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On all of our annual grounds maintenance contracts summer visits are more frequent and cost more than the winter visits.  For ease of invoicing and payment, we divide the annual cost by 12 to calculate equal monthly instalments.  If the contract terminates early, we calculate the actual costs and then issue an invoice or credit for the balancing charge.  This is not written within our terms and conditions.

For the first time ever, a client is refusing to pay the balancing charge and we are not sure, legally, how we can proceed.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Replies

  • PRO

    From my experience - I don’t think you can easily invoice for balancing payments if it’s not in the contract. 

    Was it verbally explained to the client with any ‘witnessesed’?

    You may be able to show hours worked against billed income if you went ‘legal’ on this, but would depend so much on the Judge if you try to implement retrospectively.

    Our T&Cs have explicit clauses to cater for just such this scenario....

  •  Michael, 

    thanks for bringin this to my attention. I do the same, spread customers payments over the full 12 months, or shorter if they are new customers in the season, with the last payment for the current contract on 1st feb. I have had a look over my terms and conditions and I dont have the relevant clause included. 

    Gary RK, would you be kind enough to let us read yours? Your profile is invisible to me. 

    Thanks

  • PRO

    I am in the same position, i offer 12 monthly payments but will need to add something to my T & C's, thanks for highlighting

  • Hi Michael. 

    If it isn’t in your contract then im afraid legally it wont stand up. Your client wont have to pay

    sorry

  • We always provide a price per summer visit (April to October) and a price per winter vist (November to March) from which an annual figure can be obtained.

    The payment options include a month by month bill, a bill of 12 equal payments or 7 equal monthly summer payments and 5 equal winter payments.

    Whichever payment option is chosen there will be a balancing charge on early termination of a contract and this can be easily calculated.

     

    • PRO

      Hi Michael.

      We recover money from our services we sell by either the customer paying by visa card or by a 12 equal monthly direct debit mandate.

      This summer we sold three garden maintenance contracts (which have a minimum contract period of one year) to customers that then cancelled a few weeks into the contract.

      One of the customers actually cancelled before paying anything, he thought he could have his garden tidied up on the cheap and not pay for it.

      Anyway, we have sent a County Court Summons to all three of these people claiming for the whole cost of a years contract.

      A contract is an agreement (best put in writing (although it can be verbal)), and it does not have to be signed. Producing an email of the customers agreement for the work to be done is good enough for any court hearing.

      www.1stgardenmaintenance.co.uk

       

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