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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have a small business selling carpets and flooring, we

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I have a small business selling carpets and flooring, we hand an order for a new build property to supply carpets and laminate throughout and we booked fitters to install the products. The job was originally booked in for Friday the 2nd of March but the customer requested to change it at the last minute so we accommodated them and changed the date to Monday the 5th which because of the fitters prior commitments had to be split over several days. Once both the carpet fitter and laminate fitters had finished they done a walk round on every area with the customer as requested, on inspection after the fitting of the living room carpet the customer noticed a manufacturing falt which the fitter hadn't noticed, due to this falt the customer refused to pay the full balance due and withheld £350 which is a higher value to the cost of the living room carpet. The falt was reported and the manufacture sent out a replacement which was booked in at the first available time. While waiting on the replacement carpet coming in the customer called to say that one section of the laminate had moved slightly and had a small lip, we contacted the laminate fitter who carried out the work and he revisited the job on Thursday the 29th of march and reported back that he had fixed the issue, while he was at the property the customer pointed out another falt in one of the bedroom carpets that had been missed by both the fitter and customer on the original inspection on the day of fitting and that a few treds of the stair carpet had came loose, we asked the laminate fitter to inform the customer while he was there that the living room replacement had been booked in for Monday the 9th of April. Upon the fitters report we decided to order a new piece of carpet for the bedroom instead of reporting it as a manufacturing fault to save the customer waiting any longer. The carpet fitter arrived on the appointed day and replaced the living room and bedroom carpet and fixed the loose stair. The customer then contacted the shop to say that the laminate had popped up again, we then sorced another laminate fitter from a different shop and made arrangements for him to visit the customer today and inspect the flooring to see what the issue was and if he found a genuine issue he would fix it. On Tuesday the second the customer sent us a photograph of one of the treads on the stair where it seems the fitter has cut a small section short, she said in the message that she no longer wants the fitter to come and that she wishes to reject the whole order. We do not employ the fitters we act as an in between agent and book them to make the process easier for the customer, I have paid for a different fitter to come and fix the laminate and the tread carpet and paid for 2 extra packs of expensive laminate along with paying for the bedroom carpet to be changed. The customer received a 10% discount at the time of ordering and has held back £350. I have done everything I can to resolve the situation, where do I stand on refusing to refund her any money? The pictures I have seen of the flooring you can't see any falt but can't be sure until the new fitter has inspected the other fitters work. All the carpets have been installed correctly except the one tread on the stair which I have offered for the new fitter to replace today. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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

What are you ideally hoping to achieve?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
For the fitter that visits the house today to fix the issue.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Even if he fixes the remaining issues I have a feeling the customer will still be unsatisfied.

Thank you. When a person enters into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that the work must be carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession)

In addition, any information exchanged in communications between the parties, whether written or verbal, is binding if the consumer relies on it. This will include quotations and any promises about timescales or the results to be achieved.

If there are problems with any of the above, the customer will have certain rights:

In the case of substandard work - the trader should either redo the parts of the work which are inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost to the customer. This must be done within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience. If this is not possible, they can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. If you refuse to resolve the matter or your attempts to do so are unsuccessful, they can consider getting someone else to rectify the issues and either deduct these costs from the total owed to you, or pursue you for any extra costs that have been incurred.

Whilst the customer has the right to expect a repair or replacement, if these have been unsuccessful, they can eventually reject the order for a refund under the same Act. At the moment it appears there are small disagreements as to what is wrong with the goods and it is basically your opinion against theirs.

In some ways the easiest thing would be to let them keep the £350 and state that this is sufficient compensation for the issues they claim to have experienced and that you will not be refunding them any further.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - 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 reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Am I correct in thinking that the customer cannot reject the rooms that have been installed correctly and if they are not happy with what the fitter does today they can only reject the stairs carpet and the laminate in the utility room (the 2 areas they have an issue with). So if it came to it and I had to refund them any money I can add up the total for these two area and take it from the £350 still owed to us?

if there is no problem with some of the rooms they have no grounds to reject those. I know it was all probably done under one order but in reality, they will be treated separately. SO if you can estimate the problem areas then you can treat those separately and use the £350 they have withheld as part of the refund. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That’s great, thank you

you are most welcome

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
An update from the fitter who visited the customer today, he has advised in his opinion the issues with the laminate flooring are a manufacturing fault. I have now started the complaint process with the manufacturer, so I’m correct in thinking I cannot take any action with regards ***** ***** on the laminate flooring until the manufacturer has made a decision? In regards ***** ***** stair carpet I sent a replacement with the agreement with the customer he would replace that today and she wouldn’t let him do the work, how do I proceed with the issue with the carpet? Thank you

You do not have to wait for the manufacturer’s opinion before you have to take action with the customer. If it id clear that this is a manufacturing fault then you have your own separate rights towards the customer and they are not dependent on your rights with the manufacturer.

As to the carpet, if she no longer wants a replacement and has already had one that has not resolved the issue, she could technically ask for a refund if necessary, although as mentioned you can deduct the money she has withheld from that.

If your original query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above as it is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions if needed and the question will remain open. Thank you

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