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Conservatory Roof - frustrated agreement?


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Hello, have seen a post re windows which is similar to my problem but thought I'd start a new post rather than jump on someone else's.


In August I got a local company round to quote for replacing my conservatory roof. 

Based on the quote I went ahead, signed and paid a £2000 deposit (on credit card).


Their date on the quote was '8-10 weeks from start to finish' (which would make it roughly early/mid Nov) with a verbal commitment of 'before Xmas'. Weather might hinder things but other than that they were very very busy and even looking to put a new team of fitters together.


Having not heard anything from them once they'd been to measure up, I started chasing them a couple of weeks ago. 

They sent a round robin email to 'all our customers' saying they had delays due to Covid.


After another week with no date forthcoming

I called them and had a lengthy conversation where they said their suppliers were in Manchester and there was nothing they could do due to lockdown.

I said that some communication would be helpful.


Last week I got an email saying my installation date was 1st February next year, maybe earlier. 

I replied, said this wasn't acceptable and I wanted to cancel the contract and asked for the deposit back. 

They refused, referring to their contract terms.

 

I contacted the manufacturer (Preston based) who confirmed they are the only manufacturer in England of this roof product and they said their lead-time was currently 4 weeks and they had only been affected by the Covid situation a little. 

The company I am using is a recommended installer as shown on the manufacturer's website.


I contacted my credit card company who said they would recover the monies for me but it could take 2 weeks (which is fine). 

I also saw on the Govt's website information re frustrated agreements with particular reference to Covid.


I put all this to my installers who sent a stroppy email intimating they would take me to court to recover full costs.

They also said they don't get their supplies from the company I spoke to in Preston and that the information on the Government's website was guidance only and that a court would decide.


Based on what I'd read and been told I didn't back down and confirmed again that I would be instructing the credit card company to start action - I gave them 24 working hours to reconsider the refund.


Yesterday I got another email asking me to 'prove' they said 8-10 weeks for completion, which I sent them (their quote). 

I also mentioned their director had said verbally 'before Xmas'. 

 

They sent another email this morning saying I'd failed to prove I'd been told 'before Xmas' and the roof was being made specifically to order. 

I replied saying they'd failed to provide evidence it had been ordered at all or at what stage it was regards manufacture. 

I also said their attitude was poor and that in light of the fact they couldn't provide any info re the stage of manufacture we were at and the vagueness of install dates I was left with no option.


They've now sent an email confirming installation for 7th Dec. As simple as that.


My problem is that I've lost all faith in them now, our relationship has broken down. 

They've let an administrator handle the problem rather than one of the directors stepping in.   

 

I don't believe the roof has actually been ordered at all yet. 

I'm concerned they'll do a shoddy job and that if I accept the Dec date they could put it off again and again. 

Accepting the date also gives them a chance to actually place the order and then genuinely claim 'it's in progress'.  


Do I still have the right to ask the credit card company to step in and recover my deposit bearing in mind they've now offered a date a month later than originally given? 


I'm assuming I have to email back telling them I'm rejecting the new date? 

 

Sorry for the long post, trying to cover all relevant points and going round in circles. 

 

Thank you

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i agrree

don't let them fob you off

leave your card company to deal and accept the refund.

 

they'll have a very hard job in arguing section 75 was not applicable and of course would have to involve the CCC in any court case too, so .... fat chance of a win there:pound:

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you.  Would you advise rejecting their offer formally or just no communication and getting the credit card co involved?

 

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i think they'll soon find out...

as long as you HAVE invoked a section 75 reclaim...

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I haven't yet as I gave them a day to do the refund themselves.  Instead they've come up with this new date.  I have to complete an online form for the credit card company which I haven't actioned yet

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1 hour ago, FBR123 said:

I contacted my credit card company who said they would recover the monies for me but it could take 2 weeks (which is fine). 

 

so you haven't then..

 

choice is yours then

 

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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What is the name of the company you are dealing with? Why haven't you told us?

If the other thread you have been looking at is the thread relating to Ideal Windows then you will see that we have been advising that the customers should give notice. It sounds very similar to your problem.

You should give notice. You must inform them that time is of the essence and that given all of the delays you can only now give them seven days to agree to complete the installation job within 14 days (including the seven days).

I'm afraid that courts won't normally accept a peremptory cancellation – even if the delays have been excessive. I'm afraid that by communicating with them and broadly by accepting the delays to a certain extent, you have been complicit in agreeing the delay. So now you have to take control and bring it to an end to but you have to do this with notice.

I suggested that the work should be completed within 14 days – but how long should the installation take?

The reason for giving them notice is that even though a date may have been fixed for completion, generally speaking reasonable delays are considered to be acceptable – and the courts are well aware that the installer may have incurred costs and should be given a reasonable time to complete the contract.

Once you give notice that the contract will be treated as terminated because the delays are becoming not acceptable – then you generally speaking satisfy the requirements of the court that you have treated the installer fairly.

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The company is Homeview Reading.  The date was only confirmed last week as being 1st February.  Up until then they hadn't confirmed any date at all so I haven't accepted any delays.

My understanding from their quote was that we were working to - 8-10 weeks start to finish.  As I placed the order 1st Sept. I was expecting installation early/mid Nov.  When they advised 1st Feb I immediately said this wasn't acceptable and I wanted a refund which they refused to do.
The manufacturer of this product says they have a 4 week turnaround currently so the install date of 1st Feb does not fit this.
It's my belief nobody has started manufacturing the roof as they won't tell me where it is or at what stage of manufacture it's in.
We're not at court stage - I'm talking to the credit card company about recovering the deposit.  They have emailed today saying they can now do 7th Dec.  But I'm reluctant to go ahead now due to their handling of this, their veiled threats to take me to court and the worry that they might do a shoddy job because our relationship has broken down.
 

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I wonder if their delays are a tactic to retain your funds whilst they go under, hence not ordering with the materials from the specific manufacturer and not advising you of any installation delays.
 

Keen to understand from the experts on this forum where you would stand if that were the case..

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I have filled in all the forms and all ready to send to the credit card co but with the new date of 7th Dec being put forward and the comment that I have to accept reasonable delays I don't know what to do. 

Our relationship is not good now which doesn't bode well for them doing the work/any problems that might arise.

 

 

BStealth that's exactly my worry. 

4 weeks from the only manufacturer in the country yet they say they're not using them.  Won't confirm who they are ordering from.  Wont' confirm how far along the order has got. 

 

A February install date now suddenly brought forward to December after telling me they would take me to court. 

No communication at all until I chased them. 

 

I haven't accepted this Dec.date - haven't responded - and already rejected their first date of Feb but what is considered a reasonable delay?

 

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A strategy of taking deposits in anticipation of going under is not what I'd expect.

 

Instead, maybe give everyone a distant start date, see who complains the worst and threatens to recover deposit, keep them happy with earlier start dates but let the non-complainers wait. Then the installers do the work at a time that suits THEM and not the quiter customers.

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Is there anyway you can confirm from the supplier of the materials that your specific order has in fact been placed or at request of agreeing to the earlier date? 

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A case of the squeaky door gets the oil? This did cross my mind. 


Am just confused what to do for the best now.

Was all prepared to just let the credit card co deal with it and had rejected the date for next year but being told I should be prepared to accept reasonable delays is open for interpretation and could be a never ending situation if they keep blaming Covid. 


Does anybody know what the situation would be if they failed on the Dec date?

Would I then be considered to have agreed to delays and I’m to blame or would it be looked on that I’d done the right thing and accepted a reasonable delay and the company should refund?

 

The two are contradictory. 

 

1 hour ago, BStealth said:

Is there anyway you can confirm from the supplier of the materials that your specific order has in fact been placed or at request of agreeing to the earlier date? 

 

I’ve asked them several times to confirm where they’ve placed the order especially as they’ve said they haven’t used the one company that makes this roof tile!

They’ve also not confirmed what stage of production it’s at.

 

As far as I know all they’ve done is measure and done drawings and applied for building regs which I also haven’t had through. 

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18 hours ago, BStealth said:

Is there anyway you can confirm from the supplier of the materials that your specific order has in fact been placed or at request of agreeing to the earlier date? 

I’ve asked them several times to confirm where they’ve placed the order especially as they’ve said they haven’t used the one company that makes this roof tile! They’ve also not confirmed what stage of production it’s at. As far as I know all they’ve done is measure and done drawings and applied for building regs which I also haven’t had through. 

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Today I told them their Dec date was better than February but before I accepted it I would like to talk to the director I saw in the first place or he could come and see me as I had some queries. 
got a reply saying he’s tied up on site for the next two weeks and to email any queries. 

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22 hours ago, FBR123 said:

Yesterday I got another email asking me to 'prove' they said 8-10 weeks for completion, which I sent them (their quote). 

I also mentioned their director had said verbally 'before Xmas'. 

 

They sent another email this morning saying I'd failed to prove I'd been told 'before Xmas' and the roof was being made specifically to order.

 

Can you show us exactly what you sent them to prove they said 8 -10 weeks for completion, and exactly what they said in response.

 

Have you contacted the local council to see if they have received an application for approval of Buildings Regs.

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I sent them their quote which outlined the 8-10 weeks start to finish.  Their response is also below.
 I placed the order 1st Sept and would have been ok with a couple of weeks here or there as I know delays can be experienced due to others in the chain/weather etc but Feb was too much.
I hadn't thought to contact the council re the Building Regs, will do that tomorrow.  At this stage I've only paid the deposit on credit card but it's £2k. The next payments are in stages and they will not accept cards. 
Their advice re delays on 29/9 was in response to me asking if we had an install date.  The same day they were advertising for fitters.

Their refusal to get their director to call me or make an appointment is making me nervous of continuing.  I woke this morning thinking I would go ahead as we hit it off when he came round but if his administrator has enough clout to stop me talking to him she must be a member of the family as well.

 

 

"We did advise a 8 – 10 week installation process from survey which was on the 07/09/2020 so working on this lead time your installation date is due on the week commencing 16/11/2020.

 

We then advised on 29/09/2020 there is unfortunate delays and I gave you a worst case scenario date as depending on the delivery times this could well be brought forward but we also have to consider we have a 2 week festive holidays.

 

You still have not been able to provide me with written confirmation that Collin, Davina or Lisa have stated this installation will happen before Christmas.

So the delay is unfortunately 8 weeks with the potential of being sooner than this, I just can’t give you an exact installation date hence why I gave a worst case scenario."

1111.PNG

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Let us know what you learn from Building Control.

 

Site Team @BankFodder may not be around for a few days but I would be inclined to await his opinion.

 

From what I've read so far, if nothing has been done about Builings Regs so far, you should write giving a final deadline (as per BF's post above) stating that failure to comply will leave you no option but to make the s.75 claim via your credit card provider.

 

 

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Have just spoken to Building Control who’ve confirmed no application has been made. This includes any they’ve not had a chance to start processing this week. 

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Ok, so read BF's post #7 above with a view to drafting a letter to give the installer a final warning that the delays so far are not acceptable and time is now of the essence. Accordingly you require them to commence works within 7 days or you consider them to be in breach of your agreement and will seek a full refund under s.75 CCA 1974.

 

Post a draft here before sending, by which time I hope BF will have had a look back in on your case.

 

Do you have any idea of the likely time the installation was to take.

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Thank you Slick132.

 

I don't have it in writing how long the actual works themselves would take but believe they said it was two weeks. 

 

 I spoke with CAB earlier today and they've said I can cancel this order as the company are already in breach of the terms, plus catching them out re the manufacturer's and the buildings regs she said to put in writing that I was cancelling and mention breach of consumer protection, unfair trading regulations and the fact that they are wilfully misleading me.  


She said the credit card company will handle the refund as I hoped.


I don't want them working for me in any way shape or form now.

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Hi FBR,

 

I have to say, I think you "catching them out" about the manufacturer is irrelevant to your case. There are many fabricators who may supply the installer and this issue is simply not your business.

 

But I do agree, given the delays that have occured so far, you don't want them working for you at all.

 

So start the s.75 refund process ...............

 

 

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I feel it is my business when they’ve told me the reason for the delay is that the manufacturer is affected by Covid restrictions   
The roof will not even be ordered until they’ve had the building regs through and they haven’t applied for them yet two months after I placed the order. 

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Firstly let me say that this is not a frustrated contract because in order to meet the requirements of the doctrine of frustration, the contract must be really impossible to perform. 

Maybe because the house doesn't exist anymore or because there is a law against it etc. Here you are simply talking about delay. So please forget frustration.

 

Secondly the advice you have received from Citizens Advice I'm afraid is dangerous and could lead you into litigation which you might possibly lose. Ignore it.

 

One thing I am not clear on it is how long the installation work will take. What have you been told?

 

I understand that you made a contract which suggested that the installation might take place at any time before mid-november. I'm afraid that in these kinds of service or building contracts you have to accept a reasonable delay.

A 1st of February deadline was completely unacceptable and would have been unreasonable. However I understand that under pressure from you they have now given you a deadline of 7th of December.

 

Firstly I think that a delay of a time up to the 7th of December is probably just within the bounds of reasonableness.

Secondly because you effectively put pressure on them to have a shorter deadline and they came up with the 7th of December one could say that you have now been complicit in the delay and so I don't think you are in a position to reject it.

 

I understand that your confidence may have been undermined by what has happened so far and I think that you are justified but I'm afraid that I don't think that gives you  a reason or an opportunity to void the contract now.

 

I think you are going to have to accept 7th of December installation date but I think it would be reasonable now for you to write to the supplier and to let them know that time is of the essence and that the 7th of December deadline is the last date which you will accept for installation and if the installation does not occur on that date then you will consider that the contract has been terminated by their breach and you will take all necessary action to recover your money.

 

I think you should send this letter in the form of a letter of claim.

 

A letter of claim normally gives 14 days notice before County Court action will be commenced.

 

In this case I think that you can give them notice that if the installation does not occur by the 7th of December and if you then do not receive your full refund by the 14th of December you will start the immediate action in the county court to recover the money plus interest and without any further notice.

 

The advice above depends on what you have to tell me about the time needed for the installation.

Also if you decide to send the letter of claim which I've suggested above then I think it will be a good idea if you would draft your letter of claim and post it here so we can check it.

 

 

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