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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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In 2012 I contacted a specialist to restore my VW Camper-van

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In 2012 I contacted a specialist to restore my VW Camper-van [Type 2 Bay]. He asked for a deposit of £1,000 which I paid by cheque dated 24.11.12. When he picked up the vehicle on 19th March 2013 he asked for a sum of £2,185 for the purchase of a hydraulic suspension [this to accommodate getting my wheelchair aboard through the side door without long ramps]
He gave me to understand that work might not commence for twelve months and I was happy with this - I thought I had found someone knowledgeable to undertake the work.
We heard nothing from the proprietor and went to see him early on in 2014 wondering whether he could be more certain about a finish date - autumn that year was the first date we received. It was then promised for the 2015 summer season, Eventually my son went to see him in the summer and he said it would be ready for the autumn.
When we next visited, the van was stripped out and was [he said] due to go somewhere else for sand-blasting the following week. It wasn`t - nothing else had been done to it.
When we visited in December [still nothing done] the proprietor said he could`t do the repairs for the price he`d originally quoted and suggested he buy one from the America and he would then convert it to right hand drive - the cost would be between £6-8,000.
But if we didn`t like it when seen, he would revert to the original pplan of restoration for my van - that it could still be done. He told us it would take about six weeks to get one.
By the beginning of March this year there was no contact from him so I telephoned, two weeks running, and left messages saying I was getting fraught because of the necessity of a mobility vehicle for my wheelchair.
With no word from him, my son went to see him in late March and said he would be collecting the van [the US states substitute van had still not arrived] My son asked for the return of the sum of £2,185 for the suspension but this was refused [he couldn`t show my son an invoice for proof of purchase or confirmation of the amount]
In addition to the deposit of £1,000 I paid him a further £3,000 early last year since there was a promise to get on with the work. The proprietor gave my son a cheque for £3,700, deducting £300 [he said] for work carried out. I have asked him to produce an invoice for this alleged work but no response.
When the van came home there literally was just a shell. Various parts my husband had bought new over the years preceding its restoration by the company were missing. And being out in the open in their yard for so long it had naturally deteriorated even more so. The current catalogue price of the items missing is £1900+
Additionally, when we checked with the company who supplied the suspension they confirmed from the photo we sent to them, that what my son had been given was in fact an incomplete suspension for a Split Screen VW Camper and would not fit our model.
I wrote to the proprietor, giving him 14 days to respond to my letter, setting out all the points above. By email he responded by stating we have been given the right suspension but he has given us two parts `by mistake`. And apparently he has all the other parts I detailed in my letter!
When we saw the state of the shell he had returned to us we were shocked and realised that it would take far more money than we had set aside for the renovation of the van. With no garage to keep the shell in we have had to take the decision to sell it as spares - we managed to get just £500 for it. [we kept photos of the shell showing its state]
Can you please advise the following:
1. Should we expect re-payment of the £2,185 we paid for the suspension in 2013 - it is of course no good to us now, taking account of the state of the van returned to us;
2. Likewise the parts he withheld: no doubt these too have deteriorated outside and again are no good to us;
3. Likewise the £300 balance outstanding from the £4,000 he has received.
4. He has breached the contract we had and there would be no point in asking him to complete the contract - I don`t feel able to trust him any more over anything. I have asked him to pay me the original sum he quoted ie £10,000 towards providing a vehicle we can use.
Like any other enthusiast for old vehicles, all of this has hit us hard and caused much distress at a time when we are retired and could enjoy using the van. We finally decided to extract more of our savings and buy a camper van which is `good to go` It has cost us £18,000 but we don`t have to worry about charlatans any more.
Please could advise if what is outlined above is a realistic expectation.
Yours sincerely
Sandra ******* [Mrs]
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.What is it you would like to achieve please?Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The restitution of monies paid to the company for work not carried out and a realistic sum for breach of contract
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
.........and for parts of vehicle not returned
Do you have a number we can chat on?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
all I wanted to know was where I stood in re-claiming money paid out and advice re Breach of Contract. I cannot see how this can be improved by a conversation - a simple written response would do. I therefore terminate this conversation without fee since I have received no advice
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response. Have already written to company giving them 14 days - the 12th April was the 14th day. I did set out the losses and but wasn`t sure I quoted the right figure for Breach of Contract - I asked for £10,000 which was the original sum he said he would renovate the van for. This would in no way now cover the cost of renovating the shell he has returned. Should it have been a higher figure? This would of course, take me over the limit for foregoing legal representation.
No, this is ok. You can claim for £10k which would be a small claim.Does that help? Alex