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Disputes with Suppliers

February 11, 2020 by Perveen Maan

Good suppliers are key in the efficient running of your business.

Unfortunately in the course of business, you will inevitably run into difficulties with your suppliers, such as:

1. Failure to deliver the supply by the date required:

You ordered 200 kilograms of steel for a construction contract, to be delivered by 10 February. You do not receive the steel on 10 January. The supplier says you never specified a delivery date and they cannot get you your steel for another 3 weeks, which is too late for the construction contract. There is no written contract for the provision of the steel from the supplier.

2. The goods are faulty:

When you use the steel you received for your construction contract, it cannot withstand the pressures that steel of the quality ordered should and this affects the integrity of the building you are constructing. It is clear that the steel is not fit for purpose and as such is faulty.


1. Talk to the supplier about the problems with the goods (delay, not fit for purpose) and request that these problems are rectified as soon as possible. If this fails, obtain the steel from an alternative supplier and seek the difference in cost (if any) from the original supplier, bearing in mind that you have a duty to mitigate your costs.

As the supplier claims you did not specify the date you required the goods, they are likely to dispute your claim for costs. Depending on the communication surrounding the request for steel, you may or may not be successful in claiming these costs.

 2. To avoid situations like this arising again, you should prepare a standard contract to be signed by you and all suppliers to ensure the terms are clear to all parties, including delivery due dates, quality of goods and manners of redress should either party not perform as required under the contract.

White and Mason Lawyers can assist with your commercial law needs.

This is general advice only. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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