How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jo C. Your Own Question

Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
12826847
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

Friend rents a property. Alarm has malfunctioned, making automated

Customer Question

Friend rents a property.
Alarm has malfunctioned, making automated calls out.
£1400 in calls in a couple of weeks.
Phone company will not say who was receiving the calls - saying possible a fax machine.
Phone company says full amount is due.
i.e., needs to be paid by friend or his landlady (on friendly terms at present).
Alarm was installed several years ago before buying the property - so no contact or warranty.
Suggested way forward?
Regards,
Peter ***********
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Was the alarm provided by the telephone provider?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Several years ago - unknown installer before house purchase.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Do you know how old the alarm is?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No.
The house was probably built in the 1980's.
The alarm has never worked since the landlady bought the property i.e., seems to have just come back to life and has been ringing home (like ET!)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
That is a difficulty I'm afraid.
Come what may, the alarm is out of warranty and we cannot really even be sure that it falls within the six years from the date of sale that common law demands to bring this under the Sale of Goods Act.
That makes no difference really as it is the sum of the bill that concerns you. The only arguable point might have been that the phone company cannot claim because their equipment failed which caused the problem.
That did not really happen. Sadly, the starting point is that the money is due.
You could always offer a less sum in full and final settlement. Probably they will accept a deal. The risk is that they could add a default to your credit account. Often they will agree reductions in situation like this of a huge sum.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If it went to a small claims court between friend & his landlady as to who should pay how much - what would be the likely outcome in your opinion?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I presume the alarm belongs to the landlady?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

As above - the alarm was purchased with the property several years ago.
i.e., it has never been an operational alarm in those several years. All it has done is to recently come back to life, probably found itself faulty, and automatically kept ringing back to its old support number.

ps thanks for the considered reply above - if it was you, and the sum being asked for was £1400, what would be your opening offer amount to settle (approx.).

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I would offer £700. You can negotiate up but you can't come down.
You could try to claim any losses from the landlord on the basis that the alarm was not in good order. It could go either way really. She could defend on the basis that you didn't report it and so she could not act but it would be worth an attempt.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Goodness - I would have gone for say £200 (as it is pretty much pure profit to the telecoms company on the back of an unfortunate circumstance) - in you opinion and experience, what risk is there in going too low at the start of negotiation?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
None really. Except that they would dismiss you as unrealistic but you can always go up.
They are not going to accept £200 obviously.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice