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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I had a pro forma invoice forktruck for £1800 plus VAT,

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i had a pro forma invoice for a forktruck for £1800 plus VAT, i phoned the company to ask if i paid the invoice would the forktruck be fully paid for, answer was yes. i paid the amount in full and have received an invoice stating for the sale of said forktruck full payment has been received.
today the company accounts telephoned me to say they had made a mistake, previous conversations between another person in my company and another person in their company had a verbal agreement of £3150 plus VAT. They are saying they will credit the invoice and issue a new one for total amount.
How do i stand, are they allowed to do that when invoice has been paid in full?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Were you originally quoted the higher price and, if so, was this put in writing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
we were quoted the higher price in an email
and ,forgetting the invoice for a moment, did you agree to purchase at the higher price?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
this is what the email said, "reference our conversation last week regarding the forklift hou have on hire. I like to confirm if you if you wish to purchase the truck the cost is £3250 plus VAT. if you want to purchase i confirm the payment terms of £1625 plus VAT, then 12 monthly payments of £135.42 plus VAT by direct debit.
i trust this is acceptable and look forward to hearing from you in due course"
so you were sent the invoice but did not set up the Direct Debit? who was it who said that the payment for the invoice was a 'full payment'?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
that is correct, a lady called Lorraine in the accounts department, when the pro forma arrived i phoned up to ask the question if it was for full payment and she agreed. she said that the MD (i think) asked her to send the invoice to me. if the invoice was for £1625 plus VAT i could understand the error but seeing as the invoice was for £1800 i thought my MD and theirs had been talking and agreed on a lower price, i know they have been discussing the matter of purchasing the forktruck for some time
Ok it is likely that you are liable to pay the additional money (depending on what has been verbally agreed amongst your MD and their MD).
Their email to you amounts to an offer to sell (invitation to treat) at the amount set out in the email. That offer was accepted and an invoice was sent. The fact that a lady in accounts said it was payment in full would not absolve you of the need to pay the remainder as she would not have authority to set prices. The law is clear that where a mistake is made a customer is liable to pay the agreed price.
In the absence of any further evidence that a lower price was agreed then a court would revert to the original offer price. Obviously if there is an evidence that the MD's verbally agreed a lower price then the answer would be different.
If you have any further questions please do let me know. 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.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no where on the pro forma invoice or invoice did it say deposit and further payments were to be made
No but it says on the email that that was the price. Errors can be, and are, made on invoices. Where this happens the court refers back to the agreed price (i.e. the email).
You can of course argue the point. However on the basis of the email and with no agreement to a different price elsewhere the court is likely to find that the amount in the email was agreed.
Hello is there anything further you would like to know about this as I note you have not yet rated my answer, which is an important part of the process?
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