What Are Your Options If A Supplier Lets You Down?
As a business owner, you have to be able to trust your suppliers and know they will deliver on what they promised. You need to establish strong relationships with suppliers to know you can always provide your audience with a quality product or access the materials you need for your manufacturing process. No-one wants a breach of contract so set you your expectations from the start.
But what if a supplier does not fulfill their end of the bargain? You do have the option of taking legal action against a supplier by contacting an Auckland dispute lawyer but is that the best course of action? Here is what you need to know about taking legal action against a supplier.
First of all, you should ask yourself how serious the issue is. Did your supplier deliver an order a couple of days late? Did they deliver a product that did not meet your expectations? A small issue can usually be resolved by talking with the supplier and by voicing your concerns and complaints.
Being too lenient with your supplier can be problematic but taking legal action should not be your first recourse if this is the first time you are encountering a problem with this supplier. Give them the benefit of the doubt, explain why your expectations were not met and wait to see what the supplier does. A trustworthy supplier should issue a refund, deliver another shipment of products or promise that they will not miss a deadline again.
It is time to take action if a supplier never delivers on time, consistently delivers products that do not meet your quality standards, provides poor support or makes billing errors on a regular basis. Start by going over the contract you signed with the supplier to determine if there is a breach of contract.
You can take legal action against a supplier if the issue you encountered is a breach of the contract you signed together. For instance, failing to respect a delivery date that appears on a contract is enough to take action against your supplier. Failing to deliver the right quantity or to respect any other part of the agreement you had is enough for you to win a case against the supplier.
Taking things to court might not even be necessary. Your supplier might seek advice from a business lawyer once you file a lawsuit for breach of contract against them and be advised to settle things out of court, for instance by fulfilling their end of the agreement. If your supplier offers to make things right, you should definitely consider accepting this offer since going to court takes time and could end up costing you money.
Things are not always clear cut since an issue with the quality of the products delivered is something that is open to interpretations. This is why it is very important to document the problem. You should keep track of every interaction you had with the supplier and document the issue with pictures. The documenting process is important because it will help you build a solid case against the supplier if you end up taking things to court.
You should definitely seek advice from a good business lawyer if you are encountering an issue with a supplier. Your lawyer will help you determine if the supplier failed to respect their end of the contract and will advise you on the kind of legal action you can take against them. Your lawyer will also help you document the issue and build a case against the supplier if there is a need to explain and prove how the supplier failed to meet your expectations. If you have not yet contacted the supplier about the issue, you should do so right away and think about legal actions only if the supplier is not willing to resolve the problem of the breach of contract.