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Jenny, Solicitor
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. I have a little shop. I have two questions. 1st. I

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Hi. I have a little shop. I have two questions.
1st. I signed a contract with obrians waste disposal. I signed a 12mth contract. However I've come to give my notice as I no longer require them. (I didn't read small print). They say I have to give a 90day noticed, but they won't accept this until contract ends. So I feel I was miss lead as it's not a 12mth contract but a 15mth contract. I'd like to know where I stand, if anywhere.
2nd when I opened the shop 1 yr ago I took on 1 apprenticeship for 12mths and my sister part time who was currently looking for a full time job. I was unsure about contracts/ holidays etc (1st time owning a shop). I called inland rev who organised a representive from a company called pinsular. (I think that's the correct spelling). While he was here he gave a great speech, takin no for an answer and feeling pressured I signed the contract believing with all contracts there's a cooling off period. ( it was a 5 yr contract, and I'd only been open 2mths). With only 1 staff whom needed a 1 yr contract it was silly. But being pressured and bamboozled I did sign. 1 wk later we called to say we didn't want or most importantly didn't need their services. They basically said it was tuff. I called 1 wk after after speaking with friends and colleges and again they would budge. I thought that was all I could do. Mean while they original price of £80 per mth turned out to be £98 mth. I called them back advising them again I had been miss lead, causing me to be overdrawn for a service I didn't want didn't need and weren't going to use. This made no difference. I asked to speak to management as I felt I didn't actually OWE them anything and I'd now paid just under £200 for 1 12mth contract guide. I got passed from department to department and the best they offered was a 6mth break which would be added to the end of the 5 yrs. I explained this was unacceptable and as a company should be able to see that what they were offering wasn't what a small family run shop only just having opened, this got me no where and I advised I come to see you. We made an appointment but I couldn't attended so my mum come in my place. The gent my mum saw advised it was rediculous nd if any contract given should have been a 12mth 1 as its a new, small shop. He further advised it wasn't a debt I owed, nor a service I needed or wanted and advised to say no to them and go to court if nessary. For wks I received calls demanding money until I said we'll go to court. About 4 mths after that I received a letter saying they'd accept just under £3000 to settle. 1stly I didn't have that kind of money, as shop wasn't or really still isn't making that kind of money. Plus I don't even know if I can keep going at all. God bless my parents they've been a god send helping me but they're tired and ran out of savings for me. So the likley hood is by the end of April I'll be shutting the doors. Anyway, finalise I've just received a court/ solicitor letter wanting me to describe what's happened. Needless to say between obrians and pinsular I wish I never even started. Please advised, thank you.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
Have the parties threatened to take you to court. Do you operate as a sole trader or as a limited company?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Obrians waste hasn't as I don't owe them, I'm up to date with all payments. I feel they weren't clear about term of contract. I though I signed for 12mths. Not 15.
Pinsular have said they'll take me to court. I've herd nothing until yesterday. They produced me two contracts at the beginning. One for member of staff and one for my sister. Even though I was trying to explain on several other occasions I don't want or need their services. I received a letter from either court or a solicitor. I'm unsure wanting to know about what happened. I'm a little stressed. Thank you for taking the time for me.
No problem, what does the Obrian's contract say about notice periods? Does it say that the 90 days can only be given at the end of the contract period?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It states where I signed initial contract period 12 mths. The number 12 is wrote in. So I thought that was what I was agreeing to.
Looking at the contract under the heading duration it says " subject to clause 3.2, the contract shall commence on the effective date and shall continue, unless terminated earlier in accordance with clause 11.5 or clause 15, until either party gives to the other not less than 90 days written notice to terminate, expiring on or after the 90th day after the end of the initial term"
Hi the difficulty you have with both of the contracts is that you have entered into them as a business rather than as a consumer. This means that even though you are a small business and these are large corporations you will be deemed by law to be equals and to have understood the terms you are entering into.
Unless there is a misrepresentation then you will be bound by the terms, unfortunately there can be no argument that there is a misrepresentaiton if the contract explicitly states that there is a further 90 days notice at the end of the terms as you are deemed to have read the contract. I therefore think, unfortunately, that you will be responsible to pay the further 90 days.
Again, with the Peninsular situation if you have agreed to a contract unfortuanately you will be bound by it even if it is not of any use to you. The exception to this is if they have misrepresented the contract to you, which does not appear to be the case here or if they have completely failed to provide the service which again does not seem to be the case. Sadly therefore you are likely to be bound for the period of the contract.
I asked originally if you operated as an individual or a limited company. If you are limited company and cannot meet the debts and the limited company becomes insolvent then you will not normally be personally liable for the debts. If you entered into the contract as an individual you will be.
I would suggest you make an appointment to speak to a body such as citizens advice if you are struggling and are personally liable for the debts.
If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer.Thank you and all the best.
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