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Contracts For Services

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 12 Aug 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Contracts Services Business Consumer

Britain was once known as a nation of shopkeepers, and as such consumers usually take for granted the notion of good service. Consumer law gives the customer a great deal of rights and protection from shoddy and unfair services. Contracts for services will have a number of terms and conditions included within the actual agreement, and any breach of the terms can result in consequences occurring to the service provider or the customer.

Types of Services

Contracts for services will always be used in business regardless of whether it is a small start up consultancy or a large corporate service provider. The terms and conditions of any contract are one of the most important aspects. They set out the service that is provided and also the expectations, requirements and obligations for both provider and customer.

The Terms and conditions in any service contract will provide protection for both parties involved in the service agreement. If any dispute occurs over the service then the contract can be used as a reference point to help settle the dispute.

Details in the Contract

Each contract will be different and will depend on the type of service offered. But there will usually be common terms and conditions, or clauses used in most contracts for services. These should include:

  • The names and addresses of both service provider and the customer.
  • The type of service provided.
  • The contractor’s status, whether working for an outside agency or not.
  • Payment terms and frequency of payment.
  • Limitation of liability.
  • Details on breach of contract.
  • The date of commencement of the services.
  • Renewal of contracts.
  • Termination of contract.
Most of the above are common contract terms and conditions. However there will always be a great many terms and conditions that will be specific to each service provider. Terms and conditions should be read thoroughly in order to make sure that all the clauses are clearly defined and understandable.

Agency Contractors

In a wide number of cases a service provider will use outside agencies to provide the service. This should be stated in the terms and conditions and should in no way infringe on the customer’s basic rights. There may be a clause included which specifies limited liability. Limited liability is usually a way to stop service providers from being sued as a result of the actions caused by outside contractors.

If this clause is included in a service contract then customer should discuss the condition with the service provider. Any contract that looks to override a customer’s basic rights can be deemed unenforceable in the eyes of the law.

Changes to Terms and Conditions

A contract or agreement cannot have changes made to the original contract. If a service provider wishes to make a change to a contract then it can only be undertaken with the agreement of both parties. This should only be an amendment to the contract and not a change to the original terms and conditions of the agreement. A service provider may wish they had placed certain terms and conditions into a contract but once the contract has been signed and agreed then the original terms will stand.

Disputes and Breaches of Contract

Disputes can arise over the terms and conditions of a contract and if any of the terms are broken then this will be seen as a breach of contract. Breach of contract can be taken very seriously especially if there is financial loss involved. The matter can be taken to the legal courts, and it is in the best interest of both parties to seek legal advice if court action is considered. The original contract will be used in court as proof if any breach of contract occurs.

A service contract between the service provider and the customer is the best way to detail exactly what is expected from both parties. Contracts are legally binding documents and can be enforced in a court of law if a dispute does occur. It is a wise move for any service provider to take legal advice when drafting any form of contract for services. Similarly, a customer should always read the terms and conditions of any contract before signing on the dotted line.

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hi I have been a paying member of my gym for some time. since February 2014. I have now decided I want to leave however the club is insisting on holding me to its terms and conditions of one months notice. I have asked for a copy of my original signed contract however it seems they do not have a copy of this and my copy does not have my signature on it. are they still entitled to charge me the one month notice or should I tell them they are not authorised to take any further direct debits from me. regards N
neal - 12-Aug-15 @ 7:08 PM
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