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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have just completed a job for a customer which was to supply

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We have just completed a job for a customer which was to supply and lay artificial grass. The area was very large and customer told that there would be joins (as with carpet it comes in different widths) and he was ok with that. On completion of the works the foreman asked him to stay off the grass in order for the glue to dry. On returning unexpectedly to the job the customer was found kicking a ball around on the grass.
He has now emailed with photographs showing where the joints are pulling away. The job was not in that condition when we left but we are quite prepared to put the work right. However he is saying that he does not want the joints re-gluing he wants new grass laying altogether. Can he demand we do this or are we within our rights to say that we will re-glue the joints? He says he'll take us to the small claims court if we do not do what he asks. The problem is that we're a small company and the cost to replace the grass alone (without labour) will be around £3,000 which we do not have. Please advise. We are not saying that we will not put the job right because we are prepared to do our best to settle this amicably

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

Would glueing joints again be sufficient to put this right?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, we think that it would be sufficient.

are you prepared to risk being sued?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No not if it can be avoided

Thank you.

The short answer is that you need to decide what your priorities are.

Ultimately, if you don't do what he wants he may sue. He may not. People do make threats of legal action all the time but they don't ever intend to act upon. However, equally there are vexatious people about who do sue. You need to decide whether you are prepared to run the risk.

Overall, if the facts are as you say then it is a risk worth taking.

The 1st challenge that you have is that he acted at variance to your recommendations and so you may not be liable at all.

Even if you are liable, you only have to make reasonable efforts to put things right. Things don't have to be perfect even under all of the consumer protection legislation. If it's just that he's got unreasonably high standards then he will have to manage his disappointment.

In terms of settling it amicably, that he is always best but it isn't always possible. If you are not prepared to replace the grass then it's not likely that he's going to be happy.

I would suggest writing to him reasserting your offer and making clear that the fault was caused by his use of the grass if that is your view of this.

If he does sue then you'll have to defend it but I think there is a good chance that you would win and I know that nobody wants to go to court but it is better than paying out £3000 and taking the risk they'll find something to complain about in that.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That's great Jo. Thank you

No problem and all the best.

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