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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12067
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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HelloI run a very small company from home making a special

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I run a very small company from home making a special type of dishwasher to be used in the hotel and catering industry.

I exported to a customer in New Zealand:-
5/2/2013 : 4 machines
11/6/2013 : 10 machines

I was concerned as to the differences in electrical standards between the UK and New Zealand and also how the machines would handle being transported on pallets through the equator and the different atmospheric conditions in New Zealand so always considered these first orders as “prototypes” awaiting results from tests and feedback from my customer.

I highlighted my concerns to the customer before he purchased both by email and telephonically (skype). He was originally looking at purchasing a full container load but after my advice on potential risks, running trials first, etc he reduced his orders accordingly with the intention of assessing and trialing the machines first.

Needless to say that the electrics failed in New Zealand due to reasons we don’t yet fully understand. This caused an issue with lids on “all” the tanks and one tank was found to be leaking.

He wants to return all the machines to Scotland for a full refund. This is totally unacceptable to me. I have in return offered him new lids for all his tanks, a replacement tank for the leaking tank and 250kg of chemicals for his troubles.

We have no contract in place. He ordered, I invoiced and he paid.
We are a limited company.

Am I in trouble?
He is looking at legal advice and hinting at taking me to court?
What advice do you have for me?

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Nicola


Thanks for getting in touch.

Im prepared to wait.





We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Thank you for your question.

As you highlighted your concerns and actually specified that the machines supplied would be on an experimental basis, he has no cause for complaint. The machines were in working order when they left the country and he know that there was a risk that there could be issues.

The Sale of Goods Act provides for the situation where issues are pointed out prior to the contract being entered into.

I think you can resist any claim on that basis.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12067
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Very happy with the speedy service.

This totally put my mind at ease to be reassured that I was in the right.


Thank you.



You're welcome.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



If he is based in New Zealand and I am based in Scotland how could he go about suing me from there? Would he have to come over to Scotland to do this OR could he force me to go to New Zealand?

He would have to sue in Scotland as far as I am aware but you would have to check the law of New Zealand as well here. Under Scots law the action would be here.