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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I wish to claim a refund of monies paid for a boating

Resolved Question:

I wish to claim a refund of monies paid for a boating holiday, where the boat supplied was not fit for purpose. The holiday (four people) was abandoned after five days.
Under which Act (Sale of Goods, Consumer Rights, etc.) do I make my claim?
Thank you.
I. J. Boulton
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, have you already posted a question about this? I am just dealing with a very similar query so was wondering if it was posted in duplicate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It may well have been. I am struggling with your website - not very clear and in in any case I am I bit of an idiot.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No problem, can I just check which boat company this was to see if it is the same question? Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Anglo Welsh Boats, Reg. Office in Bristol
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ok it is a different one, just thought it was a bit of a coincidence getting such similar queries at the same time. Can you please tell me when the holiday took place and what was wrong with the boat?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Date of holiday 4.7.16 - 18.7.16. Holiday abandoned 10.7.16 after flooding on boat, and generally unsatisfactory condition.
What was wrong? Boat old, worn, and not as described in brochure. Not fit for purpose, i.e. two weeks holiday for four people.
Fault in water system causing flood in boat. Rust around freshwater filling point ("requires attention" according to Anglo Welsh) causing flakes of rust to enter freshwater system, Insecure doors, hatchway on coaming bodged up with a plastic wedge, making it extremely difficult to open and close,
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Any claim would be made under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 as that deals with the provision of services and also you would be looking at general damages under common law for breach of contract, which can allow you to claim for loss of enjoyment as well.

The direct losses you have suffered as a result would be the remainder of the holiday, assuming it was all paid for. As you still continued with the holiday for several days, your other potential claim would be for loss of enjoyment during those days. This would reflect the time spent on the boat for which you paid, but which was ruined by some breach of contract or misrepresentation by the company. There is no precise science as to how such compensation is awarded and each case will depend on its own circumstances. Generally a quarter to a third of the value of the holiday would be considered reasonable. A lot would depend on what was actually wrong, whether you should have known about it (taking into account the advertisements, brochures what you were told at the outset, etc) and how a reasonable person may have seen these issues and their seriousness.

Whilst there is nothing stopping you from rejecting the latest offer and continuing to negotiate, if you do so and take the matter further, you may have to go to court to seek further compensation. The risks increase because you will have to pay for this (no legal assistance is required unless you decide to use it) and there is no guarantee you would get what you were hoping for. You may nevertheless take the matter as far as you wish and continue negotiating with them in the meantime.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to pursue the matter further, 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is all getting very involved. My claim is quite simple. I have paid (well in advance) for the hire of a boat as described in a brochure ("a fantastic boat" - their words, not mine ,not their boats generally, but this specific vessel) and that is what I expect to get. I have not got what was described, and what was paid for, so I want my money back. End of.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How did you pay for the boat?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
By cheque - £750 in February and balance of £1590 in May
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

ok so you won't have protection under Consumer Credit Act which you would have had you paid by credit card. So whilst I understand what yo are hoping to achieve, at this stage this is only possible if the company agrees to reimburse you. If they do not, then involved or not, you ill have to consider taking matters further as there is no other way to force them to refund you for this and in the end only the small claims court can do that. As mentioned I can discuss the steps you need to take to kick start the process which can also give you further opportunities along the way to try and twist their arm.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That was my question in the first place.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. 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 party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably 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 pursue the compensation due. 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 other side 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you . Now we are getting somewhere.
Your No. 1 - Done this.
Your No. 2 - Done this, although I have not specified a number of days for a reply. I will send a further letter today.I do not think they will negotiate (for some reason they keep insisting there is nothing wrong with the boat, although it is not up to their advertised standard - it is a turkey), so inevitably we are going to finish up in court.Does this mean I have to go to Bristol to pursue my claim ( I live in Gainsborough, Lincs,) or can I do it in the Lincoln small claims court?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

The claim is issued in the local county court of the respondent, so it would be Bristol. However you do not have to worry about logistics for a while because it is all done via post until the final hearing when you may have to attend Bristol

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