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BizIPEsq.
BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  I am a business attorney. I represent individuals and companies with all business related matters.
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We sell boilers, and install them. A customer asked us to source

Customer Question

We sell boilers, and install them. A customer asked us to source and fit a particular model of boiler.
This was a biomass boiler and was purchased on the basis that it was "MCS approved". Such a boiler is tested and declared suitable for the customer to get a £950 grant, and possible future payments.
The company stated in its invoice that it was supplying a 23 kW unit, and this was MCS approved, according to our research on the MCS website.
The boiler arrived was installed, and then it became apparent that it differed from what had been ordered. Its electronic controls had 5 buttons, not 4. The burner was a model that post dated the MCS approval by a year, and was a different model. The blower fan was a large and unregulated unit, whereas it was supposed to have a variable speed.
The boiler was also labelled as 28kW, not 23 kW.
IOW they had not delivered what was ordered, though this only became evident after installation.
It did not work correctly, even with the ministrations of the UK agents, onsite
The unit was also dangerous, and would have set fire to the house, if we had obeyed the inadequate and wrong directions from the manufacturer.
The customer rightly rejected this unit, and we replaced it with a properly designed unit.

Our problemis getting money back from the supplier, who refuses. I have once been in a similar situation over debt recovery, and it took over a year to nail the miscreant.

My preference is a Statutory Demand. What do you think?

We can obviously establish the purchase cost to us, but can we include all the time by our engineers, installing (probably not), being called out 3 times, at a cost of £150 each time, and removal of the unit at £200.

You appreciate that whilst we can establish the invoice cost, there may be argument re our labour, charges etc.
I understand that the Statutory Demand is a blunt instrument, but we are not dealing with honest people.
Sum involved is about £4k.
Regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.

TheLegalistEsq :

Hello, I will be assisting you.

TheLegalistEsq :

You could file a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading but that will not get you your damages of £4k

TheLegalistEsq :

Realistically, your only remedy to get the money back is by filing a law suit with small claims court

TheLegalistEsq :

Before you do that I would send a demand notice to the agent / distributor asking for your damages and giving notice of your intention to sue at which time if you win they will generally be responsible for your legal fees as well.

TheLegalistEsq :

to file a complaint with the office of fair trading go this link

TheLegalistEsq :

for small claims you would need to file a complaint with a County Court Money Claims Centre. You can find the closest one to you by following this link

TheLegalistEsq :

Please rate my service. Thank you for allowing me to assist you

Customer :

OK, so what is the purpose of a Statutory Demand?

Customer :

Surely the moderrn equivalent of the 5 bob frightener, is of use. If we settle for the clear failure to supply a correct and valid unit, and forget the extras, the case is clear cut, and defined in financial terms.

TheLegalistEsq :

A Statutory Demand is a formal notice by a creditor requiring a debtor to pay off an outstanding debt or to secure it against a property. You are not yet a creditor. You could become a creditor if damages are awarded to you by court or if you were a bona fide creditor by providing a service and the service was not paid for. In your case the distributor sent the wrong boiler and that caused damages, this would not amount to you being a creditor of theirs.

TheLegalistEsq :

Even if you send a statutory demand, the distributor will most likely act to set it aside (they would have 18 days to do so) bringing you to court where they will point that you are not a creditor of theirs. That court hearing will not be about the substantive facts of the case rather about the impropriety of the Statutory Demand. Which means that you will be no better off than you were at the beginning and you also risk paying their solicitor fees.

BizIPEsq. :

Kindly leave a positive rating for my response. Without it I do not get credit for my time. Thank you.

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