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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 have a customer who has paid their invoices (which state

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I have a customer who has paid their invoices (which state within them, as well as on our business terms and conditions, that invoice queries must be raised within 10 days of receipt of invoice) but has now remembered a conversation between himself and sales in May 2014, the result of which (a reduction in price on one of the services we offer) has never been reflected on his invoices. He is now asking for £10K in lieu of these "overpayments" and says that our T&Cs and invoice query requirements are invalid - is he right? He is the person who checks the invoices and also pays them
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. In the first instance do you accept that the reduction in price was agreed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The initial reduction in price was agreed, and my colleague put on an email that the amendment would be made moving forwards, but this wasn't done our end. I guess our issue with it is that the customer has sent numerous credit requests over the last 2 years, and at no point has he mentioned this issue. We have said that as our books were closed off at the end of August 2015 that we are happy to come to an arrangement over the later stuff, but it seems he wants all of it? This seems incredibly unreasonable when he accepts that the error is as much his fault as ours
Can I just check that this is a business to business contract rather than a consumer one?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it's business to business. And the customer acknowledges that it's their error too, but is blaming a member of staff in his company, saying it's all her fault for not checking the invoice, but it is him who has raised any previous credit requests, and the member of staff in question didn't start with the company until September 2014
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is basically the gist of his email:"This is totally unacceptable, you guys have over charged the invoices and legally we have two years to make a claim on an invoice and six years to send one.Overcharge is not the same as a service credit regarding terms and conditions, and they do not apply.I have said that I deem this to be partly our fault and I'm prepared to work with you,but an overcharge to an agreed figure is an "overcharge" and a credit is needed."
Ok thanks, ***** ***** not correct that this term on your invoice is void for being unfair. This might have been the case if it were a consumer contract as it would likely fall foul of Unfair Contract Terms Act. They may be referring to a case that says that silence cannot constitute acceptance of a contract but this would be the main contract not the invoicing terms. That said whether you want this to be an end to it may depend on how you view your relationship with this company going forward. They will probably not want to place further orders with you if you do not make some sort of an offer in full and final settlement. They may also lodge a claim against you if you do not do so. Is there anything further you would like to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We are happy to make an offer to try to find a middle ground, but I need to know where we stand legally.Are they correct that they can claim any unpaid money back for 2 years, despite having settled the invoices and despite having requested credits for other jobs, or is any credit we offer a goodwill gesture to placate the customer and aim to continue the business relationship?Are we within our rights, legally speaking, to stand by what's on our invoice (disputes must be received within 10 days) or our T&Cs (which say the same) or are they right that legally they have 2 years to dispute this "overcharge"
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This part seems to be his trump card - so is this right or wrong?"Overcharge is not the same as a service credit regarding terms and conditions, and they do not apply"
They have the right to attempt to reclaim an overcharge over any period. You can defend a claim on the basis that your invoice terms state that any queries should be rectified within a certain number of day and have not been so they have accepted the terms of the invoice by paying and not disputing. The law appears to be on your side on this. On the basis of what you have said I think that your argument would win. You can therefore stand by your invoice and they may claim. You could offer a settlement in full and final settlement as a good will gesture. They may or may not accept it. If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to rate my answer as I am not otherwise paid for the time i have spent working on your question. Many thanks in advance and all the best with this.
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