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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49858
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have supplied a product to a customer and it is in

Customer Question

Hello, we have supplied a product to a customer and it is in dispute as the customer would like to return it after 8 months
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Why are they returning it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We supplied and installed a coldroom & Freezer room in March 2016 and up till now the customer hasn’t paid us the whole amount. The total amount was 13,000+vat from which he has only paid £9000.Below is a time line of events:Feb 20th : Customer places an order for installation on the 18th March
March 18th: Order is delayed and customer has his machinery coming on the 27th March from Germany.
March 26th: Order is received and installed by our sub-contractors, but customer has no electrical supply and cannot work anything in his building. Everything is at a stand still
March: 26th: as a good will gesture we installed all the cabling, completed by the sub-contractors.
March 27th: machinery arrives, but customer has given us the wrong supplies, therefore we existing cabling had to be taken down and rebuilt by us (no charge to customer)
March 28th: customer receives machinery and starts to use the equipment. But will not pay us the remaining balance.
April 14th: customer advises that the systems aren’t reaching temperature.
April 15th: Original sub-contractors went out and informed the unit was ok
April 16th: Customer advises no change and still not working correctly
April 17th: we send out a new engineer and advised that the job was not done correctly by our subcontractors
April 18th: the unit is recalibrated
April 30th: the customer advises the system is leaking water inside the room
May 1st: our staff attend site and evaluate. We notice big gaps in the room and inform customer we will repair.
May 5th: room is repaired
May 17th: customer advises room is leaking water on the outside.
May 19th: we send out a new engineer and they advise the systems are working fine and they cannot find a fault
May 22nd: customer again complains about leaking water.
May 23rd: we go to investigate and we see heavy sweating on the outside of panels but nothing inside and systems running as normal
May 26th: we send out a different engineer and he cannot find anything wrong with the room – but he notices the customer jet washing the entire production area with warm water. He advises this is the reason why there is sweating. The humidity is very and high in the area and advises customer they require an air con system in the production area.
August 12th: customer has an audit and they are informed to purchase strip curtains and also get the issue of the leaking water resolved. As a good will gesture we supply these to allow the customer to settle the bill but the customer does not pay and they push the issue back to us.
1st September: we completely take down the room with the issue and re-build from scratch, with excess sealant.
12th October: customer again complains of leaking water outside the room and also heavy ice build up on the strip curtains. We advise the humidity is so high the leaking water will continue and also the strip curtains immediately gather the moist air the moment the door is open and then freezer when the door is closed.Throughout the whole process the customer has been using the rooms.The customer has no intention of settling the balance and due to the high humidity the issue will never be resolved until they install an air-conditioning system. The heavy ice build-up is the major sign that there is high humidity. They are now asking us to take the rooms down and refund their payment in full.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The electrical supplies that we put in came to a total of £2100+vat
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you and what specific queries do you have about this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i would like to know if we should uninstall the whole system and refund or take it further and fight for the remainder of the
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Are you confident in showing hat the humidity is now the only issue causing problems?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we are very confident. To confirm 100% we would need to physically record the humidity to determine this. We would like to do this but the customer will not entertain us.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

ok thanks leave it with me please I will respond fully later today

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If you are confident that the issue is with the humidity and are reasonably certain that you can prove this if given the chance, then you may wish to consider taking them further for the remainder (or at least a proportion of it).

Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. 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 debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, 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 recover the debt. 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. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here:

4. If you wish to go down the legal route instead of a statutory demand, a claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor 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.

I also suggest that you make a formal request to be allowed to measure the humidity and state that if they refuse and you have to make a claim, then this behaviour would be seen unreasonable by the court and can go against them.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.