Good Evening, I hope that you will be able to assist me regarding a letter of demand I received this…

Good Evening, 

I hope that you will be able to assist me regarding a letter of demand I received this morning. 

Our company had to cater for a wedding on short notice and the client accepted our invoice where the terms and conditions state that if the event is taking place within the next 7 days, full payment is required upfront.  The client then only made a partial payment and said that he would pay the balance the following day, which never happened.  He only transferred the balance 30min before his wedding took place, which delayed our schedule. 

However, we were still in time to get to the venue to handle all the last minute preparations.  We were told that a fully functioning kitchen would be available for us to use at the venue, but that was not the case when we arrived.  After 5 minutes the gas for the stove was finished and we had to look for another gas bottle before we could carry on.  Then the electricity constantly cut out because the power was not up to standard and created dangerous working conditions for my staff. The refrigerator was also out of order and we were unable to keep our products at the correct temperature.

Also, when I initially met with the client he said that he would like to arrange for the lamb as he had a contact for top quality meat and I can just send the specifications of the cuts. I ordered 2 lambs and asked that they weigh approximately 22kg each and sent a picture of how I would like the cuts, I received the meat of 3 small lambs weighing about 44kg, but the fact that it was now 3 lambs, meant less meat and more bones. 

Also note that initially we agreed that 3 dishes would be served to 120 guests and the client was charged for a main course for 120 people.  This means that guests would choose which main they would like, but the client then complained that there wasn’t enough food.  It seems like the client expected there to be 120 portions of each dish, which is overreaching to say the least. If that was the case, I would have charged for 360 mains. 

Now the client has sent me a letter of demand for almost R19,000.00, which is basically all of his money back and wanting to leave us to carry the costs for his wedding that was poorly planned. 

How would I respond to this letter of demand? 

I would also like to institute a counter claim as he did not uphold any part of our agreement, put our staff in a dangerous situation, threatened me and mislead me regarding the lamb purchase. 

I hope to hear from you soon. 

Regards, 

Fana

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