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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47907
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I recently purchased a central heating boiler. I have my own

Customer Question

I recently purchased a central heating boiler. I have my own consultancy called Home Energy Management. I carried out my own tests that proved conclusively that the boiler was using an excessive amount of fuel. I have also established that the whole range of boilers, of which my boiler is just one, behaves in the same way. Therefore other owners are similarly affected. The manufacturer has refused to help in any way. What action can I take?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello did you buy the boiler as a business or consumer?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, not sure if you saw my initial query above - did you buy the boiler as a business or consumer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I recently purchased a central heating boiler. I have my own consultancy called Home Energy Management. I carried out my own tests that proved conclusively that the boiler was using an excessive amount of fuel. I have also established that the whole range of boilers, of which my boiler is just one,behaves in the same way. Therefore other owners are similarly affected. The manufacturer has refused to help in any way. What action can I take? I bought the boiler as a consumer.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. When did you buy the boiler?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
March 19th 2015
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was commissioned on March 19th 2015
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. The law states that the goods must be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose. If they are not, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller. The only time action can be taken against the manufacturer is under a manufacturer's warranty or guarantee. There is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage, faults that were pointed out at the time of sale or if you change your mind and no longer want the goods. If the goods are not as described, of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, you have the following rights: 1. Reject the goods and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within a 'reasonable time'. This period depends on the circumstances, although it is generally accepted to be within the first month after purchase, so must not be delayed. 2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement without causing any significant inconvenience. A useful rule is that if the goods are returned within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not conform to the statutory requirements at the time of sale. If the retailer disagrees, it is for them to prove that this was not the case. However, if the goods are returned more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that the goods did not meet the statutory requirements set out above at the time of sale. As you appear to be too late to reject the goods, you can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. You can quote the applicable laws and rules as mentioned above. If they appear reluctant to assist, write to them one more time, warn them that they have 7 days to comply and inform them that if they fail to meet their legal obligations, you will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings to seek compensation for your losses. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should they refuse to help in any way, 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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information. My boiler was commissioned on March 19 2015. On 21 March (two days later) I reported to the Installer by email that the burner was firing at max rate virtually all the time the burner was on. The installer said this was a problem for the manufacturer. The installer arranged for the manufacturer to send an engineer down to investigate. The engineer checked all the boiler settings and said the boiler was performing as it should. I carried out a second test but nothing had changed. After I reported to the manufacturer that nothing had changed the manufacturer sent a second engineer who also reported the boiler was functioning as it should. I sent the results of a third test that showed conclusively that the boiler was very inefficient. After exchanging correspondence with the manufacturer, they refused to co-operate in any way.
Which of your recommended actions do I take bearing in mind I complained 2 days after the boiler was commissioned?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, did you buy the boiler directly from the manufacturer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought my boiler from the installer, not the manufacturer.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks, ***** ***** I outlined will be against the installer, not the manufacturer. The installer is the seller and they will have legal responsibility under the Sale of Goods Act. The manufacturer’s responsibilities will only stretch as far as any guarantee is in place and you can only pursue them for not doing what they are supposed to do under the guarantee. However, if the issues are such that the boiler is not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, your rights are solely against the seller, in this case the installer. The fact that you complained within 2 days would not change your rights because at this stage you can still only get a repair or replacement from them. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I accept that I can only pursue the manufacturer for not doing what they are supposed to do under the guarantee. However, the manufacturer who is the main offender, appears to be getting away scot free, especially as it is highly likely that all boilers of this type are just as defective. I will take action against the installer but I was hoping there was some way in which the manufacturer can be exposed. I have tried the Trading Standards service via the Citizens Advice Group but have had no response.
Regards,
Jim.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I understand why you want to expose them and have this dealt with but this can only really happen through Trading Standards or perhaps the media, although you must be careful with the latter because if you publish data which is open to a challenge they could accuse you of defamation and damaging their business. So be very sure of your facts before you go down that route
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I engage your services in this? I don't know where you are located but I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience..
Regards,
Jim..
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello Jim, I am very sorry but the terms of the site do not allow me to take on clients trough this service so I can only assist you online, via this website.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben.
I have contacted the installer, Richard Buxton. Below are my comments and his responses. It is clear I am not going to get any cooperation. Is my next action to contact the Trading Standards Office or to engage a solicitor? My dealings with Trading Standards have proved difflcult in the past. On the last occasion I had to deal with them indirectly through the Citizens Advice Group and I did not receive a reply.Hi Richard.
Soon after the commissioning on 19th March 2015 of my new boiler, I carried out my own tests. These showed that the boiler was not modulating. During the burner-on periods of every cycle, the burner input to the boiler was consistently 16 kW. I have tried to negotiate some sort of settlement with the manufacturer but they refuse to help in any way. I have taken legal advice and I am told that my course of action is against the installer.
I need to meet with you to discuss all the options available. Please give me some dates that are convenient.
Regards,
Jim SambrookDear Mr. Sambrook,
Thankyou for your email.
As I understand it Worcester Bosch the boiler manufacturer have confirmed the boiler is operating correctly.
If you wish to take this matter forward your next step would be to produce an independent report on the operation of the boiler.
The report would need to be from someone who is both qualified and legally allowed to work on a gas appliance.
Without this I do not think you can progress with your claim.
Regards *****Dear Mr. Buxton
Despite the manufacturer's insistence that the boiler is operating correctly, I have tested the boiler myself with all the settings as left by the manufacturer. The main test was to simply run the central heating system as normal with an outdoor temperature of 7°C and an indoor temperature of 21°C. During the test the gas meter readings were recorded over a large number of consecutive burner-on and burner-off cycles. From these readings the heat energy input to the boiler during the burner-on period for every cycle was found to be consistently 16 kW so that the boiler burner output was at maximum virtually the whole time at huge extra cost because of the extra fuel used.. This means that the boiler was not modulating. The fact that the boiler burner keeps cutting in and out is further indication that the boiler is not modulating. It is performing like a standard On/Off boiler.
An independent report is not necessary. The gas readings cannot lie. Anyone who witnesses such a test could not refute the results!
Since no work is carried out on any part of the system, there would be no need to employ someone who is qualified and legally allowed to work on a gas appliance.
You are invited to witness the gas readings during the central heating operation.
Jim SambrookDear Mr Sambrook,
Thank you for your comments however I do not feel competent enough to confirm whether the boiler modulates or not and in such an instance I would revert to the manufacturer
In this case as you are not satisfied with he manufacturer, I think you will need to provide and independent experts report if you wish to progress the concern.
Regards ***** .
.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately your question has expired as you must post any follow up queries within 7 days of the date of the original question. If you need any further help on this subject please post it as a new question on our site - you may start it with 'for Ben Jones' so that I get it and deal with it as fast as I can. Many thanks