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    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 29th Oct 19, 11:27 PM
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    kswilson89
    Deposit refund, where do I stand?
    • #1
    • 29th Oct 19, 11:27 PM
    Deposit refund, where do I stand? 29th Oct 19 at 11:27 PM
    Hello

    First time poster here. I'd like to please ask for some help regarding a custom ordered guitar body that I bought from on online builder/seller. I found the builder on a guitar forum and he had many positive reviews so I decided to order a body from him to put my own guitar together from parts. I enquired through his website and got a reply to my email, where we conversed back and forth about the specification of the body. We came to the conclusion that the body would cost a total of 385 and I would pay a deposit of 150. I paid the deposit via PayPal family and friends (should have paid through goods and services!) on 15th March and he stated that the body would take "I'd say 12-14 weeks".

    Right, so 14 weeks passes by and I'd not received an update on the progress of the build. I thought "okay, maybe he's pretty busy, and so am I so I'll leave it a bit longer, no rush". 24 weeks passes (beginning of September), so 10 weeks after the upper end of the estimate, and my patience has worn thin. I contacted the builder and requested my deposit back as he hadn't adhered to the 12-14 week estimate. At this point he apologises for the delay and states that his company has been expanding which "has been difficult but worth it"... Well not worth it for me. He stated that I was not entitled to a refund as it was a custom order and the timescale was an estimate. He then said that the body will be finished the following week and he will try and sell it on and "send you some money back". I then replied asking him to reconsider the refund situation as if I had known that the build would take 25 weeks I wouldn't have gone through with the order. I also stated that I'd bought custom made bodies from other builders that took 6 weeks. This email went ignored.

    So, 4 weeks later at the start of October I sent a simple email asking for an update on the situation to which I received no reply. I then sent another email this evening, another 4 weeks later, expressing my frustration at the situation. I received a reply stating that he had sold the body for 200 and I was not entitled to a penny in refund but that he will give me back 50 as a good will gesture. He also stated that I'd caught him at a bad time as his mother and grandmother were currently in intensive care and requested that I do not reply to the email as he can't deal with it mentally.

    From my point of view, I genuinely feel sorry for him if he's going through something as difficult as having loved ones in intensive care. However I find it quite appalling that this topic has been brought into a disagreement relating to his business. It also seems to me that the 50 would never have been paid back to me had I not proactively enquired about it. From a legal standpoint, does anyone know where I stand in regaining the other 100 of the deposit?
    Last edited by kswilson89; 30-10-2019 at 12:03 AM.
Page 1
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 30th Oct 19, 7:21 AM
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    LadyDee
    • #2
    • 30th Oct 19, 7:21 AM
    • #2
    • 30th Oct 19, 7:21 AM
    His situation is difficult for him (if it's true) but that's not your concern. I would be sending him a Letter before Action by ordinary 1st class post - preferably get it posted from a PO away from your address, keep the Certificate of Posting. Have somebody else address the letter if he knows your handwriting. Give him 14 days to return your deposit in full and then go through the Small Claims procedure.

    Just because he's claiming it was an estimate, the length of time you've waited and given that he's now sold it to someone else, means he's unable (or unwilling) to fulfil the contract he made with you.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 30th Oct 19, 7:54 AM
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    pinkshoes
    • #3
    • 30th Oct 19, 7:54 AM
    • #3
    • 30th Oct 19, 7:54 AM

    He then said that the body will be finished the following week and he will try and sell it on and "send you some money back". I then replied asking him to reconsider the refund situation as if I had known that the build would take 25 weeks I wouldn't have gone through with the order.
    Originally posted by kswilson89
    Did you agree to him selling the body on? I very much doubt he had even built it so this buyer is a myth...

    I would write to him:

    "Dear X. On <date> we agreed a price of 385 for a custom body to be made and I paid a deposit of 150. A time frame of 12 to 14 weeks was given. After 24 weeks I requested a refund as you had not supplied the body. You claimed the body would be finished in a week and you would sell it on. I did NOT agree to this. I am therefore giving you 14 days to either supply the body as per the specification or issue a full refund. After 14 days if I do not have a satisfactory resolution then the matter will be taken to the small claims court."

    Make sure the letter is titled "Letter before action" and sent first class with proof of postage.
    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!)
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 30th Oct 19, 8:51 AM
    • 8,331 Posts
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    DoaM
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 19, 8:51 AM
    • #4
    • 30th Oct 19, 8:51 AM
    Did you agree to him selling the body on? I very much doubt he had even built it so this buyer is a myth...

    I would write to him:

    "Dear X. On <date> we agreed a price of 385 for a custom body to be made and I paid a deposit of 150. A time frame of 12 to 14 weeks was given. After 24 weeks I requested a refund as you had not supplied the body. You claimed the body would be finished in a week and you would sell it on. I did NOT agree to this. I am therefore giving you 14 days to either supply the body as per the specification or issue a full refund. After 14 days if I do not have a satisfactory resolution then the matter will be taken to the small claims court."

    Make sure the letter is titled "Letter before action" and sent first class with proof of postage.
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    Bear in mind that the bold bit will require you to pay him the 235 balance.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 9:01 AM
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    kswilson89
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:01 AM
    • #5
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:01 AM
    Did you agree to him selling the body on? I very much doubt he had even built it so this buyer is a myth...

    I would write to him:

    "Dear X. On <date> we agreed a price of 385 for a custom body to be made and I paid a deposit of 150. A time frame of 12 to 14 weeks was given. After 24 weeks I requested a refund as you had not supplied the body. You claimed the body would be finished in a week and you would sell it on. I did NOT agree to this. I am therefore giving you 14 days to either supply the body as per the specification or issue a full refund. After 14 days if I do not have a satisfactory resolution then the matter will be taken to the small claims court."

    Make sure the letter is titled "Letter before action" and sent first class with proof of postage.
    Nope I didn't agree to it at all, I asked him to reconsider giving me a refund. Am I obliged to give him 14 days to complete the body? As I don't want it now that we're 32 weeks down the line, I would just prefer a full refund of the deposit.

    keep the Certificate of Posting.
    Is this available at any post office? Does it need to be dated and stamped?

    Thanks for your help everyone
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 9:18 AM
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    kswilson89
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:18 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:18 AM
    Just reading back through my emails, one caveat to this is that I (stupidly) paid the deposit the night before asking how long the build would take. So I've paid the deposit and he's then said 12-14 weeks the day after. Does this have any bearing on where I stand?
    • wesleyad
    • By wesleyad 30th Oct 19, 9:24 AM
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    wesleyad
    • #7
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:24 AM
    • #7
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:24 AM
    Just reading back through my emails, one caveat to this is that I (stupidly) paid the deposit the night before asking how long the build would take. So I've paid the deposit and he's then said 12-14 weeks the day after. Does this have any bearing on where I stand?
    Originally posted by kswilson89
    Not really, the small claims court will just look at a "reasonable timeframe" for goods to be supplied (which can change depending on complexity of goods), but 24 weeks is clearly well above anything reasonable (by a long way).

    But really it's moot, once he receives the LBA and realizes you aren't giving up on your 150 I'd be very surprised if you dont receive it pretty promptly
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 9:42 AM
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    kswilson89
    • #8
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:42 AM
    • #8
    • 30th Oct 19, 9:42 AM
    Not really, the small claims court will just look at a "reasonable timeframe" for goods to be supplied (which can change depending on complexity of goods), but 24 weeks is clearly well above anything reasonable (by a long way).

    But really it's moot, once he receives the LBA and realizes you aren't giving up on your 150 I'd be very surprised if you dont receive it pretty promptly
    Thank you, the seller is based in Northern Ireland, does the LBA still apply in the same way as it does in England?
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 30th Oct 19, 12:51 PM
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    DoaM
    • #9
    • 30th Oct 19, 12:51 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Oct 19, 12:51 PM
    It does ... the only caveat is that any claim would need to be pursued through the NI courts. You could try raising a paper claim (i.e. not through MCOL) to transfer jurisdiction to the English courts, but that may have its own pitfalls and expenses which could swamp the value of what you're claiming.

    Unless he turns out to be reasonable then I suspect you may have to kiss goodbye to the 150.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 1:40 PM
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    kswilson89
    It does ... the only caveat is that any claim would need to be pursued through the NI courts. You could try raising a paper claim (i.e. not through MCOL) to transfer jurisdiction to the English courts, but that may have its own pitfalls and expenses which could swamp the value of what you're claiming.

    Unless he turns out to be reasonable then I suspect you may have to kiss goodbye to the 150.
    So if I were to pursue it through the NI courts could I not add any costs incurred to my claim?
    • bris
    • By bris 30th Oct 19, 2:08 PM
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    bris
    There are some issues with your case.


    You should have sent him a "time is of the essence letter" as the time frame was just an estimate so nothing set in stone.


    It can't be argued that you cancelled the order as when he offered to sell it on you didn't decline. This leaves him to sell for the best price he can get and refund you the balance.


    The chances of him actually selling the body are slim though so he is probably lying on this part.


    If you do take it to court he would need to prove all the steps taken to mitigate his loss, which he probably wont do, or even turn up.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 30th Oct 19, 3:09 PM
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    pinkshoes
    Nope I didn't agree to it at all, I asked him to reconsider giving me a refund. Am I obliged to give him 14 days to complete the body? As I don't want it now that we're 32 weeks down the line, I would just prefer a full refund of the deposit.



    Is this available at any post office? Does it need to be dated and stamped?

    Thanks for your help everyone
    Originally posted by kswilson89
    You ought to give him a chance to complete it, but...

    I would be tempted to say in the letter that as he has now sold the body which was not agreed, then he has 14 days to refund in full before court action as he will no longer be able to supply what you wanted.
    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!)
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 3:47 PM
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    kswilson89
    It does ... the only caveat is that any claim would need to be pursued through the NI courts. You could try raising a paper claim (i.e. not through MCOL) to transfer jurisdiction to the English courts, but that may have its own pitfalls and expenses which could swamp the value of what you're claiming.

    Unless he turns out to be reasonable then I suspect you may have to kiss goodbye to the 150.
    I'd argue that the chances of him selling the body are pretty high, this is his sole business and he is very popular, making parts for many famous musicians and guitar players. Plus the specification I asked for was relatively common and the body was finished in a popular colour.

    Regarding the estimate, is it justifiable for him to state an estimate and then give the reason of "expanding the business" for it being late? Expanding the business at my detriment.

    Also, if I hadn't have got in touch with him I would never have received the 50 back. If indeed he did sell it then why didn't he give me that money there and then?

    Do you think I have a case if I were to argue all these points, amongst the rest?

    Thanks for your help again.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 30th Oct 19, 8:52 PM
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    LadyDee
    Why don't you just write the letter, send it from a PO away from your own address, certificate of postage available at any PO.

    If he pays up all done & dusted, if he doesn't that will be the time to decide on further action and where and whether it's worth it.
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 9:07 PM
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    kswilson89
    Why don't you just write the letter, send it from a PO away from your own address, certificate of postage available at any PO.

    If he pays up all done & dusted, if he doesn't that will be the time to decide on further action and where and whether it's worth it.
    Sounds like good advice. Is there a particular reason to use a PO box? I'm not that bothered if he knows my home address. Also, should I tell him via email (as that's how we've been communicating) that I'll be sending the letter? It could possibly prompt him to act on it straight away.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 30th Oct 19, 10:32 PM
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    waamo
    Sounds like good advice. Is there a particular reason to use a PO box? I'm not that bothered if he knows my home address. Also, should I tell him via email (as that's how we've been communicating) that I'll be sending the letter? It could possibly prompt him to act on it straight away.
    Originally posted by kswilson89
    I've looked several times and can't see anyone saying use a PO Box.
    This space for hire.
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 30th Oct 19, 11:30 PM
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    kswilson89
    I've looked several times and can't see anyone saying use a PO Box.

    You're right, my mistake.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 31st Oct 19, 1:16 AM
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    LadyDee
    The reason for posting with a postmark away from your address is that he knows where you live and could deny he's received the letter. 1st class is deemed to have arrived 2/3 days after posting but it will just complicate matters if he does deny receiving the letter. If you've written to him before he'll know your handwriting so get someone else to address it.

    No - don't warn him.

    Please can somebody direct OP to a standard Letter before Action?!
    Last edited by LadyDee; 31-10-2019 at 1:19 AM.
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 31st Oct 19, 8:25 AM
    • 8,331 Posts
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    DoaM
    Please can somebody direct OP to a standard Letter before Action?!
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    I'm sure the OP is as equally capable of using Google as any of us.
    Diary of a madman
    Walk the line again today
    Entries of confusion
    Dear diary, I'm here to stay
    • kswilson89
    • By kswilson89 31st Oct 19, 9:03 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    kswilson89
    The reason for posting with a postmark away from your address is that he knows where you live and could deny he's received the letter. 1st class is deemed to have arrived 2/3 days after posting but it will just complicate matters if he does deny receiving the letter. If you've written to him before he'll know your handwriting so get someone else to address it.

    No - don't warn him.

    Please can somebody direct OP to a standard Letter before Action?!
    Okay, I've already searched for some LBA templates so I've got a good idea of what to put in the letter. Also, could I not just send it via recorded/special delivery to ensure confirmation of delivery?
    Last edited by kswilson89; 31-10-2019 at 9:46 AM.
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