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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71147
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I ordered a new mast for a boat, and paid the deposit, they

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I ordered a new mast for a boat, and paid the deposit, they sent me a specification for the mast which I didn't except in writing, which they wanted me to do.
I got a better quote from another mast maker, so I asked for my deposit back, but the lady said this was not possible, as she had already bought some materials to start manufacturing the mast.
So I wondered if I have any chance of getting any money back.
***** *****
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you agree a cooling off period?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Did I agree a cooling off period

answer No

Was this is a distance sale?
If so, how quickly did you try to cancel?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I ordered over the internet

it has been a few weeks since I sent off the deposit

Is it a made to measure product?
Or standardised?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it is partly made to measure and partly standardised

Thanks for the information and the time.
I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.
Come what may, you submitted an order. If you paid a deposit then realistically they will be able to prove that you accepted the contract.
If it was made to measure then he distance selling regulations do not apply and so there is no automatic cooling off period unfortunately.
The fact that you have found a better deal is not a ground to cancel I'm afraid.
If you do cancel unlawfully they only have a claim for the sum of their loss which would be the cost of the products in question and no more but obviously that may negate the saving that you made by ordering elsewhere.
I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for that Jo, but does this mean they can charge me the full price for the mast?

You could argue that the only cost to them is ordering the parts so you are only liable for that sum but whether it will be cost effective to argue that is another matter.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think I should ask the company that last question, if they say they will charge me the full amount, I might as well order it from them, as the spec. is not too different from my latest offer.

Well, also bear in mind that the offer they make over the phone will almost certainly not be their best.
If they went to court over this then all they would get is their actual losses. It might well be that isn't worth suing over so they won't bother.
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