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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have delivered a bike to a customer. They claimed the goods

Customer Question

We have delivered a bike to a customer. They claimed the goods were damaged. They had inspected the goods and signed for them in good condition. With any damage they need to make a note on the delivery note as stated in our terms and conditions of sale. The customer did not sign for the goods damaged. Despite this the customer managed to get a refund via their credit card company and in turn we have not been paid for the goods. The customer wrote to us before doing the charge back advising he wanted to return the goods, we informed him that we dispute his claim and would not accept return. He advised he would contact his card company, in turn he did and got the refund.
We have contacted the customer on numerous occasions to request the return of the goods or payment. He has refused. We have now found out that the customer has now disposed of the goods and is relying on his email prior to any chargeback telling us he wanted to return and as we did not allow him to return he now had the right to dispose of the goods and is not returning anything or paying. He has never advised out at any point prior that he was disposing of the goods. He has advised us he has sought legal advice and is in his rights.
We have in our terms and conditions of sale that we retain ownership over unpaid goods.
Please advise if the customer was entitled to dispose of our goods and is liable for payment? If we have a claim for the value of the goods under what legislation would we be able to file a claim?
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.
What is the nature of the damage please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The customer claimed that the indicator was broken on the bike, it is a scooter similar to a vespa. The customer was given the opportunity to inspect the goods before signing receipt. Our terms and conditions of sale state:

2.2. If the Goods have been damaged or shortage upon receipt, you are required to check the goods before signing receipt. If the goods are damaged or there is a shortage you are required to sign for the goods stating on the delivery note the damage or shortage or refuse the goods.

Customer accepted goods, signed for them in good conditions.

Despite this as a gesture of good faith, without liability we send him a replacement indicator free of charge.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Do you know if they actually did inspect them?
I suppose the indicator would have been noted fairly quickly.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We know that the goods were inspected as the courier has confirmed.

This is not our main concern. The customer has managed to obtain a refund via his credit card company. We have requested that the goods are collected or he pays for the goods. He has refused to pay for them and has advised he has disposed of the goods. He claims he was entitled to dispose of the goods as he requested we collect them before he filed a dispute with his card company.

Is the customer entitled to dispose of the goods, if so what protocol does he need to follow under which legislation? At no time did he inform us he was disposing until after he had done so.

If we are to pursue a claim against him for the goods, what legislation to we claim under?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Well, it depends.
Had he pursued you for a refund you would have been entitled to the goods as apart from anything else you are entitled to inspect them to see if they do indeed have damage. That did not happen.
The only time you have any interest in this at all is if the credit card company seek to recover from you and then you can raise the fact that you haven't had the opportunity to inspect this item.
If he is arguing that he can just dispose of items because you didn't respond to his request to return them then that is a legal nonsense. He may well have been entitled to a refund but then he would have to return the goods upon your request.
Destroying goods in a dispute such as this is like agreeing in a murder case for the body to be buried. The evidence rests solely upon the damage to the goods so it wasn't the best plan to dispose of them.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He sent us a photo, we could see damage. He had inspected the goods and not refused or signed for them damaged. instead he signed for goods in good conditions.

Irrespective, our question is: was the customer entitled to dispose of the goods, if so what legal protocol does he need to follow under which legislation? At no time did he inform us he was disposing until after he had done so.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Had he pursued you for a refund you would have been entitled to the goods as apart from anything else you are entitled to inspect them to see if they do indeed have damage. That did not happen.
If he is arguing that he can just dispose of items because you didn't respond to his request to return them then that is a legal nonsense. He may well have been entitled to a refund but then he would have to return the goods upon your request.

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