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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 78647
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I feel I was defrauded by the builder I used recently and

Customer Question

Hi I feel I was defrauded by the builder I used recently and wanted to know what steps if any i can take and is it worth it?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I had a quote to replace a cracked lintel at the back of my house and the builder suggested replacing the windows at the same time. I started to get suspicious when the scaffolding that was put up would not have given the builders access to the roof. I was then told, after they fitted the windows, that the lintel did not need replacing and i feel they knew this from day one and tried to charge me the same price. i argued and got them to take £1,000 off but i still feel they lied to me to get me to pay for new windows
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: spoken to Check a Trade and have a complaint i have not taken any further yet, but that is it. I am thinking about composing an email to the builders outlining the timeline of events and the lies told throughout the experience
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no, thank you
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben, a solicitor, and it’s my pleasure to assist you. I may ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Ben, Certainly
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
lets do this online
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

I understand your query relates to a builder you paid monies to for new windows that were installed and work that they suggested needed doing was then not required. What specifically would you like to ask about this please so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
i have a final payment of £340 and have the money ready to go. i am reluctant to pay it because i feel i have already overpaid for the work done. what recourse do i have if any?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

OK thanks and have you obtained any comparative quotes from other tradesmen at all?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I asked the chap who supplied and delivered the actual glass for the windows, how much it would be to replace the rest of the windows on the ground floor. whilst he was there i asked about the work done and he gave a rough quote of £2,500 to replace the windows, guttering and facias. I paid £2.5k as a deposit and then a further £1.5k as an interim payment. i have the quotes as they changed. In the end i couldn't be bothered with the hassle
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing the information requested. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now. I will get back to you with my full reply on here; usually the same day and the system will notify you when this happens.

I should also make you aware that this is not always an instant service, due to various legal engagements I could have and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I will be dealing with your query and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Ben, Thank you for your time and i look forward to your reply
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 days ago.

No problem at all. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, it is appreciated. I am now pleased to be able to provide further assistance with your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues brought up by this. It must be a frustrating situation to be going through.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

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 9 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. 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.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Hi Ben, you have really helped clarify my position and now how to proceed if I so wish. Have a great weekend
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 days ago.

My pleasure and all the best