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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14363
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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In January we were talked into getting an air source heat

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In January we were talked into getting an air source heat pump heating system to replaqce our gas boiler. It was Green, efficient and cheap to run, so they told us. £15000, but we would get half back through the RHI scheme, and save on our bills forever. The first 2 months cost us £500 in electric bills, whereas the gas would have cost £200. We are now frightened to turn the heating on. Just the hot water is going to cost £200 per quarter through the summer. We were told we should keep the heating on 24/7 as it worked better that way. We are scared to turn it on in the day now! Worse still, when they installed it they ripped our boiler out, even though it was not in the way of the installation, so we cannot go back to the old system.

Hello, this is Jim, a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you this evening.

The system doesn't sound fit for purpose, or as described in my view - did they make statements to you which were untrue at the time of sale?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The system works well, it just costs twice as much to run as the gas system, which is opposite to how it was sold to us. We were led to believe that it would be equal if not cheaper to run than our gas one.

Thanks, ***** ***** like you clicked the call request button - apologies I can’t take a call at the moment but other experts are free to contact you. If no one calls you then you will not be charged for it - an "authorisation" has been made for payment, that's all. However, the call request is open to all experts - if you want to cancel the call then please go to this link: https://www.justanswer.com/help/contact-us

I can continue with the question online if that suits?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. Please cancel the request

OK, thanks - the key issue is the mis-selling. Under consumer laws you have a right to expect a product which is as described. It be well be fit for purpose and free from defects - but it is not fit for purpose and also there is a situation where the seller has breached the contract due to misrepresentation.

Do you want your money back for the system?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That would be good. Or at least some reparation to balance the long term damage to our finances

In my view you have a case to demand your money back due to breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You could propose a sum to reflect the future costs but this may be a speculative claim - you would be better off asking for a refund.

I would recommend that you send the company a formal letter before action to demand payment within 30 days and say that if they do not pay you, you will issue county court proceedings against them. See attached template as an example of what to say. Please let me know if you cannot see the letter which I have uploaded. You will need to tailor this letter to your situation.

You may also want to threaten a report to Trading Standards (who can be contacted on 03454 040506). I am sure trading standards would take an interest given the mis-selling.

You will need to register at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk so that you are ready to issue the claim in the event they dispute the claim and do not pay you. The website is very user-friendly and you would not need a lawyer to use the money claim site. Claims with a value of under £10,000 are classed as a "small claim", so legal costs are not recoverable and the matter may be dealt with on paper by a Judge, not at a hearing. A hearing may be necessary if the court thinks that oral evidence is required to dispose of the case.

Claims between £10,000 and £25,000 are subject to fixed costs only so if you lose then the risk is minimal. Further, the money claim website allows you to sue for an amount up to £100,000.

You would claim the sum for the loss, the court issue fee (details of the money claim fees are listed here at page 5: www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees) and court interest which is 8% calculated on a daily rate from the date of loss to date of court judgment. The site allows you to calculate the interest and add it to the claim.

If you are on a low income or have low savings (or in receipt of benefits), you can ask the court for a fee remission so you do not have to pay the court issue fee.

You can check your eligibility for a fee remission here:

http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees

If you are eligible, let me know as you cannot use the online money claims site – you have to use the paper method, which is an N1 claim form sent to the County Court Money Claims Centre (I have a copy, let me know if you would like one).

If you win then once you have the CCJ from the court the defendant has 14 days to pay in full. If they do not then it gets registered with the credit agencies after 30 days. You can also enforce the CCJ with the county court bailiffs or transfer the debt to the High Court for a small additional fee assuming the total amount owed is at least £600 and you can use the high court enforcement officers who have greater powers than county court bailiffs. The transfer fee is added on to the debt and payable by the defendant.

There are other enforcement methods which I can help with, including bank account freeze, charging order on their property (and then apply to force a sale), application to wind up the company if £750 or more is owed (if suing a limited company), apply to summons them to court for questioning, attachment of earnings order against their employer (if employed), apply to bankrupt them if they owe £5,000 or more - all of which can ensure you are actually repaid the money.

You may find they just pay you after receiving the letter before action – hopefully they will want to avoid litigation.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up questions at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

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