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Cancelled Drafting Service - Do We Still Have to Pay?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by Amber, 27 June 2014.

  1. Amber

    Amber Member

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    My partner was going to purchase and run a shop, so he hired a draftsman to draw up some plans to present to the local council. Nothing was signed. My partner went to one appointment, and at a later date, the draftsman drives 45 minutes to view the location of the proposed shop.
    After doing more local research, we decided against the shop and cancelled the draftsman. He has now sent as a 900$+ bill. Do we have to pay it under contract law or is he trying to just get money out if us?
    Thank you for any help.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Amber,
    1. In the absence of any written agreement, what did your partner instruct the draftsman to do (e.g. appointment and view proposed shop location)?
    2. Did the draftsman advise of their costs?
    3. Have you contacted the draftsman to question or dispute the bill?
     
  3. Amber

    Amber Member

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    Hi john thanks for replying
    My partner went to an initial appointment where he told the draftsman his idea and the draftsman said a few ideas and said he'd need to see the property to visualise and come up with some plans on paper to present the council. Nothing was signed or written up and the draftsman never mentioned costs (we spoke to a drafts friend who thought our mention at it costing a grand or two in the end was ridiculous and asked, jokingly, if we were planning a skyscraper?) we scheduled a meeting time at the building to coincide with the council, real estate & a trade giving a quote. The draftsman bought a friend, looked around and took photos and left.
    It's approx 45 min- 1hr drive from his office to the location of the building.
    After doing more research we decided not to go ahead so I emailed the draftsman to say so.
    Then a few days later we reviewed the bill for $900+
    (With $100 deducted as a good will gesture)
    So it feels like a $900 bill with nothing to show for and it doesn't seem right.
    I hope this is enough detail, please say if you need any more info?
    My partner did send an email yesterday saying it was ridiculous and he'd pay him fuel costs and for a few hours of his time, as of yet no response but it is the weekend, I just want to know where we rand so if he calls we can say 'well actually...'
    Thankyou, Amber
     
  4. Amber

    Amber Member

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    *recieved a bill
     
  5. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Amber,
    In the absence of an agreement between you/your partner and the draftsman in relation to the quote/services delivered, you would generally need to (continue to) negotiate an amount to settle the invoice. From a practical perspective, this may involve contacting other draftsmen in the area to compare their quotes/prices for the same services on the invoice, etc. and then providing an updated counter-offer.

    That said, depending on the circumstances, you/your partner may have consumer rights as a business under Australian Consumer Law. You should contact the ACCC or your local consumer affairs/fair trading department to better understand your position.

    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
  6. Amber

    Amber Member

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    I will thank you kindly
     

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