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Where do I stand legally? Is this breach of contract?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by TheColonel, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. TheColonel

    TheColonel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 6 Likes: 0
    I've been having some bother with a client that had signed a contract with me in June for 2 monthly payments for my social media services but since then they've only paid half the first payment and have given me numerous start dates that they never stick to. When a client gives me a start date I have to schedule them in and when they don't actually get started on that date it leaves me losing money.

    The client tells me they will pay the second half of the first payment but they never actually do it and only occasionally respond to my emails or phone calls.

    On the contract that they signed and returned on 27th June it says the following:

    Payment Terms
    First payment is due before start of project.
    This is a TWO (2) Month minimum contract.
    Monthly Fees are due on the 27th day of each month.

    Acceptance of Project Proposal and Terms
    If proposal and terms of service are acceptable, please sign this acceptance and return with your first payment.

    I, **CLIENT NAME** of **CLIENT COMPANY** agree to the project proposal and terms as defined above and in the attached schedules. I authorise **MY COMPANY** to proceed with the social media package project on our behalf and confirm this agreement by submitting our first payment.

    Then it is signed and dated (27/06/12) by the director of the client company.

    If someone here knows about contracts and would be willing to take a look at the contract to determine whether I'd be able to take legal action if necessary I'd appreciate it!

    :)
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: TheColonel Member since: Aug 17, 2012
    #1
  2. TheColonel

    TheColonel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 6 Likes: 0
    Has anyone got any advice? I'm a sole trader and this is the very first contract I've ever put together and had someone sign so I'm just not sure where I stand.

    Can I tell the client that I'll be seeking legal advice since it's been almost three months since the signing of the contract?

    Does the fact they've paid half of their first payment negate the start dates?

    In the contract it says "I authorise **MY COMPANY** to proceed with the social media package project on our behalf and confirm this agreement by submitting our first payment" does this mean by paying half of their first payment they've submitted their "first payment"? Or is the "first payment" a full payment only?
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: TheColonel Member since: Aug 17, 2012
    #2
  3. ITsoldUK

    ITsoldUK UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 2,221 Likes: 665
    First things first...

    If it is a 2 month minimum contract, get 2 months payment up front.

    Secondly, I always operate a 2 diary system...One for bookings and one for paid bookings.

    They never move from A to B (nor do they get owt done) til they have paid.

    Thirdly, re the contract, yup, they are in breach...cease work and invoice them in full...that is what I would do.
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: ITsoldUK Member since: Sep 15, 2011
    #3
  4. TheColonel

    TheColonel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 6 Likes: 0
    Hi ITsoldUK, thank you for your advice, it is very much appreciated.

    Should I be concerned with the part of the contract that states:

    "I authorise **MY COMPANY** to proceed with the social media package project on our behalf and confirm this agreement by submitting our first payment"

    I'm wondering if that they'll say they've only submitted a half payment so the contract is void. Is that possible?

    Also, it is written into the contract that after the initial 2 months the agreement will move onto a rolling 30 day agreement that the client has to give 30 days notice to cancel. Since the contract was signed in June we are now into month 3, so do I also add the third month onto the final invoice?

    Thanks again. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: TheColonel Member since: Aug 17, 2012
    #4
  5. ethical PR

    ethical PR UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 5,980 Likes: 1,339
    Might be worth getting some paid for advice to put your t&c together to help protect your business
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: ethical PR Member since: Apr 19, 2009
    #5
  6. TheColonel

    TheColonel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 6 Likes: 0
    Thanks. I'd like to do that one day. I'm a sole trader working from home, I started my business on a shoestring budget so I had to forgo certain luxuries.

    It's great that there's a place like this that I can come and ask those more knowledgeable than me on these matters, I really appreciate you guys chipping in. :)
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: TheColonel Member since: Aug 17, 2012
    #6
  7. PointandStare

    PointandStare UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 941 Likes: 192
    And for the sake of a few hundred quid with a lawyer you've now lost how much time/ money?

    Seriously, take the ladys advice and contact a lawyer that specialises in these matters.
    I can recommend someone if needed, just PM me.
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: PointandStare Member since: Apr 20, 2008
    #7
  8. TheColonel

    TheColonel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 6 Likes: 0
    Thanks for the lawyer advice guys, appreciated.

    Are you able to shed any light on my current predicament?
     
    Posted: Aug 17, 2012 By: TheColonel Member since: Aug 17, 2012
    #8
  9. The Resolver

    The Resolver UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 2,827 Likes: 917
    lt looks fairly clear in that he owes you the monies for the minimal term . Whether he must compensate you for the losses you have incurred depends on the wording of the contract as a whole. You have no duty to provide the service but do have a duty to mitigate your losses so you must cease whatever account is causing you the continuing loss.

    A solicitors letter may not assist as he is likely to guess correctly that you would not pay the solicitor to represent you in court given the amount will be below 5,000 GBP (I assume) and thus their costs would not be recoverable. You should write to give him 7 days after which time you will issue at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

    Send me the contract. If you are good at social media and as I need some social media work done for me for a new project PM me as I may be prepared to provide a comprehensive set of terms and conditions on a quid pro quo basis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
    Posted: Aug 18, 2012 By: The Resolver Member since: Mar 31, 2006
    #9
  10. ITsoldUK

    ITsoldUK UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    Posts: 2,221 Likes: 665
    Excellent advice Graham.

    As a side note, have you/do you recommend any online resources for the 'little guy' to check out re contract/terms wording etc prior to using a Professional to tweak and customise?
     
    Posted: Aug 18, 2012 By: ITsoldUK Member since: Sep 15, 2011
    #10
  11. wkdmarty

    wkdmarty UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 5 Likes: 1
    Our company needed some T's n C's for the website and cookies, etc. I managed to find this place which also does a load of other template articles for a reasonable cost. (Some are free)

    I'm not allowed to post links here but look up:

    www
    simply-docs
    co
    uk

    Hope this helps.

    Marty
     
    Posted: Aug 22, 2012 By: wkdmarty Member since: Aug 22, 2012
    #11