'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

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Horse
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'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby Horse » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:26 am

There must - amongst the extensive knowledge and experience of board members [/trowel] - be someone who can advise on this . . .

In 2015 I had an extension built on the back of my house. In October a well-known D&i&Y chain attempted to install the kitchen that had been 'designed' to fit. In December the installation was completed.

Fast forward to November 2016, the previously white worktops ('Snow' Gemstone, by Wilsonart, a composite veneer over MDF) were noticeably yellowing, unevenly (seemingly affected by light) and the joins are opening and becoming uneven.

We were offered a replacement. Hurrah!

Errr no. We were actually offered a substantially cheaper alternative as they no longer sell the Gemstone range (wonder why?).

My understanding is that a retailer is obliged to replace a faulty item, and that includes any additional cost - as long as it's not 'disproportionate'.

Does anyone have an idea or examples of this, what sort of values etc.? Whether from retailer, customer, or other such as CAB or trading standards,or even legal.

To give some idea of costs involved, our worktops were about £3k to supply and fit, the replacement offered is about 20% cheaper (materials) and the next option 'up' is about £1k more (retail, I believe - so including profit). We will, of course, be -again, it was an absolute farce before - be suffering considerable inconvenience (and mess), let alone that there will be damage to the walls which they will need to make good.

So any advice gratefully received :)

TIA, Malc
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GTR1400MAN
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby GTR1400MAN » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:06 am

You may want to get these people involved as their logo/award is all over the brochures.

https://www.fira.co.uk/commercial-servi ... /fira-gold
Mike Roberts

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jont-
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby jont- » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:15 am

You may have legal cover on your household insurance who can advise about this.

I suspect to some extent you're at the whim of the retailer - we've had good results from John Lewis and ao.com, but both also have a reputation for good customer service. I may have mentioned previously I felt we had particularly shitty customer sevice from Skoda :twisted:

If you find yourself getting nowhere, it seems a pithy rant on twitter is one of the few ways to get customer service from a major company these days.

Rolyan
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby Rolyan » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:56 am

A quick chat with a solicitor will save you hours of headaches and avoid any disappointment caused by bar room lawyers.

NOT, repeat NOT, directed at anyone in here.

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akirk
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby akirk » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:34 am

They could offer you a lower cost replacement (and a partial refund) - plus they swallow the expense to make good / fit / etc.
They could offer you a higher cost replacement and expect you to contribute the difference...
You could source a replacement from the manufacturer and have it fitted and expect the supplier to pick up the cost
They could offer you a market equivalent from current range and that is not unreasonable - they don't have to offer a refund...

basically you can expect to be in the position for which you paid - but if it is not directly possible for them to do that, then an equivalent is not unreasonable... we have had ongoing issues with the air-conditioning unit in the office I had built 18 months ago (not up to capacity for the computer kit we have in the office - though we did spec. what we were running) - after having gone through lots of efforts to sort it out (inc. 3 different units) the company came back and fitted a larger capacity unit - considerably more expensive and I am sure they have now lost any profit on the build - but fantastic customer service...

ultimately it is all about being polite / firm / aware of what you want / making sure that what you want is reasonable / going high enough up the chain that it happens...

Alasdair

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Horse
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby Horse » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:28 pm

Just for fun, as background, below the sorry saga from 2015. If it doesn't flow totally that's because it's several forum posts strung together.



We're having a kitchen designed and fitted by B&Q.

Let me rephrase that: we had a kitchen designed by B&Q, but the fitters have found it's best suited to the dimensions of someone else's house.

Simply, their wizzo design system has allowed the designer to incorporate worktop which doesn't exist and a run of wall cupbards (with end panels) and a cooker hood which not only won't fit but also doesn't allow the required clearances. Oh, and they delivered a 600 sliding shelf set for a 300 cupboard and a couple of other hiccups.

The worktop we ordered isn't available in the size required.
Well, would you believe still ongoing. It got to the point where the manager was ignoring emails.

So I emailed the new B&Q CEO yesterday. Today, phone call from the 'resolutions team' and, a few minutes ago, an email from the manager with a proposed installation date.

in a slight change to her previous 'style', I've had four emails in just over 1.5 hours from the manager to arrange the worktop installation


Brief version:
1. They sold us worktop which didn't fully exist and delivered the bits which did
2. They delivered second lot
3. They delivered a temporary set, now installed
4. They took away the two other sets
5. They will deliver a third (or is it fourth?) set to install after removing the cheapo laminate set



It took two months to complete the installation . . .

Everything was agreed for a certain Wednesday, I arranged working at home that day, and the correct worktop* was due to be delivered at 7:30am.

* We finally agreed to go back to the original WilsonArt composite, with join, since one of the other f@ckups meant that the join was further back towards the wall than originally intended.

By 7:40 I'd had a 'chat' with one of the managers, and the worktops were going back onto the delivery van. The fitters were ten minutes away, turned around and went home. They'd delivered the same incorrect worktops as had been done two months previously. Another long phone call to the 'resolutions team' . . . They then got a really senior manager involved, at which point things finally got sorted.

Correct materials delivered Friday morning, with fitters on-site soon after.

Now, knowing that it was all to have been sorted, Filly had arranged a load of friends to come around. Frantic calls to delay their arrival . . . fitters left at 8pm as friends arriving. Fitters returned Sat. lunchtime and worked through until 8:30pm, then finished off on Monday evening!

Tuesday evening was a 2 hour chat with the manager, after which we finally came to an arrangement to cover inconvenience, changes to design, etc.

Summary:
Kitchen parts quality: fine
Kitchen installers (B&Q sourced - one of the best decisions I ever made, for [relative] 'ease' of sorting problems): fine
'Design': heaven help us
Managerial support: hah!
Resolution of problems: You'd think we were doing it for fun . . .
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Horse
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby Horse » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:33 pm

akirk wrote: basically you can expect to be in the position for which you paid - but if it is not directly possible for them to do that, then an equivalent is not unreasonable...


And that's the key point: what is reasonable? They install something we don't want and pay us a few quid compensation, or they bite the £bullet and cover the costs of the next up in their ranges.

One of the main points we made to the manager who [eventually] got involved last time was that we should not have had to fight it all the way, there should have been a 'simple' intention to resolve the problem and someone in charge to make it happen ASAP.

Sadly, history repeats.
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akirk
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby akirk » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:43 pm

They need to manage a solution which leaves you no worse off...
- so if you end up with a cheaper solution it will not just have cost you more for something cheaper, but your house will have a lower value.
- if there is no way of getting you the same level of quality then they can offer the next up - but it is reasonable for them to expect a contribution - however you can simply refuse and tell them to come back with a solution which matches what you paid for - they can then either source something equivalent or swallow any additional costs...

I would simply send an email back to the CEO with a factual statement of what happened previously, then bring up to date with current situation. Express your frustration that you are having to manage this, and then lay out your acceptable solution (a worktop of at least the same quality, at no inconvenience or cost to you) and ask pleasantly how they are going to make this happen...

Alasdair

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Horse
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby Horse » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:49 pm

akirk wrote: I would simply send an email back to the CEO with a factual statement of what happened previously, then bring up to date with current situation. Express your frustration that you are having to manage this, and then lay out your acceptable solution (a worktop of at least the same quality, at no inconvenience or cost to you) and ask pleasantly how they are going to make this happen...


:) That was roughly the content of the email sent off on Monday afternoon to the manager who finally sorted it last time.

Good point about devaluing the house!
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angus
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Re: 'Proportionate' costs for replacement of faulty item

Postby angus » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:34 pm

On the subject of B&Q kitchens, and past experience, ONLY buy them if you have a trade account (it reduces prices by about 40%) and a tame independent fitter. On that basis B&Q aren't bad value

I was surprised to find that a good independent kitchen supplier will usually be cheaper and more flexible than any national or DIY chain. They also tend to know how to use a tape measure


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