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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 60598
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I'm after some advice about a small claim against me. A

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Hi, I'm after some advice about a small claim against me. A customer is trying to claim for a floor to be relaid but they have refused to pay my initial invoice, can they do that?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Devon
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I tried to speak with the customer, via email as he refused to acknowledge any calls we had. I offered to repair if needed if he agreed he's pay the invoice after the work was completed to the agreed outcome. He refused to put it in an email so I said I woudl not go back without this
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No i think thats it

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

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi Ben
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
No I'll stick to chat thanks

So just to clarify, the customer did not allow you the opportunity to correct the work at all?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I went around and offered to repair, they wanted it all taken up and me to replace at my cost. I said I would be happy to repair the areas they had issues with. But that i wanted it in writing, he would not do that but wanted me to go around face to face. My heistation to do that was because he'd refused to acknowledge a previous call saying the job would take longer and cost more
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
He also refused to agree he would pay the invoice once the work was corrected

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. It’s a difficult position for bot of you to be honest – the customer may be reluctant to pay anything until they are certain that the work will be completed to a satisfactory standard. On the other hand, you may be reluctant to do any remedial work if you have not been paid because you believe you run the risk of not being paid at all. It can end up in a standoff between you where you are just stuck without being able to proceed any further.

You could make it clear to them that you are not escaping your legal responsibilities and are agreeing to return and sort out any issues, but there has to be mutual trust and he has to make it clear that he will be paying you once the issues are worked out. You can suggest that they at least pay a proportion of the amount owed, with the remainder being paid on completion.

In the end, you will both have rights against each other if things do not go right – he can pursue you for compensation if the work was not completed to a reasonable standard, you can pursue him for compensation if you have completed the work but have not been paid.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you I did say I would be happy to do all remedial work if the confirmed they would then pay the invoice. He refused to agree to that. He is now raising a claim against me saying all the floor has had to be relaid, new tiles and trying to claim over £1600 but has not paid for any work. Is that allowed? Can I counter claim now he’s raised a small claim? I was onsite for three weeks and at no point did he raise any concerns only after the invoice was sent

You can indeed raise a counter-claim if you are still owed money and you can also argue that you have not been given a reasonable opportunity to make things right.

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you. Was it sufficient that I asked for remedial work confirmation in writing instead of his insistence of doing it face to face? At each point I have said I’m happy to do it but wanted the list in writing

that is good, it also provides a paper trail as evidence