I am a subcontractor working on a new build block of acommodation...?
I had a drilling contractor drill holes in concrete floor slabs on two occassions with written purchase orders before work started. All fine, and they charged as they quoted. They came on another two occasions. They invoiced extra charges this time for moving their equipment, but no mention was made of this charge on the quote. I want to know if they can charge this out of the blue, as they are demanding £47.00 per hour (total £414) as they are threatening civil proceedings against me if I don't pay. They also say I owe £753.00 which is not true. I have paid for all the drilling work, on time, I just held back the extra charge. They are not responding to my e-mails either. Have they got a case & should I just pay, or will a court frown upon their actions. They are a large firm & I am a one-man-band and don't want to be bullied into submission because of a threat of court. Hope someone can help!!!
I am a construction contracts manager in London.
You should not pay this bill. You should simply send them a registered letter asking them to specify exactly where you accepted the terms and conditions that apply to their bill.
If their claim against you is legal they will reply in detail. If they do not reply you have clear evidence of seeking to resolve this issue. If they reply with documents you have never seen or agreed to, again, they have no case.
In any event, it is a big problem for them to go to court on such a small bill. Send them a registered letter asking for justification of their bill and then just forget it.
If they prove that you agreed to these rates, then, of course, you must pay them. If not, forget them regardless of how big they are.
The answer from democracynow is accurate in terms of the whys and wherefores of the bill. They can only charge those sums agreed beforehand. In light of the purchase order, any further charges would need to be agreed in writing. It sounds like a try-on to me.
Bear in mind that any claim in the civil court under £5,000 is treated as a 'small claim' in which the winning side can claim only very limited modest fixed costs (much less than £100). So treat any threats of big legal bills with a large pinch of salt - it's the oldest trick in the book and a completely empty threat.