1. Advertising
    y u no do it?

    Advertising (learn more)

    Advertise virtually anything here, with CPM banner ads, CPM email ads and CPC contextual links. You can target relevant areas of the site and show ads based on geographical location of the user if you wish.

    Starts at just $1 per CPM or $0.10 per CPC.

Verbal Contracts in the UK.

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by xml, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. #1
    Hi,

    This is somewhat an expansion of http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=2805.

    Q: How can you prove a verbal contract? Say the agreement was made on the phone; must the phone call have been recorded for the verbal contract to be official?

    Must companies that monitor calls (by recording them) inform the person being contacted?
    SEMrush
    If they MUST inform the person being contacted is the verbal contract valid if the person wasn't informed?

    If I have been recorded without my consent where do you stand legally?

    (Sorry about all these tedious legal questions I've been asking recently :()
     
    xml, Sep 5, 2004 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    291
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    #2
    HI XML, two issues really firstly yes, you MUST be informed if any conversation is being recorded, but not informing you that the conversation is being taped does not negate the contract. I am not certain on the laws of introduction of evidence if the eveidence was obtained illegally. my gut tells me that it is probably inadmissable.

    There is normally a follow up process to a contract though. Normally if (as in your case) a printed advert is being prepared, then some sort of written follow up happens. such as a confirmation of order, artwork for approval etc.

    If I telephone you, make you an offer, you accept, then I send you art work, you accept the artwork, then that in itself would be acceptable as confirmation of your acceptance of the contract being in existence. I know it is a shit, but unfortunately the law is the law.

    I really think you are going down the wrong road here if you are trying to say that a contract was never formed, as you have posted here that a contract was formed. If you now base your defence on the non existence of a contract, then, should they get hold of your posts and present them to the court you will have committed purgery, which is far more serious, as the courts take lying under oath very seriously.

    Let me ask you some questions.

    Did this company provide you with ANY written information, or ANY follow up material written or verbal , between the time of your agreeing to contracting their services, and the invoice/completion of goods or services?

    When you telephoned back to cancel, did you record the time and date, and the name of the person you spoke to who confirmed acceptance of your cancellation?

    Did you follow up the verbal cancellation in writing?

    Have you asked for a copy of the recorded conversation? They have to provide a copy of this by law under the data protection act.

    Did you request written confirmation of all the information you discussed and of the terms and conditions of service at the time of entering into the contract?

    You see, if this company have behaved unfairly, then there is a fair chance, that although they have provided the service within the terms of the contract, they might have behaved outside of the 'spirit of the contract' which is a legal acceptable term and set of circumstances.

    Let me explain a little further. They telephoned you and sold you £230 of advertising. You realised you could not pay for the advertising, and, at the earliest opportunity you informed them of this in the only method you had, verbally! (their preferred and chosen method of conducting business). Now a judge might decide that they behaved outside of the spirit of the agreement in not allowing you to re negotiate the contract at this stage. If however the contract was too far advanced then he probably will not.

    All is not lost, but if you base your defence on ' I never agreed to anything' then your done for! All that will happen is that they will produce the person who you spoke to when you telephoned to cancel the non existent contract and your shagged, as why would you telephone to cancel a contract that did not exist?

    Base your defence on the facts at hand. I will be glad to help you form a defence, god knows I have been on the other end of cases like this enough. But I really would recommend you contact a solicitor or your local trading standards. Telphone the trading standards department of the local council in the area where this company are based (it is probably in the blackpool or Lytham area as this is where most of them are based). If you then get told that they have a load of complaints then that will give you more information.

    Feel free to pm or email me Mate, I will try to help you as much as I can.
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 5, 2004 IP
  3. xml

    xml Peon

    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    2
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #3
    Thanks again mate for the great detailed advice.

    No i'm not trying to say the contract was not formed. It WAS formed, but upto yet I have not been able to contact the company in question so I am just covering ground and seeing what my options are.

    Yes, it was after this that it was cancelled.

    The name of the person who was called was recorded. Along with the email.

    Unfortunatly I didn't do a written cancellation :(.

    I was unable to contact by phone, and none have my emails have been replied too. I emailed every available department.

    I didn't ask for the T&C and none was presented to me.

    And yeah... the guys are from Liverpool, just down from Blackpool.

    Again thanks for the help, and with a bit of luck I will be able to get through to them tomorrow somehow.
     
    xml, Sep 5, 2004 IP
  4. xml

    xml Peon

    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    2
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #4
    LOL, may I ask why they are based around the Blackpool area? Seems wierd
     
    xml, Sep 5, 2004 IP
  5. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    291
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    #5
    Because all of this stems back to one person who initially set up a company up there. Most of the rip offs (generic term not directed at any one company in particular) are people who worked for him or are businesses being run under his umbrella so to speak.

    We are talking about the sort of person who drives a Ferrari, and when the fraud squad had an attempted raid of his premises, he hit the button, which rolled down the shutters and he sat there and shredded every single document on the premises, then set fire to them in the fire place he kept there for that very moment. Not a nice man! :) He is notorious in the publishing world.
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 5, 2004 IP
  6. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    291
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    #6
    Send a recorded deliver letter, it will only cost a quid or so and well worth it. I will gladly look over it for you before you send it ;)
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 5, 2004 IP
  7. xml

    xml Peon

    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    2
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #7
    Thanks mate, get it to you as soon as it is done.
     
    xml, Sep 6, 2004 IP
  8. thewellyshop

    thewellyshop Peon

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #8
    We work on the county show circuit and in February 2005 took on two people, on a self employed basis (ie. they invoiced us for services rendered) to take on some of our circuit. We spent several months training them in all aspects of the job, helped them on the first shows, trained them in driving our lorry and generally made sure they were happy. We gave them a written list of shows booked (sites are reserved and paid for on a non-refundable basis months in advance), after receiving their commitment to complete the season - verbally and via email.
    We also put in writing a very basic pay structure. ie rates each per day + VAT. Uniforms were supplied.
    In May we encountered our first problem when the woman waited for us to leave the stand, and changed into totally inappropriate cut off denim shorts. (Our image is upmarket in line with the cost of our boots!) We gently explained that we could not allow this on the stand, but she became agitated and threatened to leave. Being aware of the shows we had booked and the turnover at stake, we did not throw them out (despite the fact that we felt very much inclined to do so), but asked them to go home and think about the consequences. After several days of talks, they decided to continue.
    In August, I received an email telling me that I was not paying enough in travelling expenses, in a very pointed way. As we had made sure they were paid fairly, sometimes at the expense of our business if a show went badly, we were angry. We paid them half a day each simply to drive to or back from a show, whether it was one hour or six hours away. Over six months this was accepted, although it was not in the original written payment terms. We paid them extra, as a bonus, for being on our biggest show, despite the fact that there were extra staff on and they did not do any extra work, but this was ignored. I pointed this out in my emailed reply, but confirmed as requested, their final four shows. They became angry at my response, but initially said they would continue until the end of the season, then review the situation (we took this to be another threat of resignation, and decided to accept this time, as long as they honoured their commitments). I did not reply to their email, having already confirmed the remaining shows, and as a result, they wrote and said they would not be doing any further shows.
    They have been very difficult to work with from the start, are extremely defensive of their own situation (market traders whose business is in rapid decline, hence their wish to find a new career path).
    As a result we have had to cancel three major shows, with lost site fees of £1500. Potential turnover losses (all are established shows) around £30000.
    As we were so angry, we stopped payment on their last cheque, but realise we will have to reinstate - they have made sure of that by threatening us with court action.
    Do we have a claim against them for loss of show site fees at least? Obviously it seems pointless to spend money on taking them to court if we stand to gain nothing and have to bear the thought of them winning everything, after creating such havoc.
     
    thewellyshop, Sep 21, 2005 IP
  9. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    291
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    205
    #9
    Tell them to take you to county court. Explain to them that you will be putting in a counter claim for the revenue lost thanks to their breach of contract with you. Explain that you are entitled to claim more but that you will be offering to the court to accept the amount outstanding as settlement.

    The beauty of doing this is that THEY will have to pay the court fees, and providing any counter claim is equal to or less than the amount of the original claim against you, there will be no cost to you for counter claiming..

    That said, issuing a cheque is a legally binding contract, and you MUST find a reason why you stopped payment after issuing it, and before it being presented. The ideal defence would be that you took advice from a business friend and he explained that you could claim against them for your losses.

    Good luck.
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Sep 21, 2005 IP
  10. tabula

    tabula Peon

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #10
    I hope you can help me.

    A year and a half ago my brother and I started up a two piece band and we agreed a 50/50 split on money and on workload...in fact, on everything.

    We have now split up. Everything that my brother did...eg singing...I also did...but on top of that I did ALL the driving and ALL the administration work. I can show that my brother did not do his 50% workload...and I can show that I did much more than my 50% workload. Now that we have split up he is looking for compensation from me for his half of the gear (amp, keyboard etc). I have the gear in my possesion. I'm just wondering where I stand in a situation like this. Did he break the contract by not doing his work? Do I owe him compensation? Am I owed compensation for doing his work for him? as far as I can see my brother did not fulfil his part of the agreement and I more than filled my part of it. I have documented proof of this as well as witnesses.

    Anyway...I know this isn't very much information to go on but this is the basics of what happened. I hope you can help.



    Alan Dickson
     
    tabula, Nov 26, 2005 IP
  11. DarrenC

    DarrenC Peon

    Messages:
    3,386
    Likes Received:
    154
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #11
    XML, if you want my advice (for what it's worth!) I would certainly listen to OWG! He knows what he talking about.

    Oh and OWG, where are you?? lol Hope your well!!

    Darren
     
    DarrenC, Nov 26, 2005 IP
  12. FFH

    FFH Peon

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #12
    @ tabula (Alan)

    Well Alan, the thing is if you didnt say anything when he was neglecting things then you might have given him the impression that its not that bad at all. Perhaps he didnt even realize that he let you down with the work. I am wondering :confused: ..hes your brother right? That kind of relationship between brothers is pretty rare isnt it? I would either have told my brother to give me a hand and do some more or he should do something else to cover up for not helping you!

    Regards

    maRian
     
    FFH, Oct 15, 2007 IP
  13. craigedmonds

    craigedmonds Notable Member

    Messages:
    662
    Likes Received:
    86
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    220
    #13
    A friend of mine who is Irish, and we know they have lots of little sayings, once told me....

    "If its not signed, its not defined".

    I now get written contracts for any work that I do, without fail and the same when people do work for me.

    Everything is always nice and rosy in the begining and everyone are the best of friends, but the second a dispute arises, usually about money no less, thats when you need to have the piece of paper defining the agreement.
     
    craigedmonds, Oct 15, 2007 IP
  14. FFH

    FFH Peon

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #14
    @Craigedmonds

    Well thats right...in my family we used to write down some notes when we lent money to each other coz after a few months you just dont know anymore whether or not you got it back or not. But even if they didnt give it back..its your family so you should make such a hassle about it. Thats not for anything considered outside of the family!
     
    FFH, Oct 15, 2007 IP
  15. moz4614

    moz4614 Peon

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #15
    I recently agreed to what I thought was a rolling agreement which could be terminated with 3 days notice. The company are now saying that I agreed to a 12 month contract. Do they have to provide a copy of the recorded telephone call by law and can the charge me an administration fee for this?
    If they can't provide a recorded agreement does that negate the contract?
    The website seo company didn't provide me with any formalised written contract, I believe the work they are carrying out it sub standard or even nil as I have seen no improvement in my google/yahoo/bing website rankings and according to their website they provide both rolling agreements and 1 year agreements.
    Can I counter claim under the Sale of Goods Act if I believe I am being charged for work that is not being carried out or being carried out to an unsatisfactory standard?

    Regards,

    Steve.
     
    moz4614, Feb 12, 2011 IP
  16. AstarothSolutions

    AstarothSolutions Peon

    Messages:
    2,681
    Likes Received:
    77
    Best Answers:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    #16
    You would have been better off starting a new thread rather than digging up one that is 7 years old.

    The difficulty of a verbal contract is proof but it is a burden that is equally shared by both parties. Also presumably you never agreed SLAs on their performance, what would be considered a breach of contract, what remedies there were for breaches etc? I would also assume given the service you bought it was a B2B arrangement which gives you less protection under law than that of an B2C situation.

    Obviously you should seek professional legal advice but really you have two options. First one, if you think it was a rolling contract and you only had to give X months notice would be to give that notice (which they will contest) and then after paying for those extra months stop payments. If they take you to court if will be up to both parties to submit proof that their point of view is correct and the judge will decide who he believes (basically). The other option is to tackle the substandard work, in which case in the absence of terms you would realistically have to formally complain and given them reasonable opportunity to rectify the situation. If they don't improve then you have 2 further choices, either advise them they are in breach of the agreement and thus the contract is cancelled and sit back to see if they issue (as per above) or you issue against them to recover the monies already paid for the sub standard work.
     
    AstarothSolutions, Feb 13, 2011 IP