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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 54415
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am have just received a letter for a client I am working

Customer Question

I am have just received a letter for a client I am working for who has requested a refund and says I am in breach of contract. I am an architectural designer working as a limited company and have been given 14 days to respond.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

What specific questions do you have about this please? Also please note that I am mobile today so may not be able to reply until later today thanks

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Shall I send the quote, the order, the time lines and the letter I have just received?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
sorry, I've just paid £38, is this an additional £42
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

hi there, phone calls are charged extra but I am not available today for a call so you can ignore that. If you can please provide any details you have then I can check to see what your rights are and get back to you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi BenPlease see the quote, the order form and the letter from Mrs Merlane.I turned up to survey on the 7th at 12:00, when I knocked on the door I was told that Mrs Merlane was ill and that she needs to cancel. I was disappointed but I decided to move on to my next appointment, as I pulled off Mr Merlane knocked on the car and said that Mrs Merlane was feeling better....I was worried at this point but continued and surveyed the property any way and took some existing drawings away for reference.I waited for the deposit to clear which arrived late on Friday the 9th, so we didn't start the project until the 12th. We explained by email we were experiencing high demand and we would not meet the anticipated timeline for 1st draft but would be working as fast as possible to forward 1st draft drawings. We do not agree timelines for completed drawings just 1st draft drawings as per quote.It is my belief she has changed her my mind on the proposal after agreeing the job, the proposal was a difficult one with no guarantees, she was not confident from the beginning.I have emailed her to say that all design works have stopped following receipt of her letter and all correspondence going forward will be through our solicitor.Jason
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. When you advised her that you would not meet the deadline, did you give an indication of how long it may take and did she query this in any way?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we were communicating with various questions up until the 28th, then she went quite and the letter arrived. The quote says first draft 2 weeks, not completed plans 2 weeks as her letter states.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
she went quiet
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. If she was going to cancel, as she is intending to, she must show that you had genuinely acted in breach of contract, serious enough to make the whole contract void. Minor breaches will not qualify, although it is for a court to decide what is serious enough in the circumstances.

When you provided the quote you specifically said that “1st draft drawings will take 1-2 weeks”. You did however advise the customer that you were behind on work and this timeline may be extended slightly, although no specific timeline was agreed. At that point the customer would have had the opportunity to get back to you and say that she is not happy with the delay and to cancel as a result. She would have had the right to cancel then if needed. On the assumption that she did not challenge the delay and did not say anything else, it would be assumed that she had accepted there would be a slight delay and therefore cancelling on those grounds alone would be a bit difficult. Of course, that does not mean you can take as long as you want and you still have a duty under consumer laws to provide the designs within a reasonable period of time. If you initially promised 1–2 weeks, a reasonable delay would be perhaps 3-4 weeks. Any longer than that, getting into 5-6 weeks or more, would unlikely be reasonable and would again allow her to consider cancelling.

Just to point out, her letter does correctly refer to there being no drawings within 1-2 weeks as promised, she does not state she is cancelling because no plans were provided. Therefore, if you are now 3-4 weeks in and have still not provided any drawings, you either have to do this without further delay, or consider allowing her to cancel and reimbursing her the fees paid, less anything she has already received a benefit from.

Refusing to do this could allow her to go to court to challenge you over this, although as it is only £750 it will go to the small claims court and the risks are relatively low, even if you lost.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thanks for that.Today I have received identical letters, so to date each director and all the directors of an unconnected company have had letters to the registered office, trading office and all their home addresses.So just to confirm in total its getting on for 12 identical letters addressed to each directors home address, office and registered office, even though the directors are unconnected to the companyThis is not normal right?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello again, it does seem a bit odd, but you just don't know what her line of thinking is. She may simply want to ensure she covers all bases and has perhaps crossed her wires somewhere sown the line. I really cannot say why she has sent all these letters so anything I say would be a complete guess, but do not worry too much about that, regardless of the number of letters sent and who they were sent to, there is still an underlying issue, which I discussed in my earlier response. Hope this clarifies a bit more?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
what is the cost for you to respond on our behalf to end the contract as it stands, the project is done now. My gut feeling is she has changed her mind and doesn't want the £750 remaining bill. This has happened before which is why we have a deposit because we lost out before..
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Sadly, we cannot act on your behalf and enter into correspondence with anyone or do any formal legal work for you. We are just a Q&A site, where we discuss your legal position and options with you but how you apply these is up to you and cannot involve us. I am sorry about that, it is how this website works.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? Do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the response to your query? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks