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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50155
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work as a freelance language teacher private company. The

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I work as a freelance language teacher for a private company. The course I was teaching, intermediate Spanish dropped down to only two students. The company stopped offering the course as it was no longer financially viable and in any case did not offer advanced Spanish. I also teach for other organisations. The students asked me if I was prepared to offer advanced spanish knowing that the company would not, as they had made it clear that 2 students was not enough, nor did they advertise an advanced Spanish course. We organised private lessons but the original company is chasing me for £750 per pupil for introduction fees. At the start of the contract I wasn't provided with a copy of the contract. Can they enforce it?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Did they agree any of this with you verbally?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. If they are trying to chase you for introduction fees then this must have been a specific contractual term agreed between you and the company. It is not possible for them to charge you such fees if you did not have some form of agreement, be it written or verbal, that allowed them to do that and you had agreed to it. In the absence of such an agreement you would be free to take these pupils on as you wish, especially if it did not in any way affect the company’s business. So the bot***** *****ne is – without an agreement in writing or verbally that you were agreeing to the charging of such fees you cannot be made liable to pay them. Similarly, if they produce a contract which contains these clauses but you had never seen it before or agreed to it, they cannot legally rely on that as they could have put anything to it and you would not have known about it. Only agreements hic you were aware of and had agreed to can be used in the circumstances.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have now if they decide to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if none of this could affect their business because they did not offer the same service (in addition to the points you made about the contract) they can't do anything about it.

they can still charge an introductory fee even if it does not affect their business as long s this was pre-agreed between you and you have now met the criteria for this fee to be charged

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Even if it is for a service they don't offer (advanced Spanish) or which they have declined to offer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can the criteria be for any teaching even if they don't and won't offer it?

it can be - an introductory fee means that they are responsible for finding you the people in question, i.e. generating business for you, whether they offer that or not

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Helpful even if unwelcome information.

You are welcome, all the best