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  • FIRST POST
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    • 11Posts
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    soul_fool
    Double glazing compensation
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    Double glazing compensation 16th Apr 18 at 2:11 PM
    Hi,

    We recently employed a company to install new windows in our house, dismantle the front porch and build a new, bigger one. This was a smaller company than others we had quotes from and we liked that they were straightforward with their quote and didn't slowly chip away at it like the other companies did - making out they were doing us a favour.

    Anyway, the whole process has been a complete headache. We were originally told it would take about 10 days but they've been here 3.5 weeks now and it still isn't finished. I think it'll probably take 5 weeks in total to get done. Basically the guy has come clean to me and said he has a bigger job that has had some issues and so he's taken workers off of our job to prioritise the other one. Below are some of the main problems we've experienced:

    1. They ordered the wrong glass for the landing. As at today, the glass still hasnít been swapped out.

    2. The window configuration in the small bedroom is wrong. We have 2 fan lights where we asked for one.

    3. We have a hole in the outer layer of our conservatory roof due to falling debris when fitting the back bedroom window. No care was taken to protect the roof.

    4. Despite asking on more than one occasion for them to be filled, we were left with significant holes (fist size) in our brickwork on both the upper and lower bay windows for the best part of 2 weeks. This was during a period of significant wet weather that left ourselves at risk of damp.

    5. The skip was left on our shared drive for a week longer than promised.

    6. On more than one occasion, we were told the builders were due to start the following day only for them not to turn up.

    7. On multiple occasions the fitters did not complete a full dayís work, instead being pulled off of our job to complete work on another. There was a complete lack of communication regarding this and it has contributed to our job being delayed significantly. On days when they didnít turn up as we had been told they would, we had left the back gates unlocked for them. They were therefore left unlocked and unattended all day.

    7. Insufficient protection to our front door and the newly installed bay window when taking down the porch. This has resulted in damage to both the door and frame.

    8. The wrong glass has been ordered and fitted to the front panels of the porch. We asked for clear and they ordered reeded.

    9. The wrong glass has been ordered and fitted to the porch doors. We told them on more than one occasion what we wanted but, again, no notes were taken and so we have been left with the wrong glass and design.

    10. Both the shared gate and our garden gate left wide open on one occasion after they left for the day. Far from ideal when weíve had a spate of burglaries in the area recently.

    My wife is 7 months pregnant and we both wok full time. I am having to chase the guy on an almost daily basis via phone, text and email to discuss all the problems and find out why there's been little or no progress.

    The whole job is £15k, a massive amount of money for us, and the service we have received has been terrible frankly. I have paid a 30% deposit but am holding the rest back until we can agree on a suitable compensation amount.

    Does anyone have any idea what that should be? If we had known the significant delays and issues we'd have, we would've paid the extra £4,000 and gone with the bigger company who would have had this knocked out in 10 days.

    Does 10% or even 20% seem unreasonable?
Page 1
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 16th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    • 2,569 Posts
    • 1,585 Thanks
    AndyMc.....
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    How many boards are you going to post this question on?
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 2:29 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    soul_fool
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:29 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:29 PM
    Discovered the home improvement board after this one. Happy to remove one of the posts if you can advise which you feel is the most appropriate forum.


    Many thanks.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 16th Apr 18, 2:36 PM
    • 5,555 Posts
    • 9,295 Thanks
    Gavin83
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:36 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:36 PM
    The whole job is £15k, a massive amount of money for us, and the service we have received has been terrible frankly. I have paid a 30% deposit but am holding the rest back until we can agree on a suitable compensation amount.
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    As a warning you can't really do this, if they were to take you to court they would win. However it is of course better if you can come to a solution.

    Does 10% or even 20% seem unreasonable?
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    10% is probably too high.

    Are they rectifying the issues that have occured, ie: the damage and wrongly ordered parts? What extra costs have you incurred due to the delays? Was there a scheduled completion time in the contract?
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    soul_fool
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    They are rectifying the issues, but it's adding yet more delays. All the problems have been their doing as well. For instance, the 4 occasions where they ordered or fitted the wrong glass/windows were because the guvnor didn't take any notes when we were going through what we wanted.


    The latest issue, last Friday, where the wrong porch doors were fitted will take about 10 days to resolve as they will need to measure and order new ones.


    It is more to do with the inconvenience of the delays and stress caused to my heavily pregnant wife than any monetary costs we have suffered.


    There was no completion time mentioned in the contract, but the owner has admitted he said 10 days originally and has overrun significantly.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Apr 18, 3:02 PM
    • 13,066 Posts
    • 10,414 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:02 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:02 PM
    As a warning you can't really do this, if they were to take you to court they would win. However it is of course better if you can come to a solution.



    10% is probably too high.

    Are they rectifying the issues that have occured, ie: the damage and wrongly ordered parts? What extra costs have you incurred due to the delays? Was there a scheduled completion time in the contract?
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    OP has the right to offset, but only the amount that OP has a claim in law to.

    Schedule 2, Part 1, paragraph 1, states that the following may be unfair:
    (2) A term which has the object or effect of inappropriately excluding
    or limiting the legal rights of the consumer in relation to the trader
    Ö including the option of offsetting a debt owed to the trader
    against any claim which the consumer may have against the
    trader
    So if work is still needed to bring the works within conformity of the contract and/or OP has suffered any quantifiable loss that they would not have otherwise suffered if the contract had been completed correctly, then OP is entitled to hold back that sum but should pay the rest. That is providing it has fallen due under the terms of the contract. If the amount isn't due yet then its not due yet.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Apr 18, 3:06 PM
    • 13,066 Posts
    • 10,414 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:06 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:06 PM
    They are rectifying the issues, but it's adding yet more delays. All the problems have been their doing as well. For instance, the 4 occasions where they ordered or fitted the wrong glass/windows were because the guvnor didn't take any notes when we were going through what we wanted.


    The latest issue, last Friday, where the wrong porch doors were fitted will take about 10 days to resolve as they will need to measure and order new ones.


    It is more to do with the inconvenience of the delays and stress caused to my heavily pregnant wife than any monetary costs we have suffered.


    There was no completion time mentioned in the contract, but the owner has admitted he said 10 days originally and has overrun significantly.
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    Unfortunately, claims for distress and inconvenience are only allowed for certain types of contract - where the provision of the contract itself is for relaxation, enjoyment and peace of mind.

    Even in those cases, the amounts awarded are usually trivial compared to the level of inconvenience & distress suffered.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    soul_fool
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    Thanks. But in terms of pure inconvenience and delay, is this something that has to be agreed upon by client and contractor?


    Part of the quote was to get the job finished in 10 days (not mentioned in the contract but admitted by the contractor). If they had said at the start it would take them 5 weeks, they wouldn't have got the job.


    Just because all works have eventually been completed, I don't feel that warrants full payment. Theoretically, they could take 2 years to finish the job but as long as all the windows are in and we got what we asked for they would be entitled to the full amount?
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 3:12 PM
    • 2,476 Posts
    • 3,289 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:12 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:12 PM
    It comes down to the agreement you have with them. What does it say about timely completion and did you specify/agree any deductions if deadlines were missed? If you absolutely needed it done within a certain timeframe you needed to have agreed that at the outset. In the same way that you wouldn't have contracted them had you known they would take so long, they may not have taken on the job if you made full payment conditional upon completion in a certain timeframe.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 3:16 PM
    • 2,476 Posts
    • 3,289 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    Seeing as this seems to have become the thread that's running, here's my reply from the duplicate thread in the DIY section.

    It sounds a nightmare. If you're going to go for compensation or a discount, you need to quantify your losses. I assume you have a way of attributing parts of the £15k to the relevant parts of the job, so you have some way of attributing losses or withholding the appropriate amount of money until the element is completed properly? Beyond that, you're dependent upon the firm agreeing that they've done a poor job for you and making a deduction to recognise that. My thoughts on the various elements are below. Stick to the factual and get rid of the drama - you stand a better chance of achieving something if you are factual and assertive rather than talking about things like pregnancy and the risk of being burgled.
    Hi,

    We recently employed a company to install new windows in our house, dismantle the front porch and build a new, bigger one. This was a smaller company than others we had quotes from and we liked that they were straightforward with their quote and didn't slowly chip away at it like the other companies did - making out they were doing us a favour.

    Anyway, the whole process has been a complete headache. We were originally told it would take about 10 days but they've been here 3.5 weeks now and it still isn't finished. I think it'll probably take 5 weeks in total to get done. Basically the guy has come clean to me and said he has a bigger job that has had some issues and so he's taken workers off of our job to prioritise the other one. Below are some of the main problems we've experienced:

    1. They ordered the wrong glass for the landing. As at today, the glass still hasnít been swapped out. Withhold the money for this element until finished.

    2. The window configuration in the small bedroom is wrong. We have 2 fan lights where we asked for one. Withhold the money for this element until finished.

    3. We have a hole in the outer layer of our conservatory roof due to falling debris when fitting the back bedroom window. No care was taken to protect the roof. Get a quote to replace the element of the damaged roof and withhold a sum of that amount. I expect the glazier will claim this on their insurance to get it fixed.

    4. Despite asking on more than one occasion for them to be filled, we were left with significant holes (fist size) in our brickwork on both the upper and lower bay windows for the best part of 2 weeks. This was during a period of significant wet weather that left ourselves at risk of damp. Presumably you didn't suffer from damp, so is there a loss here or not?
    Have the holes been filled satisfactorily now?


    5. The skip was left on our shared drive for a week longer than promised. What loss did you suffer here?

    6. On more than one occasion, we were told the builders were due to start the following day only for them not to turn up. What loss did you suffer here?

    7. On multiple occasions the fitters did not complete a full dayís work, instead being pulled off of our job to complete work on another. There was a complete lack of communication regarding this and it has contributed to our job being delayed significantly. On days when they didnít turn up as we had been told they would, we had left the back gates unlocked for them. They were therefore left unlocked and unattended all day. What loss did you suffer here? Were you burgled?

    7. Insufficient protection to our front door and the newly installed bay window when taking down the porch. This has resulted in damage to both the door and frame. Get a quote to repair/replace the damage and withhold a sum of that amount. I expect the glazier will claim this on their insurance to get it fixed.

    8. The wrong glass has been ordered and fitted to the front panels of the porch. We asked for clear and they ordered reeded. Withhold the money for this element until finished.

    9. The wrong glass has been ordered and fitted to the porch doors. We told them on more than one occasion what we wanted but, again, no notes were taken and so we have been left with the wrong glass and design. Withhold the money for this element until finished.

    10. Both the shared gate and our garden gate left wide open on one occasion after they left for the day. Far from ideal when weíve had a spate of burglaries in the area recently. What loss did you suffer here? Were you burgled?

    My wife is 7 months pregnant Congratulations, but what has this got to do with anything?and we both wok full time Yum! . I am having to chase the guy on an almost daily basis via phone, text and email to discuss all the problems and find out why there's been little or no progress.

    The whole job is £15k, a massive amount of money for us, and the service we have received has been terrible frankly. I have paid a 30% deposit but am holding the rest back until we can agree on a suitable compensation amount.

    Does anyone have any idea what that should be? If we had known the significant delays and issues we'd have, we would've paid the extra £4,000 and gone with the bigger company who would have had this knocked out in 10 days.

    Does 10% or even 20% seem unreasonable?
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 3:21 PM
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    soul_fool
    We have nothing in the contract about completion times and/or penalties (lesson learned there).


    The owner spoke to me last week to explain the issues they've been having and to say he admits the service we've received has not been good enough. So it's not as if they're oblivious to the fact or not willing to listen.


    I dropped him an email on Friday evening listing all the issues we've had and asking him how he'd feel if he were in our shoes and what does he think would be a suitable outcome. I haven't specifically mentioned compensation yet, but I absolutely am going to once the job is completed. And I will let him make the first offer.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 3:28 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    Ok, but do quantify the real losses you have suffered and insist on the resolution of the faults before you pay for those elements.

    It sounds as if they might be amenable to a reduction as a gesture of goodwill but as someone else said, make sure it's agreed with them rather than you withholding money unreasonably.
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 3:29 PM
    • 11 Posts
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    soul_fool
    Thanks for your detailed response. As mentioned earlier, we haven't actually suffered any financial loss but I don't think that's the point. Like I said, if they took 2 years to do the job would they be entitled to full payment as long as everything we asked for had been done?


    I guess inconvenience is a very subjective thing and hard to quantify. But we have been inconvenienced by the whole episode and as the client, it's our opinion that matters.


    Hopefully they will see this and make a sensible offer of compensation, but I will not be swayed by a £50 gesture of good will.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 3:48 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    Thanks for your detailed response. As mentioned earlier, we haven't actually suffered any financial loss but I don't think that's the point. Like I said, if they took 2 years to do the job would they be entitled to full payment as long as everything we asked for had been done? It is the point though and if push comes to shove, you won't be able to quantify non-material losses in any dispute or small claims court.
    If it looked like it was a never-ending project, you could stop work, pay them for what they have done and hire another contractor to complete the job, so it wouldn't get to two years and they wouldn't get full payment - only payment for what they have completed and deductions for any damage they've caused.


    I guess inconvenience is a very subjective thing and hard to quantify. But we have been inconvenienced by the whole episode and as the client, it's our opinion that matters.
    Your opinion as the client is valid, but no, it doesn't matter. It might matter to the firm in the long run if they lose business through reputation but that doesn't help you now.

    Hopefully they will see this and make a sensible offer of compensation, but I will not be swayed by a £50 gesture of good will. When it comes to what they offer/suggest by way of compensation, you don't hold many cards so it's not about what will sway you. If they offer £50 for your unquantified losses and you refuse, what next? Fast forward to the point where the dispute becomes formal and you've refused a compensation offer and it might not reflect well on you.
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    I'm being critical because these are things you will have to face if you start trying to play hard-ball. I presume that you have no appetite to stop work and employ someone else, so at this stage you need the firm on-side to resolve the problems you have (damage) and to complete the job. I'm sure the contractor would rather have it done and dusted because your job is blocking other business. Whatever figure you have in mind as a minimum (let's say it's £1000), what are you going to do if their offer is half that?
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 4:01 PM
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    soul_fool
    Whatever figure you have in mind as a minimum (let's say it's £1000), what are you going to do if their offer is half that?
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. This is a small company though that gets their business by word of mouth and so their reputation is everything. We've already had 2 neighbors say how much they like the windows and asking for details of the company, but we're going to go back to them and say they should be avoided.


    If they want to play hard ball, I can do that. There will be bad reviews left all over the internet which could be particularly damaging for a company of this size. I'd rather not do that though as, despite what you may think reading my posts, I'm not a vindictive or spiteful person. But I'm also not here to be walked over. Hopefully they will offer something that I find reasonable and I can then wash my hands of them.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 16th Apr 18, 4:01 PM
    • 11,273 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    Like I said, if they took 2 years to do the job would they be entitled to full payment as long as everything we asked for had been done?
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    But they haven't taken 2 years, so that is irrelevant.
    • bigisi
    • By bigisi 16th Apr 18, 4:05 PM
    • 485 Posts
    • 853 Thanks
    bigisi
    despite what you may think reading my posts, I'm not a vindictive or spiteful person.
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    Clearly........................

    If they want to play hard ball, I can do that. There will be bad reviews left all over the internet
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 16th Apr 18, 4:23 PM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. This is a small company though that gets their business by word of mouth and so their reputation is everything. We've already had 2 neighbors say how much they like the windows and asking for details of the company, but we're going to go back to them and say they should be avoided.

    If they want to play hard ball, I can do that. There will be bad reviews left all over the internet which could be particularly damaging for a company of this size. I'd rather not do that though as, despite what you may think reading my posts, I'm not a vindictive or spiteful person. But I'm also not here to be walked over. Hopefully they will offer something that I find reasonable and I can then wash my hands of them.
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    All very impressive and good for your sense of injustice I'm sure, but it isn't going to get you the compensation you desire.

    And as for posting lots of bad reviews, you only have to take a cursory glance at the posts on these forums to see that plenty of people are great at carrying out due diligence on their contractors, usually after they encounter problems. On that note, what due diligence did you carry out on this firm before employing them? Perhaps they already have some poor reviews from previous customers they've let down? if they have, then it clearly didn't stop them getting £15k of your business.

    I know you're angry about the situation, justifiably so, but a cool, rational, assertive approach to this is going to get a better result than indignant threats and a stubborn view on what you think you're entitled to. You should accept your own part in the problems that have ensued because from your description you have employed someone to undertake a reasonably expensive project without having put in place a proper contract with terms to suit your needs and possibly without decent oversight of the project as it's unfolded. I'm not suggesting the firm aren't primarily responsible but it sounds as if you've let the situation run away from you.
    • soul_fool
    • By soul_fool 16th Apr 18, 4:40 PM
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    soul_fool
    Thank you all for your responses. Some differences of opinion, but when isn't there.


    They were meant to be on site all day today, so it'll be interesting to see what progress they've made (if any) later on. I'm sticking by my guns though and will expect to be offered compensation - and will ask for it if not offered.


    I'll be sure to keep you posted on the final outcome.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Apr 18, 5:16 PM
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    unholyangel
    Thank you all for your responses. Some differences of opinion, but when isn't there.
    Originally posted by soul_fool
    Where was the difference of opinion? As far as I understand it, all replies seem to have been unanimous.

    We're not telling you not to ask for goodwill, we're just trying to explain that there are rules around what you can legally recover and this isn't part of it.

    To give you an idea of what the courts might award even if your contract fit into the exceptions I listed, a married couple were unable to live in the home they had purchased and had to spend 2 years travelling across the country to oversee works required to bring the building up to habitable standards. They also attributed a large part of their divorce to the problems caused by the house. This was after a survey failed to highlight the issues. They were awarded the princely sum of £750 - about £1 per day.

    Now you haven't been unable to live in your home and haven't had the inconvenience of travelling several hundred miles every week to oversee work that should never have been required in the first place. So how do you think your claim would weigh up against that?

    In law, unless you explicitly made time of the essence at the time of entering the contract, them breaching the initial time frame doesn't entitle you to end the contract. You can send a letter giving a further deadline and then if that deadline is breached, you can treat the contract as at an end. Although you'd still be due to pay them the balance less the amount it would cost you to have the contract completed and any other reasonable quantifiable losses.

    Civil law is not penal in nature. It is designed to put you into as near a position as possible to the position you would have been in had the contract been performed correctly - or as near as money can achieve it (in other words, that you shouldn't be out of pocket for actual financial losses). It won't go further than that because that goes further than required to restore you to your rightful position and moves into the territory of penalising the party in breach - which is the job of criminal law, not civil.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
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