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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi I wonder if you can help. I run a small 4 man business and

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Hi I wonder if you can help. I run a small 4 man business and as part of the service we use an external company to print a qtrly brochure that we issue. The brochure worked very well and is branded to us showing logo and address. Recently we have had a number of problems. The address was wrong and we also didn't receive one set of brochures as they went to the wrong address. I ran out of patience and decide to cancel the monthly d/d. Subsequently the co got back in touch and wanted to resolve things with us. They said I was in breach of contract (they may be right as I wonder whether the d/d created one) I pointed out that when they requested a new contract be signed in Feb 2014 we actually only signed the bit relating to the d/d but not the section with the new 12 month contract. However I was happy to try and rectify the relationship and pointed out what had gone wrong and suggested that they do not charge us for 3 months as a gesture (the new brochure wasn't due for 2 months anyway) and that we would sign up to a new 12 month contract. At this point we didn't have a signed contract just a signed d/d that had been running for a couple of years. The co came back about 6 weeks after my suggestion to say ok but the free period of 3 months was to be started wef 1 July (the date I suggested a free 3 month period) thereby wasting 6 weeks due to their delay. I was unhappy with this and suggested that 3 months starts from the date we sign a new contract. They said no and are now threatening to issue a small claims court action for as years fees saying we are now in breach of contract. I am of course worried about the effect on our business profile and would very much appreciate your views and guidance. Many thanks
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Alex Watts : What is the balance of the dispute please ?
Alex Watts : Have they really knocked the 3 months off the bill?

Hi Alex

Alex Watts : Hello

Many thanks for being available The total bill is for £693.36 The period they want to charge is for July 2014 until Feb 2015 at £80.67 pm. They are working this period from the time we signed the new d/d and no contract i.e. Feb 2014. No reduction has been made for 3 months Thanks

Alex Watts : Ok and you obviously dispute that. I would write back and say that they are in breach of section 13 of the sale and supply of goods and services act 1982 by failing to act with all reasonable skill and care.
Alex Watts : I would not worry about a small claim, they are very Informal and indeed they can't claim legal costs.
Alex Watts : they can only claim court fees and on a bill of £693 won't be much at all
Alex Watts : But they are in the wrong, write and set out your position with the law and say you will defend any claim and seek your costs for doing so, even though in reality you can't. In any event you won't need legal representation for a small claim
Alex Watts : can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

so £80.67 x 8 = £645.36 plus they are charging £48 for interest on late payment. My dispute is not the amount but that they haven't fulfilled their end but more importantly we do not have a signed contract just the d/d.

Alex Watts : Exactly. They can't claim £48 - the court would only ever award 3% given the current rate
Alex Watts : And that's 3% a year

Does having a signed d/d represent an acceptance of a contract even though there is no signed contract just implied, as we have paid and they provided the brochures.

Alex Watts : Not necessarily, in any event they are in breach of contract because the details were wrong

Also can you advise what impact this has on our business from a credit reference point of view. I do not want to pick up a bad reference?

Alex Watts : None.

By detail do you mean the incorrect address on the brochures?

Alex Watts : If do you lose and get a ccj as long as you pay within 28 days it is cancelled
Alex Watts : Yes
Alex Watts : can I clarify anything else about this for you?

Sorry to be pedantic but you just explain why the d/d doesn't mean an implied contract exists

Alex Watts : I said not necessarily. If it wasn't cancelled from before one could argue that it just rolled over. In any event you can argue it was an intention to create a contract and not an agreement to a contract,
Alex Watts : It was just intended to create a contract at some stage.

Thanks one last point. Should I make any sort of offer to settle even a modest amount to show that I was trying to resolve this?

Alex Watts : Yes you can do this but it is a commercial decision more than anything else. If you are in the right you may take the view you have no need to.
Alex Watts : Does that help ?

that's fine many thanks

Alex Watts : does this answer the question for you?

Yes it does

Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you rate my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Will do

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