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Thread: Do I have to pay?

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    Do I have to pay?

    I have a question. A friend of mine (well ex friend now) has been doing my accounts for a number of years as a "favour", I offered to pay on several occasions and did work as a favour in return. We had some personal issues and I now received an invoice for a huge amount. They had done work but there was never an agreement to pay that amount. The work was also not complete and was only done after I had sent many emails requesting if it was done. I have now been told that I have to pay the amount or else it will be handed over for collection and default listing. I was so shocked to receive an invoice I had to ask what it was for. Since then I have ignored all correspondence.

    Please can you tell me what my rights are in this position.

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    Junior Member DanE's Avatar
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    Did you ever receive a quote or something in writing detailing billing procedures?
    I'm reading from your mail that the work was completed after you chased them to do it, did you ever make any inquiries about payment or offer to pay something to have it completed?

    What are they detailing in their invoice and do you believe that given the services rendered from both sides it could be construed as a fair invoice? Did you ever invoice or in writing detail works done for them?

    Working with friends and family is always tricky, I learnt the hard way with my first business and now believe that even if we are blood our dealings have paper! It may be awkward to start but it protects everyone. Would you get married without a prenup/anc agreement?


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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I would say for an invoice to have an validity there would have needed to be some kind of contract in place.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Do you qualify for Consumer Protection Act protection?
    (If a juristic person, both annual turnover and asset value have to be less than R2 million each).
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Hi DanE

    Thank you for responding to my question.

    Did you ever receive a quote or something in writing detailing billing procedures?
    No I never received anything until I got the invoice.

    I'm reading from your mail that the work was completed after you chased them to do it, did you ever make any inquiries about payment or offer to pay something to have it completed?
    I only ever asked what the invoice was for, there were two invoices and it was very unclear what they were actually charging me for. After that I got a brief response telling me what they were for, and saying that I would have to pay it in order to receive my files back. I heard nothing after that, I never offered to pay. The next thing I got the email saying that the outstanding invoice would be handed over for collection.

    What are they detailing in their invoice and do you believe that given the services rendered from both sides it could be construed as a fair invoice? Did you ever invoice or in writing detail works done for them?
    I don't really understand what was invoiced. The two invoices come to almost R8000, my income tax was only R800 I fail to see how they could have had so much work to do for such a small job. I had also captured all the slips into a excel spreadsheet and didn't have that many invoices.

    Working with friends and family is always tricky, I learnt the hard way with my first business and now believe that even if we are blood our dealings have paper! It may be awkward to start but it protects everyone. Would you get married without a prenup/anc agreement?
    Very true, I am learning that lesson. It is just so hard to find someone that you can trust to do the job properly.

    Thanks for your help!

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    I think so. Would that be able to help?

    Thank you for responding to my question.

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    Thank you for responding to my question.
    Do I need to do anything to respond or can I just keep on ignoring it?

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    Junior Member DanE's Avatar
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    Contact another supplier and ask for a quote to have the same work completed, this will tell you if the invoice is market related or complete rubbish. Off the cuff it sounds like rubbish or at the very least hugely inflated. Although it could cover several years of returns?

    You must respond in some manner if only to tell them in writing you will not be honoring this invoice for "insert reason here". Perhaps you believe your services rendered and not invoiced match or exceed the value of their invoice?

    I would definitely investigate Dave A's suggestion of CPA protection, I am unsure of the exact procedure but some research would shed light.

    Not knowing in detail the situation it is tricky to give complete advice but my gut says this is your ex friend lashing out. First prize is you can talk him down without this getting even uglier.

    An invoice really only has validity if the product supplied is the product promised at the cost agreed. The downside is that this can cost a lot to prove and at the end only the lawyers benefit.

    Talk to the guy if you can, hopefully this can defuse the situation.


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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    In the absence of an agreement there is no contracr.
    With CPA protection an even stronger case as no work can be done without a quote and authorisation.

    The sensible way forward may be the equivalent quote route.
    Calculate your equivalent work and balance up.
    Then maybe some resemblance of a cordial relationship can be maintained.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Hi QuickQuestion, what do you mean by this?
    doing my accounts
    By that I mean; your personal tax? Your business' financials?

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