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Ask Alice H Your Own Question
Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I was sold some bird and butterfly netting which I attached

Customer Question

I was sold some bird and butterfly netting which I attached to a frame in my allotment the process took several days as the netting had to be battened down and the door and frames specially made to make it butterfly proof. The two pieces of netting supplies had to be hand sewn and that process alone took over three hours.
After approx three months and particularly hot Cornish sunshine the netting shredded. I took photographs and sent them to the company. They admitted that it was not fit for purpose and refunded my money but weren't interested in any form of compensation for the days of work that I had invested as the structure is now next to useless. I am told that I could sue for consequential damage/costs in the small claims court but would this be costly and would this be a reasonable action on my part
Kind regards *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
How much are you seeking to claim?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think £150 would be reasonable,even though the damage in terms of wasted time and materials would be far higher than that
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
OK. It will not be very expensive to start a money claim for this - you are looking at a court fee of less than £50 to get it underway but before starting the claim you must send a letter before actio setting out exactly what you are seeking and why. You should give the defendant company 14 days to respond and if the response is not favourable you can then start your claim. There is no harm in claiming all the losses you have incurred and the final sum can be subject to negotiation. However, in answer to your specific question: this is not an unreasonable step to take and it will not be very expensive of complex to make a claim. This is a 'small claim' in the County Court and the procedure is very straightforward.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you can you tell me what I would need to produce for the court I have photographs of the shredded netting and would I need to produce photographs to show the construction of the "cage"?

I have an email where they admit that it was not fit for purpose and another where they refused to give me a piece of netting to temporarily cover the holes.

What would happen if I won and they refused to pay?

Finally how do I go about it?

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Hello - your claim is a straightforward one; there is no issue about liability because the company has accepted you were sold a substandard product. So you do not need to prove that part of the claim. The issue here is how much you should be laid in compensation - you have already been refunded the cost of the netting so the only thing you have to prove is the amount of time you spent constructing the frame. In that respect if you have any photographs of the construction/finished product that would help. But in reality your word should be enough: if you say your time was a few hours and that equates to around a couple of hundred pounds then that should be accepted by the court as a reasonable sum. If the company's any sense they will make an offer out of court to settle this, but if they don't and you get judgment then you can enforce it by taking enforcement action such as sending bailiffs to their premises.