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My rights re: Faulty/Dangerous hire of equipment


gemspan
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Hi there

 

I'm looking for some advice. I hope you can help.

 

On friday 28th August I hired a floor sander to sand the floors in my bedroom and lounge. When I reserved the equipment I was told that the sander would cost £57.50 plus VAT to hire for the weekend ie Friday afternoon until Monday morning.

 

When I arrived to collect the item (after ripping up my carpets and underlay and having to spread the furniture from the rooms around my house and sleeping on a mattress on the floor!) they told me that with the cost of sanding sheets, bags for the sander, it would be £161.59 in total. A far cry from £57.50 plus VAT.

 

They advised me that when I return the sanding sheets that I don't use I will have the money refunded to me but I was under the impression that the bags came with the equipment and were part of the hire!!! Not so!! THey also added a 15% damage waiver which I wasn't told about!!!

 

Because of the hassle I decided to take the machine and just get on with it. However, when I got it home and applied the first coarse sanding sheet, it flew across the room, gouged a hole in my 265 year old floorboards and pulled me with it, injuring my back!!! The fixing bar that attached the sanding sheet came flying off and was completely mangled and there was a terrible smell of burning rubber!!! I telephoned the company immediately and told them what had happened. They said "yes, this happens sometimes!". I agreed to have another sander delivered on Saturday. When this was delivered I was assured that the new machine was fine and that the previous one must have just been faulty. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

 

I decided to attach medium grade sandpaper and started sanding via the instructions given. Only the outside of the floor was being sanded and the middle wasn't being touched. Then the paper ripped off and I had to apply a new one!! This went on for about 6 sheets at which time I noticed that the machine was "sparking" when I turned it on. I was just about to turn it off when a bolt came flying out the bottom at great speed. I got the fright of my life. Bearing in mind that this was meant to deal with combustible material I didn't think it was a good idea to continue - and my back and upper arm was starting to get very painful from the injury the day before.

 

I put the machine away as I felt it was dangerous.

 

I phoned them today and advised them of the problem with the second machine. They told me to return it at which time I advised them that I was unable to lift it because of the damage to my back. I told them I wanted my money back as the machine was not fit for purpose. The guy told me that he would have the machine collected and as soon as he received it he would credit my bank account with what was due.

 

I think I am only going to get the cost of the sanding sheets I didn't use back but I have complained about the hole in my floor; the sparking coming from the machine; the ripped sandpaper and the bolts flying off. I have kept the sandpaper sheets and bolt as evidence and I have taken photographs of my floor.

 

I feel I am going to have a fight on my hands but I think the machine was dangerous and I could have been seriously injured and perhaps even put my house at risk from fire. My bedroom floor is ruined and my back is very sore together with my shoulder/upper arm from when I was yanked across the floor with the machine.

 

I now have no carpets in either room; no floor sanded; and the bedroom floor has a gouge out of it and is sanded in bits and not others as the machine wasnt working properly. Can I ask them for my money back but also ask them to make good the damage that was done to my floor?

 

Any help would be appreciated. I am going to visit them tomorrow.

 

Thanks in advance

Gemspan

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I think I remember reading something about the regulations on hire equipment and they were a lot more stringent than for purchased equipment.

 

I will try and find something tomorrow that may be of assistance should they refuse you and only refund the unused sheets.

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Guest Old_andrew2018

You might consider contacting your local trading standards and reporting this company, if they are hiring unsafe equipment they need to be stopped.

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