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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75108
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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If put a deposit for a hot tub/swimspa that I’ve waited a

Customer Question

If put a deposit for a hot tub/swimspa that I’ve waited a year for. I’ve decided to cancel the order does the business give me a full refund as I have not received the item?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Uk
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: just talking to the supplier
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: the supplier is being difficult about delivery and threatening to charge storage fees although I am not contracted to pay them
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Why do want to cancel, and when did you pay the deposit exactly?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thanks Ben, the supplier is making it really difficult in terms of delivering the item. I’ve had to wait since last September when I ordered it he has not been very helpful with regards ***** ***** I have rushed into getting a base for it because he is paying storage fees and threatening to bill me for them although I have no contract for them. I’ve paid over £12k and unhappy and uncertain about his abilities to deliver and unhappy with the situation he has put me in
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I’m ok with written answer thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Generally, when a person places an order for something, be it goods or services, and pays a deposit, they enter into a legally enforceable contract with the other side. It is implied that the provider has accepted the deposit as security and as proof that the customer wants to proceed with the contract.

Unless the provider subsequently commits a serious breach of contract, such as failing to supply the goods or services, they are the ones cancelling the contract, or there was a cancellation clause, the customer would have no automatic legal right to cancel the agreement. If they do so they will likely be acting in breach of contract and potentially risk losing their deposit. On the other hand, if the seller has acted in breach of contract and failed to adhere to any terms or promises made, then you can use that as grounds to try and cancel the order and ask for the deposit back.

Whether the deposit can be retained will depend on what the effects of the cancellation were. In general, the deposit can only be used to cover any actual and unavoidable losses incurred as a result of that breach. It could be administrative costs, some loss of profit, etc.

If this was a business retailer, they will be subject to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. That will make retaining part of the deposit, over and above the losses which they have incurred, unlawful as it would be an unfair contractual term.

If initial negotiations to return the deposit have failed, the customer can consider threatening formal legal action if the deposit is not returned. Sometimes exerting such pressure can have the desired effect in getting at least part of the deposit returned. If they still refuse, then the only way to challenge this would be by making a claim in court. This can be initiated online via https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim.

Finally, it is worth informing them that they would be expected to mitigate their losses by trying to find a replacement customer following the cancellation. So if they are able to do that, it would mean they have reduced their losses and the deposit, or at least part of it, may no longer be required to cover such losses and should be returned.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
the provider has given me the option of either taking the item under his conditions of delivery
Or a refund when he has sold it on, but I don’t want to wait in definately for a refund if he is cancelling. What is the position then please?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hi there, thank you for your further queries, which I will be happy to answer. Obviously if he is unwilling to refund you until he has sold it, you either have to accept that and wait, or take steps to try and recover the deposit through the legal route. The issue is that a claim will take months so it is not a quick fix. In that time, he may have sold it already and then the whole claim becomes pointless anyway. So there is no right or wrong answer here, but neither option will necessarily get you the money quicker

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

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.