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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Dear UK Law, I signed a purchase agreement with Everest

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Dear UK Law,

I signed a purchase agreement with Everest Ltd to replace some bi fold doors. I subsequently found a better system with another window company and so notified Everest that I wished to cancel my agreement with them expecting my deposit back.

The purchase agreement I signed is only 2 pages ( it states at the top page 1 of 2 and page 2 of 2 ) there are no other terms and conditions attached !

the wording on the agreement I signed says " I have read and agree to be bound by the PURCHASE AGREEMENT terms and conditions set out on the reverse of this document, and have received the quotation of the PURCHASE AGREEMENT together with copies of the relevent Product Design/Option sheets."

The reverse of the document refers to Everests general specifications, their standard Guarantees and their Lifetime Guarantees, there is nothing else!

Everest claim that there should be within the purchase agreement a " condition 16 " explaining about a cooling off period and my right to the return of my deposit. i.e their "7 day cooling off period".

On the basis that the purchase agreement I signed makes no reference to or includes any cancellation provisions, how would I know about this cooling off period or just as importantly I didn't agree to be bound by this "missing" clause 16.

Is their an Ombudsman whom I can take my complaint to ? Can I take this to Office of Fair Trading ?

Your advises gratefully received.

Mrs A Higgins

Thanks for your question.

Did you sign the contract on their premises?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No their salesman came to my house spent around 15/20 mins from print out of agreement and for me to sign.

What date did you sign the contract?

What date did you cancel?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I signed the purchase agreement 16th July 2012

I cancelled in writing 6th August 2012

What date were you informed of the cooling off period if it was not included in the contract itself?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was first told of clause 16 verbally on the 6th August when I initially phoned to cancel, I was then asked to put in writing via e-mail which I did. straight away

Thanks for your reply.

A cooling off period is implied in to the contract by statute under the Distance Selling Regulations. This means that regardless of what the contract says you have the right to terminate a contract concluded by distance means (eg. at your house) within 7 days of the date the contract is concluded.

The cooling off period in the contract is superceded by the statutory cooling off period in the regs, although it does appear to be the same.

The cooling off period starts from the date you signed the contract if you were informed of the cooling off period before the contract was concluded. If you were not informed of the cooling off period when you signed the contract then it starts from the date you were subsequently informed of the cooling of period applying to the Contract.

Please refer to the following guidance on this link:-
Click on the link “Your customers Rights to Cancel under the DSRS” and in particular the heading “Time Limits for Cancellation” and you will see that the above is confirmed in that the period starts 7 days from the date you received the required written information under the Distance Seller Regulations.

Therefore if you have not received the written information because it was not included in the contract and you were only told verbally on 6th August then you have a right to cancel and can inform them of this, referring them to the guidance

However, if the goods were made to you specifications then the distance selling regulations would not apply to the contract and you would not be able to cancel. I assume since they include a cooling off period in their contract as standard that they consider that the distance selling regulations do apply and they have attempted to discharge their duties to include it their contract (albeit that they did not do so in your case).

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Kind regards,

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