Is a verbal agreement as binding as a written contract?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Alabama

I run a small business, gave a customer a quote and he waited 2 weeks and called me to tell me to place order. I placed order he called 4 days later to cancel, manufacturer has already started process of filling order, requires partial pmt to cancel. Is customer liable for this amount?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Mark S Guralnick

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees


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    Answered . Yes (as a general rule). The key to this answer is the fact that the manufactuer already began to fill the order. Once you take action in reliance upon your customer's order, and then you incur a charge...this is known as "detrimental reliance." You relied on your customer's word -- to your own personal financial detriment. Therefore, your customer is on the hook. Keep good records. Demand payment from the customer for the partial payment due. If that fails, file a lawsuit against him. (Of course, you may want to consider first when it is better to maintain an ongoing business relationship with him).

    Good luck.

    If you think this post was helpful, please click the thumbs up (helpful) tab below. -- Thanks.

    Mark S. Guralnick, Esq.

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