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    • plods
    • By plods 6th Oct 17, 4:57 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    plods
    Unauthorised payment to plumbing company
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 17, 4:57 PM
    Unauthorised payment to plumbing company 6th Oct 17 at 4:57 PM
    Hi all

    I recently asked a plumbing company to send a plumber to look at my broken washing machine.

    To do this you have to give them your card details and agree to the initial callout fee (which includes up to one hour of labour), which I did.

    They make it clear that they take no money until after the callout when they then phone you to ask for payment, which they did, and I authorised.

    So far no problem (although no invoice yet which I need for the landlord).

    The plumber diagnosed a faulty pump. I was then then contacted by the company with a rough quote for the cost of parts and labour, and I approved the work to go ahead, but I did not approve any further payment to be made, one reason being that the labour time was provisional. I assumed they would phone after the job was done to authorise a second payment.

    Unfortunately the plumber was wrong: he installed the new pump but the machine remained in its broken state. He apologised, said it was probably the PCB, advised I therefore buy a new machine, and then left, presumably with the new pump still in the old machine. He was in the flat for just under an hour.

    I have had no contact with the company since. They had left a message on my phone asking me to contact them which I have been planning to do once I'd figured out what I could reasonably ask in terms of the work carried out.

    In fact I discover today they have taken a further £85 out my account without my permission, in addition to original callout fee of £90.

    What are my rights in this situation? Can I reasonably ask for this second payment back?

    Obviously the plumber has misdiagnosed the problem and installed a pump that I do not need or want. I was also told that the initial callout charge included an hour's worth of labour, although no doubt they will claim that this doesn't roll over to the second visit (he was in the flat for about 5 mins for the initial callout).

    I feel that I should not have to pay anything other than the £90 initial callout fee which I'd already authorised, but perhaps I'm wrong.

    I was not emailed any T&Cs or read any over the phone other than what I've described here.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
Page 1
    • boo_star
    • By boo_star 6th Oct 17, 11:20 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 677 Thanks
    boo_star
    • #2
    • 6th Oct 17, 11:20 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Oct 17, 11:20 PM
    Phone them and ask what the additional charge is for?
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 7th Oct 17, 8:31 AM
    • 30,425 Posts
    • 19,235 Thanks
    DCFC79
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:31 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:31 AM
    Is there no one in your area who offers a no call out charge to fix white goods appliances ?

    I dont understand why you would contact a plumbing firm.

    But yes phone them what the charge was for.
    Can people stop loaning money/being a guarator to family/friends, it rarely ends well and you lose out as your money is gone or you get shafted with being a guarantor.
    • scd3scd4
    • By scd3scd4 7th Oct 17, 8:41 AM
    • 542 Posts
    • 431 Thanks
    scd3scd4
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:41 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:41 AM
    So they charge and still don't fix it..............as my old dad use to say. I can do that job!!
    Anyone need a door lock not to be fixed or a car let me know!!!!
    • macman
    • By macman 7th Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    • 41,425 Posts
    • 17,050 Thanks
    macman
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Oct 17, 12:26 PM
    As above, call out the right person for the job next time. Most white goods engineers would charge no more than £40 for a call out and diagnosis. It's fairly obvious that this clown had no idea how to fault find on a washing machine-which, if he was a domestic plumber, is not surprising.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • plods
    • By plods 7th Oct 17, 1:54 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    plods
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 1:54 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 1:54 PM
    It's a company that does plumbing, heating, drainage and appliance repair.
    I thought I'd used them before for an immersion heater repair which went really well, but maybe not.
    I guess they're essentially an agency.
    So £90 is expensive but includes an hours labour supposedly, I'm in London, and good individual tradespeople seem hard to find at short notice.
    Anyway that's beside the point.
    The extra cost of £85 would be the labour + parts for installing the pump. I will check with them to confirm that but it can't be anything else and I would rather know my rights before I phone up.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 7th Oct 17, 3:19 PM
    • 4,006 Posts
    • 2,973 Thanks
    sheramber
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 17, 3:19 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 17, 3:19 PM
    It's a company that does plumbing, heating, drainage and appliance repair.
    I thought I'd used them before for an immersion heater repair which went really well, but maybe not.
    I guess they're essentially an agency.
    So £90 is expensive but includes an hours labour supposedly, I'm in London, and good individual tradespeople seem hard to find at short notice.
    Anyway that's beside the point.
    The extra cost of £85 would be the labour + parts for installing the pump. I will check with them to confirm that but it can't be anything else and I would rather know my rights before I phone up.
    Originally posted by plods
    The call out fee would be for up to an hour's labour. Any time used would not be carried forward to another job.

    They have made the second charge because you did not call them back when they left the message.
    You need to find out what the second charge was for to query it.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 7th Oct 17, 3:42 PM
    • 11,603 Posts
    • 8,739 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 17, 3:42 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 17, 3:42 PM
    It's a company that does plumbing, heating, drainage and appliance repair.
    I thought I'd used them before for an immersion heater repair which went really well, but maybe not.
    I guess they're essentially an agency.
    So £90 is expensive but includes an hours labour supposedly, I'm in London, and good individual tradespeople seem hard to find at short notice.
    Anyway that's beside the point.
    The extra cost of £85 would be the labour + parts for installing the pump. I will check with them to confirm that but it can't be anything else and I would rather know my rights before I phone up.
    Originally posted by plods
    Ask them why they didn't provide you with confirmation of the contract in a durable medium before the conclusion of the contract as they're required to do by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation & Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

    Part of the information they should have provided would have been that if you request they begin the work before the 14 day cooling period is up, you would be liable for services provided up until you cancelled.

    They also should have told you the total price inclusive or taxes (or if the price cannot be calculated in advance, how it will be calculated). They also should have told you the arrangements for payment, delivery/performance etc.


    Durable medium is paper or its equivalent (must be able to store it and reproduce it at a later date in its original form - ie with no possibility of it being edited). So email is durable but websites aren't (links to websites aren't durable either - even if the link was sent by email).


    Really you have 2 issues here. Non-compliance with CCRs and service not performed with reasonable care & skill.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • plods
    • By plods 9th Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    plods
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:44 PM
    The charges are as follows, VAT inclusive:

    £90 - Callout inc. 1 hr labour
    £85 - 1 hr labour

    So they haven't charged for the part at least.

    So I suppose it boils down to whether the 1st charge's labour rolls over into the job, which I guess it doesn't, although they didn't make that clear over the phone, let alone in a durable medium. The plumber was working for about an hour in total over the two visits, so in my theory at least the total charge should be £90, which is the only thing I agreed to.

    Is there anything I can reasonably do about this? £175 is a lot to pay for nothing to be fixed.
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