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Client issue spiteful invoice for unsolicited services

(23 Posts)
PURPLESWAN Mon 09-May-16 23:47:32

We did some work for a client (lets call him Kn*b) last summer and have struggled to get payment out of him. DH has, with lots of calls, whittled it down to him owing us £1000. While all this has been going on Kn*b's marriage has broken down and after our last installment about a month ago he stopped taking DHs calls. After telling Kn*b he would have to go to see his wife if he no longer was communicating (we have no new mail address for him) - H finally did this as a last resort. The wife (and I feel bad about this) made a payment but obviously gave her ex a roasting over it.

The client has now had a complete fit and issued a £3000 invoice for supposed work he did for us The "work" consisted of writing one letter which was never received by anyone, reading through a letter I wrote and making some comments and a "consultation" where he turned up in the evening with a bottle of Whisky, said it would "be better with some Charlie" and moaned about his wife. We never had a quote for work from him or signed a contract so can he do this?

DH is extremely stressed - I will add this chap has a legal background (allegedly)

Collaborate Tue 10-May-16 07:47:55

Ignore and move on.

PURPLESWAN Tue 10-May-16 07:59:47

Not sure it is that simple, he's issued an invoice via his company

CaroleService Tue 10-May-16 09:08:58

He has no contract, quote, engagement letter, etc, presumably?

I don't think he'd get far

Is he a lawyer or accountant? You could report him to his professional body if so.

Choughed Tue 10-May-16 11:33:23

Either ignore or reply disputing it. He can't win.

PURPLESWAN Tue 10-May-16 15:59:26

He says he's passing it on to debt collectors if not paid in 14 days

QuiteLikely5 Tue 10-May-16 16:02:51

Has he got any proof that he provided you with these services?

And have you got proof or witnesses to say what he did provide?

Choughed Tue 10-May-16 16:08:10

He's bluffing.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 10-May-16 16:14:49

Let him pass it on to debt collectors - it's not a real debt and will go nowhere

CuntingDMjournos Tue 10-May-16 17:59:42

Let him take it to court. He has no contract or evidence of work done

Sallyingforth Tue 10-May-16 18:21:54

I don't think it's as simple as that.
The 'work' may not have been much but he presumably has correspondence /emails etc that show you knew and agreed it was being done. That implies there was a contract, even if only a verbal one.
I think you should take legal advice.

Choughed Tue 10-May-16 18:25:13

There wouldn't be enough evidence going on what OP has said. A solicitor would be a waste of money. He's bluffing!

Sallyingforth Tue 10-May-16 18:53:53

The OP has already told us that some work was done, however inadequate.
She wrote a letter for him to comment on, which is a clear indication that he was requested to do some work on her behalf. A formal written contract or letter of engagement, while highly desirable, is not absolutely necessary.

The charge of £3k certainly seems excessive for what was done, and debt collectors are the wrong action at this stage - he should normally go to mediation or the small claims court. But Ihat doesn't mean he has no case.

RattusRattus Tue 10-May-16 18:58:27

You say that the amount he owed you has been whittled down to £1000. How was the whittling done? Could you argue that the reduction of your fees to him reflected the work that you did for him?

AyeAmarok Tue 10-May-16 19:12:34

He's bluffing. Ignore.

Choughed Tue 10-May-16 19:26:10

She wrote a letter for him to comment on, which is a clear indication that he was requested to do some work on her behalf.

No it isn't. There's no evidence that she asked him to do so. No request, instruction, contract, quote, client agreement, nothing.

If it was that easy we would all be in serious trouble, or alternatively I'm going to send you all an invoice for my comments on here wink

PURPLESWAN Tue 10-May-16 20:50:52

We are taking legal advice

PURPLESWAN Tue 10-May-16 20:55:33

He had a text saying our bill to him had been reduced by hundreds as he helped - which he thanked us for

Sallyingforth Tue 10-May-16 21:32:25

There's no evidence that she asked him to do so.
Oh come off it. She asked for his comments, she said so.
If you ask someone to do work for you, you expect to pay for it. The price may be argued, but the liability is clear.

I work for verbal and implied contracts all the time. You send me work, I send you the results and a bill.

Choughed Tue 10-May-16 21:44:18

Sally in the OP it does not say that she asked him to read and comment on the letter, just that he did so.

If a window cleaner turned up tomorrow and cleaned my windows uninvited I wouldn't be obliged to pay them if I hadn't commissioned the work.

Sallyingforth Tue 10-May-16 22:28:18

That's an entirely different situation and I think you must realise it.

She must have sent/given the letter to him in order that he could comment on it. He didn't just come and take it. You do not know what passed between them at the time, verbally or in writing.

The OP has done the right thing in getting expert help. The claim can be resisted, but must be done properly. It is always wrong to ignore financial claims and just hope they will go away.

Collaborate Tue 10-May-16 23:49:47

Sallyingforth I'm against you on this one. If the customer expected to be paid for his services he should have made that clear, including the basis upon which he would be charging. He quite clearly did not do that.

OP - as you were. Continue to ignore, though as others have pointed out you may also simply send him a one line communication denying any liability.

Sallyingforth Wed 11-May-16 10:07:02

I can live with that, collaborate smile

And I'm glad to see that the OP is going to deal with it properly.

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