Small claims court

Hi all,

Apologies if this has been covered before, but I'm struggling to find an answer - so I hope you can help.

We have had issues with our local phone masts ongoing for over three months now. Day to day we have either non or very poor signal due to a fault in the mast which the supplier is aware of but has evidentially done little (or nothing) to resolve.

I have lost many hours trying to fix this with Three the phone supplier and trying to arrange alternative data and signal sources. I am a small business (self employed) and this has impacted my working day. My phone contract isn't specifically a 'business contract' though ( I don't know if this matters).

Am I able to put a small claims case in that includes wasted time? or is this not something that the Small Claims court would cover??

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,329
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    edited 22 January at 4:06PM
    You can't generally claim for your own time (you can claim in some situation such as if you take a day off for an appointment, then they fail to attend and you need to take a second day off - but that doesn't seem applicable here). 

    Before going to small claims - have you made a formal complaint, followed it though the complaints procedure to a deadlock letter, and tried the communications ombudsman? https://www.commsombudsman.org/ 

    Unlike the courts, the ombudsman can award an amount for 'distress and inconvenience' (you still can't claim an hourly rate), as well as poor customer service and service/contractual failings. 

    Please be aware that if you go to the ombudsman, they will not investigate or compel your supplier to provide any information - they will make a judgement based on the evidence provided by both sides, so if you want to claim for something you need to back it up in your case file (a subject access request can help). 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Thanks ArbitraryRandom, that is so helpful. I have written multiple complaints and they aren't even bothering to reply now. I will take this to the Ombudsman now. Thanks for your help. Much appreciated
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,329
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    Glad to be of help - If you need any more help/want us to read anything before you submit it, just let us know. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • BoGoF
    BoGoF Posts: 6,756
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    We are you perservering with 3? If they cannot provide the paid for service you should be able to leave penalty free.
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,675
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    It sounds like you live in an area where mobile coverage is very sparse and 3 is the only viable signal?

    If so you are unlucky, most places are well covered nowadays. I live in a quietish part of Scotland but my phone can always 'see' a surprising number of masts (you can use an app like Opensignal) although we do have a quite a few 'not-spots' around us.
    You will pay more for a business rather than domestic contract but the benefits, including guaranteed service levels, might be worthwhile in your case. All the main providers have a range of different options for business users.

    I think the ombudsman might not support your complaint that you are not getting the level of service your business needs from a consumer contract.
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