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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50174
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I placed an order sofa following a visit to the

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I placed an order for a sofa following a visit to the Ideal Home Exhibition on 26 March. I placed a 3,000 deposit on my AMEX card over the phone during which time verbal terms were agreed as to the price, credit arrangements for the balance and the additional purchase of a rug.
Up until 3 May, I had received no confirmation that my order had been placed or the anticipated delivery date. The Company contacted me on 3 May by phone to get personal info to set up the credit agreement for the balance. Having discussed the situation with my wife, we both decided that we could not afford the sofa and would have to cancel the order. I wrote to the Company on 3 May sending a letter by registered post explaining the situation and requesting the return of my deposit.
I have now received a letter from Designer Sofas, Brent South Shopping Park which states that they are unable to cancel the order at this late stage. They explain that I have been advised verbally and in writing that they cannot accept any cancellation because the goods were being especially ordered for us so that they could satisfy our June/July time constraint. They also state that they find it disappointing that a customer 6 weeks after placing an order would attempt to leave them with a bespoke model in the warehouse refusing to now take delivery. They have asked us to contact them to make arrangements to pay the balance.
Please could you let me know where I stand in regard to consumer rights. At no time has the Company contacted us before they wanted the remainder of the balance and I want the return of my deposit.
Andy Briddon
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What is the cancellation policy on the agreement?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have never received any agreement and no terms were discussed.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Many thanks for your patience. Generally, when a person places an order for something and pays a deposit they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the seller. It is implied that the seller has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the buyer wants to proceed with the contract. Unless the seller subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the buyer would have no legal right to cancel the agreement and if they do so they will be acting in breach of contract and risk losing their deposit. If this was a business seller, they will be subject to certain consumer rules and regulations. For example, you will have some protection under Schedule 2, Regulation 1(d) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. It states that if the contract has been cancelled after a deposit has been placed you are entitled to have the deposit returned in full, unless the seller has spent time, effort and money, in which case they can deduct reasonable expenses. This is the issue because if this was a bespoke item which has already started being built then they would have obviously incurred expenses in doing so and you are unlikely to be able to claim the deposit (or at least all of it). Even if some expenses have been incurred, if these are subsequently recovered, for example by selling the item to someone else, the deposit should still be returned in full. It follows that a blanket non-refundable clause that entitles the seller to keep the deposit in all circumstances is most likely going to be unfair and unlawful. If you are having difficulties in recovering the deposit when you believe you are entitled to have it returned, advise the seller that you will not hesitate reporting them to the Office of Fair Trading and, if necessary, pursue the matter further through the county court. Exerting such pressure could often work in changing the seller's position in this matter. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can follow should you decide legal action is needed to pursue this, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben. Apologies for the delay in replying, we have been considering our options based on your advice.We have decided to continue with the order as I do not believe the Company will return our deposit and are likely to demand significant compensation. According to my research they do not have great reviews for customer service, so I just hope the sofa meets our expectations. Many thanks for your help.
Thank you for getting back to me and glad you have come to a decision - hopefully it ill all end up fine but feel free to get back to me should you nee further advice in the future. All the best