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MFI Kitchen Installation potentially deadly - help!


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My wife and I had a new kitchen from MFI in late 2005, and we paid for fitting. The fitter arrived and did the job over the space of 4 days. He was mostly left to his own devices. As part of the installation, we had under cupboard lighting.

 

3 weeks later, the tap began to leak. Upon asking MFI to send the fitter back to fix the tap, we were told he was unavailable and had gone on a round-the-world trip, so they sent an alternative.

 

The tiles were yet to go up at this stage (we were arranging to have that done seperately). When he arrived, he remarked at the bundle of wires (from memory about 4 or 5 wires), terminated with a plastic block and taped up inside the walls above the hob. He said to my wife "Whoever did the electrics in here needs shooting", although I don't know if he was referring to those wires or not. Shortly after that, the boiler repair man who came to service our boiler also remarked on the electrics, because the wires heading to the transformer for the spotlights under the cupboards on the other side of the kitchen we all resting on top of the boiler, with slack.

 

I got home from work after the tap was changed, and after hearing the "shooting" news I remembered that we hadn't had the certificate for the electrical work. My wife subsequently chased MFI for it for 6 months, but to no avail. Eventually we forgot/gave up because the last call from them she was told "we have the certificates now, we will forward them to you". The tiler came shortly after that (indepently) and did his work, including finally covering up the bundle of wires aforementioned.

 

Today, we had an electrician come to install an outside light. Once the job was done, and as part of his sign-off checks, he discovered that we had a broken ring main; that is to say, it begins at the fuse box but doesn't route back to the fuse box. We have two rings, one for the kitchen, one for the rest of the house, and a seperate line to the oven and hob. It's the kitchen ring main that is broken.

 

He tested all of our sockets, switches and cover plates around the entire house and came to the conclusion that unless there was a broken wire somewhere on the kitchen ring (unlikely, it's a fairly new house), then it must be related to the bundle of wires, terminated and taped up behind the tiles above the hob. He said that because the ring main was broken, more power was going down a thin cable and not returning to the consumer unit and was a potentially lethal fire waiting to happen. He changed our fuse for a lower rating and said this ought to be safer for now. He said though, that the electrical work would never have passed the safety checks the way it was... (indeed, he only found this because of his own checks after installing our outside light!)

 

I called MFI right away and spoke to a right snotty cow who told me that whilst they would contact the fitter to see if he had the certificate (MFI themselves didn't have it), one year had passed so there was no comeback on them.

 

I argued that I had chased the certificates for 6 months in 2005/6 to no avail and I would hold them liable.

 

So, where do I stand? Are MFI or the fitter liable? We only just found out today, and it reminded me right away about the 2nd fitter making the shooting remark....

 

James

Edited by James31
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This is exactly why "Part P" of the building regulations was introduced.

 

As a retired electrician I have seen many MFI nightmares. As soon as I read the heading I knew exactly what your post was going to be about. Taped junctions, broken rings, lack of earths. Typical MFI wiring.

 

Get a report by your electrician, and a quote to put things right, then issue county court proceedings against MFI. The fitter was a sub-contractor - MFI are responsible for the fitter's work.

 

Every ex-MFI client that I had got paid.

British Shoe Corporation - won :) BT - won :) West Lancs Council - lost :-x 02 - won :) British Airways - still fighting :o STOP PRESS - RSPCA - daughter won with letters I wrote :)

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Meldrew,

 

You jogged my memory...the electrician here today also said he'd found a socket with missing earth, he fixed for us there and then.

 

What I wasn't sure about is, who is enforcing the Part P regulations?

 

I will take your advice though, thanks. Honestly, the woman on the phone at MFI was talking to me as if *I'd* done something wrong!

 

James

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Had a call back from MFI today. They said that the fitter has left the company, they won't give me his name.... Said I need to call the council or write to one of the governing bodies for electricians; and I would need proof of payment.

 

They said that the wiring of the under-cupboard lighting (the lights which I purchased with the kitchen) was additional work and that my agreement for these is direct with the fitter and not MFI.

 

So, they are washing their hands. Does anybody know if they are correct or not?

 

James

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Either way I would say it is MFI's responsibility to sort it out. I think you may need to get legl advcie on thsi but why don't you try Consumer Direct and Trading Standards to help you decide which way to go?

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I just called Consumer Direct and they agree with MFI.... Because I had to pay the fitter for the electrical work on the under-cupboard lighting, it's a separate contract with the fitter and MFI aren't liable.

 

Booooooo!

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If it was a separate job, contracted between you and the electrician, then I would agree with Consumer Direct.

Please note: I give advice, in good faith, based on my reading and experience. Please satisfy yourself, that any advice given is accurate in content before acting upon it.

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I guess you're right... it seems annoying though, you buy the lights from MFI with the kitchen...pay for installation, then end up paying the fitter direct to fit the lights as a separate payment after already having spent over £1,000 on a fitting cost direct to MFI.

 

Grrrrrrrr.

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What did consumer direct say about mfi not giving you the name of the fitter?

I would've thought if he has done illegal work, they would be liable as you wouldnt have used him had he not already been in your house under their instruction :confused:

I QUESTION THEREFORE I AM!! [sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p

 

 

I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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I would still chase MFI - the "bundle of wires" - including the broken ring etc will have been done as part of moving sockets - and if you paid MFI for the fitting they are responsible. They'll resist and try everything until you hit them with the court action.

British Shoe Corporation - won :) BT - won :) West Lancs Council - lost :-x 02 - won :) British Airways - still fighting :o STOP PRESS - RSPCA - daughter won with letters I wrote :)

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