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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 22471
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Have been having a protracted dispute with Sharps regarding

Customer Question

Have been having a protracted dispute with Sharps regarding poor customer service & faulty workmanship & damage to fitted product. They have acknowledged the errors on their part in a letter dated 21/06 & a field inspection of the work carried out has verified my issues. They say that they want an installer to return to carry out works to rectify the situaton. However I have stated that I am not happy for them to do so as I have lost all trust in them, and that the work required to rectify the situation is going to be far too disruptive & cause me a lot more inconvenience, and due to health problems this would not be acceptable to me. I asked that in the circumstances could we not come to an amicable arrangement wherby they did not rectify the issues but instead waive the final 10% payment which I did not pay on completion as I was not happy with the completed work. They agreed that they were prepared to waive the outstanding balance but that they would null & void my 12 year guarantee. Can you please advise if this is legal, as I really feel that they are trying to intimidate me into paying for unsatisfactory work in order to keep my guarantee. Because i have been away I have not had an opportunity to respond to them, and was rather upset to receive another letter dated 8th July to advise they were disappointed that my account remains in arrears, and asking me to make immediate payment or they will pass my file to there Credit control dept to pursue the debt plus debit interest. I just wanted to try an reach an amicable settlement. Help please
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 7 months ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
What i would like to know is are they legaly allowed to say they are going to null & void the 12 year gtee if I dont pay the final 10% balance & dont allow them access to my home to carry out remedial work. I have been quite clear that I dont want them to do this because due to health problems the stress & inconvenience of an almost total rebuild would cause me. They have accepted that the work they have done is well below their standards & that I have received very bad customer service but seem unwillinging to negotiate a mutually agreeable way forward.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
By not paying the final balance would this negate any other legal gtee such as that under sale of goods act etc
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Throughout my negotiations they keep trying to insist that they be allowed to rectify the work and are now quoting their terms & conditions that"the customer agrees to give reasonable access to the premises for the purposes of delivery/ and or installation or subsequent visits that may be necessary for completion of the installation and/or in relation to works required pursuant to any gtee". I have pointed out to them that while by signing the contract i effectively agreed to that. However I have pointed out to them that in their terms & conditions they also say "the company may be prepared to agree to certain changes to the original terms of this agreement". So there is no reason why they can not be a bit more flexible, they just choose not to be helpful I had suggested that I not pay final balance, have no remedial work carried out be allowed to keep 12 yr gtee, but exclude from the gtee those areas of damage that have been brought to their attention & for which they have an engineers report & photographic evidence. Thereby causing me no more inconvenience & them no further costs.I thought this was quite a reasonable request given the amount of things that went wrong prior to installation & their dreadful customer service.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

I see that the previous expert opted out. I will try to deal with this for you. The letter you received from their accounts department is not at all unusual. It is likely simply be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

Notwithstanding the fact that you agree to their terms and conditions to allow reasonable access, the court would allow them at least one attempt to put this right. You may have lost confidence in them but no one is perfect and they are entitled to have that opportunity and the court would usually find by denying them that one opportunity, you have acted unreasonably.

Because there was clearly disruption doing the job, I don’t think that the health and stress argument would work with regard to what in the whole scale of things would be a relatively minor amount of extra work unless the relatively minor extra amount of work amounted to ripping the whole thing out and starting again and was in reality a complete new installation.

The court, I’m sorry to say is likely to find that you were simply using this as an excuse to suffer the defects but get 10% discount. I have had exactly this in court before.

They contracted to install the bedroom to a standard and in any event, under the Consumer Rights Act the goods have to be of satisfactory quality and fit the purpose. Whilst they are fit for purpose, they are not of satisfactory quality. Hence, they are in breach of contract and the Act.

However you agreed to pay and to allow access and you are therefore also in breach of contract.

2 wrongs don’t put the whole thing right.

They are saying that as a result of your breach and the fact that you will not let them remedy these defects, they will not honour the 12 year guarantee. That is not unreasonable.

However, under the Supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations, the goods have to be free of manufacturing defects for 6 years in any event is although the onus on you is to prove that the defect existed at the time was manufacture.

I’m sorry to say that if you don’t give them at least one opportunity to put this right, you are not on particularly good grounds.

Meanwhile, do not ignore the letters from their finance department. Right back to them, send it by recorded delivery, and tell them that there is a dispute over this and that they should refer the matter to Mr XYZ in their sales department is who is dealing with it.

Does that answer the question even though it may not be what you want to hear? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

Please do not forget to use the rating service to rate my answer positive. If you don’t use the rating service, I don’t get paid.

You may get the impression that the thread closes after rating, but it does not, it remains open and we can still exchange emails if anything needs clarification.

Kind regards