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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71128
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I signed a contract with The Rating Specilaists Ltd. and virtually

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I signed a contract with The Rating Specilaists Ltd. and virtually as soon as a cheque was written I realised they were somewhat dubious. I cancelled the cheque. The document was signed on 17/07/2015 and the chap returned for the cheque on 05/08/2015. They are now threatening legal action and want there money by 28/08/2015 claiming it was over 14 days from 05/08/15. Although I mistakenly thought the date of signing the cheque woudl start the contract.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What was the contract for?
What do they do ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

To reduce the Rates Bill.

The are Rating Specilaists but I have heard some disturbing things about them.

They are based in Manchester.

I see. Business rates.
Have they done any work yet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Minimal, they just lodged the proposal information with the Valuation Officer in Birmingham. My complaint is that Contract was signed before they knew if they could proceed. They received the cheque after the 14 day cooling off period so I really had no cooling off period after parting with the cheque and now they are claiming a 5% fee of the total rates.

Do they accept that they offered a cooling off period?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

In their terms and conditions it states payments should be made within a 14 day period from the date of signing the contract. It doesn't not appear to mention a cooling off period.

Did anybody tell you there was a cooling off period?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No. I made the assumption that there would be under normal English Law.

Was this a distance sale?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was instigated over the phone (cold call) and then someone came out to visit. They are based in Manchester and we are in Coventry. He came first to explain and get a formed signed (which turned out to be the contract) and then again to show he passed on the information and get the cheque.

You could argue that this is a distance sale and so falls within the DSR and there should be a cooling off period but they are probably saying it is a bespoke service and therefore exempt. In any event, the work at least began before the cooling off period so would be exempt.
If there wasn't a cooling off period offered then none would otherwise apply.
That said, cancellation would put you in breach of contract but they only have a claim for the sum of their loss. They have done very little work and so that is all that would be able to claim. I suppose they could try to argue they are entitled to lost profits but that would be nothing even remotely like the sum of the contract price which will be what they are trying to claim now.
With these things, a lot can be achieved by just refusing to pay and inviting them to sue if they disagree. Usually they do not.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I may come back to you - the original bill was for £954.00 including vat, they are claiming £615.00. Surely they should send some sort of invoice anyway?

Yes, they should really but that doesnt void their claim.
£615 seems rather heavy.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it was a percentage of the total rates bill.

Although surely I would be within my rights to refuse to pay until a proper invoice was given.

I'm afraid the law of contract doesn't depend on the provision of an invoice but it is a reasonable request.
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