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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45389
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Last year I booked a week to hire a boat on the Norfolk Broads

Customer Question

Last year I booked a week to hire a boat on the Norfolk Broads on the Sat 12 Sept 15 at a total cost of £800. On arrival the boat offered was in a very poor condition, I brought this to the attention of boat owner and refused to accept the boat. They offer a £90 discount with a take it or leave attitude. We took over the boat but is was in such a poor condition we returned it to the boat yard on the Monday morning.
I paid the full amount for the hire of this boat 6 weeks before arrival. My point is, I would never have paid this final amount if I had seen the condition of this boat and if they take money upfront they are then responsible to deliver the product in a reasonable condition. I have sent letters and photos both to the Boat Yard and Hoseseason (the booking agent) claiming a refund which they have refused to do.
Would you please advise if I have a case.
Regards ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What made it into such a poor condition?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Very old boat and dirt and damage from previous use
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Was it advertised differently? Were you led to believe you were getting something completely different?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes the picture in the brochure gave a picture of a clean smart boat inside and out. As said I do have pictures of the condition of this boat.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
There is indeed a potential claim for misrepresentation or breach of contract. You would expect to receive a boat in a reasonable condition and as advertised. The question really is how bad was it and was it that bad that you could not actually use it. Everyone has their own opinion of hat an unusable boat would be and at the extreme end it would be technical issues which prevented it from being operated in the intended manner or missing features which could simply make it unfit for habitation (e.g. leaking roof, no toilet facilities, no working kitchen, etc). A dirty boat is an inconvenience but was it serious enough to make it unfit for use? Was there no option to try and just remove some of the dirt/mess and make it more suitable for use then charge a reduction in price for this inconvenience? These are all factors which a court would be looking into when deciding on whether you have a good case. So to be successful you would need to show that it fell to such a low standard that it was impossible for you to actually spend any more time in it and that the other side had refused to make anything to rectify this. Also in terms of what you can recover you will have to pay something for the use you enjoyed for the couple of days, even if it was not to the expected standard. So you will only be pursuing them for a balance of the full price. So this is your basic legal position. I wish to discuss the next steps you should follow to try and push for a settlement or to place them under a bit more pressure. If you could please leave a positive rating for the service and answer so far, then I can move on to discussing your options in a bit more detail. The question will not close and will remain open for further discussion. Thank you.
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45389
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your rating. If you wanted to pursue this further then you can treat the money owed as a debt. As I mentioned, try to be realistic about what you can recover and that you will have to pay something towards the time you did use the boat s you would not be pursuing them for a full refund.
Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, not sure if you received my review, but would like to thank you for your help and the information supplied, I am sure it will be very useful. I would have no hesitation in recommending your services.
Thank you
JD
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I did thank you. Glad this has helped and all the best

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