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natcat7000

Anglian Home Improvements - Breach of Contract

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18 Nov 2016 we (stupidly) signed contract with Anglian Home Improvements for a conservatory.

 

It was a four hour sales pitch, in our home. He offered us a special discount if we signed that night. He offered some sort of 'deal' if we used their financing. He offered us extra discount if we would agree to advertising. The meeting was between my husband and I, my mother in law and him (also add in two wired sleep deprived toddlers running around to the mix). Contract came out at 10:30 and he finally left at 11pm. We just wanted to get rid of him.

 

At the appt, we discussed the fact that we were at the full amount we could afford and if anything else came up, extra building works, we would have to cancel. No problem at all he assured us. If we cancelled before 14 days, we would have deposit returned (£500) At worst, we would lose our deposit (£500) after 14 days. We were given the impression Anglian was very reasonable about this. We also discussed the age of our home and possible issues with planning permission. We advised that we were in a heritage area and lived in a home of special interest, as formally defined by the council. Again, he assured us this would not be a problem.

 

25 Nov, Anglian sent surveyor around. Surveyor flagged possible gaswork pipes issue. My husband rang Anglian to advise that we wanted our file on hold due to this possible issue. My husband again clarified our position that if any extra building issues arose, we would not be proceeding. He again was assured that monies would be returned to us in this eventuality. At no time, either sales rep advised us of any more harsh penalties. We contacted National Grid on our part. Anglian sent round a man to dig up our patio to check for pipes. This confirmed pipes location would not be a problem on the northern wall but we still needed clarification from National Grid as to where the location of the pipes intersected on the western portion of the conservatory foundation.

 

4 Dec, we received a letter from Anglian advising our file had been passed to CAD drawing stage. I emailed to remind them everything should be on hold.

 

At this point, we were concerned that ancillary building works would be an issue re: the gasworks. We were also concerned with planning, having looked into it further. We also had our neighbour voicing concerns about the build and threatening to object to it. We also felt that we had been manipulated and information had been severely misrepresented. We were also starting to have little confidence in the customer service of Anglian due to their repeatedly pushing things through when we had advised them several times that our file was on hold.

 

We sent a cancellation notice 19 Jan 2016 stating the above.

 

On 22 Jan, we received an email from some women at Anglian telling us we would owe 30% so £7000 some odd if we cancelled.

 

We then received a standard form letter from Anglian dated 21 Jan advising us that they were delighted to confirm their acceptance of conservatory contract (!). Clearly an attempt to bulldoze through to the next stage in order to justify their costs.

 

We emailed back to set all this out again.

 

On 5 Feb 2016 we received a very terse and basic legal letter advising us we owed them £7300 and that we needed to either continue with contract or pay this within ten days.

 

I copied my email again to as many people at Anglian as I could and asked that they respond to our issues by end of day today. Unsurprisingly, we've heard nothing.

 

I have been in touch with Citizens Advice and lodged a complaint with Trading Standards.

 

Does anyone have any helpful words of advice? This has been extremely stressful.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Thread moved to General Consumer Issues

 

Welcome to CAG natcat7000

 

Regards

 

Andy


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Start off by sending Anglia an SAR. He to get as much information as possible about the conduct of your case.

 

Let's hope that they will provide you with everything including file notes and screen notes. Ask specifically for these.

 

Read our customer services guide and implement the advice there and then try phoning Anglia and have conversations with them which may lead them to commit themselves to saying things over the telephone which they might not put in writing.

 

The three of you who are present at the meeting should write statements of exactly what happened that night and what was said by the salesman.

 

You must be scrupulous about this and when I say scrupulous, I mean that each of you must write your statements independently without any conferring at all.

 

If you have conferred, it will become very obvious by looking your statements – even if you think they look independently written.

 

You want as much detail as possible including who said what to who and why and when

 

I think that you should write a full statement of what has happened, how the contract was sold to, what promises were made, the objections which were raised et cetera. Send this statement to Anglia as part of a letter confirming that once again you confirm that the contract is cancelled – not only because they have failed to honour all the commitments they made at the time the contract was made but also because of the way that they have conducted the matter since then and they have lost confidence.

 

After that, I'm not quite sure what else to do other than to wait for the inevitable barrage of threats and given the sum involved, a possible legal action.

 

Let us know what else develops and we will help you. Don't consider getting lawyers anything at this point. I don't think it is necessary and it only involves extra expense for rather limp wristed assistance.

 

Do I gather that you had not put anything in writing as to cancellation until the email which you send them in response to 4 December letter?

 

What is the state of play now? How badly does the gas piping problem impact upon the project? Has it rendered it impossible? Or just simply very much more difficult?

 

Do you have a copy of Anglia's terms and conditions – or the contract that you signed?

 

Anglia Home Improvements seem to have a pretty poor reputation both for their customer service and for the quality of their work.

 

Have a root around the Internet and find as many reviews as you can about them and get the screenshots and store them. Especially, if you can get people complaining about their hard sell techniques and all the promises that were made by the salesman, this will also help you a great deal. Make sure that you get the screenshots straightaway and also print them out. Don't just store them on a computer.


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Thank you for your advice. I will follow it all to the letter.

 

I will get back to you with answers to your questions once I have got my kids fed and watered and into bed.

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Stay away from Anglian you will get a better price,build,quality from a local caring building or glazing firm

 

Anglican are top prices poor quality

I have used them in the past learnt the hard way


If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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Hi,

 

Our only written cancellation was made by email on 19th of January 2016. Any correspondence to that point has been reminding them that we instructed that all work on our file must be on hold due to outstanding issues with gasworks.

 

To date, the gasworks issue has not been resolved. We now have from National Grid a PDF drawing of a portion our neighbourhood showing the pipes crossing our property at about a third of the way down. A third of the way down may or may not be in direct line with the proposed foundation. There are no measurements on what we've been provided in order to be certain.

 

We are more concerned that Anglian pushed work through in spite of our instructions to put things on hold. The fact that we had been completely misled during the sales meeting gave us little faith in dealing with the company further. Their subsequent threatening and bullying behaviour has cemented this general impression.

 

Anglian have itemised their costs which includes 3.5% for third party approvals. They were specifically instructed NOT to apply for third party approvals. And how is a 20% loss of profit calculated in real terms?

 

Yes, we have now thoroughly read through the terms and conditions of the contract. The pages of blue carbon copy with fine print is just about legible and protects the company's own arse admirably. The cancellation cooling off period is 7 days (not 14). We had specifically clarified the company's position on our cancelling in certain scenarios. The sales rep promised us that that would be the most we would lose is our deposit in case of issues with survey/planning/etc. At what point is Anglian responsible for the lies of its own agents? I hope that there is a balance to be had here.

 

I have been reading through Guidance on Unfair Terms in Home Improvement Contracts. They touch on removal of Entire Agreement clauses (14.1.4) as we consumers should be able to 'rely on oral promises reasonably and in good faith'.

 

I also feel that clause 6.1.5 of the Guidance giving the consumer 'a right to cancel on adverse survey' could be applicable here.

 

And then in the GGF model contract E.3 provides that both consumer and supplier have equal cancellation rights if survey reveals unforseen additional work at extra cost or that property is unsafe or unsuitable for the work to be carried out. That contract should be cancelled, deposit returned.

 

According to Anglian's own T&C's, Anglian has the right to cancel the contract if there are any issues with the survey. Where is our right to cancel if issues with the survey?

 

I will be preparing a letter requesting SAR and doing all that you have suggested. Thank you again, I really appreciate you taking the time.

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Yes, I have learned the hard way about this company!

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Ford, thank you for FCA link. Do you know if the blurb on consumers being able to 'rely on oral promises' was moved over to the FCA or did they give up on that?

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Hi,

 

Our only written cancellation was made by email on 19th of January 2016. Any correspondence to that point has been reminding them that we instructed that all work on our file must be on hold due to outstanding issues with gasworks.

 

To date, the gasworks issue has not been resolved. We now have from National Grid a PDF drawing of a portion our neighbourhood showing the pipes crossing our property at about a third of the way down. A third of the way down may or may not be in direct line with the proposed foundation. There are no measurements on what we've been provided in order to be certain.

 

We are more concerned that Anglian pushed work through in spite of our instructions to put things on hold. The fact that we had been completely misled during the sales meeting gave us little faith in dealing with the company further. Their subsequent threatening and bullying behaviour has cemented this general impression.

 

Anglian have itemised their costs which includes 3.5% for third party approvals. They were specifically instructed NOT to apply for third party approvals. And how is a 20% loss of profit calculated in real terms?

 

Yes, we have now thoroughly read through the terms and conditions of the contract. The pages of blue carbon copy with fine print is just about legible and protects the company's own arse admirably. The cancellation cooling off period is 7 days (not 14). We had specifically clarified the company's position on our cancelling in certain scenarios. The sales rep promised us that that would be the most we would lose is our deposit in case of issues with survey/planning/etc. At what point is Anglian responsible for the lies of its own agents? I hope that there is a balance to be had here.

 

I have been reading through Guidance on Unfair Terms in Home Improvement Contracts. They touch on removal of Entire Agreement clauses (14.1.4) as we consumers should be able to 'rely on oral promises reasonably and in good faith'.

 

I also feel that clause 6.1.5 of the Guidance giving the consumer 'a right to cancel on adverse survey' could be applicable here.

 

And then in the GGF model contract E.3 provides that both consumer and supplier have equal cancellation rights if survey reveals unforseen additional work at extra cost or that property is unsafe or unsuitable for the work to be carried out. That contract should be cancelled, deposit returned.

 

According to Anglian's own T&C's, Anglian has the right to cancel the contract if there are any issues with the survey. Where is our right to cancel if issues with the survey?

 

I will be preparing a letter requesting SAR and doing all that you have suggested. Thank you again, I really appreciate you taking the time.

 

1) if you made the risk that you might be prevented by eg gas work pipes, and were told "no problem, the most you risk is £500" : that is a representation that you can reasonably rely on. If it now turns out to be a misrepresentation : that is Anglian's look out

2) if Anglian wish to rely on "well, you signed the contract, and look at the term on p.17, the 9th paragraph in (tiny) font size 6" :

http://swarb.co.uk/spurling-j-ltd-v-bradshaw-ca-1956/

Such an onerous term in contradiction to what you had been told surely needs to be prominent (even, "in red ink with a big red hand pointing to it" : apologies to Denning LJ!)

 

As others have said : SAR them, then if they persist :point out the basis on which you felt your offer and intent to create contractual relations was made.

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The saga continues. We sent the SAR 9 Feb 2016 and finally received their notes etc. on the 11th of May 2016.

 

Is the fact that went over the statutory period of 40 days of any relevance at all? As in, is there anything I can do to slap their wrists with this (or worse)?

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Complaint to the ICO but wont get more than a letter asking them to comply so pointless, other option is court and possible damages for late compliance although as you have now received it i'm not sure its advisable unless it is incomplete


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Hello again,

 

Does anyone know how I might go about finding out the following:

 

- what the percentage of profit Anglian makes purely on cancellation fees is?

- how many cases GGF (the Glass and Glazing Federation which is Anglian's conciliation body) sides with the consumer vs the corporate member?

 

We are currently drafting our letter to the GGF setting out our case and need as much ammo as possible.

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Complaint to the ICO but wont get more than a letter asking them to comply so pointless, other option is court and possible damages for late compliance although as you have now received it i'm not sure its advisable unless it is incomplete

 

Thanks, martin2006.

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Also, I forgot to mention that if anyone out there has also had similar (ie incredibly bad) experiences with Anglian Windows, I would be pleased to hear your story. I simply want to compile as many similar situations as possible to lend weight to ours.

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Anglican appeared on BBC watch dog 2011/12 ish may be worth loonkin on YouTube


If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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Also, I forgot to mention that if anyone out there has also had similar (ie incredibly bad) experiences with Anglian Windows, I would be pleased to hear your story. I simply want to compile as many similar situations as possible to lend weight to ours.

 

I have a similar situation with Anglian. I had tried to cancel works as a result of a serious matter and had good reason to do so. They immediately threatened me with the fine print and the 30%. The best I could do was to get them to put the contract on hold while the situation became more clear. Many months later they returned to hound me with calls and letters. Now they are doing there standard tactic of going after fees and income they definitely have not earned. Clearly something in the consumer regs/laws is wrong since it allows companies like Anglian to use fine print and bullying tactics to generate income from unsuspecting consumers. This is clearly part of their business model. We had the same experience as you did with a high pressure salesman making all kinds of assurances and acting as sweet as possible. We had the same late night sales pitch. I wanted more time to think about it but the salesman wore me out and I finally signed.

 

This practice by Anglian clearly needs to be investigated thoroughly. I can understand that the regs are designed to protect companies like Anglian in case they do substantial work and a consumer decides not to pay, but for doing virtually no work and asking for 30% of a substantial contract price borders on criminal. What ever happened to percentage of completion as companies cannot recognize revenue for work they have not done?

 

I would appreciate an update on your situation as I deal with this unscrupulous company myself.

 

For anyone lucky enough to read this prior to signing a contract with Anglian, please know that this company has not a single fiber of compassion, and employs a team of lawyers designed to enforce a [edited] business model by attempting to take advantage of loopholes in the regulations and consumer laws.

Edited by honeybee13
Potrntially libelous remark removed.

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Creo, we somehow completely missed your post! I'm sorry to not get back to you more quickly. How are things going?

 

Our update is that the saga continues. We are now a year after I invited Satan into my home (sorry, maybe a tad melodramatic). In the meantime, we finally received Anglian's file notes after sending them a Subject Access Request. After reading through their file notes, I wrote them back to ask for clarification on some bits that were written in their internal code. I also queried the lack of recorded calls on the CD they provided - calls that they refer to in their own notes.

 

I also pointed out that SIX DAYS AFTER receiving our official cancellation, they had put through an urgent internal request that plans be drawn up as they had realised that they hadn't done them yet. I'm guessing this is so that they can continue to justify their exorbitant cancellation fee. Their letter to us says 'pay us x amount and here is the breakdown' and includes third party approvals (3.5%) and loss of profits (20%) amongst other things (sales and managers commissions - 9%, admin - 3% and survey - 2% make up the remainder).

 

I am trying to reduce the amount we should have to pay due to the fact that they hadn't drawn up plans which would make third party approvals impossible. Loss of profits is more difficult as I'm not totally sure on what basis it is calculated? Does anyone have any experience with Loss of Profits? I don't know how it is calculated and what it is based on. I know that companies cannot legally claim for anything other than actual costs incurred. How do I prove against something as vague as loss of profits? HELP.

 

We requested further detail on their file notes way back in May and heard precisely nothing for months.

 

Within that time, we decided to sell our house and have now moved out of the country. This was not because of Anglian I should add.

 

We tentatively hoped they had forgotten about us. Unfortunately, we have our post redirected and received a letter from Anglian's solicitor last week telling us to pay up.

 

I am now drafting our response to remind them that their client owes us some clarification on their file notes, and it would also be great if they could explain why they feel we should pay for anything related to work done with plans when they did not even have plans done. I was going to follow this up with 'we will pay 50% of your fee to make you go away' presuming we get a full and final release. Haven't decided.

 

Comments, advice and any suggestions are gratefully received.

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Also I wanted to mention that we are starting up a website in order to organise and, most importantly, publicise any and all the bad

(potentially illegal) Anglian experiences. We are hopeful it will be good starting point in order to organise a possible group class action lawsuit.

 

If anyone out there has had similar experiences with specifically Anglian Home Improvements and would like to share their story, please message me (or post here).

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