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SCS failed to deliver on time - awful experience

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Hi all,


In brief, I purchased a sofa and chair from SCS in store on 3rd September. They said, and put on the invoice that the estimated time on delivery was 12 weeks, which would have been 26th November.


We received a call on Thursday 30th November to say that it will be delivered the next day on Friday 1st December between 1pm and 4pm. I took Friday afternoon off work (lost out financially) but by 4pm the sofa didn't arrive.


I made many, many calls to both the store where we purchased from and to the warehouse it was supposedly coming from. I explained to both places that I have a 7 week old baby and no downstairs furniture so my wife was having to breastfeed the baby upstairs on our bed all day which was becoming painful due to the awkward positioning. I added that it would only get worse so really needed the sofa and chair as soon as possible.


The manager at the warehouse tried telling me that because his delivery drivers were in a town "an hour and a half away", that they would not be delivering that day. I explained that the town he mentioned was, in fact, only 10 minutes away so it could easily be delivered. The manager then went on to use all the excuses he could - the Christmas lights in the town would make it impossible to get through (I explained that the driver would not have to come through the town at all), that it was too late, etc, etc.


The store said that essentially nothing could be done until the following Monday although they would see about getting it delivered the next day by courier but that it was doubtful.


Needless to say, this didn't happen and because I had a hospital appointment over 60 miles away on the following Monday, an agreement was made for the Tuesday which is when they were eventually delivered.


The SCS branch manager has offered a refund of the delivery if I go in to the store, which, as he knows full well, is over 38 miles away.


I see in the guide on here it states 'If you ordered in-store for home delivery - say furniture or anything else substantial - you won't be protected by the Consumer Contracts Regulations. In this case, get 'em to agree to a delivery deadline marked 'time is of the essence', then you'll get a load of extra rights if things go wrong.'


My first question is does 'Can I have prior' (meaning 'priority') was written on the Delivery Instructions sheet by the salesman at the point of sale, does this count as 'time is of the essence'?


My second question is what compensation can I claim for the day off work, the time spent on my phone and the stress this caused my wife over the next few days (back pain, etc)?


Thank you in advance.

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Yes, I would say that if you had to go to court, that "priority delivery" would be considered equal to "time is of the essence".


Time being of the essence is only really useful if you want to cancel the contract because it gives you grounds to do so.


Can you claim? – Yes you certainly can. However, you properly have to go to court to do it – but this would be worthwhile because I think you would win and also SCS need a slap.


Could you claim for everything that you have listed? Could be tricky.


You can claim for anything that is an ascertainable loss. In other words you could claim for the day off work – loss of earnings or loss of holiday. You could claim for the time spent on the phone – meaning the cost of it. The stress and inconvenience et cetera would be more difficult. Judges are very wary of awarding damages these kind of things. The best thing you could do would be to get your doctor to produce a short report confirming that your wife has suffered from pains and strain which would be caused by the awkward seating position.


If you could produce this then I think that you could certainly get some compensation. Once again, I think you would have to go to court because I can't imagine that the company will be decent enough simply to compensate you. They don't seem to have that kind of decent reputation.


For the pain and suffering I can imagine that you might get a couple of hundred quid. I'm sure a judge would be sympathetic and would want to help you if you had the proper evidence.


Of course what you could do now is simply refuse delivery and cancel the contract and then tell SCS that you will only enter into a new contract for the same sofa if they make a substantial reduction to represent your losses.


If you do decide that the contract is terminated by their behaviour then you should write to them immediately and tell them that they should not even attempt to deliver because the delivery will be refused. However, the safest thing to do would be to serve them with a two day deadline saying time is of the essence and after that the contract is terminated. You would then have to do pursue a claim for compensation separately.

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I've suddenly noticed that you've been a member here since 2006. That is great news because that means that you are thoroughly familiar with our regular advice to record all calls. This means that you would have recorded all your calls and you will have all of the excuses from SCS either on your phone or backed up onto a computer – which is also as per our advice.


This will make life much easier when bringing your claim. Well done. I wish everyone else was like you.

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Not all the calls....but most, thankfully.


OK, I'll lay the cards on the table here:


My wife didn't go to the doctor's about the back pain but I will look for some sort of evidence to back that claim up.


First things first,

shall I get my facts together and send a LBA?


Any ideas how to quantify the pain and suffering?


And is it purely the cost of the calls that I should claim or my time too?


I am keen to get going on this....at last.

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can you show quantum for damages- ie what has wife lost in financail terms by having bad back. Can you show that it was ONLY caused by their actions and nothing else

Stick to what you can prove and win that rather than go off into a massive claim and lose everything because some of it was fantasy

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