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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6430
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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My 85 year old mother took out a Home Care Service agreement

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Hi. My 85 year old mother took out a Home Care Service agreement with British Gas and paid £194.22 over the 'phone with her debit card. This was on 18 Nov 2014. British Gas made an appointment to carry out a service of my mother’s central heating system but the engineer did not turn up as arranged. Mum left it thinking BG would contact her to arrange another appointment. This never happened. Having checked her bank statement and satisfied herself that the money had been debited, she waited, expecting BG to re contact her. This never happened. On 16 Oct 2015, experiencing problems with her central heating, she rang BG to get the system serviced, only to be told there was no record of her payment and no agreement had been raised. On behalf of my mother, I then commenced lengthy enquiries with BG on 20 Oct 2015, and after several fruitless ‘phone calls, I lodged a complaint by e mail on 12 November 2015. I supplied BG with a copy of mum's bank statement on 26 Nov but it still took them until 7 Jan 2016 to locate the missing payment and admit they'd misplaced her money in another account! They are now repaying the original sum and have offered £100 compensation for all the trouble caused. I have rejected this. BG then asked what I would feel was fair compensation. I put forward £500 as a realistic sum, which they have rejected, offering £180 as the maximum (despite oddly enough offering £194.22 as compensation when they could not trace the missing money?) Is this in your opinion a fair amount? Is BG in breach of contract? If so, what are my options?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Did your mother suffer any additional financial loss as a result of them failing to provide the service under the contract?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had to call out a plumber, who serviced and replaced valves, costing almost £300
You are right that they were in breach of contract for failing to attend to the work. Your mother therefore would be entitled to claim damages in breach of contract for her losses resulting from the breach. You can therefore send a letter before action to claim for the amount of the callout on top of the refund of the annual fee (as she now does not have the benefit of the ongoing service). I would send a copy of the invoice and say if they do not meet it you will take them to the small claims court. She is not entitled to any further compensation than her actual financial loss as in this country it is not possible to claim for damaged feelings etc. I hope that helps. Please let me know if there is anything further you would like to know. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Jenny. Just one last question, I take it that the action re small claims court would need to be carried out by my mother i.e. this is not something I could do on her behalf?
Hi you would have to claim in her name but there would be no problem with you dealing with it and representing her in the unlikely event it got to a hearing.
Hello I would be grateful if you would please take the time to rate my answer before leaving the site as I am not otherwise credited for my time answering your question. Thank you and all the best
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