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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Law
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Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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I have sold 2 wardrobes on gum tree (first time seller). I

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Hi there, I have sold 2 wardrobes on gum tree (first time seller). I advertised them as solid oak, with a zoomable photo, honestly believing they were, £150 got both. I had an enquiry and invited that person to come and view the condition etc but they never got bank, but I have text messGe evidence of having offered that to another customer. Then last Friday I received a call, asking if they could pay via PayPal and collect the wardrobes. I was surprised by them paying in advance and don’t deal with PayPal etc so my husband rang them back. The lady insisted on paying into the bank first, then drove from Birmingham in a van to collect same evening. We had to dismantle to get them down the stairs. She arrived, saw half of them outside and half inside and inspected them. She declined the offer for us to reassemble. She asked if they were pine, I said I thought they were oak. After my husband loaded them into the van I raised the question and he explained we bought them in an oak furniture shop in the next town a long time ago, so we thought they were oak but now she raised it, we thought about it and conceded they could be Pine. The lady stated they are pine, and we apologised. She stayed for an extra 30 mins chatting and then left, - she returned back with our screw driver and finally left. She was smiling throughout this.
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: West Yorkshire, uk
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: She watts appd the next day saying they are pine, and also they are in very poor condition. She wanted money back but refused to bring the wardrobe back. We had proof of the condition as had photos showing what they looked like for the ad. We offered to refund on receipt of the wardrobes. She is refusing to return, saying we have to collect and now says she is taking me court in mid representation of my advert description. She denies we agreed they were pine in the house, and therefore she says she drive away thinking they were oak despite seeing them on pictures, outside and inside the house. Shall we just pay the £150 or is too late now that she has filed the paper work? Many Thanks
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: She has been quite abusive and offensive in her communication whilst I have remained calm, factual and respectful. I have highlighted all the opportunities she had to view the wardrobe and when asked, we explored this honest mistake and conceded they were pine. As such I said the deal was redefined, superseding the advert description, and she actively chose the drive away with the goods, hence she agreed to the transaction with full knowledge of what she was buying. We have offered to refund but she needs to bring back the goods. Thanks

Hi there I would be happy to help with this matter should you still require advice.

This is covered by the consumer rights act and also contract law. If the person saw them and accepted that they may be pine and possibly not oak then they were aware that the wardrobes may in fact be pine and still decided to purchase. As long as they were not damaged (or the buyer was aware of any damage) then they have bought them in the condition they were in. You offered to sell them as seen and they accepted the offer and paid therefore the contract is concluded. There is no law which states that you must accept the return of the goods. If you still have the pictures etc. then even if you are taken to court then you should be able to show the the wardrobes we're sold as seen and the other party has no recourse. If you do require to go to court to prove you case then I would also take screenshots of the abusive messages. There is always the possibility that the other party has damaged the goods in their keep to attempt to get their money back. The messages may help show that you are not dealing with a reasonable person. This should therefore be a fairly straight forward matter. However, if they have filed papers and have instructed a lawyer then if you were to lose at court they could claim their legal fees. However, if they are representing themselves and the goods were sold as seen (which helps they came in person) the you should be fine. They are saying that you misrepresented in your ad, this was not intentional and they were aware that the wardrobes may be pine upon purchase and did not seem to make any caveat about wanting money off if they were pine and not oak.

I hope that this answers your question and would be obliged if you could "accept" this answer on the webpage so that I am credited for my advice. I would also be obliged if you could leave me some feedback for the advice given above.

Kind regards

Ross Miller and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks Ross, can I just check, the buyer is saying she wants to claim travel costs from us.Also, if we want to have wardrobes to give her the refund, we have to arrange a private courier to collect as we are not allowed on her premises. Is this legal?What form of action do you think is best to move forward, should we just pay and leave the wardrobes (I’m now not bothered about them) or hold off on court proceedings?Many thanks

That decision is up to yourself as you will know the evidence you have better than I do. Obviously going through court can be stressful and time consuming so I guess you would have to weigh it up in your mind whether it is worth going through. As for the travel, she, of course has there right not to let you on her property, however, she does appear to be being unreasonable but if she wants to return the item, given she is the one who accepted it then she should bare her own cost in returning the property to you.

I hope that this answers your question and would be obliged if you could leave some positive so that I am credited for my advice. You can continue to ask any follow up questions you like.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks Ross, sorry I didn’t know about providing feed back (first time I’ve used this service before, I’m very impressed by it by the way!).Sorry to keep asking, and hopefully this is the last question, but she is saying she paid in advance (her wishes) and on that basis incurred costs of £200 travel to collect what she thought was oak furniture, based on my advert.In reply I highlighted she saw photographs that were zoomable to see the wood grain and effect in advance of doing this, she saw the furniture outside and inside and we discussed if they were oak, With us conceding they were not. After all this, she never once said she did not want them / wanted to negotiate / wanted to recoup travel costs etc. It is on that basis that she still wishes to take us court and recoup travel costs and refuses to bring the wardrobes back upon which we will refund her.At this stage (we have not received any letter l, just a wats app message saying she is formally informing us re court proceedings - is that legal or does she need to outline that in a letter? She is also blocking communication with us so I don’t know how I would arrange for collection of wardrobes.One last point, she has mispelt our surname so I assume the court application / summons will be mispelt (by one letter), does that make the letter invalid?So sorry there is so many questions. At this stage, I do not want the time and hassle to go to court - she has trained as a barrister so will probably represent herself, we cannot.can I refund the £150 and then be clear of this or can she still make extra claims on top / now the paper work application has started it cannot he stopped?Again I apologise for the extra questions, this is just so stressful,Thanks mandy
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sorry I need to clarify she told me she was a trained barrister butvis now not practising, she is now studying something else.

Mandy have you actually seen any of the court documents? It sounds like she is potentially saying this in order to force you into a position where you will give in. Until you receive an application to the court through your door there is nothing to be concerned about. Additionally, you would be able to represent yourself in this matter. If you explain what happened in relation to her inspecting the wardrobe and accepting it despite knowing it was pine and not oak, and also the pictures you have along with the advert and the messages from her I believe this is all you would need.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks Ross x

No problem it has been a please and I wish you all the best.

I would be obliged if you would leave some positive feedback so that I can be credited for dealing with this enquiry.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ross, further to the above my husband ended up paying back the money, he just did not want the hassle and stress of this going on any further.We have since however received a letter in the post that I know is court papers as it is addressed to us with a misspelt surname (one letter is wrong). It arrived in the post rather than recorded delivery and has the wrong surname (spelling). We have not opened it. We were going to send it back to the sender, saying not known at this address. Do you think that will be ok? Or, as there was no recorded delivery choose to ignore it as there is no proof we have received it.Either way, we have paid the money back and still don’t have our wardrobes. But I think she is wanting to recoup her travel costs and van hire.Can I please ask your thoughts on all the above?Many thanks

Hello, thanks for getting back in touch. This is obviously a separate issue but happy to give a quick bit of advice. I cannot advise you to throw the letter away and claim you did not get it as that is not the case. However, if you wish to return to sender that is your choice but if you believe it to be court proceedings then it may be wise to see what it is for, not dealing with these matters can do more harm than good. If you are taken to court and don't show up then the court don't accept that you couldn't have known as the will take further steps to ensure you do. However, this does not mean that they will be successful in their claim or even that it will make it to court.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks we have opened the letter and it is a claim for £505 as she is claiming interest under section 69 of the County Court Act 1984 at the rate it 8percent a year from 14.7.2019 to 17.07.2029 on £500 and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgement or earlier payment at a daily rate of £40.00. We are now responding to it online. I am confused by all of this, so we just respond and explain what happened including that we paid the money back? Thanks
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Ross can I ask your opinion of my message above or do I have start a new question thread with this? Many thanks mandy (by the way we have responded to the claim Nd just wrote everything that has happened including that we have paid back the £150 paid by the claimant). Thanks

I will need to check the site rules but as this is a different question to the original I would imagine that it would be needed under a different thread