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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 8151
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My husband and I ordered electric gates from a local

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My husband and I ordered electric gates from a local reputable business in December 2019 with delivery of same to be expected end of January/start of February 2020. We paid €800 deposit (receipted) to the sales representative on 2nd December after she visited our home. There was some ground work to be done in advance of the fitting of the gates so we didn’t push on the delivery in February as the weather had been too wet to dig the field and lay the power cable. This month my husband tried unsuccessfully to contact the rep. to get a delivery date. Having left a few voicemails, he then rang the office directly. It transpires that she no longer works for them, having been let go in late December. There is no record with the office of our order, and they did not receive the €800 deposit. Unfortunately, we are not the only ones this has happened to – the business owner reckons she swindled upwards of €50k from unsuspecting ‘customers’. My question is - does the business owner have any liability in this? We have a quotation and order receipt from the company’s branded docket books and she was driving a company van (fully signed) when she took our deposit. Apparently she is now in rehab but that’s not much good to us and all the business owner is saying is that the whole case has been passed to the guards. Have we any recourse?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Count Tipperary - Ireland
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Apparently the business owner has contacted the guards.
JA: Anything else you want the Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so, thanks.

Hello, this is Jim and I’m a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) happy to help you today.

Yes, the business owner is vicariously liable for the acts of that sales person, meaning the owner is liable for what they have done. I realise there is a criminal case but from a civil liability point of view - the owner is liable and they must reimburse you.

Your rights have been breached under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980. The service has to be carried out with proper care and diligence otherwise you can demand your money back.

You should write to the owner and tell them this and that you want your money back in 14 days otherwise you will sue. I attach a letter which you can use for this purpose - you need to give them 14 days to pay the refund to you.

You can use the Court Service Online website to start a claim against the company.

The fee to start the claim is 25 euro and this is added on to the amount which you paid to the company.

You will need to register as a new user at

Once you have done that, the Small Claims Registrar serves the court documents upon the defendant. If the defendant disputes the claim then the Registrar sends you a copy of the response.

The Registrar will try to resolve the claim for you both - if it does not resolve then the Registrar will pass the claim to the nearest District Court (yours is at Clonmel) where in most cases the dispute is decided on paper but the judge may decide to list a hearing in case the papers do not enable them to make a decision.

I hope this helps? If you would kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), the question will stay open and any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,


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