Issues with Damaged product

I'm looking for advice\help.
We purchased a bathroom suite and all looked ok on first inspection, however, once the bath was put in place we noticed a crack in the side of the bath. The company we purchased this from is refusing to help and said because it was reported after 48 hours of delivery and because it was installed (although not fully) there is nothing they can do. Their T&C state "obvious" damage reported within 48 hours and after install we accept condition. It wasn't fully installed as was stopped after noticing the crack.
I've sent them pictures of the bath as there is no clear damage i.e impact from anything its just cracked.
The product description is "Super Strong" and after measuring the side it's 2mm thick in some places and 3mm in others, very inconsistent, the fibreglass isn't fully bound to the enamel in places. They have pictures of all this.
We have since purchased another bath and that measures 5mm minimum round the edge so much stronger. 

This was the final line of their email "We can offer you a replacement with an increased discount of 50%, but this would be our maximum and final offer on this occasion."

We don't see why we should have to pay for another bath from them when the product doesn't meet the description. As I said to them so if it was fully installed we went to bath our little one slightly leant on it and it cracked that would be ok to them and sorry you would need to buy another one?

They seems to be ignoring me when claiming consumer rights act and refuse to acknowledge any issue, it's not just about the crack the fact they call it super strong and it flexes too much, the cutting is very inconsistent and is thinner along the side the crack has happened. 

I'm at the stage of cancelling the finance agreement until something is sorted we are still within 14 until this Friday. 

Any advice would be appreciated. 

Comments

  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,335 Forumite
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    Who has installed the bath?

    Just remember cancelling the finance could lead to a world of pain. As retailer could then take you to court for non payment.

    Finance co could well be your friend in this case. As they are joint and several liability on the purchase. Which cancelling will negate any help they can give.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Who did you buy from OP?

    How long ago was the bath delivered?
  • StarFour
    StarFour Posts: 8 Forumite
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    Bath was installed by professional fitter who also checked before moving the foam was left in place until it was in place to ensure no scratches etc etc 
    I trust the fitter and he is well respected so I know if it was anything else he would have said.

    it was purchased from showroom after being shown showroom model, they delivered from warehouse. Bath was delivered on 2nd Feb
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,541 Forumite
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    edited 14 February at 9:57PM
    StarFour said:


    it was purchased from showroom after being shown showroom model, they delivered from warehouse. Bath was delivered on 2nd Feb
    Thanks OP, their idea you need to report issues within 48 hours is nonsense, there's no time limit (other than 6 years to take legal action) for reporting issues.

    The key timing is 6 months as after this burden of proof falls on yourself which might make life difficult.

    You should advise them (by email would be ideal so you have a record) the goods do not conform to the contract as per Section 9 of the Consumer Rights as they are not of satisfactory quality, specifically with regards to paragraph 3(c) freedom from minor defects and as per Section 9, paragraph 14 goods which do not conform to the contract at any time within the period of six months beginning with the day on which the goods were delivered to the consumer must be taken not to have conformed to it on that day. As a result they obligated to provide a remedy of a repair or replacement and if they are unwilling to do so you are exercising the final right to reject the goods for a full refund and will issue small claims proceedings if this can not be met amicably. 

    If they won't agree you'd then send a letter before action and if they still won't agree you'd have to look at small claims. Is this a big business like a national chain or an independent showroom?  
  • StarFour
    StarFour Posts: 8 Forumite
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    Thank you for your response 

    it’s a national chain from a quick google with 137 stores
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Posts: 901 Forumite
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    StarFour said:
    Thank you for your response 

    it’s a national chain from a quick google with 137 stores
    So Easy Bathrooms? 

    Given you went to the showroom and purchased, there isn’t a distance selling regulation, so no 14 days to cancel the contract I believe. 

    How noticeable is the crack? Whilst I understand you don’t believe the installer did it; purchasing it yourself and then having an installer install it puts you in the middle of a messy argument. An obvious crack is going to be harder to claim that you didn’t notice until installation. A small crack is far easier to miss until installation. At what point was the installation stopped?

    If Easy Bathrooms, then their terms are certainly *interesting* - and more geared up to what I’d expect to see for trade rather than consumer. I’d think that Lunatic would be able to point to specific legalisation but generally retailers can’t take away from your rights (they are statutory) but they can add to them. Think of normal shops offering a no-fault returns policy - it’s not required under law, but gives additional protection. These terms written attempt to restrict your rights, and that is certainly sketchy. 

    With respect to the claims of super strong and it flexing too much, and the 1mm inconsistencies - is this the same model you viewed in the store? If so, I think the time to inspect the product for its suitability would be before purchasing the product rather than after, and those arguments may be making things a bit more complicated. 

    Finally, if the retailer was Easy Bathrooms - they seem to offer installation. Is it them that you went through for installation, and if so, how was it paid? If you paid for product and installation to the company, it shouldn’t matter if it was damaged during transit or during fitting, as they are responsible for the fitting too. You get far more protection if the company provides and fits the products. 

    Tl;dr:
    > if Easy Bathrooms - their terms are verging (if not entirely) on attempting to breach your statutory rights.
    > if Easy Bathrooms - did they organise the fitter, and how was the fitter paid (you to the merchant or to the fitter directly)? 
    > personally - I’d drop the inconsistencies/flexing issue - it’s a far weaker argument than the fault (as you should’ve inspected the product isn’t he show room before buying) 
    > focus on the fault being the crack - easier to prove; and arguments with the terms being unfair should help you compel a refund (or replacement) 
  • StarFour
    StarFour Posts: 8 Forumite
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    Thanks you Refluent

    Yes this is Easy Bathrooms. 

    We were never offered install they told us they don't do installs but gave us a load of cards for installers. The installer has done a few bathrooms for our family so I do trust him as he has always rectified any issues in the past but I get what you are saying that probably means nothing to easy bathrooms

    Installation stopped a little after the front foam was removed (this wasn't the first time but it was left on so didn't get caught on doors etc while being moved but was lifted to check initially), because some dirt got in it made it more obvious

    It was the same model that was viewed in store but that was fully fitted with panels on etc so couldn't see the under or thickness etc they didn't have a free standing bath to view. Because they said it was super strong we just thought it would be, I know that's an us issue we should have checked. 


  • As it's a big company and you aren't getting anywhere in store it's probably better to try their head office. 

    Objectively speaking there is a fair argument to say damage occurred during installation, the key point is that as far as consumer rights go it's for them to prove (on the balance of probability) that it occurred during installation rather than for you to prove it was like that to begin with. 
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Posts: 901 Forumite
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    As it's a big company and you aren't getting anywhere in store it's probably better to try their head office. 

    Objectively speaking there is a fair argument to say damage occurred during installation, the key point is that as far as consumer rights go it's for them to prove (on the balance of probability) that it occurred during installation rather than for you to prove it was like that to begin with. 
    Agree - and to add their terms are definitely sketchy. They can insist all they want for a 48hr inspection window. But not reporting something isn’t the same as saying everything is okay. Given this has happened so close to purchase I’d say fault is more with the product than the installer. 

    As lunatic says - try head office. Given the size of their chains, and the direct to consumer website - they should have customer service to some extent. 

    If that doesn’t work/get anywhere - you can try emailing the CEO, and then if that doesn’t work, potentially look at filing a letter before action. 

    Hopefully it won’t come to that though! 
  • StarFour
    StarFour Posts: 8 Forumite
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    Thank you both for your replies.

    This is head office I'm talking to, the store just say head office make the final decision and refuse to do anything else. Head office have been just as unhelpful and in an email stated "We can offer you a replacement with an increased discount of 50%, but this would be our maximum and final offer on this occasion." which is basically the same price we paid for the bath in the first place.
    I emailed head office quoting what you put yesterday lunatic but as of yet had nothing. 
    I also spoke with Citizens Advice just so I have all bases covered and they have basically said the same but to put it in a letter, plus they have reported it to Trading Standards due to the T&C's and how it's been handled, not what I was expecting.

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