How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75138
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

A VERY story cut VERY short: I bought a laptop July 2020,

This answer was rated:

Hi,
A VERY long story cut VERY short:
I bought a laptop July 2020, and it didn’t charge. I took it back (after the store’s 1 month return window) however it took that long to troubleshoot and identify the fault.
The shop explained it was from a batch of ex display with all had similar problems, said they would warranty it for me.
Despite me regularly going in (at first weekly) they kept changing the story about reasons for delay. Months & months later I eventually was given a replacement laptop, however with damaged case and no power supply. He insisted I didn’t return the power supply, even though it would not make sense for me to not return it.
They have been going round in circles saying they’ll look for the charger, if they can’t find it they’ll order one, then I chase them, then they give an excuse, then the cycle repeats.
The shop have become increasingly hostile & confrontational, they keep hanging up on me whenever I call (I recorded the last telephone conversation with them), and I am now scared to go into the shop. Given the time elapsed and their recent conduct I just want a refund.
As per advice from Citizens Advice I have sent an email, and 2 letters signed for (I have checked online and they have been received & signed for) asking for a refund, still no response or contact from them whatsoever from them since I returned the laptop August 2020.
I am at the stage of going through small claims, however I need some guidance:1.I have very detailed notes about the sequence of events; do I go into great detail in the Statement of Particulars, going into dates, conversations had, the way the behaved etc, attaching the letters, try to upload the call recording somehow? Or should I just give a brief overview, similar to how I have here, then go into detail and provide further evidence if it is disputed?2.The claims guide says I should calculate interest if I am entitled, am I entitled to interest in this case?
3. The guide seems to say I may be entitled to £50 for solicitor fees with respect to helping me draft the Statement of Particulars. Is that advisable to do that, and would this service be suitable?
Thanks,
Rob
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Wirral, England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: (Apologies if my initial letter is hard to read, it lost all it's formatting when I pasted it in from Word). I have contacted the shop numerous times (25-30 over the past year?), I have spoken to Citizens Advice on the 'Trading Standards' freephone number, i have emailed and sent 2 letters (I have checked online and they were both received, and signed for) asking for a refund - no response whatsoever.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I still have the laptop in my possession (no power supply), and they texted the receipt to my phone.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

OK thank you. We do not do drafting on here but if you prepare a letter yourself I can have a look at it for you and make any necessary changes. Just be advised though, there may be a extra charge depending on how much work is needed because the initial fee only covers basic chat advice so anything more will be treated as a premium service and I will advise you in advance of the charges

Hello, I was wondering if you have had a chance to consider my query above please? I will need your response before I provide an accurate answer to your situation. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Without the requested information, I can only provide you with general information, which hopefully will still be useful to you. To answer your questions:

The initial claim form (assuming you claim online), will contain brief details of the claim. It is the formal Statement of Case that you follow up with that should contain the detailed facts and chronology of the case.

You should try and claim interest calculated at a rate of 8% plus the BofE interest rate, from the date you rejected the laptop for a refund

You can only claim that if you actually arrange a solicitor to help you do that and then try and get some of those fees back. It is not a service the courts would provide you with so you would need to instruct  solicitor personally to do that. Considering solicitors charge £200-300 per hour, you will likely spend an hour or two drafting the documentation with them so you can consider whether it is worth it financially.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Hi Ben,thanks for your reply.Please be advised I'm having issues with the site,If emailed the support email but I don't think they read it as it is clear to see I am logged on in my screenshots! I have managed to read your reply on my android tablet however I cannot see what I am typing due to the way the site is set up. I have only decently been able to read your messages. I think then that it would not be worth claiming interest due to recent-ish rejection date and costs (laptop only cost 170 GBP). So yes, I will be claiming online, so yes you are saying keep it brief at this stage? Yes I would be very grateful if you could assist with drafting the 'statement of particulars'? (initial claim info), but yes it would need to be chat based advice, I think paying for premium may again become cost prohibitive...although how much would that cost?and could I claim thatb back? (Sorry if UV Already mentioned I'm having t type blind all in one go!). I will try my computer again tomorrow to see if I can gain proper access and try to type up a draft, but any basic advice you can t
Give in the meantime would be great.
Thanks, Rob

Hi Rob, no problem and thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately we cannot help with the drafting of the claim forms as we are just a basic chat service. We cannot be instructed to do formal work for you, which is what this would amount to if you decided to get it done. So you would have to instruct a solicitor yourself for such services. However, based on the cost of the laptop and the fact you won’t be able to recover your legal costs from the other side, even if you win, it is largely pointless to spend money on lawyers and it will quickly and disproportionately increase the costs beyond what is reasonable in the circumstances. I hope this clarifies things for you a little bit more.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi Ben, definitely something very wrong with the site! I posted a reply and even saw in posted with blue background as with my other message further up, I thought this was a reply. Hopefully you'll get this! I've drafted the below, any feedback/amendments/advice etc will be gratefully received (within the 'chat' envelope without moving to premium). "I bought laptop 7 July 2020 for £170.
It did not charge, so took in for repair.
The shop explained it was from a batch of ex display and others had similar problems, said they would warranty it for me.
I went in for regular updates, but the reason for the delay kept changing. I have contacted the shop around 30 times over past 14 months and never had response despite repeated assurances.
On 6 Feb 2021 I was given a replacement laptop, however with damaged case and no power supply. He insisted I didn’t return the power supply, even though I did, but agreed to replace.
I have been trying to resolve since, but the shop has become increasingly hostile & confrontational, they keep hanging up on me whenever I call, and I am now scared to go into the shop. Extremely stressful.
(I recorded the last telephone conversation with them)
I emailed for a refund 20 June 2021, and sent 2 letters since. No response.”
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi Ben, definitely something very wrong with the site! I posted a reply and even saw in posted with blue background as with my other message further up, I thought this was a reply. Hopefully you'll get this! I've drafted the below, any feedback/amendments/advice etc will be gratefully received (within the 'chat' envelope without moving to premium). "I bought laptop 7 July 2020 for £170.
It did not charge, so took in for repair.
The shop explained it was from a batch of ex display and others had similar problems, said they would warranty it for me.
I went in for regular updates, but the reason for the delay kept changing. I have contacted the shop around 30 times over past 14 months and never had response despite repeated assurances.
On 6 Feb 2021 I was given a replacement laptop, however with damaged case and no power supply. He insisted I didn’t return the power supply, even though I did, but agreed to replace.
I have been trying to resolve since, but the shop has become increasingly hostile & confrontational, they keep hanging up on me whenever I call, and I am now scared to go into the shop. Extremely stressful.
(I recorded the last telephone conversation with them)
I emailed for a refund 20 June 2021, and sent 2 letters since. No response.”

Hi, sorry to hear of the issues – if you tried yesterday then the site was down pretty much all day and it may have affected your response. I did however receive this one so will reply to it below:

This is fine as an initial brief explanation. I would also ad at the end what and why you are claiming, such as: I am now claiming for refund/compensation under my rights through the Consumer Rights Act 2015

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi Ben, thanks for getting back to me, that’s great thanks, ***** ***** know I’m on the right track! I’ll add that in…I’m not sure whether I should ask for compensation? I feel as though I am entitled in that the whole thing has been extremely stressful, as well as me being massively inconvenienced - as well as the time, effort and travel to shop constantly chasing, I explained I would need to use the laptop (whether it was charging or not) for a Teams job interview (I bought the laptop for job searching) he assured me he’d contact me before the interview date I gave him, but I received no contact, and I had to ask through friends at last minute to borrow a device during lockdown, which I only managed with just hours to spare due to compatibility issues. If I'd trusted his word I would have missed the interview. However I’m inclined to keep it simple and ‘not push my luck’ if it would potentially complicate things? If there is no harm in asking for compensation, I don’t know how I would calculate a figure to ask for that the courts would find reasonable? Thanks, Rob

Compensation is not easily given in these circumstances. It is expected that such issues will be stressful and take some of your time. That is why the courts are reluctant to compensate everyone who bring in a claim following a dispute. Things have to be pretty serious for that to happen but the it starts to become somewhat subjective. Considering what the total value is, it is unlikely you will get much more than that to be honest. I would not bother if it was me, but if you wanted to, you can add something. Difficult to say how to calculate it though because it depends on many different variables so you should just put an arbitrary figure, say £50