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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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We are a small gas heating company in England. Our customer

Customer Question

We are a small gas heating company in England. Our customer contacted us in Oct 2011 with a fault on his boiler. We attended the property and found the fault we then supplied the correct part and fitted it to the full satisfaction of the customer. We left the property with the boiler system working fully and correct.

then on the 3/4/13 the same customer contacted us again with another fault with the same boiler, again we attended and found the fault {which was the same part we had supplied and fitted in our first job with this customer} again we supplied the same part and fitted it to the full satisfaction of the customer who agreed and paid the bill in full by cheque. We again left the customer happy with the boiler system working fully and correct.

on the 8/4/13 the customer contacted us and stated that he had subsequently conted the manufactures of the part and had been advised by them that the part in question had a 5 year warranty, the customer now stated that they wanted a full refund for the works conducted. For i.e. a full refund for the part supplied and for the labour of diagnosing the fault and fitting the new part.

I feel that it is not our responsibility to provide labour to find the fault and fit the new part for free as we only guarantee our work for 1 year or is it our responsibility to be aware of the 5 year warranty the customer has with the manufactures for the original part.
The customer is now threatening to take us to court for a full refund.

Please advise us of our rights and anything I can quote to the customer to state our legal standing with regards XXXXX XXXXX matter.

I feel that we have responded and attended to the customers request of a service from us in good faith and have done what was legally required of us so why should we now refund him our fees.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

Unless I have all the facts that I need, my answer would not be accurate.

Have you spoken to the manufacturer?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have spoken to them and they are happy to replace the part for free they will send us the new part with the paper work for us to obtain a refund from our supplier. but the customer is also insisting on a full refund for the part and our labour.


below is the customers first email


Hello Mr Webster,

These are the contact details for Horstmann Controls:


Roman Farm Road

Bristol BS5 1UP

Tel: 0117 978 8700

I spoke to their Customer Services Dept who advised there is a five year warranty on the unit.

Technically the situation as I see it is:

· Your supplier sold you a unit which subsequently proved to be defective within the warranty period which you then sold on to me in good faith.

· Your suppliers redress is to whoever he obtained the unit from, not our concern

· Your redress is for your supplier to reimburse you either in money, credit or goods to the value of the damages you have suffered

· For my part, the controller has failed within its warranty period so it should be changed free of all charges.

The analogy is, say you had a new alternator fitted to your van which has a one year warranty. If that alternator fails within a year and you take your van back to whoever fitted the replacement alternator, would you expect to pay for either the alternator or to the labour costs.

I appreciate we are dealing with smaller organisations here and I also appreciate the service from you but clearly I most certainly do not want to pay for the replacement controller as it is within warranty.

When I spoke to Horstmann, they had no problem with dealing with a defective controller but in law neither you nor I have a contract with Horstmann so I have to deal with you and you with your supplier.

However, do speak with Horstmann if you wish as they may be able to short circuit the process.

Let me know when you want to collect the defective unit and I will ensure there is someone in







today i received a recorded delivery letter from customer


stating that the as the original unit had failed in the warranty period that the item should have been replaced for no cost and that he wants a full refund of part and labour within 14 days from date of letter that the letter is writtern in compliance with the Practice Direction -Pre- Action Conduct compliant with section 7.0{1} and {2} and the period to settle in para 6 is cmpliant with section 2.


and that if we do not compl;y he witll issue proceedings to recover the full amount and other unprovided expenses i.e for correspondence at the professional rate for his consultancy £120.00 plus vat and any fees associated with the logging of the claim etc.


i however feel that he agreed our fees for our works and paid the at the the time in question with a cheque and that this is a form of contract and agreement that we had fulfilled our obligations of Supply of Goods & Services. and that although the part may have a 5 year warranty with the manufacture our services do not come under that warranty and the warranty is between him and the manufacture and is not our responiblity.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

would probably metaphorically tell him to get lost!

manufacturer cannot bind you to a five-year warranty and you have done
everything that is required under the Supply of Goods and Services Act from the timescales you give. If you had said it has 5 year warranty the situation might be different but you didn't.

he wants to take it up with the manufacturer then let him.

him that if it is minded to take the matter to court, you will simply defend
his action.

agree with the points you make.