 not us, obviously its difficult with it being school and we don't want a huge problem to arise from this.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Was the figure that was printed originally the figure that was first agreed? They are not saying that you had any other conversation or sight of different terms?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No we agreed 5% discount on the fees, he then wrote to us agreeing the 5% discount against the years fees, but he quoted the wrong yearly fees. We didn't think to check so just paid the amount quoted on this letter, now here we are final term and his mistake has come to light and out of the blue we get an invoice for the difference with no contact, explanation or anything. As I say its only from going over our paperwork his mistake has come to light. So no, nothing further was communicated or discussed following receipt of this letter and the payment made back last year before the school year began.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Ok. Forget all of that. We are confusing the issue.

Did you agree verbally a different figure to the one quoted in writing?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
In that case, you are absolutely right.

If the extent of this is that he has agreed to a bad deal then that is entirely down to him and he is under a contractual obligation to complete at the price agreed.

It would be different if you had agreed verbally a different price and the invoice sent to you was wrong. Then, although that is inefficient, its not a ground to avoid payment.

If you agreed X price then he cannot revise it to Y price on the basis that they have made a mistake.

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