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  • FIRST POST
    • Giant Hogweed
    • By Giant Hogweed 14th Oct 19, 6:44 PM
    • 150Posts
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    Giant Hogweed
    Refused refund for shower tray and faulty 'unfit for purpose' vanity unit.
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 19, 6:44 PM
    Refused refund for shower tray and faulty 'unfit for purpose' vanity unit. 14th Oct 19 at 6:44 PM
    Long story but will try to be brief.

    We had planned and got an estimate for a completely new shower room to replace the existing one and got a fitting team in place.

    In September 2018, went into a local Kitchen/Bathroom studio as Mrs Hogweed had seen a vanity unit, sink and taps at a very good price. Whilst there the proprietor was charming, and offered all sorts of discounts if we bought other items. His displays looked good, prices seemed ok, so we ordered everything except the tiles. All was promptly delivered to the shop but he said he couldn't store it for us so we had to take it and store it at home. No problem , we have a spare bedroom.

    Due to unforseen circumstances (illness) the fitting team weren't available until well after Christmas, but they eventually came and started in March 2019.

    On day one they hit the first snag as the shower tray drain sat directly over a main joist. This obviously wasn't seen until the bath and floorboards were ripped out. Our fitter had his team there and needed to proceed, so he rang the shop to ask for an exchange and was told to put it on a leg set. He also said the proprietor spoke to him like he didn't know what he was doing! We didn't want this, so I OK'd him to get another tray, identical in size but with an offset drain and the job proceeded without further hitch.

    We later went into the shop to ask for a refund, even offering to take a partial one for the traders trouble. he said he'd see what he could do, saying he'd speak to the rep of the supply company.
    We heard nothing for a couple of weeks so I rang. The proprietor said the rep had said no to a refund, so I asked him for one as he was the trader.
    He refused saying it had been custom made (no it wasn't, I looked at the company web site)(LIE),
    then it hadn't been stored correctly, (why wouldn't we?)(LIE), next he said it was damaged (how would he know, it was at our house and it is STILL in its original packaging)(LIE).
    He then bluntly said he didn't want it back and we should keep it as a spare! IT'S A 1.7m X .7m SHOWER TRAY. THAT DIDN'T FIT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!
    He then told me to put it on E Bay saying we'd easily get our money back.
    It's currently on at half what we paid for it (£250) with no interest.
    I tried to get a refund through my credit card but they knocked it back.

    So, apart from that we had a lovely new shower room.
    Now to part two (sorry but it gets worse).

    After just four months my wife noticed the vanity unit had split, not one but THREE of the panels, so I took the door off and we went to the shop. His face dropped when we walked in but I produced the door. He said that shouldn't have happened and asked if it had got wet!
    "It's a bathroom unit, what do you think? Condensation, and maybe the odd splash when the grandkids are staying and cleaning their teeth, but other than that, no".
    He said he'd look into it, and e mailed his supplier (and copied us in) stating the unit had failed during normal usage and should be replaced free of charge under guarantee. It was rejected, the contact saying it had got wet (again we were copied in). He then claimed any further claim should be made directly to the manufacturers as it was no longer his responsibility as we had admitted the unit had got EXCESS water on it, (the word excess was never mentioned) (LIE). And yes, we have copies.
    But, he did tell us the unit was no longer available (LIE, I googled it, it's readily available on Amazon) but he (happened) to have one in stock that we could have at a discount price as a favour to 'valued customers'. His discount price is higher than the cost on Amazon

    Meanwhile,

    We contacted citizens advice who told us he was responsible under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, so we made him aware of this. We also followed the Citizens advice on protocol, asking for his official complaints procedure and if not an alternative dispute resolution scheme.

    He has responded with a letter yet again claiming he has taken legal advice (doubtful) and he is no longer responsible as the unit wasn't fitted following the installation and the aftercare guidelines weren't followed(LIE). He also claimed in the same letter that his secretary had witnessed my wife admitting our grandchildren had splashed the unit. (LIE). It was me that had said they may have occasionally splashed it. when cleaning their teeth.

    We are now at letter before claim stage.
    What I want to know is should I go for a full refund (both shower tray and unit, total £380), just the faulty unit, (£130), extras such as fitting a new unit, and time trouble and stress chasing this up.

    (About 7 years ago I filed in small claims court on behalf of my daughter who's landlord had refused to reimburse her £100 bond. At the time the owed amount plus three times that amount could be claimed, £400, I know this as that's what I claimed, and he backed down and paid the amount claimed + three times it + my court fee. Is this still the same?).

    Sorry about the length of post, all advice greatly appreciated.

    PS a mate of mine also had a similar run in with this company about 15 years ago, presumably the now owner/proprietors father.
    Last edited by Giant Hogweed; 14-10-2019 at 7:04 PM.
Page 1
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 14th Oct 19, 7:13 PM
    • 13,811 Posts
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    theonlywayisup
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:13 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:13 PM
    I am sorry that was too much to read, so apologies back at you for not giving the advice other than what I think is correct skim reading.

    You waited 6 months to realise a joist in your house meant there were compatibility issues. That doesn't make the tray faulty.

    After four months your wife noticed the vanity unit had split. Was the four months the time from fitting or purchase? There is a difference and after 6 months from purchase the onus lies on you the purchaser to show the fault was inherent.

    I didn't read any more than that bit.
    • Spank
    • By Spank 14th Oct 19, 7:27 PM
    • 920 Posts
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    Spank
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:27 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:27 PM
    As you bought the items instore you have no right to a refund for items that are not damaged, so I don't understand why he was coming out with these excuses.

    As it's over 6 months it's up to you to prove that the vanity unit has an inherent fault and hasn't been stored wrong or has been exposed to excessive moisture
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 14th Oct 19, 7:34 PM
    • 8,743 Posts
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    eddddy
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:34 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:34 PM
    (About 7 years ago I filed in small claims court on behalf of my daughter who's landlord had refused to reimburse her £100 bond. At the time the owed amount plus three times that amount could be claimed, £400, I know this as that's what I claimed, and he backed down and paid the amount claimed + three times it + my court fee. Is this still the same?).
    Originally posted by Giant Hogweed
    Are you talking about a landlord who failed to protect a tenant's deposit?

    If so, the Housing Act 2004 Section 214 allows the tenant to claim 3 times the deposit as compensation from the landlord.

    Unfortunately, that's not related in any way to bathroom fittings.

    What I want to know is should I go for a full refund (both shower tray and unit, total £380), just the faulty unit, (£130), extras such as fitting a new unit, and time trouble and stress chasing this up.
    Originally posted by Giant Hogweed
    • The shower tray wasn't faulty, you just changed your mind. So no legal basis for a claim on that (unless the supplier said you could 'change your mind' and get a refund).
    • Presumably, there was no warranty on the unit. So the only basis for a claim in respect of the unit would be under consumer protection legislation.
    • That assumes you bought the unit as a consumer. If it was a 'trade only' supplier, or you suggested that you were 'in the trade', consumer protection legislation might not apply.
    • But if you can show that the supplier breached the contract in relation to supplying the unit, you could claim for consequential losses (e.g. the cost of fitting)
    • No scope for a claim for stress - unless perhaps you can get a statement from a health professional, or similar, stating something like the stress of this situation meant you were unable to work etc.
    • Simby
    • By Simby 14th Oct 19, 7:35 PM
    • 212 Posts
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    Simby
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:35 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 19, 7:35 PM
    I don’t think you can claim for the tray as that was not faulty and you bought it in store.

    But if you can prove ( assuming more then 6months old from purchase) I would pursue the vanity as it should clearly last a lot longer then it has , regarding the additional costs you could in my view resonantly also claim ( get a quote) for the cost of removal and also the original fitting.

    It is up to the judge on the day but it sounds as if the unit was not fit for purpose and providing you have the appropriate evidence
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 14th Oct 19, 9:17 PM
    • 16,764 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 19, 9:17 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 19, 9:17 PM
    Shower tray = your fault so no refund due.

    Cupboard door = faulty so replacement/repair/refund at the choice of the retailer.

    Write to them stating that it is faulty and you would like it replacing or refunding in full. If they do not refund or replace in 14 days, you will pay for an independent report to show it was inherently faulty (over 6 months old so you need to do this...) and will then pursue them for both the cost of the report and the cost of the faulty unit which is your legal right.

    Forget the shower tray though. That will discredit you as you have no right to any refund.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 14th Oct 19, 10:01 PM
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    BoGoF
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 19, 10:01 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 19, 10:01 PM
    Hint to OP......if you want to keep something 'brief' then try and leave out irrelevat nonsence which in your case was 75% of your post.
    • Giant Hogweed
    • By Giant Hogweed 14th Oct 19, 10:33 PM
    • 150 Posts
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    Giant Hogweed
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 19, 10:33 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 19, 10:33 PM
    Hint to OP......if you want to keep something 'brief' then try and leave out irrelevat nonsence which in your case was 75% of your post.
    Originally posted by BoGoF
    Why bother commenting if you can't be bothered to give any advice?
    • Giant Hogweed
    • By Giant Hogweed 14th Oct 19, 10:39 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    Giant Hogweed
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 19, 10:39 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 19, 10:39 PM
    I am sorry that was too much to read, so apologies back at you for not giving the advice other than what I think is correct skim reading.

    You waited 6 months to realise a joist in your house meant there were compatibility issues. That doesn't make the tray faulty.

    After four months your wife noticed the vanity unit had split. Was the four months the time from fitting or purchase? There is a difference and after 6 months from purchase the onus lies on you the purchaser to show the fault was inherent.

    I didn't read any more than that bit.
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    As I cant see through floorboards how else was I to know the joist was in the way? I didn't say the tray was faulty, just turned out to be unsuitable.
    As for the vanity unit, it wasn't split when fitted but despite having a five year guarantee it did split just four months after fitting, so IMHO proving not to be fit for purpose.
    • Giant Hogweed
    • By Giant Hogweed 14th Oct 19, 10:47 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    Giant Hogweed
    Are you talking about a landlord who failed to protect a tenant's deposit?

    If so, the Housing Act 2004 Section 214 allows the tenant to claim 3 times the deposit as compensation from the landlord.

    Unfortunately, that's not related in any way to bathroom fittings.


    • The shower tray wasn't faulty, you just changed your mind. So no legal basis for a claim on that (unless the supplier said you could 'change your mind' and get a refund).
    • Presumably, there was no warranty on the unit. So the only basis for a claim in respect of the unit would be under consumer protection legislation.
    • That assumes you bought the unit as a consumer. If it was a 'trade only' supplier, or you suggested that you were 'in the trade', consumer protection legislation might not apply.
    • But if you can show that the supplier breached the contract in relation to supplying the unit, you could claim for consequential losses (e.g. the cost of fitting)
    • No scope for a claim for stress - unless perhaps you can get a statement from a health professional, or similar, stating something like the stress of this situation meant you were unable to work etc.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Thanks for the info.
    We didn't change our minds about fitting the shower tray, once the team ripped out the bath and floorboards it just wouldn't fit due to the location of the drain.

    As for the vanity unit, it has a five year warranty but he's claiming it wasn't fitted correctly, looked after correctly and we allowed it to get excessively wet, all incorrect.
    he really wouldn't know the truth if it smacked him in the chops (which coincidentally is exactly what I'd like to do to him).
    Thanks for the advice.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 14th Oct 19, 10:58 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    I agree with the others. You have a case when it comes to the vanity unit. You have no case for the shower tray. It wasn’t faulty, you simply bought the wrong item for the location. That’s not a fault of the retailer or the product.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 14th Oct 19, 11:36 PM
    • 17,785 Posts
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    hollydays
    I'm quite patient, but I got a quarter of the way through your post then got bored
    • BoGoF
    • By BoGoF 15th Oct 19, 5:53 AM
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    BoGoF
    As I cant see through floorboards how else was I to know the joist was in the way? I didn't say the tray was faulty, just turned out to be unsuitable.
    Originally posted by Giant Hogweed
    That is not the retailers problem. As you have been told there is no right to a refund for a product bought instore that isn't faulty.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 15th Oct 19, 6:24 AM
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    theonlywayisup
    As I cant see through floorboards how else was I to know the joist was in the way? I didn't say the tray was faulty, just turned out to be unsuitable.
    As for the vanity unit, it wasn't split when fitted but despite having a five year guarantee it did split just four months after fitting, so IMHO proving not to be fit for purpose.
    Originally posted by Giant Hogweed
    The tray may be unsuitable but you have no rights to return it.

    I didn't read your whole post and said as much but tried to get the gist. Whether you said it was faulty or not is immaterial, it is not refundable.

    As for the vanity unit - you can either claim on the warranty (which is generally with the manufacturer and not the retailer) or on your consumer rights.

    As I said in my first post, when did you wife realise the vanity was faulty? Was it 6 months after purchase or more? The fact you noticed it broken 4 months after fitting is nothing to do with anything. The timings are from when you purchased, regardless of your personal circumstances and why it wasn't fitted immediately.

    It has been pointed out elsewhere in replies (pink shoes) what to do if you want to pursue your consumer rights. Consumer rights and warranty are not the same.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 15th Oct 19, 7:59 AM
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    Fosterdog
    I agree with everyone else on the shower tray, you have no case. It's not the tray that was unsuitable but your house/the joists that were unsuitable.

    I'm not 100% on the vanity unit though as I think there is more to it than you are letting on. I had a new bathroom fitted in April and every sub £1000 until I looked at were clearly described as not able to cope with being excessively wet, even the bath panels I bought to match the vanity unit has instructions to wipe down any drips immediately because sitting water will cause it to warp, delaminate, or split. Six months after fitting with us being careful to not leave excessive water on them and the bath panels and two storage units are in pristine condition.

    We did however have a small leak from our new basin tap and in just a couple of days of the water getting onto the vanity unit itself it has caused it to warp. This is not a fault as the unit is not designed to have that level of water on it and if anything my claim would be against the tap supplier because had their part not been faulty the unit would not have got damaged. We also do get little splashes on the units as part of days to day life using the bathroom but by wiping up any splashes straight away it has stopped any further damage.

    With yours if the panel has only split in areas that are splashed when your grandchildren are brushing their teeth then it probably is excessive moisture causing it and if the unit come with warnings and cleaning instructions (mine say never spray anything directly on them but to wipe with a damp cloth then dry with a dry cloth). I understand that anything designed to be used in a bathroom should be able to withstand a certain level of moisture but it is also an item made of wood so excessive moisture will always cause a problem and to get a better level of protection means paying a higher price or buying a unit made of a different material.

    An independent report should tell you either way whether the unit has failed prematurely or whether it hasn't been cared for correctly.
    • CardinalWolsey
    • By CardinalWolsey 15th Oct 19, 9:59 AM
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    CardinalWolsey
    It might help the OP to have it explained why the consensus opinion here is that you have no claim for the shower tray.

    For products bought wholly online, you have a period of 14 days from delivery to "change your mind", and return the product for a full refund. You are not allowed to use the product more than you might be reasonably able to do in a bricks and mortar store - i.e. you must return it "as new".

    Where you have not bought an item wholly online, you have no consumer right to return it for a change of mind - which is what you are wishing today with your shower tray. You are reliant on any goodwill from the retailer - and across the building trade parts are often ordered to customer request - i.e. no local stock is held. This means the retailer has to abide by the terms and conditions of their supplier, which will often mean either no refund or a restocking fee (plus the cost of the return shipping) - so for something like a shower tray I fully appreciate why they wouldn't take it back.

    The onus lies on yourself as the consumer to ensure that a product is suitable for use. Here we have a shower tray that would be fit for purpose when installed appropriately. You didn't want to install it on leg raisers (which is absolutely fine as a cosmetic decision), but you have to therefore accept that you are changing your mind about wanting to keep the tray.

    Even if the tray were to be faulty, due to the length of time that has passed since purchase, as others have noted the responsibility would be upon you to prove a fault was inherent through independent testing. If you were able to prove that, that doesn't mean you get your money back - it means the retailer can choose whether to refund your money - either in full or reduced to reflect the time and/or use you have had from the product, or to repair.

    For the vanity unit, exercise your consumer rights as above (with the retailer), but do so in a concise non-emotional (no CAPS) manner.
    • Jumblebumble
    • By Jumblebumble 16th Oct 19, 2:54 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    Jumblebumble
    As I cant see through floorboards how else was I to know the joist was in the way? I didn't say the tray was faulty, just turned out to be unsuitable.
    Aj
    .
    Originally posted by Giant Hogweed
    Perhaps pay someone who knows what they are doing to do the whole job.!
    Of course the trader does not want to lose his profit on the sale of the tray - why on earth should he?
    How are the floorboards attached to the joists ?
    • mattyprice4004
    • By mattyprice4004 16th Oct 19, 3:00 PM
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    mattyprice4004
    What a bonkers thread.
    Why do you think the retailer is on the hook for an exchange or refund because of an issue with unsuitability?

    Theyíre not, thatís entirely your problem. Itís not their fault you donít know whatís under your floorboards.

    The faulty unit isnít quite as clear cut - but I imagine youíve got their back up by stamping your feet and shouting I KNOW THE LAW when you apparently know very little of it.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 16th Oct 19, 4:03 PM
    • 8,291 Posts
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    waamo
    This may be of some use if you replace the tray http://www.detectorsaurus.co.uk/joist-detectors/
    This space for hire.
    • Giant Hogweed
    • By Giant Hogweed 28th Oct 19, 5:24 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    Giant Hogweed
    What a bonkers thread.
    Why do you think the retailer is on the hook for an exchange or refund because of an issue with unsuitability?

    Theyíre not, thatís entirely your problem. Itís not their fault you donít know whatís under your floorboards.

    The faulty unit isnít quite as clear cut - but I imagine youíve got their back up by stamping your feet and shouting I KNOW THE LAW when you apparently know very little of it.
    Originally posted by mattyprice4004
    No it's not their fault, but is it mine? I'm not a builder nor do I have x ray eyes it's unsuitability was discovered by the fitting team.
    Irrelevant now as I sold it.
    As for the second bit in red, I did nothing of the sort as you are correct on one count, I know nothing of the Law so I got some consumer rights advice.

    I got some fantastic help and advice on another section of this MSE site, the majority (but not all) on this section just seem to skit, can't see the point in bothering if you're not going to offer any information or advice.

    Don't think I'll bother again.
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