CompuHelp provides computer technical support assistance. John, owner of Office Supply, contacted CompuHelp’s salesperson, Sophie, to ask about CompuHelp’s services. At the end of the conversation, Sophie said, “CompuHelp can provide the services you are looking for. I will send over our standard contract for you to review.” Sophie then emailed CompuHelp’s standard contract to John.
John read the contract and was pleasantly surprised to see the following clauses:
Term: The term of this contract shall be one year.
Pricing: Customer agrees to pay for the services of CompuHelp technicians on an hourly basis. For the term of this agreement, CompuHelp’s hourly rate will be $000.00.
John assumed that CompuHelp was running a special promotion that involved providing free technical support for the first year. Eager to take advantage of this deal, John quickly signed the contract, then scanned and emailed it to Sophie.
Sophie received John’s email, but did not print or sign the contract. The contract was never signed by anyone at CompuHelp.
John expected that CompuHelp’s special promotion would save his business thousands of dollars. He used the money he expected to save to buy new computers for his business. Before long, John had a computer problem and called CompuHelp for assistance. A CompuHelp technician spent two hours solving the problem.
One week later, CompuHelp sent John a new contract and an invoice for CompuHelp’s work for $200.00. A cover note stated:
The contract I previously sent you contained an error. CompuHelp’s hourly rate is $100.00 not $000.00. A corrected contract is enclosed. Please sign the contract, return it to me, and pay the enclosed invoice.
John then sent Sophie an angry email: “We had a deal! I’m not signing your new contract or paying the invoice. I expect CompuHelp to honour our agreement.”
Sophie responded by email, stating “I’m sorry, John, but since you refuse to pay the invoice, and will not sign the corrected contract, CompuHelp is terminating its relationship with you.
Office Supply filed a lawsuit against CompuHelp seeking to compel CompuHelp to perform the contract, or, alternatively, for damages.
Required: Provide answers to the following. Support your answers by reference to relevant statutory and case law.
- Office Supply brings a claim for breach of contract against CompuHelp. Discuss whether Office Supply and CompuHelp formed an enforceable contract, AND whether Office Supply is likely to win its lawsuit.
- Discuss whether CompuHelp has any defences to Office Supply’s breach of contract claim.
3. Assuming Office Supply proves a breach of contract, discuss the possible remedies available to Office Supply.
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