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Ask Jared Pereira Your Own Question
Jared Pereira
Jared Pereira, Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience:  Principal Solicitor at Pivot Business Lawyers
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I bought some marble tiles from a company from Sydney. I

Customer Question

I bought some marble tiles from a company from Sydney. I live in Queensland. The marble tiles came and I had 4 tilers examine them. 2 tilers refused to fit them. One said he will not work with a substandard material. Another tiler came and said he can
see chipped edges on every third tiles. He said they will never look perfect when they are laid even if he does a perfect job. I examined the tiles. The tiles had lots of chips in them. Another tiler came and examined. He looked at them and said that he can
see obvious chips in at least every 3rd tiles and if he looks at them closely, all the tiles had minor chips at the edges. He also said the finished product will never be perfect. He also said he will need to take all the tiles out of the crates to examine
them to make sure they are ok to be laid even before taking on the job. I contacted him later and he said he didn't want to do the job anymore. I complained to the seller. He said that the tiles have voids in them and what they do is they cut and polish the
undamaged side so the undamaged side should look fine. However the tilers pointed out the defects on the polished sides. There were about 200 tiles and when you look at them from sides and from top you can see the chips everywhere. I complained to him that
at least 30% were defective and will have to be used for cuts and the stone is substandard. I was never told about these defects before buying the stone. The seller organized transport back to Sydney and upon examination he said he only found 21 tiles that
had minor imperfection on polished surface and rest of them were fine. He said because of that he took out 30% restocking fee and delivery fee from QLD to Sydney. I have lost $5500 from this case. What are my rights? Can the supplier do this? What constitutes
what is a defective material?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Jared Pereira replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm a solicitor. I'd be happy to answer your questions. First, did you buy the tiles at auction or retail? If you purchased them retail (and they were not second hand goods, or you were unaware that there was a possibility there would be chips or that they were "refurbished") then you probably have a good cause of action under the Australian Consumer Law. Under the consumer law, a supplier or manufacturer cannot exclude certain consumer guarantees, such as the guarantee that the goods are:

- of acceptable quality

- are fit for any purpose the customer has made know to the supplier

- match any sample

- free of defects.

As a consumer, you have the right to reject the goods, get a replacement or get a refund.

I would try to get statements from your tilers supporting your case that they:

(a) saw the goods

(b) the goods were not of acceptable quality; and

(c) they would not fit those tiles as they were not fit for purpose.

Armed with this proof, you should approach the supplier again and demand a full refund, or if that fails, go to Fair Trading Queensland and lodge a complaint. Their details are here: https://www.qld.gov.au/law/your-rights/consumer-rights-complaints-and-scams/make-a-consumer-complaint/

I hope this information has been of assistance. If so, please click "ACCEPT" and rate my answer. If not, I am happy to clarify if my answer is unclear. Regards, Jared.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The seller has stated that he examined the tiles and only found 21 out of 200 tiles to have minor visible chips on the polished surfaces. I never took all the tiles out of the crates because they are too heavy to lift but all the tiles that the tiler lifted had chips in corners and edges and you can see all the chipping from the top and sides. the seller stated that if I did lay them I would have only found 21 that would have needed to be replaced. Rest were fine. He said the stones have voids in them and he polishes the good side. Therefore because he only found 21 to be "defective", which can be used for cuts, he has to take 30% restocking fee plus shipping cost from QLD to NSW off the refunded amount. Can he do this? It says on the description that these are first choice tiles yet the product I received were full of chips here and there.
Expert:  Jared Pereira replied 1 year ago.

Hi, at this point it's your word against his that the majority of the tiles were unsuitable - which is why you need to get some support from your tilers. It seems to me that they are not "first choice" tiles. I would suggest you demand a full refund and that he has no right to withhold 30% as a restocking fee or charge you for shipping. If he does not agree, then go to Fair Trading Queensland (or the equivalent in NSW since they are based there). Hope this is of help. Regards, Jared.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thank you
Expert:  Jared Pereira replied 1 year ago.

I hope this information has been of assistance. If so, please click "ACCEPT" and rate my answer. Regards, Jared

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm going through the tribunal and they seem very biased against me. I didn't even get the chance to state my case and the tribunal member kept criticizing me for not providing my evidence the way I was supposed to prepare when they didn't provide me with guidance. The other side didn't even bring his evidence to the hearing. Now I'm worried that in the formal hearing, I won't get to even talk and I don't even have sufficient time to prepare my evidence.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fair Tradings wouldn't help me so I pushed it to tribunal but the tribunal seems to be biased. What will my best course of action be?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Tribunal gave me only 1 week and a half to get all the evidence ready and sent to NSW from QLD and gave the other side 3 weeks to prepare his evidence. They said this is how it works but I don't have enough time to gather sufficient evidence as I'm still waiting for the tiler to give me a better statement. But the tribunal has said I will need consent from the seller to be able to extend the time. I don't really know what to do now.