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Was that the doc you signed? Did you send it back to them?
Have they done anything at all?
They are notentitled to charge you a cancellation fee but they are entitled to sue you fortheir loss if you contracted to deal with them for 12 months and now you aredeciding not to do that.
If they decide totake you to court, you have a defence firstly because they have not providedthe service that they contracted to do (and as a result, you may have sufferedloss yourself) and secondly, if you cancel, they are not entitled to the fullcontract value because they have not done the work.
The difficulty isthat I have seen these kind of court claims go both ways where the judge hasawarded the full contract value and others where he is only awarded the loss ofprofit. Whether it was Small Claims Court or not would depend on how much theydecided to issue proceedings against your company for. If it was over £5000, itwould not be Small Claims Court and if you lost, they would get costs awardedagainst you but, as you said, it would send your company down and they wouldget nothing.
You have apossible counterclaim if you can prove that they have not actually done anywork in the last five months and as a result of that, you are the lost headwayor profit.
In that respect,you might want to get another SEO company to look at this for you to seewhether they can ascertain whether any work has been done or not. Armed withthat information you can tell them what they have done or what they have notdone and that you will defend any action they bring on the basis of the informationthat you have gleaned.
We are notallowed to recommend companies on here and you may find a company local to youalthough I do know people who have used this guy http://www.flame-media.co.uk/ who is a one-man band with few overheads andtherefore does give exceptional value for money. I do know that he will look atyour website for you free of charge and put a proposal. He will also tell youwhat has been happening historically which will assist you. Email is the bestcontact medium because he is all over the place although I can tell you that hedoes work late.
Once you havesome information with regard to what the existing company has done or has notdone you are in a better position to go back to them with regard to your cancellation
Does that answerthe question.? Can I assist any further?
I am happy tofollow up any individual point you make
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You need toconsider how much you want to pay to get rid of this. Sometimes it is better topay a few quid and move things on.
In cases like this, I never suggest making anoffer. I suggest sending a cheque. Armed with a cheque in the hand for some ofthe amount they want, compared to an argument over the whole of the amount,(and arguments that they may win or lose) the cheque in the hand is a prettypowerful incentive to accept it.
So consider deciding how much you would liketo pay the (you need to make it attractive enough) and send it with a coveringletter headed "without prejudice save as to costs". That means that they cannotproduce the letter in court as any proof that you admit owing them any money atall.
Tell them in the letter that you are offeringthis money in full and final settlement of all claims against you, past,present and future, and that by cashing it they accept it as such. Tell themthat if they do not accept it, they should return the cheque to you and if theyissue legal proceedings, you will defend them on the basis of A, B, C,whatever.
Tell them that if they do not understand thesignificance of the letter. They should take independent legal advice.
I can tell you this approach works nine timesout of 10, provided the offer is reasonable and not derisory.
For legal reasons which I will not boreyou with but which go back several hundred years, the cheque must not come fromyou, but was come from a third party, friend, relative, solicitor, ouraccountant, neighbour, girlfriend, wife, husband, whoever, just not from you.
Here is some rather heavy reading http://www.voltimum.co.uk/news/2312/cm/the-law----full-and-final-settlement-.html
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