I cannot stress enough how important it is to get all contracts with customers down in writing, and on a bombproof contract!

I saw a conversation on Twitter the other day between a couple of companies, one of which was having trouble with a customer. This is the tweet that started it all off: Can anyone help? Customer trying to wiggle out of paying after job is done because I didn’t offer written cooling off details.

Refreshingly honest, but astounding proof that if a contract is not well prepared and doesn’t have the correct clauses and terms and conditions, then serious problems could occur if customers decide to take advantage of the loopholes that have been left.

I have said before that in this age of super-consumer rights that contracts with companies tend not to mean much anymore. The mere peep of an overreaction from a customer sends businesses into fits. However, if a company is to maintain any sort of protection against problems with clients, a water tight contract is the very first defence.

A contract with all the right clauses makes sure you get paid at the end of the job, allows you to put right any wrongs with the products you install before the customer takes any further action. But it must also include the clauses that protect the consumer, it is law after all. The 7 day cooling off period is a very important one and one that the consumer generally tends to be aware about. It is a clause you many only have to invoke once a year, but having it there means there’s no legal wrangling and the relationship between you as the company and the customer remains cordial, even if they are cancelling work.

So, the message of this post is nice and simple: all work must be on contracts, in writing and must contain all the correct and lawful clauses. If not, it can cause a real headache!