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A hired service provider never delivered the work that was pre-payed

Hello, 

I have a brand based in NL and often hire third party service providers in PR, Marketing and other matters I can outsource (being a one-woman company).  A PR agent in UK offered their services and as per our contract asked for a pre-payment but never (it has been 6months) delivered the work that was meant to be delivered in one month time. 

Through out the 6 months the person hired behaved as if working on the job but without results (blaming that on the current health crisis).  This sounds like a bluff or lack of skill which contradicts the promised results (also enlisted in the contract). 

At this point I am ready to terminate the contract and get refunded for the service never provided to me. The person is not reacting. 

How to approach this? Do I have to reach out to the small claims court in UK or Netherlands? 

Or what is the legal entity to support a ZZP'er (my status) in such a situation?

 

Thank you for your help. 

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Hi senscommon,

 

Welcome.

 

I think you can look into this (new) European small-claims procedure
https://www.eccnederland.nl/en/help/court/small-claims-procedure

 

I'm not 100% sure it is also for business to business claims.. but it is the best place I can give you to start.
The page also has information about the normal Dutch proceding or where to find information.

 

If you cannot use this procedure then it will depend on what you agreed on in the contract.
 

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8 minuten geleden, Roel J zei:

I'm not 100% sure it is also for business to business claims..

 

It is, as long as the claim is at most 5000 EUR.

If no other venue has been agreed upon by contract, the court local to the defendant has jurisdiction (in B2B cases).

So you will need to send claim form A by post to the local UK court to start the procedure. 

 

Do make sure you have done all the usual steps to attempt to solve the problem out-of-court first. E.g. send a formal notice of default by post first, letting the agent know he is not keeping to his contractual obligations, and giving a couple more weeks to right this. And a notice terminating the contract if that does not happen after that.

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Dacht dat de lokale procedure (althans de variant die je online kan starten) een lokaal adres vereist.

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Thank you all for your quick reactions - I'm new on this site and didn't expect this much support. 

So your answers clarify that if the service provider is in UK, the small claims court I need to contact is in UK, not in NL. Good

 

I would assume that I have already done all the steps to attempt to solve the problem out-of-court first.

- I've sent 2 notices (email), letting the agent know she is not keeping to his contractual obligations, mentioning the work has to be delivered or invoice refunded or else I will seek legal advice

- to which she did follow up by confirming she is "working hard on it" (one month ago) - no news, no results

- lastly (one week ago) I've send a notice of terminating the contract and demanded the invoice to be refunded in 2weeks time 

 

Is it really so in 2020 that emails don't count as legally binding communication??

And one more question - would you say it's worth the procedure for an invoice of 600pounds? For me that is a substantial sum but also an action out of principal of course.  Yet I would not want to get into a situation that costs me more than the actual invoice amount.

 

Thank you for all your thoughts. 

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51 minuten geleden, senscommon zei:

Is it really so in 2020 that emails don't count as legally binding communication??

 

Not sure what UK courts think about that, and if your contract contains any specifics about how formal notices should be sent.

(I know that my own contracts with UK companies do sometimes contain pretty old fashioned terms stipulating that any notices sent must be in writing and served by special delivery post.)

 

Quote

 

And one more question - would you say it's worth the procedure for an invoice of 600pounds? For me that is a substantial sum but also an action out of principal of course.  Yet I would not want to get into a situation that costs me more than the actual invoice amount.

 

That is up to you.

 

There is no guarantee you will win, especially if the claim is disputed.

And while the court filling fee is not that much, if you lose and the other party has made costs (e.g. did hire a solicitor) you do can be required to pay those to some extent.

Edited by Maxn

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