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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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I would be grateful for some advice. We received 2 Purchase

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Good Morning. I would be grateful for some advice.We received 2 Purchase from a new customer for works at 2 different sites. The value for one purchase order was £28,500 and the value of the other purchase order is £29,000. The agreement with the customer was that we would submit an invoice each month for payment within 30 days. We submitted an invoice at the end of May for £7000 for works on one site. The payment did not arrive by the 30th June so contacted the customer asking for confirmation of when we can expect to receive payment. We were advised that our invoice would not be paid unless we could prove what work we had completed. We have our own sign of sheets that we had had signed by the Site Manager which detailed the work completed (the Customer at no time gave us their own sheet to be completed or told us that we would need one). We emailed a copy of our sign off sheet and were told by the customer that the sheet was not signed by one of their employees. We advised them that it was signed by the site manager and gave his name. The customer came back and advised that they knew this person's signature and the signature on the sheet was not his. The Site Manager confirmed to us that it was indeed his signature and we advised the customer of this. The customer did not acknowledge they had made a mistake they just responded by saying that our payment terms were unreasonable, despite these having been agreed before we started the works. We were then advised that the customer would source another Company to carry out the works and that we were not to attend either of the projects. We went back to the customer and advised that if they wanted to cancel the order we would charge 25% as per our terms and conditions (supplied to the them before we started the work) They replied that we are working to their terms and conditions not ours. Their terms and conditions state that once the works have started they can only cancel them with our agreement. So we advised that we would agree to the cancellation on the basis that we receive 25% of the remaining order value. The customer then advised that they have not cancelled the works and expect us back on site or we are in breach of there terms & conditions. We are obviously not happy to return to site without being paid for the first lot of works and knowing that when we complete works that they may refuse to pay for the works.
We feel that the company (who are a much bigger company than us) are being unreasonable and are using bullying tactics. Can you confirm if the following statements from them constitute a cancellation of the contract and if so that we are entitled to charge them for doing so.I will source another jetwashing company. Please do not attend either of the projects and do not accept any jetwashing calls.Many thanksErika Burnett

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

What is it you want to achieve please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would like to know if telling us that they will find another company to do the work and that we are not to attend either project constitutes a cancellation.

Sorry for the delay, I was just in Court.

Just to be clear, does it say about the 25% fee in the terms?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It says this in our terms and conditions but they say that our terms are irrelevant and that they only work to their terms. Their terms state they can cancel without charge if works have not started and when works have started the order can only be cancelled with the agreement of both parties. They are saying that they have not cancelled the works so we cannot charge them. I need to know if saying that they were appointing another company to do the work and telling us not to attend site is deemed as a cancellation. When we mentioned the 25% charged they advised that they have not cancelled and if we do not return to site then we are in breech of their contract.

Did they sign terms with you?
Did they send their own purchase order with terms?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Our terms state that by issuing a purchase order our terms are agreed. Yes they sent a copy of their terms with the order. Please just tell me is saying that they are appointing another company and that we must not attend site deemed a cancellation of the order??

Yes. Its deemed cancellation

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. They are now saying that they did not mean to cancel and that they want us to return to site and if we don't then we are in breach of contract. But surely they had already breached their own contract? If we take this matter to the small claims court to claim 25% of the remainder of the Order (£12,500) do you think we have a case or do our terms & conditions mean nothing once they have issued their terms? Thanks

Yes I agree. They asked you not to come back - thats a sure way of cancelling!

As such I think you are entitled to claim your 25%.

Its arguable about whose terms are in force. But they cant cancel and not expect to pay a fee

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you - we will go ahead with the County Court Claim. I feel they are trying to bully us as we are a small company. We had the same issue last year when Tesco cancelled a large order and we tried to claim the 25% cancellation. They didn't bother answering the County Court Claim so judgement was made in our favour. They soon paid up when the Court Enforcement Agents turned up !!

Indeed. All the best. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, by clicking on the 5 stars or happy face, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. It is also an important part of the online process. Thank you in advance and good luck!

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