Home > Ask Our Experts > What Are My Rights If No Terms Are Agreed?

What Are My Rights If No Terms Are Agreed?

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 17 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
What Are My Rights If No Terms Are Agreed?

Q.

I have recently been taken to small claims court and lost.

A web development company started to build me a website before the terms and conditions or price was agreed. They finally produced the terms and conditions towards the end of the project and I rejected them and stopped all work with the company.

The judge ruled that because they where carrying out work on my behalf I should settle the invoice in full and because no terms and conditions had been agreed there where no terms or conditions to break and the company was not in breach of anything.

Does this seem fair?

(Mr Rupert Ingram, 28 September 2008)

A.

Sad to say that on the surface it appears that the judge was right, although without knowing all the details and legal implications, it’s impossible to offer a definitive answer.

So Why is the Judge Correct?

It would seem that you agreed to let the company develop and build the site for you, that you gave your consent to begin, which means that – even if it was tacitly – you entered into a contract with them. Therefore, as long as they performed the work in a satisfactory manner and in a reasonable term, using due care and skill, they have the right to be paid for that work.

The correct way to have gone about things would have been to hammer out a price and all the terms and conditions, and have had them in writing before you allowed work to commence, and everything on paper is a signed contract between yourself and the web development company.

That way both parties would have known exactly where they stood.

The judge is correct in saying that where no terms and conditions exist, none can be broken – how can you flout what isn’t there?

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that you hadn’t agreed on a price, since that’s one of the basic foundations of all kinds of business. For instance, you’d very likely get several quotes before having major work done on your home, and you’d have something in writing stating that price, along with a completion date, when payment is due, whether the work is guaranteed and so on – which are essentially the terms and conditions for the work.

Business operates the same way, and the judge obviously believed that you’d agreed to use this company’s services, whether verbally or in writing, and so you became liable for the invoice when they presented it.

Unfortunately, on the face of things it looks as if you have no choice but to chalk this up to experience. However, if there’s more involved that you haven’t stated, then it could be worth another look. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but it would seem to be the situation.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • locsel
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    bought AUDI TT tfsi 2011 52000 miles for 9900 on 20th aug 2019 after 6 days slave cylinder broke dealer took back to repair then…
    13 October 2019
  • Brogsy
    Re: Dealing With Cowboy Builders
    SA BUILDERS. ARMENIAN BUNCH OF UNSKILLED WORKERS. THEY SAY THEY DO EVERYTHING FROM GAS TO ELECTRICS. NOT A SINGLE TEST CARRIED…
    11 October 2019
  • Marls
    Re: What If Your Plumber Makes Mistakes?
    Plumer put new tap on got him back hot water runningslow fixed it charged £20 is that right
    10 October 2019
  • Henry
    Re: Dealing With Cowboy Builders
    Steer clear of Luke and Daniel Ray near Reading. Patio work overpriced. Payment demanded with threats to property. They may be in…
    8 October 2019
  • Ste65
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    we purchased a Ford Galaxy on a 58 Plate on finance. within first month it has work done on it by the Car Dealer.. ie-oil leak…
    28 September 2019
  • Giizmo49
    Re: A Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015
    I purchased a Sony TV for 3999£ just under a year ago. The tv has become defective through no fault of our own. The…
    28 September 2019
  • Glibly
    Re: How to Complain
    Had Recliner leather sofa’s for 4 months ( away from home one month). A working couple with no pets or children. Tear’s under cushions but Harvey’s…
    28 September 2019
  • Sarina
    Re: Buying a New Car: Your Rights
    Hi, I've just brought a new Qashqai on a 3 year lease, there seems to be a technical fault with it as it's costing me a…
    23 September 2019
  • Kim
    Re: When Cosmetic Surgery Goes Wrong
    Hi..had a mini tummy tuck 2 weeks ago. Absolutely devastated. Scar is really high and up to the top if my hip bones... I…
    21 September 2019
  • Upset
    Re: What Can I Do When Goods I've Ordered Don't Arrive?
    I purchased Keto Pure from Go Healths on 28 March 2019. I have being sending emails and they…
    17 September 2019