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  • FIRST POST
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 16th Jun 17, 5:27 PM
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    Mistermeaner
    Recovering deposit for cancelled bathroom
    • #1
    • 16th Jun 17, 5:27 PM
    Recovering deposit for cancelled bathroom 16th Jun 17 at 5:27 PM
    Hi thoughts and comments welcomed;

    Mum got a quote from firm for supply and fit new bathroom for 3k, apparently on 1500 of materials the rest labour on 1st apr

    She paid a deposit of 750 for the materials on 19th Apr over the phone

    Install was scheduled for week commencing mon 15th may

    Mon 8th may she is diagnosed with cancer

    At some point that week she phoned the bathroom place to cancel - she just can't go ahead with work in state she's in

    They advised her they don't accept cancellations , but would as an exception not pursue her for further costs but will keep all her deposit and not deliver any materials

    I've been in shop today a verified materials are present , but they will not refund any of the deposit ; their position that the return costs to them are higher . I have requested copies of their contracts with their suppliers to verify

    Their t&cs are silent regards cancelled work and deposits

    They have a returns policy , at restock charge of 25% of goods value - however goods not yet dilivered to mum so this is not applicable imo

    Any thoughts on rights etc ?

    I've told them we want to be reasonable but that keeping all my mums deposit and them keeping all the materials is not reasonable

    I await a call from the manager

    Thanks
    Left is never right but I always am.
Page 1
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 16th Jun 17, 6:06 PM
    • 18,640 Posts
    • 15,521 Thanks
    wealdroam
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:06 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:06 PM
    Hi thoughts and comments welcomed;

    Mum got a quote from firm for supply and fit new bathroom for 3k, apparently on 1500 of materials the rest labour on 1st apr

    She paid a deposit of 750 for the materials on 19th Apr over the phone

    Install was scheduled for week commencing mon 15th may

    Mon 8th may she is diagnosed with cancer

    At some point that week she phoned the bathroom place to cancel - she just can't go ahead with work in state she's in

    They advised her they don't accept cancellations , but would as an exception not pursue her for further costs but will keep all her deposit and not deliver any materials

    I've been in shop today a verified materials are present , but they will not refund any of the deposit ; their position that the return costs to them are higher . I have requested copies of their contracts with their suppliers to verify

    Their t&cs are silent regards cancelled work and deposits

    They have a returns policy , at restock charge of 25% of goods value - however goods not yet dilivered to mum so this is not applicable imo

    Any thoughts on rights etc ?

    I've told them we want to be reasonable but that keeping all my mums deposit and them keeping all the materials is not reasonable

    I await a call from the manager

    Thanks
    Originally posted by Mistermeaner
    Is perhaps accepting the materials, even paying a delivery charge if necessary, an option?

    Surely some money can be recovered by selling the goods?

    That aside, you might like to read this post:
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Jun 17, 6:11 PM
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    unholyangel
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:11 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jun 17, 6:11 PM
    How exactly was the contract formed?

    How did she get the quote? By going into their premises or did she call them and someone visit her at home?

    What exactly did they provide to your mother in writing?
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • SouthUKMan
    • By SouthUKMan 16th Jun 17, 9:16 PM
    • 203 Posts
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    SouthUKMan
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 17, 9:16 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jun 17, 9:16 PM
    Sorry to read about your mother's illness - best wishes for a hopefully full and speedy recovery.

    With deposits, the general rule of thumb is that unless a contract states that 'deposits are refundable' then they should be thought of as non-refundable. But, it's not as simple as that. Although a business might claim that a deposit is non-refundable, in law they should only keep an amount that covers genuine losses - for example for goods already ordered. They can't include any 'lost profit' on what would have been a sale.

    What generally happens is that most decent and honourable companies reach an agreement with their customers, particularly if there are genuine mitigating circumstances. In other words, the company retains some of the money to cover the hassle and their lost time, and the customer gets some of the money back and breaths a sigh of relief after thinking they wouldn't get anything.

    Sometimes you get idiot companies who refuse to accept that there are times when people are down on their luck and that morally it would be the decent thing to hand the full deposit back. Also, sometimes, just sometimes, you get companies who will refund the full deposit.

    If you have to go to court, I would envisage one of two rulings. Either, a ruling that splits the deposit between the company and your mother. After all, despite the difficult circumstances behind cancelling the order, you / your mother did break the contract and it would appear that the retailer has ordered materials at a cost to them. Or, and I suspect you won't like this, a ruling that entitles the retailer to keep the entire deposit - assuming the materials and 'time' cost £750 or more. Personally, I can't see a judge ordering the full deposit is paid back - only because it would appear that the company would be able to demonstrate that they have already bought materials.

    The law is black and white. While a judge might be compassionate and view your case favourably, at the same time a judge can not ignore evidence presented by the other side.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 16th Jun 17, 10:59 PM
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    Mistermeaner
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 17, 10:59 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jun 17, 10:59 PM
    Thanks; she got this email this evening:

    Firstly, may we take this opportunity to express how extremely sorry we are to hear of your bad news. Having very recently lost a friend at a young age, to cancer, I feel I have a small understanding of how illness affects everyday life.
    Following numerous conversations with my colleague, Steve, I understand that you are finding it difficult to make any firm decisions surrounding your bathroom refurbishment.
    I appreciate that this is a difficult time for you, and your bathroom project is probably the last thing on your mind, however, we do require a definite decision with regards to the products you have ordered.

    In essence, there are two options to choose between; the first option is for you to proceed with the purchase, and store the products safely until such time when you feel you can continue with your refurbishment.
    Option two would be for us to return all the products that are possible to return, to the manufacturers, in order for us to receive a partial refund with all charges taken into consideration.
    Unfortunately, as some of your items are special order products, we only have the option to send certain products back and only have a limited timescale in which to do so.
    The deposit you have paid does not cover our out of pocket expenses, but in light of the circumstances, we would be prepared to waiver any further costs that we incur, that we would normally require to cover our losses.
    We are more than happy to accommodate whichever option you choose; however, as we have such a limited timescale, we need you to confirm in writing your intentions so as we can progress either way.

    With this in mind, we politely request that you confirm your decision in writing by no later than Monday 26th June 2017.
    If we have not heard from you by this date, we will have no option other than to return the goods to the manufacturers in order to recover some of our expenditures.
    Left is never right but I always am.
    • Gleeful
    • By Gleeful 16th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
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    Gleeful
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jun 17, 11:07 PM
    That sounds totally reasonable. I would bite their hand off.
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 17th Jun 17, 12:36 AM
    • 3,772 Posts
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    ThumbRemote
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:36 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 17, 12:36 AM
    I've told them we want to be reasonable but that keeping all my mums deposit and them keeping all the materials is not reasonable
    Originally posted by Mistermeaner
    It sounds like they are trying to help - at the very least they've written a clear and polite message. I think on the basis of their message, them keeping the deposit is reasonable.

    If you want the harsh reality, the cancer has no legal bearing on her consumer rights. Put simply, she has agreed a contract and is now trying to get out of it. The law doesn't care what here reason is. Legally it is no different to her simply changing her mind on a whim.

    If she is in no state to go ahead with the bathroom fitting, she's also in no state to try and fight to get money back. Accept their offer.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 17th Jun 17, 9:02 AM
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    Mistermeaner
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 9:02 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 17, 9:02 AM
    Thanks for views

    My thoughts are to ask again for details of which items can and can't be returned and the costs associated therewith

    Is he surprised if suppliers they work with regularly do not allow returns; FYI this was a fairly basic bathroom - plain white toilet sink and white tiles, big standard tap plug and mirror ; nothing made to measure etc
    Left is never right but I always am.
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 17th Jun 17, 11:19 AM
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    ThumbRemote
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 17, 11:19 AM
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 17, 11:19 AM
    Thanks for views

    My thoughts are to ask again for details of which items can and can't be returned and the costs associated therewith

    Is he surprised if suppliers they work with regularly do not allow returns; FYI this was a fairly basic bathroom - plain white toilet sink and white tiles, big standard tap plug and mirror ; nothing made to measure etc
    Originally posted by Mistermeaner
    If you have time to spend on chasing them, surely you have the time to sit in the house while they fit the bathroom.

    Do you realise they can justifiably claim their costs for the time spent doing this, as part of their losses for the breach of contract?
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 17th Jun 17, 11:55 AM
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    mattyprice4004
    You can ask all you want.
    They don't have to tell you, they're doing nothing wrong.
    Their offer is perfectly fine, as while I appreciate the difficult situation if I was them I'd feel I'd done more than enough.

    They've gone above and beyond anyway, their supplier terms are nothing to do with you.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 17th Jun 17, 12:24 PM
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    Mistermeaner
    Regards time i work away and have young kids so not that easy

    Regards seeing their supplier agreements I understand we are liable to cover their losses - how would I verify their losses unless they show me what they can and can't return and on what terms?
    Left is never right but I always am.
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 17th Jun 17, 12:28 PM
    • 1,762 Posts
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    k3lvc
    Regards seeing their supplier agreements I understand we are liable to cover their losses - how would I verify their losses unless they show me what they can and can't return and on what terms?
    Originally posted by Mistermeaner
    You can't - unless you want to go to court and argue the toss in which case the chances are that their numbers will add up and you'll be in a worse position than you are now

    As others have said I'd be snapping their hands off for either of the offers they've made - they're certainly not looking like the difficult ones in this
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 17th Jun 17, 2:50 PM
    • 10,995 Posts
    • 8,257 Thanks
    unholyangel
    OP did you answer the questions I asked above (not sure if you missed my questions or whether I've missed your answers)?

    How exactly was the contract formed?

    How did she get the quote? By going into their premises or did she call them and someone visit her at home?

    What exactly did they provide to your mother in writing?
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 17th Jun 17, 5:11 PM
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    Mistermeaner
    Contract was formed via payment over the phone against an emailed quote

    Quote was emailed after show room visit

    The quote and Tcs via email
    Left is never right but I always am.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 17th Jun 17, 5:12 PM
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    Mistermeaner
    Oh and btw not being difficult everything is amicable just want to understand our rights and options

    What gave you impression anyone was being difficult?
    Left is never right but I always am.
    • bris
    • By bris 17th Jun 17, 6:24 PM
    • 6,652 Posts
    • 5,699 Thanks
    bris

    With deposits, the general rule of thumb is that unless a contract states that 'deposits are refundable' then they should be thought of as non-refundable. But, it's not as simple as that. Although a business might claim that a deposit is non-refundable, in law they should only keep an amount that covers genuine losses - for example for goods already ordered. They can't include any 'lost profit' on what would have been a sale.
    Originally posted by SouthUKMan
    Can you show me anywhere that states loss of profit is not a genuine loss in a breach of contract? I can show you it is.
    • Mistermeaner
    • By Mistermeaner 20th Jun 17, 11:44 AM
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    Mistermeaner
    FYI in case anyone cares I agreed with the company that I would purchase (and pay the remaining balance) on the toilet, sink and taps etc - I will endeavour to use these on a renovation project at my house.

    The company agreed to return the tiles

    I'll return my mums deposit to her and tell her its all sorted

    Not ideal but one less thing for her to worry about

    Thanks for your inputs
    Left is never right but I always am.
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