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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have just had some loose covers made by a national firm.

Customer Question

I have just had some loose covers made by a national firm. There have been all sorts of problems including making the wrong size of replacement seat cushions and a dirty mark on the front of the cream pelmet. In addition, the covers are not well-fittng in soite of paying an extra £400 for a superior process. I have paid £683 as deposit (1/3 of total). what rights do I have? My complaints re the seat cushions and the dirty mark are being dealt with but my written comments about the standard of the finished product are being ignored.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wish to know what I can do if the firm are not able to alter the covers satisfactorily or will not undertake this work and whether I can get my deposit back in those circumstances.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Does the contract say satisfaction guaranteed please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Under "Warranties and Liabilities" in the Terms and Conditions there are two relevant paragraphs:


"We warrant that on delivery and for a period of 36 months after delivery the goods will correspond with their specification, be free from defects in design, material and workmanship and be of satisfactory quality."


 


"In the unlikely event that the goods and/or services do not conform to these conditions please let us know as soon as possible. Once we have checked that the Goods and/or services are faulty or not carried out with reasonable care we will either replace the goods or reperform the services, repair the goods or provide you with a full or partial refund"


 


They do not use the actual phrase "satisfaction guaranteed"


 


They also say "........ we will provide services which in all material respects with their description are carried out with reasonable care and skill and free from material defects and design, material, workmanship and are fit for the purpose we say the Services are fit for.


 


"These conditions are in addition to your legal rights..........."


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, they are fairly meaningless that don't add much to your statutory rights.

I presume these covers were made to measure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They were made to measure - indeed I paid an extra £400 to have the superior handcut process (rather than just measurements taken and sent away). This involved the sofas being taken to their workshop so that a "highly trained and skilled technician" could carry out the procedure.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

The conditions don't say satisfaction guaranteed but you do have fairly extensive rights under the general law of contract.

I'm sorry if I'm missing the point but what further complaints do you have that are not being considered? They seem to be dealing with the quality issue?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think you are missing the point; I said they were making new seat cushions and taking steps to have the dirty mark removed but they have ignored my complaint about the quality of the fit. They have not replied to my complaint about this even tho' it was supposed to have undergone a superior ftting process for which I paid an additional £400 more than I would have paid for their standard process. They have offered a derisory £50 for the inconvenience and delays I have suffered since I placed the order in February.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You won't get any more than that for delays and inconvenience at court. In fact, neither of those complaints are heads of compensation so you should be willing to negotiate over that.

If you are saying that they are not dealing with the quality of the fit then that is a different point. This is a made to measure item which should fit properly. Otherwise there is no point in made to measure. Obviously the contract doesn't say satisfaction is guaranteed so you will ned to show that the fit is not of a suitable quality. However, if it is not then you do have a claim for the amounts paid. Unless that can be remedied by repair you would seem to have a claim for the amounts that you paid plus the addition £400.

You are probably going to have to sue them though. If they dig their heels in then there is nothing that can be done to force them to honour their obligations without suing them. I suppose you could complain to trading standards but they often take no action.

Its cheap enough to sue at the small claims court though. You should really send them a letter before action giving them 28 days to resolve the issue or offer a refund and make clear that in default you will sue.

If that fails then issue against them here

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. The answer is very much what I expected but it is good to have it confirmed by a legal expert. I do not need any further clarification.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem and all the best.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.