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Billing error can’t excuse full payments of goods: tribunal

by News Desk
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Both parties must expressly agree to final payment, even if there is a billing error in the transaction, according to a recent Civil Settlement Court ruling.

A billing error alone is not an excuse not to pay the full amount originally agreed upon for the goods or services. Judgment of the BC Civil Settlement Court.

Surrey-based furniture company Revamp Furniture and Garage has contested an outstanding balance of $4,431.65 on antique furniture purchased from Stryco Investments Ltd. on 16 July 2020.

The court ruled that Revamp agreed to purchase $12,078.03 worth of furniture on consignment from petitioner, first paying Stryco $4,431.65 directly, and then Stryco hiring a bailiff to collect the amount owed. When asked, he said he had no objection to paying an additional $3,214.74.

This left $4,431.65 unpaid. However, Revamp disputed any further debt, as he claimed that Stryco’s bailiffs had verbally confirmed that his last $3,214.74 payment was a “full payment.”

The bailiff then contacted Revamp and advised that there had been a miscalculation and wanted to recover the outstanding balance.

“In their latest filing, defendants (Revamp) allege that bailiffs failed to justify additional sums after demanding a ‘full payment’ of $3,214.74.

At issue is what is known as the “doctrine of”.match and satisfaction”, whereby the two parties agree to waive their claims.

“Under that doctrine, the respondent, the alleged debtor, must show that the complainant, the alleged creditor, has expressly communicated its intention to accept a partial payment as a final settlement. Silence is generally not considered acceptable,” said court member Leah Volkers.

“Respondents found that they could not rely on the defense of consent and satisfaction,” she ruled.

Also, because Revamp did not dispute the amount owed, the court found Stryco entitled to the unpaid $4,431.64 for the furniture.

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