A customer ordered from me white marble 1800 x 600 x 20 mm polished (white being the spirit of the order), for her floor in living dining area.
I in turn ordered in good faith and paid extra to a Chinese quarry for pure white- the material took 13 weeks to arrive (which the client was aware about and accepted it was a special order).
The material finally arrived only 50 % was white the balance was white but had some peach marbling through it and some was spotted-the quarry state by any International standard it constitutes white and are not prepared to do anything.
The client is unhappy and to exasperate things their were a large number have chips on the marble face edges this we now understand happened in transport. ( I have the transport company bank to rights on this as the screwed up big time we had their agreement it would go on delivery with tailgate at 1200kg per crate.
A Jobsworth at the depot said it couldnt go on the tailgate as it only took 1000 kg so they had to outsource a Hyab lorry which chuntered down from their depot in Ipswich to client in surrey with the crates bouncing on the back( which the driver told her about !) which we think has cause the chipping so I might get my transport cost back as i paid them by Mastercard about £900.00 to ship from china.
The order was worth about £4,248.00 including vat.
The customer initially said if we installed the marble for her free of charge ( wow never part of the sell agreement - that's about 8 days work for 3 men including accommodation) and also gave her 3 K refund, and polished all the marble! And took responsibility for any breakage and shortage she would be happy ( yikes)
What I want to know is what I am legally as well as morally obliged to do.
Accept she has a genuine greivence and want to make good but feel she is laying it on a bit thick.
I could replace the order - which she is not keen on due to the wait and neither am I due to the cost as I would not use the same supplier.
She also mooted as her room in in two levels she uses the good ones to do this lower dining area whilst i order more for the other living area.
This seems a reasonable compromise but i am worried the next load will be problematic also, but could go for this option but I am concerned once the chips become a problem it will all get messy again and their is a shade batch risk.
I would be happy to refund around £2,000.00 and let her keep the marble and walk away.
Or I would consider reluctantly ( but only lay -not lay and refund) but perhaps would lay it if her husband and son labored to me- initially she was amenable to that but yesterday changed as her husbands a roofer and is now busy and he was initially going to lay this at weekends.
I wonder if reading you with your legal brain you can see a solution, I don't know what to do as I will struggle to refund her in full if that's what I have to do.
I am based in Edinburgh and she is not far from Luton in case that effects any thing.
I am trying to get recourse through Alibaba website where I sourced my Chinese contact but am not hopeful I got lulled in to a false sense of security as have got material from others in china and no problem.