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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We work with a large company (Countrywide) as a contractor

Customer Question

We work with a large company (Countrywide) as a contractor for maintenance works, we have done hundreds of jobs for the and never had a problem but now we have our first.
We are paid via BACS on a 30 day invoice and have recently had our first complaint.

I want to know if what they have done is allowed or even legal! as I don't think it is!

For every job we do Countrywide receive commission of 12% plus vat

Basically we received a work sheet via email to redecorate all external timbers which we were asked to quote by one of the advisors (she then called to explain the house was a tudor style house and they wanted the timber repainted) so we quoted and they then asked us to quote to replace the rotten soffits and fascias to the garage, which we did.
The quotation was accepted and we did the work.
The landlord disagrees with what we have done and says we should have painted all the wood to the house inc soffits and fascias which we did not price for.

Basically they have complained and have not given us any chance to defend ourselves and have just taken the money for that job out of money for other jobs they owe us, can they do this??!!

Also!! The job totalled £535.00,their 12% 64.20 plus vat 12.84 so we received £457.96 and they have taken £535.00 off what they owe us for other jobs we have done!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Please note that as a practising solicitor I am often in and out of meetings, travelling, or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at evenings and weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance if there is a slight delay in getting back to you. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will respond ASAP. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email as soon as I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked for the company

JACUSTOMER-aw2dbf3a- :

We have worked for the as a contractor for nearly a year, we don't work directly for them we are on their contractors list, the are an estate agency when the have a job they send it us

JACUSTOMER-aw2dbf3a- :

basically I want to know if they can just take the money out of other money they owe us?

JACUSTOMER-aw2dbf3a- :

we feel that we did the job we were asked they think we should have done more

Ben Jones :

I have looked into your query in more detail but do not think I have the answer to your question. I will therefore opt out and let other experts take this further if they can. Someone should respond shortly. Please do not reply in the meantime as that will just assign the question back to me and you will experience a delay. Thank you

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

Does the work get signed off by anyone after completion or do you just do it?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We just get told to do it then we invoice, it has already been paid for a few months ago and the have deducted the money from other jobs they owe us money for without even asking
Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Is there anything in the contract that allows them to deduct fees or charges?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we have no contract, we are on their contractors list that's all they pass us work, we quote and either get told to do it or not, that's it.

this is our first complain out of hundreds of jobs but they have just sent us a bacs payment sheet with the job deducted from money they owe us.


I asked for a medium answer though as I need to know how to word this as well as possible to recover the money as a few people hav told e what the have done is not legal.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Also as stated above we were paid £457.96 after their commission plus vat and the have deducted the total cost of the job £535.00, we never actually received that amount so they have deducted more, surely this is fraud or something just taking money that you havnt even paid back as well!!


we have received quotation requests, quoted jobs, received go ahead to do jobs and invoiced and then they are saying 'well this is how much we want to pay' can they do this when we have quoted and been told to go ahead with work as the quote was accepted, can they change their mind after the work have been done??

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Unless the contract states otherwise they can not deduct payments. They ask you to do the work and you have evidence and then you can carry it out. If the contract does not allow them to deduct or reduce your payments then they can not, they have no authority to do so. You should write and ask for full payment of the balance or say you will issue proceedings within 14 days. Send it recorded and keep a copy.

If they do not pay then you can issue proceedings either online at or by completing form N1 - the court will issue the claim and a copy will be sent to the defendant and they will have a limited opportunity to defend it. If they do not judgment will be entrered. If they do defend it then the matter will be set down for a hearing. If the claim is for £10,000 or below then you will have a small claim and do not need representation. If there are any faults they should give you an opportunity to fix it before taking action but they can not just deduct fees.

Can I clarify anything for you at this stage? Alex

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

we have been asked not to return to the property, so we cannot eve check the works!!

surely we would need to agree to a refund??

Expert:  Ash replied 4 years ago.
Yes you would and therefore in law they should have given you a reasonable opportunity to fix or remedy any issues. Even if it went to Court and you lost then they would have any award significantly reduced because they failed to allow you in to fix - or mitigate their loss. Alex