The undertakers are potentially in breach of the provisions of either the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which has superseded the Sale of Goods Act the Sale of Goods Act depending on whether the contract was before 1 October 2015 or after. However the provision is the same that goods supplied under a contract must be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.
It is a headstone and therefore it’s fit for purpose. It may not be satisfactory quality but it is fit for purpose. The example I use to explain fit for purpose is that if I want something to plough a field, and I get sold a bicycle, but it’s not fit for purpose.
They may also be in breach of the provision that any goods must be as described and therefore, it must be as they told you it would be.
If the undertaker decides to take you to court, then you have no option but to defend his action.
It seems that you told them you wanted enough room for 2 occupants and yet the amount of space for the second occupant is quite cramped and hence I get the impression that you feel that the second occupant would appear to be an “afterthought”.
Whether you would succeed if this went to court, in defending the action would depend on whether the judge agreed that there was not equal space for 2 people and whether you had actually given those instructions at outset. I assume there is going to be no dispute over the instructions that were given.
This should be Small Claims Court because the amount claimed and the maximum amount of solicitors costs that could be claimed is limited to about £100 if he is successful.
Before rushing off to court, I suggest that you have a photograph of the headstone and ask a few people if they agree with what you are saying. If they do, then defend the action.
It’s unusual for stonemasons not to give an exact layout for approval, before this “gets written in stone”. Even though it may be another company’s fault (the stonemason) it is the funeral director who is responsible to you if this is not as it was supposed to be and as they described to you.
What I would suggest is that rather than simply ignore their protestations and tell them that you’re not paying, you tell them to come and remove the stone and amend the writing (it is their problem how they do that) and give them specific instructions as to what it looks like now and what it should look like. What may have happened is that they simply forgot to tell the stonemason that was to be of the space for someone else at later stage in time.
Can I clarify anything for you? Please do not forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid. We can still exchange emails.