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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3772
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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In June 2014 we had some patio doors and windows installed

Resolved Question:

In June 2014 we had some patio doors and windows installed by a double glazing company, in October 2014 we agreed to have our fascias and soffits replaced in May 2015 by the same company.
We live in a very exposed cliff top position by the sea, so I kept stressing that unless top grade products are used things will rust here.
The patio doors, we have discovered are very drafty and they have used mild steel screws in the base which have rusted, ( I don’t think they should be there). On the outside of the door in the plastic, they have managed to embed scraps of mild steel which has rusted. The result is apart from anything else quite unsightly; I understand they are obliged to fix these items.
My question is I do not want to continue with the order fascia’s and soffits, as I have lost trust in them. Under the contract I signed it states; The company reserves the right to charge the following, which represents the losses and expenses incurred by the Company prior to cancellation:
60% of the total contact price where the purchaser cancels after the commencement of the survey but prior to the company being committed to take delivery of the relevant products.
The job is not due to start until May 2015, these are stock items, nothing special just cut to measure on site.
If I cancel now three months before work is due to start, I understand I would lose the £200 deposit, would I be liable 60%? Surely although I have entered into a contract, if the previous work is sub standard I can’t be expected to undertake further work with the company.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Alex J. :

, Thank you question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Do you have anything in writing confirming that the doors need to be suitable next to the sea and therefore must withstand extreme weather? Have they actually started making the windows? Have you put them on notice that your wish to cancel the order?

Customer:

the patio doors I hope to get sorted, it's the contract I signed in October soffits and fascia's I wish to cancel because I have lost trust in their products.

Customer:

The work soffits and fascias isn't due to start until May of this year, these are stock items, the company in the contract say they can charge up to 60% . If they don't incur any costs, can they still charge me %,is the fact their previous work has been sub standard a valid enough reason to cancel the contract.

Alex J. :

, Thank you. They would have to prove that the 60% figure is a genuine pre estimate of their loss. If they cannot then it is potentially a penalty of contract which is unenforceable under English Law.

Alex J. :

- They are dealing with you as a consumer and have an obligation to ensure your rights are not abused;

Alex J. :

- 60% as a cancellation charge is hugely onerous and in your opinion does not support any evidence of loss suffered;

Alex J. :

- Say that as this does not seem like a legitimate pre estimate of loss - you believe it is a penalty clause and therefore would be unenforceable under English Law;

Alex J. :

-Say that you will agree (begrudgingly) to forfeit the deposit only in order to resolve this quickly, however you have found their service to be inadequate and you should not be forced to continue to use it;

Alex J. :

- Say if they chase you money you reserve the right to:

Alex J. :

(i) Complain to Trading Standards


www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/

Alex J. :

(ii) Treat any demand as unlawful harassment under S.40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 - which is a criminal offence.

Customer:

Thank you that answers my question -Warm regards ***** *****

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