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I built an addition to a holiday home a number of years ago…

Hi, I built an...

Hi, I built an addition to a holiday home a number of years ago with an HIA builder. Air-con of the building was included. Several years after completion contacted air con installers and said air con was not cooling. They came out, re-gassed unit - admitting gas had escaped, sent me a bill and then cancelled it saying it was pending warranty. Year and a half later same problem. Air con people came out, pressure tested unit and found there was a leak. They fixed the leak, re-gassed and then sent me an invoice for the previous re-gas and fixing the present leak and re-gas. I asked what the invoice was for as, as far as I was concerned this was a straight out warranty claim as the system had never been installed properly. The air con people responded saying the pipes were fine when they installed it on site and that other tradies going onto site after them had damaged the piping which eventually led to the fault, and so I had to pay. They have provided no proof of any of this 'damage done by other tradies', only what they think has taken place. My annoyance is that this system was not installed properly in the first place and they were the contractors in charge of the installation. My followup comment to them was "if you believe another tradie did the damage then surely you should be requesting payment from either the builder or the tradie who they suspect of causing the damage". They are still demanding payment from me. I suspect they were expecting to make a claim directly against the air con unit manufacturers, and since it was a leaking pipe which they installed, they realised that was impossible to recover from the unit manufacturer, so they want to recover their expenses from me instead. I feel this is wrong that I should be paying this, but if you believe their argument is correct then I will pay asap. If you believe it is a warranty then what should I do. The total invoice for both call-outs totals just over $2700, and sometimes the payout of the account is less than what it would cost to have what I consider is justice done. Can you give any clue as to whether this is a valid claim the air con people are making or is it tough talk to make me pay to cover the cost of their mistakes.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because consumer protection law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Western Australia

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I have emailed them multiple times querying why they charged so much on the first bill by re-gassing when they knew there was a leak. I also said they should be making a claim against either the builder or the appropriate tradie concerned. They do not appear to be interested in this. They are holding the line they did nothing wrong, they installed the system correctly and it is me who has the pay the account.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I have the emails in both directions if you need them

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/15/2018
Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,948
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
Verified

Hi, I am Leon, a NSW Solicitor. I am reviewing your question and will reply again in a moment.

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Good evening

How long was the warranty period?

Was there an issue with the airconditioning from the date of Installation?

Did they give you anything in wriitng to confirm "The air con people responded saying the pipes were fine when they installed it on site and that other tradies going onto site after them had damaged the piping which eventually led to the fault, and so I had to pay."

Are they prepared to back up what they said with a report?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
No idea how long the warranty period was or is.The issue came to light within 2 years of installation
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
my mobile is 0488 390571

You have entered into the contract with the builder.

This is who you have the right to sue.

You need to get a report form the installers to confirm what they have said and how they believe it happened.

Then you can sue the builder that you contracted with.

You do not have a contract with the aircon installers.

If you wish a call, I am sorry but you will have to elect to have a call and it is a further fee to what you have already paid.

I am happy to continue here though if you wish.

Once you have the evidence from the aircon people then you can seek to get the builder to replace it or sue them for the cost.

You can also lodge a complaint with the Department of Commerce.

If you wish to have a phone call to discuss this in more detail please elect a call or I can send you a request.

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance. If you have found my answer to be helpful, please rate me five stars so I can get paid for my services to you. You rating my work 5 stars allows me to continue to provide a service to those who require it.

I am happy for you to ask further questions on anything you wish more detail on.

Let me know if I have answered your question today.

Regards

Leon

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Hi Thanks for the info.I will take this matter no further.
Thank you for your assistance.
If you could advise fee amount and how to be paid it would be appreciated.
Regards
Grant Evans

Good evening

If you are asking about how I am paid, I am paid what you have agreed to pay when you asked the question.

I am not sure what that is.

When you rate my work 5 stars I am then paid for my work

If not, I am not sure what fee amount you are referring to?

Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,948
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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