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Damaged Front Door Frame

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I recently purchased a rather expensive new front door (approx £3,000) which I took delivery of last week on Friday. I signed for delivery which consisted of a heavily packaged door, frame and glazing.

 

On Monday my fitter installed the door and in doing so he realised there was some damage to the frame - unfortunately he either hadn't noticed it or didn't let me know until the door was already fitted.

 

I have contacted the suppliers (providing photos of the damage) and asked them to either arrange a repair or send a replacement as per consumer rights act, they have responded saying that as I signed for the goods "in good condition" they are no longer responsible. My understanding is that a "reasonable time" is allowed for such heavily packaged goods?

 

They have also insinuated that the damage has been caused by my fitter, which from looking at the location of the mark/damage along with the unique pattern is not consistent - I've discussed it with him and have total confidence it was not caused by him.

 

 

All in all it's a messy situation and I would appreciate any advice on where I stand as a customer and what to do next. I have to say I feel entirely let down by this company who I mistakenly thought were a professional outfit!!

 

Thanks

Edited by redesmere

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'Reasonable time for inspection' does not include fitting.

Of course your fitter would say that, as would the Supplier.

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The fact that you signed for the door in good condition is not really very significant because the item was delivered heavily packaged – as you would expect.

 

However, you might make a note in future to be a little bit more helpful to yourself by signing that the contents of not been inspected.

 

So on the basis that the supplier is not protected by your signature, it is now a matter of who is to be believed – the supplier or your installer. Is it quite clear that the damage could not been caused by the installer? It's a real shame that the damage wasn't picked up immediately and photographed as the door was being unwrapped.

 

You're absolutely right that you are entitled to reject the contract within 30 days – and you should make sure that you have done this in writing. In principle you have a right to a refund or replacement at your option. However, if the suppliers can make a case that the defect didn't exist and that it was caused by some other circumstance such as your supplier, for instance, then they will be able to avoid liability.

 

I'm afraid that it is all going to depend on the available evidence. If you can feel that you can make out a convincing case for saying that it couldn't have been your installer, then your remedy is eventually to bring a claim for the County Court.

 

This will have to be a judgement call for you, I'm afraid.

 

Once again, I think the lessons here are – don't sign for the goods as being good condition if you haven't inspected the contents. Sign with a little disclaimer/caveat. When you unpack the goods, check them carefully as you are doing so and immediately take any photographs of any damage and then stop any work.

 

I'm afraid that your installer has contributed to this problem by not calling it to your attention immediately.


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Just had an idea on this. Given that many delivery companies just use a portable electronic device for customers to sign electronically and there is no paper to write 'goods not inspected at time of delivery', i wonder whether this needs looking at.

 

Could CAG come up with a proforma note to hand to delivery companies and to email to companies, saying that at the time of delivery goods could not be inspected and stating Consumer rights act etc. This might cover the issue of consumers not being able to fully inspect items and not really seeing what they are signing on those electronic devices. The delivery drivers never explain what you are signing and just simply hand over the device. Therefore people think they are just confirming the delivery.


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The delivery drivers never explain what you are signing and just simply hand over the device. Therefore people think they are just confirming the delivery.

 

I doubt the delivery drivers know what you are being asked to sign! They're just given the device and told to get a signature. I think a seller/delivery company would have difficult job claiming that the signature meant anything other than an acknowledgement that you have received the package. Not that that would stop some sellers trying.

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Hi Everyone,

 

Many thanks for the helpful replies. A couple of things of note:

 

1) The delivery driver works for the supplier directly (to my knowledge) so it wasn't a general courier firm - my door was the only item in his van. He would be able to confirm that I did not unpackage the goods while he was there, and like all delivery drivers he was keen to offload and be on his way as soon as possible.

 

2) I should've explained better but the nature of the damage is such that it I believe I have a strong case to prove that this was not caused by my installer - the damage itself has a very distinctive pattern and has actually been painted over along with the rest of the door frame which gives me some level of confidence it was shipped to me in this state. It's possible that it is "compression damage" which might've been cause during transit but I would be interested to hear an explanation of how this could've been caused during fitting.

 

3) The suggestion of writing "Unchecked" is a good one, but this crafty company even has a specific clause to say they do not accept this on the form! I doubt it would stand up against any scrutiny but it's clear they've had issues of this nature in the past.

 

 

Perhaps a strange question but would it add any weight at all if I had my fitter sign a legal declaration of some sort to confirm that he did not damage the frame? Or is this entirely worthless?

 

Of course it would've been ideal had my fitter called me as soon as he'd spotted the damage rather than proceeding but that's the benefit of hindsight.

 

Thanks

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