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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 54552
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I provided a customer with an email quotation to provided

Customer Question

I provided a customer with an email quotation to provided them with some furniture ( no terms and conditions were in the email ) The customer would like to go ahead with the order. We are now unable to supply the furniture due to a price increase to us. The seller has not confirmed via email only verbally. No money has exchanged hands , no deposit has been taken . Do we have to supply the furniture as we will lose a huge amount of money . Thank You
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.

Did you accept their order when they said they wanted to go ahead?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No. The customer said they would be placing a large order of furniture over and above the inital quotation. They came into store and said they would like the furniture I quoted them for and I explained we would be losing money on that furniture however if they purchased the additional furniture they planned to buy I would be happy to supply them with the furniture in the quotation . During our discussions in store we were unable to agree to a total price for all furniture although they did really want it. He left the store asking if I was in all weekend I.e he would be getting in touch. Two weeks have passed and then he contacted us asking where the quoted furniture is. I explained I was waiting to hear back from him and complete the deal on everything. I never accepted the single order of the quoted furniture
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. The customer’s rights will really only kick into place once a legally binding contract had come into existence. This generally happens when there has been an offer by one party, which was subsequently accepted by the other.

So far you have provided a quotation, which then prompted the customer to come back to you and try to place an order. The quotation will most likely be treated as an ‘invitation to treat’. This means that it is information given to a party to allow them to come back to you and make you an offer. Therefore, the customer has come back to you and tried to make an offer to purchase the items. This is only the first half of a contract – you still had to have accepted the offer for there to be a fully binding contract in place. If you never accepted his offer, there would be no contract in place and he cannot force you to sell him anything, even if you had originally quoted him a price.

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.
Thank You , may I ask a question . When he called up asking where the furniture was I explained the situation . He then called me a liar and said that I would supply him the furniture without the additional order ( this is not the case and did not happen ) . What happens if he says that in store I did say I would supply the furniture ? The only people there initial were him and his wife then she left and eventually my mother heard the conversation we had . We are a small family business and traded without problems for 30 years , this is the first time this has ever happen . Thank you for your reply , I am very happy with this response and will proceed with the payment
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

it becomes his word against yours then. In many cases, a lack of documentary evidence could mean that the claim is essentially one person’s word against another’s. This makes it a factual dispute and the courts will have to use their best efforts to try and determine who is right and who is wrong based on what they say and how they say it. To do so the courts have developed certain tests that would be applied to help them decide how much weight to attach to each side's evidence, such as:

· Demeanour - includes matters such as a person’s conduct, manner, bearing, behaviour, delivery and inflexion. They are matters of impression, which are not necessarily revealed by reading a transcript of evidence. It is the more 'personal' side of the individual providing the evidence

· Inconsistency – mainly to do with any apparent inconsistencies in a person’s evidence, especially after cross-examination

· Probability – this would ask of the evidence as a whole, or of a particular part of it: whose account is more probable in the circumstances?

So the courts will apply these or other similar tests in coming to a decision that they believe is most fair in the circumstances. That does not mean it is necessarily the right one, but the one which has been judged to be the fairest based on all available information. But all fo this is on the assumption that this actually goes to court, which it may never do

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for the answer . Two questions : firstly I never specified a time frame for delivery , could I say we could deliver but it would be next year ( in the hope of deterring him ) secondly , what would you do ? I imagine court fees will be high , would you just supply the customer ? Thank You
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

What is the value of the order?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
163;6150 the profit within that order is £600 ( with the additional furniture set added ) without it £2499 with zero profit
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hi there, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. If this was me I would stick with my position and state that no contract was ever formed as you never accepted their offer for purchase. If they wanted to take it further their only option is to go to court and as mentioned they may never go that far. Even if they did, this would go to the small claims court, where the risks are relatively low. For example, you do not need a solicitor to defend the claim as it is aimed at small scale disputes and even if you lost you would not be responsible for the other side’s legal costs. Hope this clarifies?

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