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I arranged for a company that services, repairs and installs domestic appliances to visit my property as the extractor hood above the cooker was not working. The company told me - over the phone - that there was a £45 callout and that if they could not fix the issue there would be no further charges. Their website makes it clear that the £45 call out fee involves full  diagnostic testing to identify the nature of the fault. 

An engineer called and I received a report to say they had tested the hood and found that it was working okay when connected to another electrical supply point. The engineer left the hood disconnected from the supply and therefore still not operational. The fault was therefore an electrical supply one which they could not fix as they are appliance engineers and not electricians. I asked - by phone - if I would only be charged the £45 callout and the call handler was unsure. 

I then received an invoice for £69. 

My issue is that they did not repair the product, but simply diagnosed that the fault was an electrical one. The work they did was therefore purely diagnostic and I should only be charged £45. Their customer service manager disputes this and is admanant I need to pay £69 because that's the invoice their system has generated. I said I would pay the £45 and he simply said that that would be unacceptable. 

Any advice or suggestions please?

 

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Firstly you should read our customer services guide and implement the advice there. If you do that then you will never have these kind of problems.

On the basis of what you say – that the £45 includes diagnostic testing, I agree that it seems to be the case that you should only be charged £45.

On what basis are they saying that you should pay the extra?

Rather than get into a dispute about the whole sum, I would pay the the £45 which you accept and then let them take whatever action they think is worthwhile for the balance.

If they refuse to accept the £45 then you should send them a cheque – having kept a copy and also a copy of the accompanying letter showing that you have done your level best to mitigate losses by paying them what you believe is owed.

After that, let us know what happens

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Hi - Thank you for your suggestions. Last night I paid the company concerned £45 by BACs (against the invoice of £69) and sent an accompanying email stating that I was unhappy with the higher fee I'd been invoiced. I quoted from their website which states that all diagnostic testing was included in the initial £45 call out fee (and I enclosed a snapshot from the relevant section). I stated that no repair had been effected but the engineer had simply diagnosed the fault. 

Their MD emailed to say that it is a completed repair and late payment fees will be added if I fail to pay the outstanding amount (£24). They state that if the appliance is left in working order then under their terms and conditions it is classed as a repair and the higher amount is due. 

I replied referring them to my earlier email and what it says on their website regarding diagnostic work being included in the callout charge. 

The MD replied again saying it would be referred to their debt recovery company if I failed to pay. 

Any further advice please?

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The MD replied again saying it would be referred to their debt recovery company if I failed to pay. 

 

Then let it...I'm sure they will apply their full force for £24.00:-)

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Remember a DCA has no legal powers and cannot enter your home or enforce the debt and add silly made up charges.

 

They'll probably write you a few letters in scary red ink which you can ignore but keep on file.

 

I would send the CEO one letter (not an email) with proof of delivery stating why you have disputed the invoice and made a payment based on what was agreed. Keep a copy.

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So based on the diagnostic work it was not broken in the first place so they cant repair anything 

 

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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Essentially yes. They’re saying their full T&Cs make it clear that if their engineer leaves a product in working order then it’s classed as a repair and will charged as such. Their website also clearly states however that full diagnostic testing is included in the callout fee. My view is that  the work they did was purely diagnostic (ie: determining that the fault was with the electricity supply rather than with the appliance). The fact that the appliance was found to be working when connected to another supply point is immaterial (and they disconnected it again before leaving anyway); that simply demonstrated that there was no fault to repair and reinforces the fact that all they did was to diagnose that fault.

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The item would have needed to be broken for them to have fixed it. So in theory nothing was broken to be fixed. 

 

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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