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No Terms & Conditions

 
 
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Bill Ryan
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: No Terms & Conditions Reply with quote

I am amazed at the amount of business that work without terms and conditions or agreements.

Oral contracts work OK until something goes awry and then it is a lot of hassle and heartache to straighten things out or deal with litigation that often follows.


Last edited by Bill Ryan on Mon May 09, 2011 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kay
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Care to expand on that please, Bill? Perhaps with a couple of examples or something.
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Bill Ryan
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok Kay here is a little more.

If you do business with someone without any written terms and conditions your contract is based on what was orally agreed save that some implied terms are added by law ( more significant for B2C contracts).

If and when problems occur there is frequently a discussion/argument about what was actually agreed orally. Apart from the different interpretations that naturally occur there may be severe disagreement about what was truly meant by the oral agreement.

If terms and conditions are in place a supplier can protect his/her business by incorporating terms that limit liability, provide payment terms, a clear description of what was is being supplied and when.

All in all, this helps prevent disputes escalating and if they do, having well written T &Cs goes a long way to protecting the supplier from unwarranted claims.

I would cite an example I had some dealings with recently where following the termination of the agreement after it had being working well for some time. A notice period was demanded by a supplier and not surprisingly rejected by the buyer. A Debt Collection Agency was employed but as the buyer took the view the supplier had no right to a notice period the DCA was given its marching orders. This is now in court.

I do not think that the supplier is in a good place to unilaterally impose this in all the circumstances. Had the supplier provided T&Cs with a notice period included, the response from the buyer would, I am sure, have been very different.
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Kay
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess there must be a cut-off point, though. Below which it isn't worth the expense of putting a legal contract into place.

I've found that when it's a case of a few hundred quid an agreement can easily be reached via an email discussion.

OTOH if the business involves a few thousand, it seems to be the norm to physically sign a contract. There again, if one of the parties doesn't fulfil their contractual obligations, then it may be easier and/or cheaper to let it go rather than seek redress in the courts.

But, yes, I see what you mean. If your customers are a fairly homogeneous group it could well be worth having some good T&Cs which apply to all.
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Bill Ryan
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to issues like this in the scales FOR I would suggest that some non monetary items to go in including - reducing 'bother' when problems start developing and creating a professional image.

Looking at professional image of course for small value items it may be of no importance but if you are say offering a VA service but don't have them what does that say?
Ultimately, there is always a balance to be struck of course, based on cost and benefit in any aspect of a business.
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