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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I had a office constructed in my garden by a company. As part

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I had a office constructed in my garden by a company. As part of the build they installed bi-fold doors. Since installation in December 2012, the doors have been faulty. The manufacturer of the doors came to look at them in March 2013 and agreed they were faulty and needed to be replaced. Since that time I have had countless promises of new doors being delivered but nothing ever came. In July this year the Director of the company who had been my contact throughout left the business. The new director has now told me that if I want the doors replaced I will have to make a contribution towards the cost as the company which originally supplied them had now gone out of business (well, they ceased trading then opened up in a different name!). I maintain that my contract is with the company I signed the contract with and paid and not with any other 3rd party who they bought the product from, so I believe it is their responsibility to replace the doors to my satisfaction without further cost to me .... am I correct?
Yes, you are correct.
Your claim and contract is with the company, not the manufacturer.
May I help further?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the reply, but I need a little more advice.

Here is the most recent email from this company:

"What I would also wish to say is that you will appreciate we are bound by the supply of external goods by other manufacturers, thus we have no control of those goods supplied to us. We are quite prepared to assist and try and resolve this matter but do so strictly without any liability to do so in respect of goods that were subject to warranties of an independent manufacturer (now bankrupt).

Our proposed solutions are as follows:

  1. We refund you the supply price of the door (£1947.02), less the £900 outstanding on the contract, meaning a payment of £1047.02 to you and you source and fit a replacement.

  2. We supply and fit the door system as quoted by Chris Tonkin and confirmed by you on 10th June, on your undertaking to pay the £900 outstanding upon completion of the fitting of the door. We do not recommend this as it would appear to be similar to the present one in place.

  3. We supply and fit an alternative door system from RFM suppliers who undertook a recent site survey and you make a £350 contribution on the basis of earlier emails.

If you accept any of our solutions, this will be in full and final settlement of any dispute arising between us and in so far as third party products supplied by us, we do not warranty these, such warranties rest with the manufacturer of that product. "

Although solution 2 would seem to be the best option, they appear to be saying that they know they are sub-standard doors and so they'll replace them but it's my own problem if they go wrong and also there is no mention of disposing of the existing doors or making good any decoration that may be damaged in the process.

Solution 1 is unacceptable as I could not replace the doors for £1047 (I have no personal quotes on replacement as yet) and again, the onus is then on me to resolve the issue myself. The £900 outstanding is just the remaining payment from the staged payment of the entire build.

Solution 3 seems to be saying that they will replace with a better product but that I would have to pay the additional cost which I don't see why I should do.

In any case, they are saying that they take no responsibility for what happens after the doors are fitted.

Your advice on my position and next steps would be very much appreciated.

Hello again Jenny,
Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 ( as amended), your statutory rights are against the supplier, not the manufacturer.
The door must have been fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality and as described. It seems that it is not fit for purpose and it is up to the supplier to remedy the defect.
See here for more information on the above
I would suggest that you reply back to them asking them to source the alternative door from RFM at no cost to yourself and point out your statutory rights under the Sale of Goods Act and also remind them that your rights are against them, not the manufacturer.
If they refuse, you may report the matter to your local council trading standards and/or file a court claim against them as a last resort to enforce your statutory rights.
Hope this clarifies
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK - so I also spoke to Trading Standards who pointed me at the Supply of Goods and Services act 1982 and suggested I write to the company. What I want to say is that I will pay them the outstanding £900 after they install replacement doors of satisfactory quality and make good any decoration or damage, and remove from site any waste. Additionally that they remain responsible for any future defects - is that OK or are they able to maintain that any warranties are with the manufacturer? Can I also claim any compensation for the delay as they have been promising to replace the doors since agreeing they were faulty in March 2013 ... as the doors won't lock I can't secure my office and as they don't open beyond a certain point, I haven't been able to use them either.

They are being very stubborn about this and i'm sure it's going to mean actually filing a claim against them so I need to be sure what I'm claiming. Can I just get a quote from a local supplier and claim that as the value, or does it have to be the value they quoted from their supplier (i'm guessing i wouldn't get the same deal from a supplier as they do as they have significantly more buying power!)


Yes, you may inform them that you will pay the outstanding balance after they have fitted doors of satisfactory quality etc and they would be liable for future defects for up to 6 years and they cannot fob you off with manufacturer warranties.
Compensation will depend on what costs you have incurred as a result of the delay and what steps you took to mitigate your losses.
Yes, you may obtain a separate alternative quote and claim that from them but the final award and decision will lie with the courts.
Hope this helps. Please leave feedback
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