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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18388
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I'm looking for advice from a solicitor. I have an

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JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I'm looking for advice from a solicitor. I have an e-commerce business. I received an offer from a media company for an advertisement offer 8 days ago that I decided to buy. In the meantime yesterday i changed my mind and i wanted to cancel with they refused. I have a look at the T&C ( It says "The Client may cancel a booking by agreeing to pay a severance fee. The level of this fee is a percentage of the booking value, and varies depending on how close the cancellation is to the copy deadline."
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hornchurch
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: No steps
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's all

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

are you asking if you are liable to pay these costs?

how much are they requesting you pay?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I'm looking for advice from a solicitor.
I have an e-commerce business. I received a promotional offer from a media company for an advertisement 8 days ago that I decided to buy. In the meantime yesterday after reflection and advise from a consultant in marketing, I changed my mind as the investment was not worth it for the company at this early stage and I wanted to cancel my order.I notify the media company yesterday and they came back telling me that i have to pay 66% of the order amount + VAT as per the cancellations policy.
I had a look at the T&C ( It says "The Client may cancel a booking by agreeing to pay a severance fee. The level of this fee is a percentage of the booking value, and varies depending on how close the cancellation is to the copy deadline."The thing is that I received the email with the deadline to provide the copy only after placing the order and I was not made aware of the deadline date before placing the order.
I talked to the media company about the notification for the deadline that happened after i placed the order and they say that it's always given after the order is placed. But I made the order last Thursday and they send me the copy deadline after which was for the 8th of march.
I would like to know if there is a possibility to cancel the order without paying the 66% Fees that they are requesting.

Unlike in a consumer contract, in a business contract there is no automatic right to cancel.

If the whole matter went to court for breach of contract, they would normally be awarded a percentage of the contract value equating to the loss of profit. This is what their severance fee is.

There is another issue which gets taken into account and that is how long after you entered into the contract did you cancel? If it was five minutes later, they could clearly have done no work on it so actually haven’t lost anything whereas if you cancelled a long way down the line, they may have actually done a load of work.

It’s exactly what they are saying.

I would be inclined to pay them 10%.

Send them a cheque for that amount telling them that it’s in full and final settlement and that by the action of cashing it and putting it in the bank, they accept it as such and if they don’t, they should not cash the cheque but they should return it to you, and issue court proceedings which you will defend on the basis that the charge is unreasonable and therefore unenforceable.

You need to head the letter Without Prejudice Save as to Costs and then they cannot produce it in court as any kind of admission that you are in any way liable.

It works 9 times out of 10 on the basis that is better to have a cheque in the hand for the smaller amount rather than a court argument over a large amount which they may not win.

The worst that can happen is that they send it back.

You could always try sending them a larger amount and see whether they accept that and ultimately, if they feel that they are entitled to more, and you don’t want to pay it, they will end up in court and you would have to defend the action.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I would like to know if you were to help me manage this and I give you £150 for the service will that works for you?

I’m afraid that we are specifically not allowed to take instructions from here.

If the site were to be a source of potential clients, we would no longer be independent because we would have an interest in pursuing litigation. With no interest in pursuing litigation, we can be really objective with our view is to whether something has a good chance or a limited chance of success.

In any event, for logistical reasons you would be better using a local solicitor .

We can give you the wording of the letter for a nominal extra fee. I will submit a premium services proposal for you. Remember it’s not guaranteed but it is remarkably successful.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi FES, before accepting I just want to let you know that I don't have a cheque as I'm using online banking. Is there an other way to go around it?

It doesn’t have the same effect if you offer it. However for legal reasons which I won’t bore you with, going back hundreds of years, the cheque can come from anybody. Friend, accountant, solicitor, partner, next-door neighbour, anyone.

F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
FES I still need your contact to send you the thread email? When will I receive the letter?

You now have my email address. When I have yours, I will send you the letter template.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I just sent you an email with the title: Franck Djeuda - Smomar

I have done the letter for you and send it by email. Please check for accuracy and that you are happy with the contents.

You would need to fill in the names and address et cetera and decide how much you want to pay to get rid of it.

As I’ve already said, I cannot guarantee that it’s going to work but it does work 9 times out of 10.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you so much for your work. I just send you an answer about one part inaccurate.

I see that and I had already considered that but in my opinion, it wasn’t drawn to your attention and know where did you agree to those terms.

You will be aware that when you buy anything off the Internet for example you have to make a positive gesture to tick a box before you can proceed.

I would let them raise that issue.