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Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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We have been providing catering services zoo, no contract

Customer Question

Hi, we have been providing catering services for a zoo, no contract was ever in place however one was offered to us that we rejected. We have disputed a number of costs, and when asked to sign the contract we refused, and exited the arrangement. The arrangement had been going for about eight years and we loosly applied the unsigned agreement terms during that period. They claim we still owe them money, approximately 20k, under the 'agreement' for rent and power. The amount of power and rent charged was always in contention and a key issue in us not signing the contract. can they enforce the claim/contract?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.
Good AfternoonMy name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.Even though you did not have a written agreement there is a contract and it is verbal. They can sue you on a verbal agreement but it is there word against yours. Do you have anything in writing that can prove that you have always disputed the amount of power and the rent you owe them?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Leon,Following is the last in of many emails sent to them outling our position....Jon,I came up to Monarto on Friday to catch up with you but apparently you weren't there.The major points of discussion are as follows;Clause 3.6 - use of our equipment or equipment we are bound to maintain and replace, who pays for power usage and cleaning?4.1 license fee. I don't accept the review undertaken by your outside consultant as being balanced and fair.5.6 additional costs. The original intention was that these were incorporated in the license fee.8.1 power, cleaning and use of our equipment or equipment we are bound to maintain, repair or replace.9.1 provided these arrangements do not impose higher costs than we would reasonably be able to achieve in a free and competitive market. The word 'commercial' doesn't really cut it41.2 No49. And vice versa56.1.2 only relating to the business covered by this contractSchedule 4 - KPIs. Good grief, this would be a full time job to provide this information.Your power rates are nearly double per kwh the amount we are paying at our other sites.Sponsorship arrangements limit the amount of discount we receive as the margin suppliers have is eroded by funds given to the zoo. Therefore our cost of goods is higher as a result of being forced to use your sponsors. This needs to be reflected in the license fee.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They also reinforced via email last week that we did not have a contract in place...
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.
Good EveningThey are referring to a contract. If you have not signed it they cannot rely on it. If they reinforce there is no contract in place they cannot rely on the clauses. What agreement do you have verbally?