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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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Our conservatory was started in December last year when the

Customer Question

Our conservatory was started in December last year when the base was put down. The taking down of ours and start of rebuilding didn't go ahead until February. We were then given approx. an 8 week time scale. It was not finished until November this year. There were a number of problems while they were building - all to do with them not eg putting up a gutter level which joined to the house and they had to re-do it, another part was not measured correctly and had to be re-built, the window sill has been put on incorrect (it looks okish)and we have to live with that as altering it would be a major problem, the outside sill-edge split open at a joint and to correct it would also be major problem so it has been infilled. All the problems have been dealt with although the time we have spent chasing them up and for them to get to do it has been enormous. My husband had to help them do some plumbing work and buy the parts and then spend 3 days working with their employee to do it! They have offered £750 in compensation bearing in mind that the parts alone cost £150 and 3days labour was involved. We feel that the labour and parts should be separate and that we should be entitled to some compensation for the enormous time taken and hassle we have had. The conservatory cost just short of £30,000! Can you advise us on what % we are entitled to ask for. We have full records of work problems etc which we have sent them on a number of occasions.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

So the the conservatory is now watertight and usable but there are some defects in the construction which means that it is less than the quality of finish you were expecting. Also there was a good deal of inconvenience and delay in finishing the job.

LondonlawyerJ :

In their offer do they say what the compensation is for? eg poor quality finish, delay, incovnenience to you?

Customer:

I would say the defects are ok and noticeable to us only because we know! Our major concern now is the time taken. We were hoping to use it over summer and couldn't and because of the delays we are only now putting in the radiators ready hopefully to use over Christmas

Customer:

The offer of £700 was received on 15th November and it says " we would make a final Without Prejudice off of a reduction of £700 from your account. We will not enter into needless correspondence on this matter, your letters have been plentiful and more than adequately detailed, eloquently showing your displeasure with our service, there will be no need to send further rehashed communication with the same matter. Should you believe that we should have further redress, please call the writer for a telephone discussion" We replied stating the 1982 act and despite what he said 'rehashing' a point. We were very cross as this reply we felt was very rude amongst other things!!

Customer:

We went away on 20th November (we e-mailed and told them this) back on 4th December. We had a phone call yesterday but we were out and he said he wanted to discuss this matter. We asked for £965.70 for parts and labour and £3000 compensation. Their response was as just sent.

Customer:

We do not think a telephone conversation is appropriate in this matter really

Customer:

Because faults have happened since it has been up we also feel we need their 10year guarantee. They won't do this (understandably) until it has been settled.

Customer:

We have kept £4188.98 back.

LondonlawyerJ :

A Phone call is not appropriate obviously you want to keep all communications in writing so that there can be no doubt about what has been said.

Customer:

Sorry not hassling! but want to make sure you are getting my replies? Could you just confirm you are for me. Thanks.Re-reading your questions. We really want compensation for delay, inconvenience (they had no one overseeing this work - we were project managing it ourselves)

LondonlawyerJ :

I am glad to see you have kept money back to protect your position a very sensible thing to do. Bearing in mind your experience with this firm do yo think their guarantee is worth the paper it is written on?

LondonlawyerJ :

I am getting your replies but was temporarily off line for a few minutes a little while ago.

Customer:

Thankyou for your reply. We think so. So far, although we have had loads of problems, they have rectified them all eventually. It has taken them so long. They are quite a big company but not members of the conservatory association. They have very poor customer relationship and they have poor quality control. Nobody came to see what the fitters had done until we identified the fault and told them what was wrong. It would then take them weeks to come out to see and then further weeks to get it corrected!

LondonlawyerJ :

I think that it is not really possible for me to say what % you can get off the value. The materials etc. is a nice solid figure as long as you can evidence it, and time off work to help them do the work again you should be able to calculate a straight forward figure as long as you can provide evidence of loss and justify your presence. As far the rest of the compensation it really is a question of how much inconvenience and distress was caused to you by the delays and how far short of the advertised standards they fell.

Customer:

The job needed to be done at the time my husband did it because the job could not progress. Their company advertise as having a plumber but didb

LondonlawyerJ :

£3,000 is 10% of the pric and that doesn't sound to me like an unreasonable amount of money. The position is if you refuse to accept their offer they will have to sue you for the money in the small claims court. You could if you wanted to make an offer to settle by offering to pay them say £500 back. This would perhaps make you look more reasonable if the case did go to court. But it is a judgement call for you. In the small claims court they will not be able to get an order for costs against you even if they succeed so they or may not bring a case. You know them better than me. Do you think they would bring legal action and be able to do so without legal help or be vindictive ength to instruct.

Customer:

did not send one and the work had to done then and there. Plus they brought the wrong tools and the wrong parts!!I It did cause a great deal of inconvenience and stress. We want to be fair and would you say that £3000 was a fair amount to aim for? We appreciate that this can only be a guide and it sounds like there is no legal reference point for this.

LondonlawyerJ :

a lawyer even though even if they won al they recovered would go to the lawyer?

LondonlawyerJ :

Obviously you won't be able to take advantage of the guarantee if you stand your ground.

LondonlawyerJ :

I think £3,000 sounds like a reasonable target to aim for based b what yo have told me.

Customer:

Thankyou for your help.

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

They have recently e-mailed to say they would give us £1000 and that appears to include the cost for parts and labour which they have offered us £500. So they are really just giving us £500. If we don't accept they said they will instruct Luton County Court. They have asked us not to write any more letters and feel that a telephone call is more personal and would expediate matters. In your last communication you said that we would not incur any costs if they took us to court and I need to know that this is absolutely the case. Hoping you can confirm this.


 


Many thanks