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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47351
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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2 years ago i left my watch with a jeweler for repair under

Resolved Question:

2 years ago i left my watch with a jeweler for repair under warranty. I received a docket stating they had received my goods for a service. i am unsure whether the jeweler or the original manufacturer conducted the repair. But the watch that has been returned multiple times with incorrect fittings. And it suspiciously looks like they have lost the watch as everything looks to be brand new. the jeweler nor the manufacturer are willing to offer a settlement. i have begun proceedings in the small claims court against the jeweler as i believe they owe me a duty of care to ensure that my goods were returned in the state in which i left them. Is the correct party to proceed against?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Do you actually have a replacement watch?

Customer:

no i dont

Ben Jones :

Did you have any sort of contract or agreement with the jeweller over this?

Customer:

i have a receipt

Customer:

which acknowledges they took in the goods

Customer:

it says goods handed over

Customer:

and then "Service Perrelet"

Customer:

which is the brand

Customer:

there are no terms and conditions

Customer:

so i think that qualifies as a contract

Customer:

but not 100% sure

Ben Jones :

ok so just to clarify - you have been sent a watch but believe it is not the one that you initially submitted for repair?

Customer:

yes correct

Customer:

and i cant prove it

Ben Jones :

and what happened to that watch?

Customer:

but i think they have likely lost the whole watch

Customer:

as everything is brand new

Customer:

i had a leather strap which was quite aged

Customer:

and there were a few scratches from wear and tear

Customer:

they have sent back multiple versionsof the watch

Customer:

they think i sent it in

Customer:

but everytime a its a new watch, and b its not got the right face setting

Ben Jones :

so have you returned these replacements to them?

Customer:

yes i have

Ben Jones :

Why do you not want a replacement, if it is more or less the same watch and of the same value?

Customer:

i dont like any of the replacements they have offered me

Customer:

thus far

Customer:

and there is some sentimental value

Customer:

as the watch was a combined gift from a number of family members

Ben Jones :

Yu are correct that the jewellers owed you a duty of care in this situation because you entrusted them with the watch and they should have returned it to you in the condition you left it with them, subject to any repairs that needed doing. If they have failed to return the original watch then that could amount to negligence and you could consider pursuing this through the county court to seek compensation, which you have already done.


 


The correct party would be the jewellers as they are the ones you dealt with and they are the ones that took possession of the watch and agreed to facilitate the repairs. They may have sent it to someone else for the repairs but the legal contract would still be between you and them. They would owe you a duty of care and in turn they can pursue whoever actually lost it but as far as you are concerned the jewellers are the ones you would be pursuing.

Customer:

great, one last question, as the repairs were intended to have been carried out under a warranty does that alter whether they owe me a duty of care?
The jewlers solicitors have sent me a letter saying effectively they are conduit and that i have begun proceedings against the wrong party

Ben Jones :

that depends, for example if you knew that they were simply acting as an agent and that was made clear to you then they could be right but there is nothing stopping you from asking the court to amend your statement of claim and simply add another party as the defendant, then you would be making the claim against both the jewellers and whoever made the repairs, with the court deciding who should bear the legal liability over this

Customer:

k, and what happens if the original manfucaturer is based in switzerland? Can i add a party that is not here in the UK

Ben Jones :

you can but that gets a bit more complex and enforcing any court judgment against them abroad would be quite difficult and expensive

Customer:

hm

Customer:

what would be your honest advice here?

Customer:

should i proceed or would you think i should attempt to settle in some way with them ?

Ben Jones :

You could still proceed - the small claims court is a relatively risk-free venue to pursue such matters and the worst that could happen is that you don't get back your court fees and the court decides this was not a valid claim against the jewellers and that the claim is struck out. Then you have to reconsider your options and perhaps approach the manufacturer to try and resolve this with them

Customer:

k, and can the defendents solicitor claim costs against me in that case?

Ben Jones :

that is rare in small claims court cases and they will also be capped. It only really happens in serious cases where you are considered a hostile claimant or act in a vexatious manner but if you are just pursuing a genuine claim that you believe you have then costs would rarely be awarded against you

Customer:

k

Customer:

appreciate the advice

Customer:

thats all i need

Customer:

thank you

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the ebst

Ben Jones :

best

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