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sean5302

Foreign body complaint ** Resolved **

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I'd welcome the thoughts about this, please.

 

We have a massive Great Dane dog, who consumes vast quantities of food.

This includes canned meat and we buy Butcher's Food from Costco or Makro.

One can was found to contain a very sharp cube of plastic.

I returned to Makro but the Duty Manager wasn't interested, refused a refund and offered a replacement can of food.

Who, in their right mind, would want more hazardous meat?

I contacted Butcher's, who merely offered £10 in vouchers to buy more of their food. They admit it was a production fault. It's an oesophagus clip.

I asked for cash and this was refused.

 

I went to a law centre who said I should issue county court proceedings, which I did.

Butcher's employed a major law firm and the response threatened me with £2000 costs if they had to attend court.

It seems my petrol costs and phone calls are not allowable expenses, but my time spent researching and suchlike are allowed under CPR 46.5

I want 4 hours at £18 per hour.

 

Both Butcher's and Makro have now offered me £10 cash plus £25 to cover the court fee. There is a preliminary hearing shortly.

 

What should I do, please?

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Continue with the claim and bring it to them... They should have more responsible quality standards


 

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Thank you.

They scared me a bit by threatening to charge me £2000 if they have to attend court.

Surely, the judge would see that I've done what a reasonable person would have done.

Why should I incur expense when it was their fault?

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Theyve admitted its their fault so only a dumb judge would find in their favour.

 

Perhaps ask to go to mediation. This is an opportunity to resolve it before it goes to court. It has the advantage that what happens in it wont be heard by a judge so you can air your views with little repurcussion.


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Thank you.

 

One of the forms I received from the court was a listing questionnaire.

I ticked the box that i would accept mediation.

I received a copy of the defendants' forms where they ticked that they wouldn't accept mediation.

I'm not worried about attending court. it's local for me but they would have to travel up from London and Northampton.

Seems a bit daft for £10 of dog food, but Butcher's are backed by an insurance policy.

It's a shame. My dog really liked their food.

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If your claim is for under £10,000 it will be a small claim hearing and costs will be limited. I would think they are simply trying to scare you off with their costs.

 

I will try and find someone who might be able to offer more advice.


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Thank you.

They stated that I was being unreasonable and that was why I'd be liable for costs.

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CPR 46 generally does not apply in small claims. Substantive costs are generally only awarded against a party who behaves unreasonably. Refer to CPR 27.14.

 

What exactly are you suing for? Did the dog get injured by the plastic?


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No, there were no injuries.

I want recompense for:

The cost of the food (£10)

The cost of the travel to Makro to return it (apparently not allowed under cpr)

The cost of my time spent in preparation (The cpr 46.5 you answered for)

The cost of the court fee (£25)

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Its extremely unlikely you'd get anything for your preparation time. In small claims track there are generally no costs awarded for time spent ... only if you can show the other side has behaved unreasonably in conducting the litigation.

 

As you have already been offered the £10 you are claiming plus the court fee, and as you have not suffered any substantial loss, I think this claim is unreasonable. If you take this to a hearing I think there is a very good chance you will be ordered to pay the other side's legal costs. £2000 sounds excessive for a claim like this but you could easily be looking at several hundred.

 

I think you are best off accepting the £35 and withdrawing the claim.

 

The civil court system is designed to compensate individuals who have suffered loss or damage, it is not designed to punish. I think this is better dealt with through a complaint to trading standards.


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OK thank you.

I'm left with a very sour taste in my mouth, particularly of Makro with whom I've spent many thousands of Pounds over the years.

I can see why so much stock gets damaged in the place now.

I'm tempted to add to that while I'm wandering around, unsupervised.

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Yes, completely understand why you are upset about this and why you wanted to take court action.

 

Its certainly worth complaining to trading standards and/or Makro head office about this, once you have made the complaint it is in their hands.


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Thanks very much. You have really helped me.

 

In terms of Makro, I never get bitter, I always get even.

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Thanks for this. I know a few people who use Butchers and I have told them about your story and they said they will be switching to another brand.

 

It's not worth the risk if they have an attitude like that.


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None of this would have happened if Makro had been decent about it. A simple refund of my purchase would have been enough.

I intend to get even with them.

The Duty Manager just didn't want to know and that's why I approached Butcher's.

They were even worse, saying ultimately that they were insured. They instructed Wright Hassall solicitors (unlikely name, I know).

Talk about screwing the little people over.

I'm really annoyed.

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wright hassall is a solicitor for hire that mainly deals with silly stuff. Similar to bryan carter.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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sean

 

get in touch with makro CEO over it as well

 

 

Makro

 

Mr Juergen Schwarze Managing Director

 

Email juergen.schwarze@makro.co.uk

Website http://www.makro.co.uk

 

explain the actions of his duty manager at your local store. Makro may do the usual gesture of goodwill worth a go,

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That's a very good idea.

I'll certainly try that, thanks.

 

Folks may think I'm daft to argue so much over a tin of dog food.

The reality is that the dog goes through £2000 worth of food per year, half of which was Butcher's dog meat, half of which was bought at Makro.

I'd have got better customer service from a market stall.

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I've just received a letter from Booker's solicitors. Booker owns Makro.

They want to give me the £10 compensation and £25 court fee but now require me to sign a Tomlin Order, preventing me from disclosing details of the settlement.

They really are a shower of crooks.

It is surely in the public interest that people know that Butcher's Dog Food may contain foreign bodies.

Also that Makro are with you all the way to the till. From there, you're on your own.

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You can ask them to remove the condition. If they refuse you'll have a tough decision to make. If you intend to inform local press etc. it is not advisable to put yourself in breach of a Tomlin Order, this would be contempt of court.


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Tell them you accept your costs but refuse to sign Tomlin order. The ball will be back in their court so to speak. You wont get any more money out of this but as things stand they will have to bear their costs, which will be substantial and yours to boot if things go that far. If you dont accept their offer and get awarded less than their offer of £10 you may well have an application for their costs awarded against you.

You canstill go to trading standards and make a complaint about the foreign object and if they take the matter up as a safety issue Booker will be over a barrel so perhaps you could let them know why you wont sign their gagging order.

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Since I've already posted my thread and it's available to all on the internet, how can I possibly agree to a Tomlin Order?

It's clear to me now that I'll have to attend the County Court next Monday and let the Judge sort it out.

Crackers over a tin of dog food.

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As per post #10, if you take this to the county court there is a chance that you will be ordered to pay the other side's legal costs. The other side will rely on the fact that you were offered £10 and then issued a claim for £10 in order to try and show that the case is unreasonable. The amount would most likely be a couple hundred quid.

 

On the other hand it may be fine. But you need to understand the risk is there. If you want to avoid this risk then you need to offer to settle without a tomlin order and if this is rejected withdraw the claim.


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Please let me give you the detail about this.

22 June bought the food at Makro

30 June found the foreign body and drove over to Makro Hull. Duty Manager wouldn't refund but offered to replace it. Nasty scene. "Who would want any more hazardous food?"

5 July contacted Butchers. Various dates during which I returned the foreign body and they analysed it.

31 July Butchers admitted it was an oesophagus clip and enclosed £10 vouchers to buy more of their food.

2 Aug I emailed Butchers saying I wanted a cash refund

2 Aug Butchers emailed me to say they'd only offer vouchers.

2 Aug I went over to Leeds Law Centre and was advised to issue CC proceedings against Makro and Butchers as joint defendants

2 Aug Emailed Butchers and explained I'd issue CC proceedings in 7 days

2 Aug Received email from Butchers. They'll now give a cheque for £10 if I return vouchers.

2 Aug sent vouchers back to Butchers

9 Aug issued CC claim.

 

I also note that I only received the offer of £10 (plus £25 CC fee) from Makro on 2 Dec. They've been very quiet and it's Butchers who have been responding. Butchers say they are covered by product liability insurers and Makro state that they'll recover anything they pay out from Butchers.

 

So, I was promised £10 by Butchers before I issued the claim but actually have never received anything. I issued because it had cost me much more than the £10 in fuel costs alone and I wanted to recover all my expenses.

My contract is with Makro but they only made their offer 4 months after I issued the claim

 

Even now, 4 months on, I've never received anything from either defendant.

Edited by sean5302

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All sorted now.

 

I emailed Makro's solicitors and told them that I wouldn't agree to the confidentiality clause and would be attending the Hearing.

The very next day I had another email offering the previously agreed terms, without any confidentiality. Still called a Tomlin Order, though.

They offered £10 compensation plus return of my £25 county court issue fee.

 

I also emailed Charles Walker, the Chairman of Makro/ Booker.

Things very quickly got moving. His secretary phoned me and arranged a meeting at the Hull store.

 

I ended up meeting Stephen Blan, Makro's CEO along with the Hull store manager.

It was a lively discussion. Stephen agreed with me that Hull had handled things badly. The store manager sat there looking very sheepish.

Stephen asked me how he could put things right and I told him I was £140 out of pocket. "We'll round that up to £150 then" he said and Ian Ferguson was despatched to the tills to get the cash.

 

I said I'd never shop there again and Stephen said he'd phone me in a few months to see whether I'd changed my mind.

They gave me £150 in cash and I departed with hearty handshakes.

I'll still never shop there again. How could I trust them if something ever went wrong again?

 

Butcher's conduct seems very poor. Although I had no contract with them, it was still their error.

Oh well, life goes on.

 

Thanks for everyone's help.

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