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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75915
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Are still in the process of having a kitchen installed by

Customer Question

Hi are still in the process of having a kitchen installed by Hammonds. The work started commencing 7.6.2021 and it is now 22.11.21 and the kitchen is still not complete. The pipework from the Quooker tap that was installed has been leaking a pint of water a day which we cannot do a lot about as we need the tap but we are having to empty it from a glass. The cupboard is now blown and the company agreed to replace it. We have had a whole host of problems with the fitting of the kitchen right from the start when their preferred logistics carrier wanted us to carry 200kg of furniture from their lorry to our home down a walkway as they only sent one driver. The fitted cupboards were all out of line when fitted. Scratched worktops. Unaligned handles. Plastering that looks like a young teenager had completed. No filter or extraction on the cooker hood etc etc. It's been going on for nearly six months now. We have paid a thousand pounds so far and are seeking financial compensation from the company due to the stress it has caused us. My question is...are we within our rights to walk away and tell them to come and take their kitchen away with them?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: S13 7TD
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We are in conversation by email and the manager who has visited several times says he has the new parts and is waiting for a third party to find the time to fit them. Hammonds has since stopped doing kitchens due to the many complaints they have had and the manager who is dealing with our kitchen is being made redundant in December' which is also worrying. We also hate the kitchen now due to the complications and stress and time off work they have caused us.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Just that their communication skills towards us have been as shoddy as their workmanship. We must have had five visits from them and its still not right nearly 6 months down the line.
Submitted: 5 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 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 5 days ago.

Why is the installation taking this long? and how much are you ideally hoping to claim so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Hi, we purchased the kitchen from Hammonds on a pay a year after installation. We have a ten year warranty on the kitchen. The whole process has been a complete nightmare from delivery to installation to snagging issues to after sales customer service.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

I understand.

Why is the installation taking this long? and how much are you ideally hoping to claim so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
It's taking this long because they're are using a third party installer as they are no longer continuing with lichen installations due to the many complaints they have received.
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Sorry kitchen not litchen
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
We ideally would like to walk away from the whole sorry saga as we are fed up and stressed out with it all and can't contend any longer with their incompetence and lack of customer care. We have paid a thousand pound deposit so far out of a 6k total.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me and 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 5 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 this situation and any associated issues.

When a consumer enters into a contract for services, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that such services must be:

- Carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession)

- Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time frame has been agreed)

- Provided at a reasonable cost (unless a specific price has been agreed)

In addition, any information exchanged in communications between the parties, whether written or verbal, is binding if the consumer relies on it to proceed with the services in question. If there are problems and the trader cannot satisfy the above criteria, which are legally expected of them, the consumer will have certain rights

In the event 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, the consumer can claim a price reduction, based on the severity of the issues. That is something which should be negotiated between the two parties. However, if the trader refuses to resolve the issues, the consumer can consider getting someone else to do this and either deduct these costs from the balance that is still owed to the original trader, or pursue them for any extra costs that have been incurred as a result.

In the case of delays, for example if the work has substantially gone over the agreed schedule or not been performed within a reasonable time, the consumer can ask for a price reduction to cover any financial losses or inconvenience caused as a result. If the work is incomplete and the trader refuses to work to the agreed schedule, or complete it, it is possible to get someone else to finish the work and charge the original trader for these additional costs.

Similarly, if you have given them reasonable opportunities to get the job done or fix the issues and they have failed to do so, you can cancel the contract and state that you are not proceeding further, asking for a refund of any monies paid and for them to remove the materials provided.

In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally recommended that the following steps are followed:

1. Collect all documents relating to the work (e.g. quote, contract, correspondence, etc.).

2. Contact the trader and explain your problem. Ask them to resolve any issues and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (7 days is acceptable).

3. If the matter is still not resolved, write to the trader repeating your complaint and how you would like them to resolve the issues. Say you are giving them a final time limit of 7 days to resolve the problem or you will have to consider taking legal proceedings to recover your losses and any additional costs. This is also known as a ‘letter before action’ and there are plenty of templates if you do an online search for one.

4. If the trader fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you could consider taking legal action by seeking compensation. Remember that court is a last resort, however threatening it can be a good negotiating tool because it shows you are serious about resolving this and may prompt the trader to reconsider their position.

5. Finally, make sure that you keep copies of all correspondence, in case it is needed in the claims process.

If you wish to take the matter further and issue legal proceedings, assuming you will just be claiming financial compensation, you may pursue your claim via the County Court’s online portal at https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

You may also wish to consider reporting them to Trading Standards, which you can do via the following link: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thanks Ben, I have received an email from them saying that a plumber and fitter will be with me on Wednesday. We will however be seeking a substantial financial compensation package for the stress length of time to complete, loss of holidays and damaged goods that are still in situ. Thanks again you have been most helpful.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best