Moot Court Help pretty pleaseWatch
In the Court of AppealX-treme Ltd v WilsonDavid Wilson booked an all-inclusive holiday with X-treme Ltd, a holiday company specialising in extreme sport package deals. The holiday was 7 days long, with a different extreme sporting activity being scheduled for each whole day. The cost was £3000, with £1000 paid up front to secure the booking and the balance upon completion of the holiday. He chose X-treme as he had used them in the past and had always been happy with the service they provided.Later, David discovered that a friend going on the same holiday package had received a 50% discount on the cost of his holiday via an email voucher. David had registered his details on the X-treme website at the same time as his friend, but had not received the same email voucher. Having unexpectedly lost his job, David telephoned X-treme, to ask for the discount to be applied to the balance of his holiday as he feared he may not be able to afford to pay it otherwise and would have to cancel the holiday, and explaining that he was a loyal customer. Thinking that they may obtain further custom from him if they acceded to David’s wishes, X-treme’s area manager orally agreed to the reduction in price.The holiday went well, as planned – David had a great time hang-gliding, white-water rafting, abseiling and the like. X-treme then sent their invoice, asking for £2000. David protested vehemently, saying that X-treme should not renege on its earlier promise of the 50% discount on the balance, and saying that he would only pay £1000, as agreed. He then sent a cheque for this amount and X-treme wrote back to say the account had been settled.X-treme suffered a downturn in business due to the credit crunch. They decided to seek to claim the £1000 from David, arguing that they were not bound to the area manager’s promise as no consideration had been given for it. They further argued that, if the court agreed that the earlier promise was not binding upon them, the later acceptance of David’s cheque for £1000 did not preclude them from claiming the remaining £1000 as no consideration had been provided by David for X-treme’s promise that the account had been settled and, even in the absence of consideration, David could not raise an estoppel to prevent X-treme from going back on this promise, on the basis that estoppel does not apply to one-off debts. (It was not argued in either instance that X-treme’s promise was procured under duress.)
First off I haven't done oral contracts and the circumstances under which they may hold. I would positively recommend Chitty. You will find everything you need.
Concerning the promissory estoppel issue, except if there's a point of law I'm missing out on, I cannot see why it wouldn't apply to one-off debts, although in this case it could be argued that the debt was not one off. If X had entered into a contract with D to pay 3000 and D had already paid 1000 the contract had become in execution. Since D was facing genuine difficulties and X, in free-will, accepted to reduce the price of the contract they must be estopped from claiming the rest. (See High Trees case). You could start by saying that consideration need not apply if promissory estoppel did and I would suggest you dig into these areas of law.
One-Off debts and PE (see Foakes v Beer too)
Read High Trees
Most importantly look at DC Builder v Rees, Lord Denning's judgement. It basically says that when part payment of debt had been made (which it did in this case) Promissory Estoppel, which typical is only suspensory and suspends an obligation, would completely extinguish the debt.