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QLD Request for Payment of a Cancelled Service?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Inquisitor, 12 March 2015.

  1. Inquisitor

    Inquisitor Member

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    After approving a "proof" of a vehicle wrap design via email, and subsequently scheduling an appointment for the wrap, the client decided, immediately prior to the appointment, to cancel (via a telephone conversation with the vendor) the wrap due to unavailability of time to have it done and reconsideration of the cost. The cancellation occurred prior to any invoice being issued by the vendor, signed purchase order between the parties, or deposit request for the proposed work to be done.

    Six days later, an invoice was issued for a 50% deposit because the vendor had prepared the materials in advance of the actual appointment, and now would like the cost of the materials used covered. The vendor states in the email request for payment that he "usually requests payment of a deposit before printing, but (I) forgot."

    The client states they were not informed that the product was being created prior to the appointment date, since no deposit had been requested, no invoice issued until a week after, and no money exchanged before that date.

    The vendor is requesting payment of 50% due immediately, otherwise the client will be sent through collections and legal action.

    The client argues that their experience with most vendors is that no products are produced prior to a deposit being made, and verifies that this is the customary practice with another vehicle wrap company who invoiced and asked for a deposit BEFORE they would proceed with any printing of materials. The client argues that when you go to a store you pay before you are permitted to leave with any item. The client is refusing to pay, and the vendor has now informed them that he is sending the bill to debt collectors.

    What are the rights of the client under Australian consumer law? Are they required to pay for something they did not purchase and cancelled prior to the appointment time?
     
  2. hlly

    hlly Well-Known Member

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    It is not clear on the facts how the Australian Consumer Law would be relevant

    There seems to have been no oral or other contract for producing the design and the vendor therefore has no legal basis for his demand, and no cause of action.

    A debt recovery effort may be unlawful
     
  3. Inquisitor

    Inquisitor Member

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    Thank you for the response. The "agreement" was through email only in that the client approved the proof of the design, and scheduled the appointment to have the vehicle wrap done. Other than making an appointment, which was subsequently cancelled, there was no other agreement - no deposit, no money exchanged, no signed purchase order.
     
  4. hlly

    hlly Well-Known Member

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    If you requested the design, there may have been an implied promise to pay a reasonable amount in return for the service ('executed consideration'). This will depend on the nature of the correspondence. Much as you are obliged to pay a plumber who has performed a service, even if you didn't discuss cost beforehand, so in the same way you may be liable to pay here.
     

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