Cancelling a business contract before work starts

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Louise Hill, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Louise Hill

    Louise Hill UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 0
    Unfortunately, I was talked into an advertising contract by a cunning salesman and asked to sign the contract immediately, which I did. They wanted payment there an then, but I said I did not have my card with me.

    On returning to the office and working money out, I decided that it would not be a good idea for me to go ahead with this due to the cost and possibility of not getting a return on my investment.

    I emailed them saying that I could not afford to do the advertising and they offered me a reduction of £5, which does not help me.

    I told them that I can not go ahead with the contract whereby the salesman told me that I can't cancel as there is no cooling-off period for B2B contract. I have since emailed them today and asked to cancel the contract.

    As no costs have been incurred by the company at this time, they have not done any work on this as yet. Is there any way out of this? Please help.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Louise Hill Member since: Nov 7, 2019
    #1
  2. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    634 105
    Cunning salesman? How did he trick your and can you proof it? B2B, pretty much no cool off here and without seeing the actual contract you blindly singed you might have to honor this contract or do a better negotiation on a early termination fee.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
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  3. Louise Hill

    Louise Hill UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 0
    Well he handed me his tablet and asked me to sign, I never read the terms and conditions (like a fool) I assumed that there is always a cooling off period with contracts... they have not started any work on anything yet though so I was hoping that this may help? they have not spent any money on my advert yet. its for an advertising stand with a small banner on it and my cards underneath in 2 hospitals, along with 10 other companies who they are trying to sign up too. This will be new in these 2 hospitals...
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Louise Hill Member since: Nov 7, 2019
    #3
  4. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,870 2,205
    You were in charge and let the salesman pressure you into the sale easily. no doubt you will have to pay the full amount as the law assumes you are wise and need no protection in making a contract

    Just take it as a cheap lesson you will never forget and in future will take due consideration before signing any contract regardless of pressure selling and will also fully read the small print on the contract and FULLY understand what it means
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
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  5. Louise Hill

    Louise Hill UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 0
    at £1600 for the year I am not feeling that its a cheap lesson at all, and I am upset with myself for being talked into this.. I think that they should make you aware that there is NO way of cancelling the contract once signed.... I must have MUG written all over my face :(. Thank you for your advice
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Louise Hill Member since: Nov 7, 2019
    #5
  6. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,746 1,175
    It's a relatively inexpensive lesson in business. There is no such thing as a 'today only' deal.

    Anyone who wants you to sign on the spot isn't to be trusted.

    Learn the lesson & move on.

    You can bluff it and say 'so sue me'. They may, or may not. If you lose you will add court costs to your loss.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #6
  7. Louise Hill

    Louise Hill UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 0
    I guess it is a learning lesson as unfortunate as that may be.... I will see what they say to my email.. and thanks again for your prompt reply it was fantastic to have someone to advise me.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Louise Hill Member since: Nov 7, 2019
    #7
  8. estwig

    estwig UKBF Legend Free Member

    12,366 4,333
    Don't be too hard on yourself, it's a very old con executed by experienced conmen. I think it's a con as it almost certainly won't generate any business, your stand will run out of cards and no one will top it up. It'll be in a daft location where no one will even notice it.

    Be as difficult as possible, argue with them about everything, refuse to pay, refuse to sign off on artwork, keep asking for changes, ask for proof of the location of the banner, don't answer emails until the last minute, ask to see the T&C's, look for every angle to make their lives so difficult they give up and go looking for a softer mark.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: estwig Member since: Sep 29, 2006
    #8
  9. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    9,141 3,603
    Many of these 'advertising' deals are without substance. That is to say, the medium is often fiction and is not really published.
    THIS!

    I might help to state on this forum who these people are and what it is that they were offering. If there is anything bogus about the deal, we'll soon punch holes in it!
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #9
  10. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,566 775
    1. Technically, you are under contract.

    2. Learn the lesson. Never sign on the spot. Ever. Not once.

    3. Nonetheless, kick off. Bullying people to do this is sharp practice. If you make enough fuss you might find they can't be bothered to pursue for the money.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
    #10
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    17,687 2,018
    Some people, signing without reading costs them tens of thousands. So yes could be considered cheap if it causes you to never have to pay anything like that again.

    The sales people aren't there to educate you in business nor are they likely to point out problems in contracts.
    Consumers get protection and are treated like children that need protections from big bad companies.
    As a business owner you are presumed to be an adult. Read the contract before signing, don't read the contract before signing, the choice becomes yours.
    You are usually however going to be kept to the contract by the other party regardless.

    There may be a clause about termination - read it and use it. Notice periods often apply, some can be requiring cancellation 6 months before contract end.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #11
  12. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    9,141 3,603
    Most of these contracts are roll-overs, so if our OP insists on not reading the contract, she will be paying this sum or an even higher sum EVERY year!
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
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  13. Louise Hill

    Louise Hill UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 0
    thanks so much everyone very helpful, I have also spoken with citizens advice who say I could argue misrepresentation as it was all verbal and then he pushed his iPad under my nose and pointed to the boxes where I was to sign, I will see how they come back with the email and take it from there... I will try to Get out of it and yes I have indeed learned a big lesson :(
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Louise Hill Member since: Nov 7, 2019
    #13
  14. Financial-Modeller

    Financial-Modeller UKBF Regular Full Member

    475 143
    You have three options @Louise Hill :
    1. try to negotiate a release from your contractual obligation. It sounds like you have attempted this without success
    2. refuse to pay the invoice and await legal action.
    3. pay for the advertising.
    Assuming that you pay the invoice, there are three potential outcomes of the advertising that you have agreed to purchase:
    1. the advertising/banners etc that you have paid for never actually materialise. You can now claim the cost back from the other side as they have not performed their side of the contract.
    2. the advertising/banners etc are installed/broadcast and you get no business from the activity
    3. the advertising/banners etc are installed/broadcast and you get lots of business from the activity - do everything you can to ensure that this happens.
    Take heed of @The Byre suggestion to check that you haven't agreed to a recurring contract.

    As an aside, you mention the word "unfortunate" in most of your posts, which can sound like you consider this to be bad luck. It wasn't bad luck and you need to take responsibility for your actions to avoid repetition in future.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Financial-Modeller Member since: Jul 3, 2012
    #14
  15. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,061 743
    +1 to the part about carefully reading your copy of the contract to check for an automatic roll over. Many such contracts require that you give a specific amount of notice otherwise they roll over for another year and you have to pay again!!
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
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  16. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Regular Full Member

    481 92
    Its refreshing that @Louise Hill is willing to learn the lesson and not shoot the messenger, so lets not be hard on her @Financial-Modeller - how many people ask similar questions here but will not accept:


    It is very difficult to switch from the consumer protections that we are all used to as consumers to thinking in a different mode for business.

    If Citizen's Advice think there might be misrepresentation, it may be worth asking a lawyer. On the other hand that might just mean spending more money.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #16
  17. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Regular Full Member

    481 92
    Have you tried negotiating a compromise? i.e. paying them part of the amount to compensate for lost profit from agreeing to cancel?
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #17
  18. BristolBiz

    BristolBiz UKBF Regular Free Member

    157 44
    Commiserations, hand's up - I was conned like this early doors in my business life.

    FWIW here's my negotiating to-do list:

    CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER………..

    1. AGREE A VERBAL/TELEPHONE CONTRACT

    2. SIGN AN IPAD CONTRACT

    3. SIGN A CONTRACT ON THE DAY

    4. SIGN A CONTRACT WITHOUT READING AND UNDERSTANDING IT – SEEK (legal) ADVICE IF NECESSARY

    WHY

    A business to business contracting is legally binding. Instantly, unless a cooling off period is written in to the contract.

    What a salesman promises is worth absolutely nothing unless it’s in writing.

    There is no such thing as trust in a business contract.

    A CONTRACT MAY EXIST EVEN WITHOUT A WRITTEN CONTRACT

    THINGS TO AVOID

    Direct debits

    Autorenewal

    Payments to third party billing agents

    Termination “issues”

    Charges escalating above RPI


    WARNING SIGNS


    Pressure to sign there & then.

    Small print at length – contracts CAN be written in plain English – if they’re not there will be something(s) unpleasant buried somewhere. It’s a bit like marriage – sign in haste, regret at leisure ☹.


    Much of this has been gleaned off here, so thanks to all.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: BristolBiz Member since: Nov 5, 2008
    #18
  19. Louise Hill

    Louise Hill UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    15 0
    thanks everyone, I have since received this email from them
    Dear Louise,


    Thank you for your email.
    Unfortunately, the Contract you have signed is not subject to cancellation .
    As this is a Business to Business Contract, there is no ‘cooling off period’ or ‘cancellation policy’.
    I have re-attached your Contract stating all of the Terms and Conditions which outlines this. (Term 18.)
    Unique Advertising Limited is contractually binded to fulfil the Advertisement on behalf of your business, this is our terms which we have agreed to, please provide any information for your advertisement to our production team so that an artwork proof can be issued as soon as possible.
    Please note, should artwork not be received, an advertisement will be created and published without your approval.
    We must also advise that, if for any reason payments are not received on the date they become due; charges will be applied, and legal action may be taken to recover any overdue debt balance.
    As previously mentioned, this contract is not subject to cancellation & your Deposit Payment of £260.00 is still due and payable immediately to Unique Advertising Ltd.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions,
    Kind Regards,
    Hannah Sudell
    Accounts Administrator
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Louise Hill Member since: Nov 7, 2019
    #19
  20. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,746 1,175
    Personally I'd go for the bluff - BUT - there are risks relating to fees and charges.

    Reality - they almost certainly will deliver on creating the promotion. It's unlikely the promotion will yield results, hence the need for unethical selling.
     
    Posted: Nov 7, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
    #20