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    • You won't be able to bring a counterclaim unless you can produce a properly structured assessment of losses or costs or ancillary expenses and you will need to do this by producing at least written assessment et cetera as I have indicated above. Two of them would be much better. A court won't entertain a counterclaim simply based on your own speculation as to your possible costs. I understand very well that your preference would be to write off the entire job including all of the materials that were supplied and for you to recover your outlay for those materials but I think in order to do that you would have to show that you have acquired no value from those materials and once again I think that you would need an expert assessment which explained why the materials were completely wasted and that you would have to start from zero. You can be certain that the claimant will attempt to say that you have received value and in fact that the items which have been supplied or already installed can still be used. I'm afraid that because the attempt to arrange this contract as a cash only agreement inevitably invites the scepticism of the court, I think the court may well be open to consider arguments that the items which have already been supplied are of use to you. If you can get expert confirmation that the supplied materials are now of no use whatsoever, then you will also have to get a quote for uninstalling them and returning them to the claimant. This means that the whole thing is getting even more complicated. I do think that your best interests would be to discuss the matter with your new installer and to see what items which have been already supplied can be used to finish the project – and then to try and deal with the claimant in respect of those on the basis that the case would be withdrawn and everybody would walk away. I think it's time to start abandoning some of this rancour between you because it isn't helping and it won't impress anybody. Don't underestimate the disapproval that will be felt by the court when they get to know about the cash arrangement and this won't be helped by the fact that you then went ahead to try and get receipts. I understand very well that you say that you simply provided money and that in fact you were the purchaser of the items directly from the retailer – but there is no evidence for that and it would be an unusual arrangement and I think the court might express scepticism about that as well. I think we have to bear in mind your credibility in this – and I think that it is rather fragile at the moment. If you came up with a sensible business- like idea about how to put this one to bed and then put it to the claimant and also mention the fact that as he was involved in a cash only transaction, he also might find that he is incurring the displeasure of the court – particularly as he is the claimant, he might feel inclined to try and wrap it all up and bring it to an end. I think the next thing you must do is to get an expert report as I've already suggested above. You will need to do this anyway. If you don't have an expert report then even if you happen to win your argument that there is a breach of contract, the assessment of how much you win will be impossible for the court to decide. The court will absolutely want expert assessments. So you need an assessment as to the work which has been carried out so far and the work needed and costs involved to carry out the job. You need an assessment as to the usability or otherwise of the equipment which has been supplied. At least that for the moment. I don't think it is possible to do much more until you have this information. If you can get the information then we can decide what to do. Obviously I don't know anything about the subject, but I can't imagine that all of the equipment which has been supplied is useless. It could only be useless if you suddenly say that you want an entirely different system of gates – but on that matter, you are bound by your expectation in the contract and you would only be entitled to install a similar system using similar equipment.  
    • I wonder whether part of the UK issue with current NI protocol, is that it is enabling a better trading environment between Ireland and Northern Ireland.     Northern Irish businesses have anticipated import/export issues with Great Britain, so now trade with Ireland or via Ireland.   Apparently reports are that some Northern Irish businesses have seen an increase in trade. It is only businesses that mostly sell British fresh produce that have been affected by border controls  and even then, they could swap to local produce.   Agree that UK Government are using argument with EU as a convenient distraction, but also there must be a worry about increased risk of a united Ireland, as a indirect consequence of Brexit.
    • Fintan O'Toole has an article about the Brexit negotiations and what he thinks HMG's aims are.   Facing chaos and needing a scapegoat, the Tories seek an endless fight with Europe | Fintan O’Toole | The Guardian WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM The EU’s proposals on the Northern Ireland protocol offered what business leaders wanted, but the prime minister prefers failure and grievance  
    • The carmaking giant is investing £230m in its Halewood plant, safeguarding 500 jobs.View the full article
    • Interesting question about Temerko donating to Frech political parties, TJ.   The French press are aware of the UK donations but there's no mention of donations in France. Aquind seemes to be based in the UK so I don't know if it would be allowed.
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Hi Everyone, I’m looking for some guidance as to what I should do next.

 

I ordered two sofas online from DFS using their Hitachi finance 4 year offer and after 15 weeks they arrived on the 26 th September but one is damaged internally as it creaks and cracks when sat on. I called them the next day  and they said it will have to be repaired and I would have to wait a month for their engineer to come as they’re busy!  

 

At this point I decided to reject the sofas under the 14 day Consumer Rights Act 2015. I’ve also reported this to Hitachi Finance quoting section 75 and pointed out that they are equally responsible in sorting the matter out.

 

After sending emails and receiving 5 calls from DFS insisting on an engineers repair visit they’re now ignoring me. I also sent an email to their CEO but have had no reply.

 

it just seems like they do not acknowledge the consumer acts at all. I’ve not paid anything yet as Hitachi have put a two month hold on the agreement while they investigate but they say they cannot confirm the outcome of my rejection?

 

We are using one of the sofas as we have nothing else to sit on but I’m unsure if this is ok. I thought that this should be straight forward !


Thank you in advance of any advice given.

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I'm a bit amazed that they are ignoring you completely. You've done everything right – certainly in terms of the defects in respect of which you have 30 days to reject the item and insist on a refund.

You have said that you have given them 14 days – but that is a completely different set of regulations and applies to online sales regardless of defects but only if the items have not been customised for you in some way. You haven't told us whether these sofas are standard or they have been altered or made-to-measure.

However that is irrelevant because if a material defect manifest itself within the first 30 days then you are entitled to reject the goods.

This if you are satisfied they've done everything that you can to bring this to the notice then I think that your next step is to send them a letter of claim telling them that unless they accept your rejection and make arrangements to remove the sofas within 14 days that you will issue a claim in the County Court and without any further notice.

I think also it would be reasonable to tell them that if they don't remove the sofas within the next seven days that you will start to levy a storage charge of, say, £7.50 per day. That seems to me to be a reasonable storage charge for two sofas which presumably are taking up a lot of space in your home and also prevent replacement sofas being brought into your home in their place.

Make sure that all of your messages are sent to them by email and also by recorded delivery. You need to keep a very solid paper trail.

If you decide to send the letter of claim then post the draft up here for us to have a look at. There is no reason why you shouldn't get the letter of claim out of the door by Wednesday morning.

Once you have sent them a letter of claim then you should register on the money claim County Court website and start preparing your claim. You can save your work as you go. You have to file a particulars of claim and I suggest that you post up a draft here so we can have a look.

The important thing is that once you have issued your threat then you must follow through and you must click off your claim on day 15. If you falter then you will lose credibility and you will hand control back to the company

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Thanks for the prompt reply,

 

can I ask as Hitachi are also involved and have equal liability do I just send the letter of claim to DFS or both?

Hitachi at present have only responded to say their enquiries can take up to 8 weeks.

 

Also, as I’ve not actually paid anything yet am I completing the letter of claim to just request return of the sofas, the storage charge and any possible court costs? Sorry if my question sounds daft I just want to word the letter correctly.

 

Forgot to ask is it reasonable for us to use the sofas whilst this claim is in motion, we really don’t have anything other than dining room chairs to sit on which after a while gets really uncomfortable.

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I am assuming that this is not hire purchase. In that case DFS is directly responsible and I would resort to Hitachi only if DFS went into liquidation or some other catastrophe.

DFS is a much easier target. Hitachi is very big, subject to regulation and they will try to control things by, for instance, claiming that they don't have to do anything for eight weeks – as you have already found.

The thing to do here is to act swiftly and assertively and DFS is a much easier target. However I would keep Hitachi in the loop by copying them into everything that you sent to DFS

You say that you haven't paid anything. Not even a deposit? They have let you have the sofas without even a down payment?

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Yes, no deposit. I could have paid for them but they were offering the 4 year interest free terms so I chose this as I realised that it provided some sort of additional consumer protection.

I tend to always use my credit card for holidays, large purchases etc but as it was easy online to use the Hitachi scheme I thought buy it on that and pay off later.

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Okay. Strangely enough that makes it a little bit more tricky because as you haven't suffered any loss, you have nothing to sue for.
The other thing of course is that you have to unravel the agreement with Hitachi.

When Hitachi told you they wanted a weeks, how did they tell you? Have you been doing things on the telephone?

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I’ve just received this email from Hitachi Finance. The date of 20th October is what DFS pushed for when I first called them the day after I received the sofas. Seems they’re still pushing to get their repair man in. Should I refuse this and carry on with the letter of claim?
 

DFS have made me aware they have scheduled a visit for 20 October 2021. I appreciate you wish to reject the goods and do not want to accept a repair and so I have made this clear to them. Any claims reported do require a visit to inspect the goods before a decision/outcome can be made. 

 

This is the email Hitachi sent me after I first contacted them.
 

Thanks for getting in touch with us to raise a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. 

We've provided information below which explains how we will handle your claim, what you can expect from us and how long it takes. If you'd like a paper copy please contact us and we'll send it to you. Your claim will be looked after by a member of our Claims Team who'll be in touch shortly. 

We aim to resolve your claim as quickly as possible and we'll keep in touch to let you know what's happening. If you'd rather be contacted by telephone or letter, please let us know.

If you've a current agreement with us, you still need to make your monthly repayments in full and on time, regardless of your claim. 

If you have any questions for us in the meantime, please call 0113 380 1065  or email [email protected] 

How we will handle your claim

Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to providing you with the best possible service.  We know that sometimes things can go wrong, and when they do, we want to know so we can help you put it right as quickly as possible.

How long it will take

We will try to resolve your claim quickly through a member of our Claims Team.

It may take some time to review your claim and where we need to look into it in more detail we will write to you to let you know and keep you updated with our progress until we have reached a decision.

We aim to resolve the majority of our claims within 8 weeks.

What to do if we can't reach an agreement

If after we've done everything we can to help with your claim, you're not happy with our decision or if you think we're taking too long to look into it, then you can raise a complaint

Whilst we hope this won't be necessary, a member of our Customer Care Team will independently investigate the claim review and decision, and provide you with a Final Response Letter.

 

Edited by dx100uk
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Bank Fodder,

Can you give me any further advice, your last comment was asking me about Hitachi response which I’ve copied to you. You said it might be a little more tricky but not explained why?
Should I still send a 14 day letter of claim with the storage fee that you recommended ?

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