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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71056
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We paid a lot of money to have a complete new kitchen installed

Customer Question

We paid a lot of money to have a complete new kitchen installed by Wickes. A couple of months later we had a new central heating boiler installed, at which point we were told that there was no stop tap installed under our sink when Wickes installed the new kitchen. We complained to Wickes and they sent their installer out to have a look - he agreed that he could not find a stop tap but there was an isolation valve fitted. We want a proper stop tap that can be operated by hand - so that we can turn the water off if there is an emergency. Wickes are refusing to put this right for us - and are even trying to tell us that they don't fit stop taps anymore - although they admit that they still sell them in there stores.

What can we do about this?

Tim Fisher
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What would you like to know?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Does the law protect us ? Can we force Wickes to fit a proper stop tap?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Did you that they would specifically fit a stop tap?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The whole kitchen was replaced - the old kitchen was removed and the room was completely empty prior to the new kitchen being fitted.


Wicked told us that we did not need to worry - whatever needed to be done to instal the new kitchen to a high standard would be done - whether that was electrical, water or gas related.


When we complained Wickes sent the installer back to show us where the stop tap was. He thought that he has left us with as stop tap although not under the sink - but he could not find one anywhere in the kitchen.


When our boiler was replaced the heating engineer was very surprised that a stop tap was not fitted as we have no way to quickly turn off the water by hand if there was an emergency - and the isolation valve is retsricting the flow of water into the house.


When I studied the sale of goods act as part of my accountancy qualification, this was all about fitness for purpose and merchantable quality - does this still apply? In replacing our entire Kitchen do Wickes not have a duty to ensure that everything is as it should be? - and as they told us they would?


Tim Fisher

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Would it be possible to give me the information for which I asked? I understand you want to tell me everything but I really just need a yes or no answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No - they did not specifically state that a stop tap would be fitted.


But they told us that everything would be done to a high standard - and that is what we paid for.


Plumbers and heating engineers are telling me that a stop tap should have been fitted...

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Are they willing to go to court and say that please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Of course - When our new boiler was installed, the heating engineers were amazed that there was no stop tap - and said that a stop tap should have been fitted - and also said that the isolation valve that has been fitted where the stop tap should be is restricting the flow of water into the house - and that it can not be operated manually if the water needs turning off in an emergency.


Wickes kitchen installer thought that there was a stop tap and was surprised when he couldn't find one.


The real point is this: It is universally accepted that a stop tap should be fitted under the sink - everybody expects to find one there - but we don't have one because Wickes did not fit one when they installed our new kitchen - even though they told us that everything would be done to a high standard.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Its not that simple I'm afraid.

You cannot just go to court and say its universally accepted. You have to prove what you assert albeit only to the civil standard.

You didn't agree specifically that one should be fitted. That may not be a huge issue as it may be covered by the scoop up agreements that you made. In any event, you seem to be arguing that the police that have examined this work are saying that failing to fit one was negligent.

They are obviously under a duty to complete the contract with reasonable care. If you can raise evidence that they have not then you do have a claim.

The first thing you need to do is check whether or not these people will actually give evidence in your favour because actually it is by no means guaranteed that they will. People will say things during informal conversations that they won't repeat on oath and generally have better things to do than give evidence anyway.

Ultimately though if wickes refuse you cannot force them. You cannot get a court order forcing them to deliver better customer services than they do. The remedy then would be to pay another to complete the work and sue for the cost. The advantage may be that is a small claims court sum so cheap and wickes may settle to avoid the manpower wastage.

Can I clarify anything for you?