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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Please can I ask advice regarding an issue I am having

Resolved Question:

Hi,
Please can I ask advice regarding an issue I am having with an optician
I ordered a pair of prescription glasses and was told it would take up to 4 weeks to get them.
The order was only verbal and I did not make any payment at the time. I received no written information or confirmation.
I cancelled the order after 8 and a half weeks by email as they were still not ready and I had no feedback up to this point.
I received an email back from a member of the staff confirming they had received the cancellation and they would get back to me but they could not stop their order with their supplier but they also said they accepted my right to cancel. Later I got another email from the principal replying I can not cancel the order and I have now received a request for payment as the glasses are now ready for collection 10.5 weeks after I placed my order.
The question is - do I have a right to cancel in these circumstances?
Thanks Ann
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is a letter I have written in response to the opticians request for payment but I have not sent it yet. It contains all the background that you may find helpful.
11 December 2015
Dear Optician,
Re: cancelled order for spectacles
Yesterday I received your letter (incorrectly dated 7th November 2015) along with your request for payment of £758.00. I instructed you on 17th November that I was cancelling this order due to the unreasonable time taken, and reiterated this on 28th November. I have not received, and do not wish to receive, the goods from you and as such your request for payment of this cancelled order is incorrect.
For the avoidance of any doubt, and to correct any misunderstanding, the situation is as follows:
Tuesday 15th September – eye appointment with you. Following this I did not receive a prescription but you did recommend I tried vari-focal.
Friday 18th September – I placed order for spectacles. This was done verbally, based on the following understanding:
1. I asked you to provide Lindberg frame with vari-focal lenses as recommended by you and I was reassured I could trial these and that you would replace if not suitable.
2. It would take up to 4 weeks for the spectacles to be ready.
3. I made no payment but the total cost was stated as £828. You provided no information or paperwork concerning the order.
Saturday 23rd October – five weeks after placing the order, having received no feedback from you, I phoned to be told that the spectacles were not ready. The lady I spoke to said she would follow-up on Monday 25th October and get back to me (she did not).
Tuesday 17th November – eight weeks and four days after placing the order, still having received no feedback from you, I wrote to you by email to cancel the order.
Wednesday 18th November – your Colleague replied by email acknowledging receipt of my cancellation email, indicating you and your laboratory manager would be following up.
Wednesday 18th November – your Lab manager wrote by email to explain your supply problems, and indicated my right to cancel was respected.
Wednesday 18th November – you wrote by email apologising for the delay and lack of communication.
Thursday 19th November – you wrote by email indicating that this is a transaction that cannot be simply cancelled, and offering ‘a generous cost reduction’.
Saturday 28th November – ten weeks after placing the order, I wrote to you by email re-iterating that I did not want to proceed due to the very long delay.
Saturday 28th November – you wrote by email apologising for the period it has taken, and stated your view that ‘a little extra time can be needed but does not constitute grounds for cancellation of your order’.
Tuesday 1st December – I received your letter (dated 30th November) indicating the spectacles are ready for fitting and the quoted cost of £828 has been reduced to £728.
There were only the verbal arrangements as noted above, and there was no contract or agreement between us in writing. Furthermore you have provided no information that explains any other conditions that you may desire. I note however, that in your letter you make reference to a contract established between us. Please can you provide me with a copy of the contract you refer to.
In your letter you also indicate that you believe I am obliged to pay for this order. This is incorrect. I clearly indicated that I was cancelling the order due to the unreasonable time taken which was well in excess of what we had agreed to. Had you indicated that it could have taken this long I would never have placed the order. During the time since my order, you made no effort to inform me of any issues delaying the agreed delivery, or to provide alternative timescales.
I have been a glasses wearer for over 25 years, and have never received this type of service from any optician. I am both disappointed and frustrated that your approach to me as a customer has been to avoid any meaningful contact until the order was cancelled. Since then the multiple communications from you include a request for payment even though your representatives have acknowledged receipt of my cancellation and that my right to cancel was respected.
Yours sincerely,
Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Are they saying they never said it would take 4 weeks for delivery please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No we have not had that conversation yet.
When I ordered the glasses they made this clear verbally. I asked the question and they said it could take up to 4 weeks.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk  or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi AlexThis does not answer the question.
I have made no payment, received no goods (glasses) but have cancelled the order as not delivered within the agreed timeframe (up to 4 weeks).
They are saying I can not cancel, the glasses are ready for collection (10.5 weeks after placing the order) and are demanding payment.
Full details are in my initial question to you.Thanks Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Forgive me I thought you had paid £728. You do not need to pay for them. If they quoted a delivery time this forms part of a contract. If they did not do it within the time then they are in breach of contract as it is a term.
They are in breach of contract by failing to deliver within the time specified and this express term has been broken.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi AlexThe only thing that worries me is that nothing was in writing. So it will be my understanding of the terms gainst theirs. They have recommended a product following an eye examination but I did not even receive a written prescription after this and I did not pay for the eye examination either. They verbally quoted a price for a product and stated a delivery time. I verbally accepted this and placed the order. There is nothing in writing about the order - I have not signed anything to accept any terms and conditions nor have they given me any terms and conditions verbally. They have not told me before I placed the order that I can't cancel ( there were no discussion about cancellation when the order was placed).
They failed to follow up when I chased it up after 5 weeks and only when I cancelled the order (8 weeks after the order was placed) did they start to communicate with me. This was well in excess of the agreed timeframe and at that point the glasses were still not ready.
They have sent me a letter stating we have a contract and the order can not be cancelled and are asking for payment within 14 days.
I am worried the next step is they will use a debt collection agency to chase after this payment.Thanks Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Indeed I understand that. But clearly you would not have placed the order had you known that in reality it was going to take so long.
Even if a debt collection agency is used, they have no legal power whatsoever. They can;t take goods or issue fines etc. At most this would be a small claim, so no legal fees are recoverable.
Threaten to report them to report it to the paper if they continue to bully and harass you because of this.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - I will check my draft letter to the optician ( that I sent to you initially) and respond to them.Thanks Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck Ann
Can I help with anything else today?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi AlexThanks very much this has been very helpful.Thanks Ann
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Good luck Ann
Alex
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