QLD Contract Termination Via Text Valid?

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John J Jones

12 December 2014
Hi. Sole working Director of Pty Ltd Company has a Contract with a Company to provide services. Contract end date is end of December 2014. On 11 August 2014, the Pty Ltd Company receives a text message on phone from a representative of a company, stating 'it's unlikely we will need you. Sorry gotta use the other guys that have been with us for longer first'.

Q. Is this text message classed as written termination of the contract under contract law?

Amanda E

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi @John J Jones
Some questions which will help clarify where you stand:
  • What does the Contract say about termination?
  • Also, I'm not sure what services you were to provide under the Contract, but did the Contract state that you were to provide those services exclusively, or could they use other service providers?
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi John,

Unless the contract itself specifically specifies particular ways to terminate or give notice, a text message by default will be accepted as termination. Termination can be done in many ways, and can be done in writing (tex messages count) or orally.

Double check that the "agreement" you entered into is an actual contract and not an agreement to agree (as is often the case).
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Well-Known Member
11 July 2014
Double check the 'agreement', including the prescribed procedures to effect termination

Sometimes a terminating party will call the other party before issuing a formal letter in order to explain why "we're going with the other guys", which can be seen as good form rather than simply receiving a termination letter out of the blue. However I don't think a text with typos falls into the category of good form though!


If it was just the text message in the absence of any other contact regarding this issue - it seems quite uncertain or definitive. It sounds as though it may just be foreshadowing the probability of termination, rather than termination itself. Did you contact them subsequent to this and have a conversation about it to confirm what they meant? In any event, if you stopped providing the services then and understood that the contract was terminated on that date, then for all intents and purposes that could be considered the contract termination date.