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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My wife runs a charity website. She has been using a development

Customer Question

My wife runs a charity website. She has been using a development agency to support the site since last year. From mid February onwards, issues started arising with the website that she was told would be fixed, but were not. Following lengthy conversations, the developers stated that the only way to fix the website was to do a complete rewrite of the code. A proposal was written and a go ahead was agreed verbally on March 26th and the developer estimated a completion date of 9th May.

The proposal included a description of the issue, an explanation of the work to be done, estimates for costs (around £4K) and timescales of 4 weeks for backend work and 1 week for front-end work. There were no other T&Cs on the contract.

There were numerous issues throughout the process leading to an agreed walk-through of the solution on May 12th where no work had been done. A subsequent walk-through on May 19th was cancelled 10 minutes before the meeting because there were issues with the solution. On May 28th the lead apologised for missing deadlines and promised to bring the project back on track. However, on June 6th he wrote to again say that he could not offer a demo as his developer had gone missing.

At this point the charity asked the developer to suspend all further work. The developer stated that he could still deliver the work. However, due to time constraints over the summer, the charity decided to cancel the project and request a refund. On June 23rd the developer met with the charity and agreed to this refund.

Today the charity received a letter from the developer stating the following:

The issue I have with this is that although I can confirm that there were unexpected delays with your project, a binding contract to deliver your new website is still in place.

The fact that 90% of the work is complete means that I cannot accept your settlement offer and reject it upon the grounds that we are still under contract to deliver the finished project to you. No date for completion was ever confirmed and merely estimated dates were provided.

There is also the issue that we have never received a full written brief for the work you wish to be undertaken. We have merely received verbal direction to copy an existing Wordpress site into a core PHP website - which will obviously have some differences due to the way that the different systems work.

Moving forward I can confirm that we can still offer to complete the new website that we are obligated to finish under our existing contract. Therefore, if you decide to breach this contract by not allowing us to finish the work then we will seek to recover costs for the remaining balance owed.

However, I am also not going to deliver the finished website project unless I receive a reassurance in writing that you will pay the remaining balance upon completion. If no assurances are received then I will seek to recover the full remaining balance owed of £2000.

The full options available are:

1) Allow us to continue with the existing contract and complete the project where the full remaining balance (Total remaining £2000) will be payable upon completion. We also request a full written brief on the work that is outstanding.

2) Pay the amount due for work completed to date (90% of £4000 = £3600) - Remaining balance is £1600. You will receive a copy of all files and work done to date. The current contract will be terminated.

3) Pay the amount due for 90% of the work done so far. Remaining Balance of £1600 then enter into a new formally written contract for the remaining work that is needed to complete the project.The previous contract will be terminated.

This offer is available for 30 days from 25th June 2014. Should we not receive a response then we will seek to recover the full balance owed of £2000 on the existing contract.

With regards ***** ***** your website until September 2014, I am happy to continue hosting your website for no costs until end 30 September 2014 however any work to support through registrations or make the changes outlined in our meeting on 23 June 2014 will need to be quoted separately and a new contract for services agreed.

What should we do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and 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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

What is it you want to achieve please?