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Collection of receivables under a service agreement

<Customer refuses to pay for services rendered by you? The act is not signed, but the work is done? Does the customer have unreasonable requirements for your work that are not provided for by the terms of reference? Contact us, together we will force the customer to fulfill the obligations assumed under the contract. It is called collection of receivables.

The risk of non-payments in the service sector is aggravated by the fact that the subject of the service agreement is most often intangible in nature and the problem is the proof of the fact that the service has been provided. This risk is especially evident in the case of consulting services. In the case of trade and the same transportation services, the issue is resolved more simply. No sane business entity will transfer goods or accept them for transportation without having signed shipping documents in their hands. Exceptions to this rule can only be explained by low legal culture. Since the movement of goods without proper documents has negative consequences from the point of view of public tort law. With services, everything is different, since the customer will almost never agree to immediately sign the acceptance certificate for the services provided and will be right. After all, by signing the act, he will lose the opportunity to file a claim in case of poor-quality provision of services.

In order for the collection of receivables to go smoothly, you should always include in the contract for the provision of services a provision on the automatic acceptance of the act of acceptance of services rendered by the customer. It should be indicated in the contract not only that the acceptance certificate received and not returned within the prescribed period means the acceptance of services. But also the fact that the performer in the situation under consideration has the right to draw up a unilateral act, which will have the legal force of a bilaterally signed one. The presence of such provisions in the contract will allow you to collect the debt under the contract for the provision of services in the order of writ proceedings.

However, if the customer justifiably refuses to accept the services rendered, we can only talk about filing a claim with him. In this case, the problem arises of proving the fact of high-quality and timely provision of services. Witness statements and written evidence may be cited as evidence. Written evidence refers primarily to correspondence between the parties to the contract. The maximum volume of document flow with the customer should be ensured, either by registered mail with acknowledgment of receipt, or by courier delivery. E-mails may be of dubious probative value. Especially if we are not talking about e-mail specified in the details to the contract, but about correspondence in social networks, messaging services. When the defendant takes an active position, such reports can almost never be evidence. After all, even a fax is often perceived negatively by conservative representatives of the judiciary. But it is almost impossible to refute the receipt of a letter in the presence of a notification of delivery to RUE "Belpochta" if it is signed by a person authorized to receive mail.

Witness testimony of the contractor's employees may also serve as evidence. Especially with regard to proving the time spent on work, payable according to the approved tariffs. If the contractor engages third parties (subcontractors) to perform the work, this possibility must be stipulated in the service agreement. Otherwise, the defendant may refer to the fact that the costs of the contractor for the remuneration of third parties are not refundable. Since, as a general rule, the contractor is obliged to personally provide services.

The rights of customers who are consumers are subject to special legal protection. In particular, with regard to the right to refuse acceptance of services rendered. However, one should take into account the fact that often natural persons who are not individual entrepreneurs, but ordering services are clearly not for personal, household or family needs, apply for consumer rights. For example, the founder of a design agency can order services to create a website for a design agency. Of course, the dispute will be under the jurisdiction of the general court, if the party to the contract is an individual. But a clear discrepancy between the result of services and consumer goals makes it unlawful for the debtor to refer to legislation that protects consumers.

Also important for the effective collection of receivables in favor of the contractor is the presence in the contract of the correct terms of reference. This is especially important when providing complex services, such as creating a website, business plan, marketing research. However, the presence of such a task is also important in case of violation of the rights of the customer who made an advance payment, but did not receive the ordered services.

Contact information: Skobei Andrey Nikolaevich, lawyer-licensee, you can contact him by phone (+37529 1102388) or by e-mail (info@legaltime.by).

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