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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am having a new roof from Anglian conservatory originally supplied by Anglian 17

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I am having a new roof from Anglian for my conservatory originally supplied by Anglian 17 years ago. The Contract was signed in September and with delays we were offered a date the week before Christmas which was completely unacceptable. The new date was set for 20 January.
The fitters duly arrived only to find that the like-for-like replacement was totally different to the drawings we signed up to (both Sales Contract and Surveyor’s Form), but this was not discovered until the old roof had been removed. Since then we have been living under a temporary structure made up of bits of old and new. As well as visually different several of the dimensions were totally wrong and the whole would not line up with the existing building structure. Anglian agreed that this was completely unacceptable and they would remake and supply a new structure.
We also sought assurance from both the salesman, surveyor and Installation Manager that each of the glass panels would be one piece and not two.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Following on from previous text box - I didn't notice it was character limited...

Each time we raised it we were told that each would probably be one piece but would inform us if not. We have never formally be informed.

Weather permitting the new roof should be installed and it would seem very likely that the supplied panels will be two pieces rather than one.

Assuming the installation is completed this week we will be expected to sign a satisfaction note which clears the way for the Home Improvement Loan funding the project to commence. We are not disputing the quality of the product, nor the hard work of the fitters to do a good job.

I would like advice as to at what stage to seek compensation for the delays and subsequent issues; should I or can I withhold full payment (if I go ahead with the loan) or to part pay from my own funds; and whether I can seek redress for the two-part glass panels. There are very good reasons as to why the bar between each section is going to prove a problem in our roof design. Total Contract Price is £9181.00.

Thank you for any advice you can offer.

What specific loss have you suffered as a result of this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

None other than the inconvenience of not have the work done before I have to complete the subsequent decorating and delaying my gardening work as the growing season starts.

Secondly the roof panels being two are separated by a bar and due to the slight pitch will always be a trap for moss down from the roof above and dirt which will not conveniently wash away. The roof will therefore require regular cleaning which a single panel will not.

That is not good news I'm afraid.
Did you agree that time was of the essence in the contract? Were those specific words used?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No - I know that from my business times that it's a necessary phrase to use! However it is the change in the design and the supply in a roof that would not fit - and of course the subsequent re-manufacture delay that is where there is inconvenience.

It is really the glass panel issue that is the greater disappointment. However for technical reasons it may be that the glass panels cannot be manufactured to the size we require - only we have never been told that that is the case.

We had a previous quotation from another company where they too doubted whether they could manufacture to the size required (at a price we can afford!). However Anglian did try to assure us that all was possible and that they would inform us if it was not. They have never done so - except shown us very belatedly that the glass was probably going to be manufactured in two pieces per panel.

Oh yes, clearly they are in breach. There is no doubt over that. The problem here is that they not in breach in any way that causes you claimable loss. It is just general inconvenience which is not a head of compensation in the UK.
In terms of the errors, they must put those right but they do not seem to be saying that they will not on the face of it here.
If they cannot put it right then you are entitled to your money back and to have the property restored to what you had before because that is an issue of negligence as well as breach of contract. If the property cannot be restored then they will have to offer some acceptable alternative.
If it is just they cannot do it economically then they will probably have to bear the loss if you went to court over this. It is something they should have noticed long before you acted to your detriment.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

Should I withhold my job satisfaction signature and hence the full payment via the loan agreement or part pay (with my own funding) on the grounds that they have not totally delivered what I had ordered (the single part panels) - and that I was not told about two part panels until too late.

It is impossible to put the old roof back so we are stuck with what they have (or ultimately will) install.

If you are not satisfied then I wouldn't even think about signing a job satisfaction form.
Surely they havent' finished the work so are not demanding payment?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No they are not demanding anything yet. Only when the fitters complete their work hopefully this week will I be offered the Job Complete form. If I owe them money they have a stronger case to offer some compensation or appeasement. If I pay up then they will be less inclined to offer anything - except if I threaten litigation through (I guess) the Small Claims Court.

However I would be concerned that withholding the payment may in itself be risky in its own right which is the basic reason I have approached legal advice.

I wouldn't even think of paying until they have finished the job.
It is quite unlikely that they would sue given that they haven't done the work. If they do though you would have a defence on that basis.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So I should refuse to sign their Job Complete form and inform them that they are in breach of contract in the fact that they have not supplied the glass panels as shown in the two drawings. They did not inform me that they would not be able to manufacture the panels in one piece as discussed at the three meetings with their Salesman, Surveyor and Installation Manager.

In reality I am looking for a reasonable level of compensation circa 20% of the contract price (negotiable).

I'm not sure what the compensation is for?
They are not saying that they will not do this yet?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry Jo. I understand your query.

It is most likely that each of the glass panes will be supplied in two parts and joined what is called a Muntin Bar. From an engineering point of view it is the norm for these smaller sheets. Buildings (like the Shard) with huge sheets requires a very much more expensive process. My sheets are about 3.4m long which is about the maximum size before going to the more expensive manufacturing process. Anglian and the like do not specify anything like maximum sizes etc. Their "agents" just promise "to get back to you" if they can't supply to the size required - only they never did get back to me. As an engineer I understand the issue. As a customer I am dissatisfied that they never told me before it was too late to try and find an alternative supplier.

What I want is an inexpensive way of getting reasonable compensation for what is a poor design and hence poor communication with the customer without too much hassle. Basically they cocked up and I want some reasonable resolution for this. The glass cleaning issue is not a very major inconvenience but a nuisance just the same.

I am really sorry but I am not sure there is any claim for compensation here.
It might be that I cannot see the issue from your side but I just cannot see any claimable loss. If the offer wasn't suitable then it really should have been refused.
If it has been accepted as an alternative replacement then there may be a claim in compensation to reflect specific loss.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much Jo

I'll rate your service now for your guidance and help. I understand that there's probably not much I can expect.

Have a good evening!

No problem.
All the best.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Whoops - there's no rate tab here this time!

Is there not?
Don't worry. I can get customer services to look at this for you if you indicate a rating.
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