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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have had a study installation which is made of oak veneer.

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I have had a study installation which is made of oak veneer. The plans made no mention of a join in the work surface and this was not discussed at the planning process. The first top the company fitted no attempt was made to match colour or the pattern of the grain. This was re done and the firm consider it to now be of ‘show room standard’. I don’t. The join glares because, again, no attempt has been made to match the grain. In addition the frames on which the worktop sit do not meet correctly. There is a mismatch of about 2 to 3 millimetres. In addition there are two plugs which have not been fitted in the base of my cupboard. This is a very minor detail. I have refused to pay the last amount, just over £500, because of the poor workmanship.
At the firms request I have sent photos of the problem and have been promised another inspection to see where we go next. They have suggested that I could refer the case to the Furniture Ombudsman if I am not happy and I am quite prepared to do this.
Although I am awaiting a further inspection they are still perusing me for the final payment. Would you be able to tell me if I am legally allowed to with hold my final payment until I have a product I am satisfied with?
Thanking you in advance for your assistance.
Kathryn Newman
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.May I ask when the installation was completed roughly please and when you first complained about the finish?Did you complain in writing - e.g. email or has everything been done verbally?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The second worktop was completed on Friday 10th April this year. I told the fitter at the time that I was still not satisfied. I sent a letter of complaint on the same date and following correspondence from the company I sent a further letter on 19th April. In addition I had a brief telephone call from Paula on 13th April because she was requiring payment. During that conversation I informed her that I was still not satisfied.

Yesterday they sent me the incorrect plugs for the cupboard along with an oddly worded letter which I need to clarify. Today I have had another request for payment .

Thank you. You an extensive set of rights by virtue of your contract with the installer. This set of rights imply terms into your contract by virtue of the Supply of Goods and Services Act that the installation must be fit for purpose, as described and of satisfactory quality. During the first six months, any faults are automatically assumed to be inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage or otherwise under the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. After the first six months, the burden of proof switches to you to show that any faults are inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage though this is often (though not always) self evident based on the nature of the fault or damage. Because it is less than 6 months since the study was installed from what you say at the time you reported the issue, any faults you complain of automatically assumed to be the responsibility of the installer though due to the nature of the faults in question they could not be argued to be damage caused by you anyway. Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act you can you can insist upon a repair or replacement of the installation initially at the installers discretion. This right lasts for up to six years under the Limitation Act against the installer though will be limited to what is reasonable given the life expectancy of the installation. You are required to give the installer reasonable opportunity to repair or replace the desk. There is no specific prescribed number of times that you must must allow them the opportunity to do so however if they have failed to repair or replace the same more than two-three times or refuse to repair or replace the same this would usually be held to be satisfactory opportunity to do so and you would then be within your rights to instruct an alternative contractor to quote to remedy the matter by repair or replacement and look to the original supplier for the cost.In terms of how you may wish to proceed you may wish to allow the installer one further attempt to remedy but may wish to tell them that you consider this to be the last opportunity if they have attended already twic before and if they are unable to rectify to your reasonable satisfaction you may contract your own contractor to quote to remedy the issue.You are able to withold a sum you believe may cover the remaining work to be done though you should not be excessive in the amount of retention beyond the costs you believe are required to complete the work to your satisfaction. If the installer has an issue with this all they are able to do is issue proceedings in the county court which you could counterclaim against for the cost of an alternative contractor as above. Consumer legislation is very strong so the installer would be at somewhat of a disadvantage in this respect if the matter did proceed to court given the nature of your complaints. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
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