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Old 5th Jun 2004, 11:36   #1 (permalink)
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Need a bit of legal advice please...

I would be really grateful if someone with a bit of legal knowledge could help me out a bit.
I run my own electrical contracting business. I recently signed up for an advert in a well known publication. The new directories have now been printed but they've managed to get the ad wrong The actual artwork is fine, but when I signed up I was sold an advert with a white background, thus making it stand out more, however they have printed it in yellow
I've not yet been invoiced for the advert, however when I do recieve it am I within my rights to refuse to pay for it?
Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 5th Jun 2004, 11:43   #2 (permalink)

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Were you asked to agree and sign a proof of your advert, that all was correct?
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Old 5th Jun 2004, 12:46   #3 (permalink)
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I'd say that if your last dealing with the publisher, before the ad went to print, involved you specifying a white background; then you are entitled to legal recourse: ie you were ripped off, you get that ad for free and another.
I'd also suggest going to your district court, pulling aside a duty solicitor (lawyers who hang around the corridors of the court building looking for work) and presenting your case.
Unless the publisher is the Yellow Pages.
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Old 5th Jun 2004, 18:33   #4 (permalink)
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You need to send a letter of complaint to the Publisher if you have not already done so.

How about suggesting to them that you are not prepared to pay the full amount but will pay say half?
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Old 5th Jun 2004, 20:40   #5 (permalink)
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The colour was obviously quite important to your advert, and their failure to print it correctly is a "breach of an implied term to use reasonable care and skill" etc. But it doesn't render the advert worthless, so in all fairness refusing to pay at all is not the answer. You should contact them, tell them that they have not fulfilled the brief and state that you will:

- make a payment to them for an agreed amount taking into account their inability to get the colour right;

- that they should reprint the advert correctly in the next edition

In any case you should not pay the full invoice amount. Refusing to pay any of it may not be the correct legal advice, but thats not to say you can't do it - and see what reaction you get.
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Old 5th Jun 2004, 20:54   #6 (permalink)

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I'm partially with icemaiden on this one, however legal action of any kind is the LAST thing you should consider in my view.

It is far, far better to contact the publisher in a polite and proper way and explain the situation.

In all probability they will be embarrassed by the situation and may well be happy to put matters right in a more favourable way than if you adopt a more 'legalistic' approach.

Look at it from the other way round ?

Suppose you made an error on a Contract. Would you rather the customer called you and explained the situation so that you could put matters right?

Were to you receive a blunt refusal to pay, or worse still a threatening 'legal' approach I am sure your response would be different, with the result that both you and your client would lose out.

I have run a business and that is how I would approach matters.

I always adopt the above approach with my suppliers when I have a problem and can honestly say that I have never lost out as a result. Indeed on the contrary I feel that I have benefitted in a variety of intangible ways, and have been the better for it.

The decision clearly is yours but consider that it things did go sour and end up in Court at least you would be able to demonstrate that you had acted in a reasonable manner in the first instance.

Perhaps you will let us know how you get on in the end?

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Old 5th Jun 2004, 20:59   #7 (permalink)
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I presume there was a paper agreement that specified a white background. Although it doesn't have to by pen and paper to be a contract, it makes things easier.

Assuming no small print, technically it would seem you have a case of breach of contract. You have two main routes of recourse:

1 damages

2 specific performance

Damages in your case would materialise in a negotiated reduction in previously agreed costs for the ad. Be reasonable if you want a cheap and quick solution...

Specific performance would involve the other party re-printing etc.

Practical advice would be to negotiate a reduction in cost, promise further business etc if need be. Start from the position of a free ad and move inwards.

Good Luck
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Old 5th Jun 2004, 21:14   #8 (permalink)
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Either (a) take Astrodome's advice or (b) join the lawyers' benevolent fund. The latter is a very good cause, of course, for a very deserving class of people. What loss did you suffer anyway? How would you compute your damages? Would the amount persuade me? Would it persuade you?
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Old 6th Jun 2004, 08:14   #9 (permalink)
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Some excellent food for thought, thanks very much all
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Old 6th Jun 2004, 10:27   #10 (permalink)
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See http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...hreadid=132526

Personally, whenever I want professional advice relating to my business, I go to an internet jokes and ranting forum.
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