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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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We had a Kitchen installed by SieMatic Kitchens of Lancaster

Resolved Question:

We had a Kitchen installed by SieMatic Kitchens of Lancaster in July 2012.
Since the installation we have had in excess of 10 doors replaced due to the laminate opening at the joints. We have an outstanding balance of £2,332 that we have not paid due to the problems with the doors. The last replacement doors were fitted in July 2014 and more of the doors are now deteriorating. It seems SieMatic want to bring this to a head and have applied to the courts for the money.
We have received a Claim Form from the county court : particulars of the claim are :
'we are claiming the balance for the installation of a new kitchen which is overdue for payment together with an outstanding invoice for electrical and plumbing work. I will provide the defendant with separate detailed particulars within 14 days after service of this claim form.' dated 18 Sep 2014
Our stance is the doors are sub standard and a design fault and we will need these doors replacing for ever. For that reason we do not want to pay the balance.
On a different point the Plumbing and Electrical work was over priced and not agreed before they were installed in fact we expected the TV to be part of the Electrical fit.
Would it be advisable for us to refuse the payment ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
I would not recommend with holding payment. You are not entitled to do this unless you agreed a retention. If they commence and continue proceedings, they will incur cost that you will also have to pay and a county court Judgment will appear on your credit file. What you should do is make the payment "under protest" and say you will agree to make the payment if they stop the proceedings and such payment is "without prejudice to your existing rights".
You will still have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 in respect of the fact that they have provided goods that are 1) Faulty 2) not fit for their purpose.
If they refuse to acknowledge this and do not at least give you a price reduction, make prepare or replace the goods entirely - you should:
1. Complain to Trading Standards www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/
; and
2. Possibly make your own County Court Claim - https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome .
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that ,we have already paid in excess of £20,000 ,this is the balance payment to be paid after the Kitchen is installed and we are satisfied. We have never been satisfied with the door finishes as they are obviously a design fault . We were told a new process of fixing the door edges would be used before the installation,however the doors still come apart on a regular basis ,small cracks but not what you would expect from a top end kitchen.

So are you saying we should pay the balance in full or make a token payment to the company allowing for the faults and replacements.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Under S.48 C of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, you are entitled to a price reduction for the faulty goods as a remedy.
The problem is you need to stop the court proceedings, because they will just cause you more lost time and problems.
Have they actually issued the court proceedings? Have you been served with a claim form?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just a claim form issued 18 Sep 2014

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It has taken them 2 years of replacing doors not just on our recommendation but at times by the manufacturer.

Could we make an offer to pay them £200 for 2 years as long they continue to replace doors as and when we both agree need to be replaced. If so how do we go about this . I have registered with the money claim online service.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Do you want to have to deal with this company indefinitely?
I would say you are probably best agreeing a price reduction and say a five guarantee with them, because they probably wont agree to replace the doors indefinitely.
I would just write to them and ask them what they propose to offer you as a final settlement, if you work on the basis that you will make the final installment? Will they offer you a discount and guarantee - tell them if they do not you will report them to Trading Standards.
You need to some one come to some agreement with them to stop the county court action.
Is the claim stamped?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So which one of these should I respond to on the MCOL site ? At the same time do I need to write to the company seperate from with my offer?

The is stamped The Count Court

Response Forms




If you dispute the whole claim or wish to make a claim (a counterclaim) against the claimant, complete the defence form.





If you admit part of the amount claimed, complete the Admission and the Defence form.





If you admit all of the amount claimed, complete the Admission form.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

didn't get an answer to below

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Is there an option to acknowledge service?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I would acknowledge service and keep an eye on the date - acknowledging service will extend the time limit for filing a defence. Once you have done this it will tell you how long you have to serve a defence.
I would then write to the kitchen company and mark the letter "without prejudice save as to costs". Try and negotiate a settlement from them and if you cannot you will have to either admit the claim or serve a defence.
Kind regards
AJ
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

should I choose to defend all or part of the claim