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  • FIRST POST
    • MrAnalogy
    • By MrAnalogy 9th Jul 18, 1:05 PM
    • 96Posts
    • 15Thanks
    MrAnalogy
    Contract formed? Urgent!
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 18, 1:05 PM
    Contract formed? Urgent! 9th Jul 18 at 1:05 PM
    Boiler Replacement Grants

    As we are on very low income we applied for a replacement boiler grant in April.

    We had a survey done and were advised that we should receive a quote within 2 - 3 days.

    After about 10 days we contacted the installation company and were told that they were very busy and that it would be 2 - 3 weeks.

    After 4 weeks we contacted them and were told that it should not be taking that long and that somebody would "look into it" and "chase it up".

    After 6 weeks I sent an email complaining that nothing had been happening and that it was now 6 weeks since the survey. I suspect that this time it was read by a senior manager who contacted me and sent me quote that same day!

    After checking it, and confirming the grant value was correct (lower than I had thought, but this was explained to me) and signed the quote and returned it.

    I was advised to contact the operations people for an installation date and they told me the middle to late July, and would confirm by the end of the first week of July.

    On this basis I organised for their required scaffolding to be erected for today, to make sure it was available for them.

    I called them at noon today to be informed that as of last week the "funding had run out" and that unless there was a cancellation or further funding could be found (unlikely) then they would be unable to do the work.

    As you can imagine I was not very impressed!

    I have asked to be called by a senior manager today (of course at the time of my call they were in a "Managers Meeting") who would be able to discuss the matter and offer a satisfactory resolution.

    Regardless of the unacceptable delay between survey and quote, as far as I am concerned the receipt of a full quotation and the return of it signed constituted a formal contract.

    Whilst I appreciate that the funding for the grants comes from outside the company, I believe that including it in the quotation means that the grant availability should have been confirmed and ring fenced, rather than leaving it weeks down the line at the point of installation scheduling.

    I am not absolutely sure of my rights in this slightly complicated situation, but as far as I am concerned (and also paying out 400+ for the scaffolding!) the work should/must go ahead.

    If they are recalcitrant would there any benefit in threatening small claims action at all?

    I would be most grateful for any input - our boiler is on its last legs (15+) and we really do need a replacement but without the grant it was not really affordable.

    Thanks again and Best Regards
Page 1
    • bris
    • By bris 9th Jul 18, 2:16 PM
    • 7,729 Posts
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    bris
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 2:16 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 2:16 PM
    Does the contract say subject to available funding or along those lines.


    It's probably in there, have a good read and see what the contract actually says.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 9th Jul 18, 2:34 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 2,600 Thanks
    steampowered
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 2:34 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 2:34 PM
    It would depend what the quote says.

    If the quote looked like a formal contract and instruction to proceed, a contract may have been formed.

    However, if as I suspect is likely, the quote was less definitive, it would merely be seen as an 'offer' which could be accepted or rejected by the builder.

    Do complain to see if they can offer a resolution but I think they are unlikely to do the work if they are not going to get paid for it.
    • MrAnalogy
    • By MrAnalogy 9th Jul 18, 3:39 PM
    • 96 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    MrAnalogy
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:39 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:39 PM
    Sadly I can not remember the contents of all the small print, but it certainly appeared to me to be a formal contract (5 or 6 pages at least!).

    If that loophole is in there, due you think there is any mileage in the situation regarding the unacceptable delays on their part in actually progressing the application?

    I realised that the funding was time-limited, but obviously their unacceptable delays due to "administration-error" led to my application arriving just too late before the funding finished.

    Were they aware that the funding was close to finishing when I previously spoke to them, and that I was funding my own scaffolding?

    Their last communication was that they would supply an installation date (provisionally mid to late July) and would confirm at the end of the first week of July. Surely they must have known by then that the funding was nearly at an end and could have issued a warning?

    Hopefully I will hear from somebody at the company today, but if not then I will probably contact the district authority sponsoring the initiative to see what they have to say.

    Thank you for your responses.

    Best Regards
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 9th Jul 18, 7:33 PM
    • 8,666 Posts
    • 6,430 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 7:33 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 7:33 PM
    In this financial environment, you've not taken into account the very real possibility that the funding has been reduced.
    • MrAnalogy
    • By MrAnalogy 9th Jul 18, 8:51 PM
    • 96 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    MrAnalogy
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 8:51 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 8:51 PM
    As I mentioned in a previous post I was aware that funding could run out or be cut-off at any time. My point is that if a offer of contract has been made and accepted, that it is not unreasonable at that time to expect that the funding has been allocated if not yet paid.

    I do not find it acceptable or understandable for a company to keep on doing surveys, issuing quotations and forming contracts when they apparently have no awareness at all how much in grant funds is still available, or when the cut-off date is.

    I would agree with you if there was a change of policy - a change of cut-off date or a sudden withdrawal of any funding left in the pot, but as far as I am aware no such change has been announced.

    Surely there must have been some accounting of how much funding was left (either on a date or amount left basis) for them to stop offering further surveys and quotes/contracts which they should have been aware could never have been fulfilled?

    I accept your point about the insecurity of the funding up until the point of the receipt of the signed quotation, but I feel that once that had been received then the grant amount should have been "ring-fenced" and removed from the total amount of funding still available.

    Maybe legally I am wrong, but I still feel aggrieved on a practical level as this suggests to me poor business practice, as a significant number of potential grant recipients who applied in good faith, are guaranteed to be disappointed.

    By the way, this is not just me moaning about the loss of a "free lunch" - the grant would have covered only about a half of the total cost.

    Best Regards
    • bris
    • By bris 10th Jul 18, 11:00 AM
    • 7,729 Posts
    • 6,715 Thanks
    bris
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 18, 11:00 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 18, 11:00 AM
    Offers and contracts can be made and accepted, but their can be conditions in the contract. This is what you need to know, these conditions.


    Contracts often have "get outs" circumstances beyond a parties control that can go either way, funding would be a along those lines. Some conditions are unfair for consumers some aren't.


    You may very well have a binding contract but without reading and understanding this contract we will never know where you really stand so perhaps take the contract to the CAB.


    CAB often get things wrong but you may get someone who knows how to read your contract.
    • MrAnalogy
    • By MrAnalogy 11th Jul 18, 4:21 PM
    • 96 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    MrAnalogy
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 18, 4:21 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 18, 4:21 PM
    Thank you.
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