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Help! Client has cancelled a commissioned project and refusing to pay cancellation charges!

(32 Posts)
BIWI Wed 27-Feb-13 10:37:36

We are a small market research company. A client who was working as a freelance marketing/insight consultant for The Company commissioned us to conduct some market research for them.

We set up the project, agreed how much it was going to cost (all in writing, go ahead given by the client) and went to a briefing meeting with the client and the company's managing director.

We started all the set up work, working over the weekend (and had other people working over the weekend) to meet their timings.

We also have terms and conditions agreed and signed by the client.

However, yesterday The Company pulled the project. We are now, according to the terms and conditions that the client signed, entitled to charge a cancellation fee, of around £9000. We also use another agency who sources our respondents for us, and they will be charging us cancellation fees of around £2800. (This project would have been worth a significant amount of money for us if it had gone ahead)

However, The Company is refusing to pay the cancellation fees, saying that the client had no right to agree/sign our terms and conditions. This despite the fact that The Company's MD met us at their meeting.

As far as I can see, they don't have a legal foot to stand on here - but is this right?

If anyone can help me I would very much appreciate it.

BIWI Mon 04-Mar-13 17:39:56

Oh yes. I think, also, because we are women there was a certain expectation that we would just go away!

Hah. Little did they know ...


HecateWhoopass Mon 04-Mar-13 17:46:16

Oh yes. I bet we could swap many stories!

Far too many of mine being people assuming that I must be the receptionist. hmm

Eg arseholes coming in for interview, talking down to me and then being told who I am. grin
Loved it!

BIWI Mon 04-Mar-13 18:14:27


My first job was as a secretary in an advertising agency. I had to draft something one day, which one of the account executives took great exception to. He came back with it, telling me that one particular sentence didn't make sense. I read it again, handed it back, telling him that it did. He said it didn't. This went on for a bit.

Then he came out with the great line "look, I've got an A-level in English, and I'm telling you it doesn't make sense". To which I was able to reply "well, I have a degree in English, and I can tell you that it does!"


Very satisfying.

tharsheblows Mon 04-Mar-13 18:53:42

Oh good and bad, I guess. But I'm glad that it's clear cut in the legal sense.

Thanks for the update. Hope getting the money is as painless as it can be.

I'm always amazed when people think I'll just roll over and give in. I do come across as a bit dippy, I know, but why would that mean that I'll let people walk all over me? Boggles the mind.

HecateWhoopass Mon 04-Mar-13 19:15:10

HA! Slapped down.

I bet his face was a picture.

cumfy Mon 04-Mar-13 19:40:46

Well done, if they've offered to pay half, they've pretty much accepted liability. Game over.

BIWI Mon 04-Mar-13 19:52:05

Well that was our view too grin

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