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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I bought a cabinet (about £800) from a trade show in Paris

Customer Question

Hi,
I bought a cabinet (about £800) from a trade show in Paris last autumn. When it was ready to ship to me I had to do an online bank transfer for the goods in order for them to ship them including the cost of the shipper. This was an all inclusive price so the seller organised the shipper he uses.
When the goods came, the delivery guys carried it up the stairs from a pallet. They asked me to immediately sign for receipt of goods. It was heavily wrapped in layers of plastic, card and wood and also contained 2 other items I had so quite a lot of unpacking required. It took me about 45 minutes to unpack and the driver long gone by then. As soon as I had unpacked it I saw it had serious damage to it, the top and back were caved in and the glass windows smashed. My builder looked and said straight away it had been hit by a fork lift truck in transit and indeed we could see the fork marks . I photographed it instantly and called the delivery pallett company. I also emailed them detailed photos and also to the seller in France. I had back emails of 'sorry and sympathy' and they both would look into it. However, despite chasing the pallett people on emails repeatedly I have had no help. The owner just says it must have been damaged at the french end. I asked him for his checking report and paperwork since they are supposed to check this when they receive it I assume. He has gone silent since I asked for this.
The seller says repeatedly I should not have signed for the goods and his insurance only covers when the goods are unpacked in front of the delivery guys and damage is recorded. I keep telling him this was totally impossible and as far as I am aware, I only signed for receipt of the goods, not a quality inspection as the couriers just drop and go. Ive chased the palette people for a copy of what I signed but Im pretty sure it was just a slip for delivery receipt. The seller also says he sent it in perfect condition and his couriers are good so it must be the UK end issue. He has now just offered me 110 euros as 'exceptional' compensation. Im at my wits end to know what to do and what my legal recourse is? Can you help? thanks Rachel
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi
I would like to know how to proceed please to get full compensation or money back on the goods - it is badly damaged and Im not even sure if repairable. I have detailed everything in my question. thanks Rachel
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
Did you pay by visa?The problem you have is that you bought outside of the UK.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No I didn't, I paid online bank transfer to the account they gave me and this is the option of payment they would do.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
That is a problem I'm afraid.Come what may, you bought in France. The UK legislation doesn't apply. I had been hoping you could reclaim from your visa card but that falls away as you paid by other means.In fairness, the EU Regulations would apply in France as well and they probably have something comparable to our SGA or CPA but that cannot be enforced in the UK.You could sue in France but then you would have to take advice from a French lawyer and sue them in the domestic courts.There might be a claim against the couriers in negligence that could be enforced in the UK. There cannot be in contract as the contract was with him rather than you. To bring that you would have to prove that the damage did take place in the UK as well.I'm very sorry but that is the reality.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thankyou, I had a feeling that might be the case. To take action via France would be a logistical and costly nightmare I suspect and more than the cost of the cabinet! A hard lesson to learn and seems very unfair but thank you for your advice, Rachel
Expert:  Jo C. replied 10 months ago.
It wouldn't necessarily.
It is just gaining understanding of how the French system works.
They are likely to have some system similar to the small claims court.
Always pay by visa if you are buying abroad or online.

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