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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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In October 2014 I entered in to a contract with a double glazing

Customer Question

In October 2014 I entered in to a contract with a double glazing company for the provision of new windows, front door, fascia and guttering to my home. The work was completed but later problems with the installation of the windows were discovered, namely the gap between the brickwork and UPVC frames had not been sealed but simply disguised with the white UPVC trim. This resulted in my home turning in to a fridge at the coldest time of the year and it took numerous communications with the company and visits by its workmen to rectify the appalling installation work.
I have since commissioned a thermal imaging report which clearly indicates loss of heat around the window frames, mainly owing to insulating material having been dislodged during the removal of the old windows.
The company apologised for the inconvenience caused and as a "gesture of goodwill" sent me a cheque for £250.00 which I rejected. I referred the matter to the Glass and Glazing Federation of which the company was a member but my complaint was never addressed.
The company responsible for the window installation has now gone in to administration and has advised they are unable to assist further. The Glass and Glazing Federation have also stated they cannot assist for the same reason.
The windows, door, guttering and fascia have been paid for in full, a contract amounting to just over £6,000. A deposit was paid initially and a finance agreement was set up with Barclays Finance for the balance. I was given a 9 month interest free period in which to pay the balance which I duly did.
I feel I should be adequately compensated for the distress, inconvenience, time I had to take off work and escalating heating bills as a result of the appalling installation work. I would add that both my husband and I have pre-existing medical conditions so sitting in a freezing cold house was a nightmare. 1 year on and we are no further forward and it seems like no one is prepared to help. Do we have any legal redress at all? Your advice would be most appreciated.
Kind regards,
Susan O'Neill
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello how would this be ideally resolved for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As this company has carried out sub standard work on my home I would like to receive an independent assessment of the windows and quality of workmanship and appropriate compensation for the distress, inconvenience, increased heating bills we have been subjected to not to mention the costs of any remedial action which may yet be required. In my opinion the costs for installation of the windows should be refunded.
I would add that I have never disputed the quality of the product which is excellent, it is simply the poor quality installation which has caused the upset. My husband and I have extensive photographs taken during one of Warmseal's "remedia"l visits when the white internal trim of the windows was removed and the extent of the problem was revealed to us.
I rejected £250.00 because to be honest I considered it an insult. Every single window in the house (which has an open plan ground floor) was affected. Our bedroom window was one of the worst which meant my husband and I were sleeping in a draught every night. Cold was permeating every room in the house so the heating turned up to its max, ( as it was at the time), had little impact.
The company name "Warmseal" is now the trading name of a company called LTWF Limited and is not the same company as Warmseal Windows (Newcastle) Ltd with whom we had our contract. They have the same trading address and the sole director of LTWF Ltd is, according to Companies House records, the former Managing Director of Warmseal Windows (Newcastle) Ltd. You will understand why I am so frustrated.
Any advice you can give would be very much appreciated as I feel I have followed the correct lines in pursuing this but now am caught in the middle between the company and the Glass and Glazing Federation, neither of whom seem "able" to assist. Surely this cannot be right.
Kind regards,Susan O'Neill.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, when you have entered into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that the work must be:· Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession);· Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time has been agreed); and· Provided at a reasonable price (unless a specific price has been agreed). In addition, any information said or written is binding where the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or about the results to be achieved. If there are problems with the standard of work, or any of the above, you will have certain rights: 1. The trader should either redo the parts of the service which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to you. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing you significant inconvenience. 2. If redoing the work is impossible or cannot be done within a reasonable time or without causing significant inconvenience, you can claim a price reduction. The price reduction would depend on how severe the issues are and could be as much as the full cost of the work. 3. If the service has been performed so badly that it would be unreasonable to expect the consumer to give the trader a second chance, you may be entitled to claim the cost of remedial work by another trader. The issue you face here is that the company has gone into administration, which means it is insolvent and unable to meet its liabilities and financially it is no longer viable. This means that getting them to honour any liabilities owed to you will be rather difficult. You will be a creditor of the company but you will be an unsecured one and will rank rather low in the priority of paying off its debts. Often unsecured creditors get nothing or only a few pence to every pound owed. The fact that ere is now a new company which seems to trade in place of the old one is irrelevant – you had a contract with a limited company and your rights will be solely against that company as a separate entity, not against the people behind it. It is not uncommon for a limited company to close down, with lots of debt, and for its owners to open a new one doing the same business and have no responsibility towards the debtors of the old company. So the best you can do in this case is to register yourself as a creditor with the company’s administrators and hope that there are funds or assets left to satisfy your claim. As to the rights you have with the GGF, you will have some protection under their Fund and could perhaps get deposit back. The issue is that this is a scheme which the GGF has full decision authority over the outcome and the protection offered. Their terms state: “If GGF Fund Limited is satisfied that the deposit was paid to a Federation Member and that such Federation Member will be unable to carry out the work by reason of an event (which includes insolvency), then GGF Fund Limited will consider, in its absolute discretion (i) whether assistance will be provided to a customer from the Fund and (ii) if assistance is to be provided, what form it will take. If assistance is provided, GGF Fund Limited may, at its absolute discretion (i) facilitate the work to be carried out by a Federation Member at a fair market price less the sum allowable in respect of the lost deposit, or (ii) make a payment to the customer up to an amount equal to (a) the deposit or, if less than the deposit (b) 50% of the contract price or £12,500, whichever is the lower (or in the case of repair and maintenance work to an existing installation, 100% of the value of the order or, if less, £500), less a deduction in respect of the Fair Market value of any goods and services supplied (without reservation of title) by the defaulting Member.” So as you can see these decisions are left the Fund’s absolute discretion so it is for them to decide if this is something which can be dealt with under that scheme. You cannot force them to offer you the above protection, although you should try and pursue their complaints procedure if you are unhappy with the outcome. This is your basic legal position. I have some more advice for you in terms of what you need to do to register yourself as a creditor of the company, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your rating. If you wanted to register yourself as a creditor in the insolvency, please see this detailed guide:
https://www.gov.uk/register-creditor-bankruptcy
If there are any funds left in the insolvency then you may receive some or all (although the latter is unlikely) of the money you are owed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Mr Jones,
Thank you for your most comprehensive advice on this matter which has helped to clarify a number of points for me. I would welcome your advice on how I can register as a creditor with the company administrators although to be honest I am not holding out much hope of receiving any monetary settlement.
May I just ask you one further question. As a credit agreement with Barclays Finance was taken out which allowed us a 9 month interest free period to pay the balance outstanding (which we did), is there any redress against Barclays Finance under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act? I know this normally applies to payment for goods or services by credit card but this credit agreement was offered to us by Warmseal. As the company has failed to provide us with services to the required standard is this worth pursuing or does the fact the company is in administration mean this is also not possible?
I'm extremely grateful for all your advice.
With kind regards,Susan O'Neill
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, I see you asked on the steps t register as a creditor and our replies my have crossed but you have the link in my earlier reply, i will pot it again for you: https://www.gov.uk/register-creditor-bankruptcy As to the Section 75 claim, that is indeed a possibility. It is not just credit card transactions that are covered, it covers regulated credit agreements, such as the finance here. So by all means raise the claim with the finance company, after that you have the Financial Ombudsman if you need an independent resolution should the finance company refuse the claim
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Mr Jones,
Thank you very much for clarifying this and for the information concerning registering as a creditor.
Initially I will proceed by making a Section 75 claim with Barclays Finance and await their response.As you will have no doubt gathered, I have done a little research. I am however extremely grateful for the very prompt and comprehensive advice you have provided. I am so grateful this service exists and will not hesitate in using it in the future should the need arise.With kind regards,Susan O'Neill.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your kind words and best of luck with resolving this. All the best for now

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