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Hi, thanks very much for your question. My name's XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with it.
Could you please let me know how much the worksurfaces cost in total along with the amount of the outstanding balancing.
the total cost ws £2500 and there is a balance of £934 outstanding
Is the joint in a corner or is it a straight section of counter top? Was anything stated to you regarding the pattern match (orally, prior to agreeing to the job, or as part of your written contract itself)? Finally, were you shown any pictures or examples of pattern matching as part of your pre-contractual discussions?
They asked me where I would like the join and it is in the middle of a 3 metre stretch of granite. We were told originally that the whole slab could be fitted in one and I have an email to that effect. I just assumed that the pattern would match like a jigsaw - when they told me I needed a join I asked if this would be OK and was told it would look beautiful.
If they supplied and fitted the worktop, under s.13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act, it is an implied term of your contract that they use reasonable care and skill in performing the agreement. Whether or not they have breached this will, essentially, come down to the quality of the goods and workmanship and what was agreed regarding the finished effect. The measure of damages under English Law is the difference in value between what you contracted for and what they supplied and if they have supplied something that is of measurably less value than originally agreed, they may not be able to recover the balance.
They said they were issuing court proceedings now - what do I do - just wait for these to arrive and then respond?
The upstands on the granite were supposed to be 20 m but these are 30 so we can't fit any plugs int he sockets just a disaster really
This is clearly a small claim so they are very limited in the costs that they can recover in court and I doubt that either party will be using a solicitor (solicitors are not required for small claims matters). They will have to show that you agreed to pay the full amount and prove their contractual right to recover it. Your defence will, presumably, be that they breached the contract by: (i) failing to adhere to the express terms of the contract (i.e. the size of the upstands and the fact that the seams would look beautifull and akin to one piece of granite) and (ii) breaching the implied terms under s.13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act by not exercising care and skill in carrying out their work.
Considering the value of the claim, I think its definitely something that you should try and settle. You should definitely respond to their claim but, if you don't think that witholding the balance (or a proporion of it) is sufficient, you could say that you are considering counterclaiming for some of the amount you have already paid due to their breaches. However, I would very much hope that you could come to some sort of arrangement.
Ok thanks - will see what happens
I should say that if plugs are rendered inoperable due to the incorrect height of the upstands (which was, presumably, agreed in writing via the template), your position is strong on that point.
Best of luck with this and please do take a moment to rate my answer, if I've been helpful.
I would be quite happy not to pay the balance and to get another company in to fit the worksurface that I wanted but thank you for your help and advise.
Take photos of the seam, a copy of the emails that support your defence, along with the template that shows the height of the upstands and any marketing materials or website images etc. that shows what a join should look like. Compile your evidence and list it in your response, along with details of the facts. Also set out the heads of your defence (the contractual breaches set out above and any misrepresentation) and make them an offer. At this level of damages, companies are not likely to dedicate a great deal of man power to a small claims dispute.
Can I clarify anything for you. If not, please do take a moment to rate my answer and best of luck.
Hello there, Diane. I just wanted to check that you have all the information you need from our conversation yesterday. Do let me know if you need anything clarified.
If you were satisfied, I would also be very grateful if you could let me know by taking a moment to rate my answer.
Best wishes with everything.