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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50158
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Won some lots at auction, one lot was added to our invoice

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won some lots at auction, one lot was added to our invoice that showed a different picture to the listing title, we agreed to take the lot 3 x numatic vacuums, provided it was as per the listing title and not the picture, the auction house verbally confirmed it was.
We bid on another auction and won 17 further items, however the following morning we had an issue.
The pallet delivery arrived which we signed for, and when we unpacked the delivery we found that lot missing. We checked the packing list and it is shown not fully checked off - all other lots were.
Upon calling the auction house and explaining the issue I said could they add those three vacuums on the second pallet or if they were lost then could they refund us. They verbally agreed to do this and asked us to pay the second invoice. However, before I had had a chance to do this, they phoned again and reneged on this, they said 2 people had checked the lots on and all lots were sent.
I complained about this and advised that this was definitely not the case and the packing list showed this, they said that their packing list showed all items checked off and that now "3 people" had checked the lots.
I sent them pictures of the boxes that were sent, 6 boxes, (5 boxes with 2 vacuums each, 1 box with 1 vacuum + tools).
They replied again and said that "at least 3" people had checked the packing and that it was packed 4 boxes with 3 vacuums in each, 1 with only the tools and 1 with 2 vacuums.
I sent more pictures, explaining that you can only fit 2 vacuums to a box, showing if you put in a third there is a huge bulge on top and you cant seal the boxes. They replied saying the boxes were not packed flat.
How they can suggest this when you cant possibly stack 3 layers of boxes like this on a pallet - they'd fall off! Additionally they said that the pallet company had also checked the items onto the pallet, so that now they had 4 people on their side and I had nothing as my partner had signed for the pallet.
Where do I stand on this? I spoke to the pallet company about it, they said that there is no way they would check things onto a pallet. Additionally the delivery driver at our end delivered something else to us today, he said that if we'd have asked him to wait while he unpacked the pallet he would have refused as they don't have time to do that.
I have since discovered that this company have a history of missing items when shipping, also incorrect items compared to what is shown on the listing and pictures. I am very unhappy and I'd like to issue a small claim against them but are they right? Do we have a leg to stand on given that we didnt check the pallet while the delivery driver was there and just signed for it?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Please can you tell me if you have made a formal complaint with the company regarding this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hiyes I have, I complained right from the start, they have rejected my complaints saying they did send the items. I have now formally given them 7 days before legal proceedings.This was their replyHi Denise,As previously stated we cannot help any further with this issue.Any further contact should be made through solicitors as you have advised you are taking legal action.RegardsLeanne
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. What is important in this case is whether you had a contractual obligation to check the items on delivery and raise concerns the driver at the time. If this requirement was part of the contractual agreement and you failed to follow these steps, then your rights will be somewhat limited, even if you genuinely did not receive the lot in question. Whilst I have no doubt that the items were not there, such clauses are in place to ensure abuse by people who may have received the items but later claimed that they had not. As such, applying this clause should resolve any disputes and if you did not apply it when you had the contractual requirement to do so, you would weaken your position. Even if the driver had said that he would not wait, you should have at least tried to do this and then you can always claim that your intentions were there but that they had refused to check the items with you and then their position would weaken instead. But as mentioned all of this is based on whether you were contractually required to do this. If you did not, they cannot claim that by not doing it you can no longer pursue this further, you certainly can, although it is essentially your word against theirs so there will be a risk involved as a court may not necessarily find in your favour. The good thing at least is that this will go to the small claims court where your potential liabilities even if you lost are relatively low. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to take this mater further, 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
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenThank you, ***** ***** checked and there are no conditions in terms of delivery, this appears to be an "add on" service and we were just told to add on £45 for delivery to our payment.We deal with a lot of different auction houses and most have in place terms to protect them against errors/ommissions in terms of the listings, this is why we only conditionally agreed to take lot 1264 if it was as the listing title said "3 x Numatic vacuums" and not as the picture showed - 3 x Hoover Vacuums. I specifically asked them to go and look, their first response was to refuse and threaten to ban me if I didn't pay up, but after some phone calls explaining that I didn't actually bid on that lot, they said someone had checked and confirmed it was 3 x Numatic vacuums.It is my belief they never bothered to check and just said they were Numatic Vacuums to just get rid of me (I phoned and emailed several times) I think that probably if they go and check in their warehouse, they will find those vacuums. It seems from other reviews of this company they will not refund, whatever the reason and feel that their T&C exempts them from any duty of care whatsoever.I have copies of the original auction bidding history which shows I did not bid on lot 1264, emails explaining this and requesting they confirm that they are (the actual confirmation was verbal though as I got nowhere with the email) I have a copy of the lot in question showing the lot number and the picture, I have pictures of the items boxed to show you cannot fit 3 to a box as claimed, I have pictures of the tape on the box as they are declaring that the boxes were not sealed flat - the tape shows a cut line along a flat packed top. I have copies of all their emails and mine. Additionally I am trying to get written confirmation from the pallet company that they would never check individual items on a pallet.I know its only £103.03 worth of items, but this company treated me so badly I want them to pay up! I got off the phone feeling accused of being a liar and was absolutely appalled.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here are their T&C for that auction was this lot that was missing
Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi BenCan I just ask, since I have emailed the notice and they have responded is that sufficient, or does it need to really be sent by post?
No it does not need to be sent by post, emails can suffice as ell s long as you keep copies and know that they are being received