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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71128
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need to know the length of time that a "7 day cooling off

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I need to know the length of time that a "7 day cooling off period" really means. I signed a contract for double glazing at approx 6pm on Monday 18 March and this said that I had to cancel the contract in writing or by email "within 7 days starting with the day you received this notice". I phoned the company at approx 1.30pm on Monday 25 March, prior to emailing the cancellation form after the call (which was just to apologise to the salesman for having to cancel). I was told that the cooling off period had ended and the contract could not be cancelled. After much discussion with the company (Safestyle UK), I did not email the cancellation form on that day (there seemed no point). However I decided not to accept their interpretation of the 7 days and sent the form by recorded delivery yesterday, Tuesday 26 March. Please could you tell me where I stand. At the moment the company has handed the case over to its solicitors. I'm a pensioner and very worried about what may happen.

Are they saying that these windows were made to your specification and so the cooling off period doesn't apply?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The windows haven't been fitted yet. I only signed the contract last Monday.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
For jomo1972
I have only just ordered them - last Monday - they haven't been fitted yet...
That wouldn't make any difference.

Does the contract say it has to be 7 working days or just days?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Just days.
It is rather unfortunate that you didn't email the cancellation document over on Monday. There's no way around that really now.

Its always possible to argue over the meaning of words in a contract. If the term 'days' was used then that would not normally be interpreted to mean working days. That would mean that the 25th was the last day of cancellation. What they seem to be trying to do is to include the day of the 18th March. Its reasonable enough to say that the 18th March was the date upon which time started running but it should start running from the time of the signing of the contract or upon midnight.

Overall, applying normal English meanings to the words in the contract 1.30pm on the 25th March was in time.

However, your problem is that the contract does clearly require cancellation in writing and you didn't cancel in writing. I realise you have an explanation for that but that remains the case.

In any event though, even if you cancel unlawfully they can still only claim the sum of their loss which will not be the cost of the windows as they have not made them yet. There may be some administration costs possibly but they are not going to get the full price of the contract.

Sorry if thats bad news but thats your position I'm afraid.

Hope this helps
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, this really helps. I know what I need to do now. The outcome is now due to my feeling that there was no point in getting the form there by the afternoon of Monday. I am pleased though that your interpretation of the "7 days notice" is the same as mine, as their interpretation determined the whole thing. Thanks so much!
Kind regards,
Yes, that is my interpretation but your problem is that you didn't email the document within the 7 days.