How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10539
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
Type Your Republic of Ireland Law Question Here...
Buachaill is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

This is a commercial query. We have our clients emails

Customer Question

This is a commercial query. We have our clients emails hosted with a hosting company. They are refusing to give us access to the email control panel to enable us to do any administration or move users off the system unless we pay them. We have offered to pay them by bank transfer, but they say they want us to pay by direct debit which is how we were paying them until we recently changed banks and did no re setup the Direct debit.
What are our options here. Can the prevent access to the system etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. In law, once payment is made, the person owed the money is not entitled to insist it be made in any particular format. Accordingly, if payment is made by transfer and the hosting company receives it, then it cannot then seek to withhold access to client emails as they have been paid. Otherwise they are in breach of their service agreement in insisting upon a direct debit mandate. Once they are paid, then they are not entitled to insist that it be by a certain method of payment. That is the law.

2. Your options are variously to move to a different hosting company, to pay them the fee by transfer and if necessary litigate the issue if they stop access to emails, to set up a direct debit mandate with the new bank and accord with their wishes. Those are the three options. Be aware that parties who insist upon direct debit mandates are attempting to smooth out cashflow and generally have payment issues themselves. The business is often undercapitalised to the extent that a few days late payment and they have a credit crunch. So this hosting company will probably give a discount for early payment.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your reply. We don't really want to setup the DD again as we will be moving from the provider over the next month or two. But have no issue paying them by transfer. The agreement we (electronically) signed off on has the following with regard to DD. What are your thoughts on this?7.3 The Company shall invoice the Partner monthly in arrears as of
the last day of each month for the fees due for the Hosted Desktop
Service. Payment will be by direct debit collection 14 days after the
invoice date. Time is of the essence for payment of the fees.7.4 If the Company has not received payment within fi ve days
after the due date, and without prejudice to any other rights of the
(a) interest shall accrue on such due amounts at the rate of 2%
over the base lending rate of the Company’s bankers in the
Republic of Ireland from time to time, commencing on the
due date and continuing until fully paid, whether before or
after the judgment.
(b) the Company may suspend the Services, in whole or in partThanks
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

3. This clause only gives the right to suspend the service if payment has not been made by five days after payment due date. It does not entitle the hosting company to suspend service merely because payment has been received but not by direct debit. So the hosting company are bang out of order in seeking to cut off service when payment has been received, albeit not by direct debit. Here clause 7.4 only kicks in "If the Company has not received payment within five days after the due date...". Once you have made payment, this clause is not applicable. So you can pay in time by bank transfer. Provided the payment is in time.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, payment is not on time as per the agreement. Payment for a July 31st invoice would have been paid 14 days later by DD. We have told them a few times and as recently as this afternoon we would make payment for this July invoice by EFT at the end of August (30 days which is very prompt payment!!) They refused to accept EFT.I guess what I would like is some strong response so I can pay them and ensure they do not block access. Could you advise on a few lines I can put in an email?K
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

4. Be aware that the law is against you here, because you are late in making payment. This entitles the hosting company to cut you off. I would advise you not to use strong language, as these people will simply call your bluff, as you are clearly well out of time. Instead, I would advise you to either send a member of staff around with the money or courier around the necessary funds in bank draft form.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Just found out that we cannot pay them by EFT as we don't know their bank details (its not noted on any T&C's, invoices etc). If we were to send a cheque or draft on Monday; can they refuse that? I really don't want to sign the DD. Its unlikely to be a draft as I am on leave from Sunday for the week and I wont be able to get a draft.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

5. Why not pay cash? Send someone around with the money and then there is no issue.