Saturday, 5 May 2012

Carpet Update: the MD's Offer

I though those of you who were kind enough to offer sensible advice about my hall carpet problems may be interested to know I received a emailed 'decision' from the store's assistant manager.

As I expected the store insists I agreed to the position of the (incorrect) join and supports its estimator.

However, the final paragraph of the email gave me an insight into the mindset of the Managing Director.

However the Managing Director would be prepared to offer you a £200 credit note as a “Gesture of Good Will” to spend in Gillies in an effort to resolve this issue for you.

Last night I downloaded the paperwork for the Small Claims Court and hope to complete it this weekend. The MD's defence will be interesting.


Jo G said...

To say I'm "floored" by this is an understatement! Clearly they don't know what they're in for Rosie. Rooting for you here.

JRB said...

Had a look at the ‘Scottish Courts’ and their ‘Small Claims Forms’ – you will have to be every bit a Philadelphia lawyer let alone a Scots lawyer to plough through all those claims forms.

Would a letter of intent to pursue from a friendly solicitor (a recoverable cost) not show the MD just how serious you are taking this mater.

I wish you well.

Brian said...


See them in the Sheriff's Court! It will cost them much more to defend the case and court staff will assist you as much as possible.

Best Wishes

Bill Quango MP said...

I am not quite sure what your claim is for. I believe you need to work this out first before pursuing.

As a former MD of a retail firm I am not sure that a judge will go with you.

1- The firm has offered to supply and fit a carpet. They have done this.
2 - the firm has presumably asked their estimator what he recalls. He says nothing about a join. You can't prove to have said 'this goes there'.
So they only have your word, as an unhappy Cm that they have made an error.
3 - there are no faulty goods. And no faulty fitting {if I understand correctly}. The finished product is just not 'as expected'.
4 - the company has offered reasonable compensation for your dissatisfaction. This has the 'GOG' clause, which means that the carpet co does not accept any liability and no blame is accepted on their part. It is simply them attempting to resolve a customer's problem as best they can.

The court will ask 'what is it you wish?' Your demands must be, if you have no written contract about joins and such, reasonable, in order for a claim to be given towards you.
The carpet co can say that if they have to reorder a carpet, and pay for the refitting they will have severely lost out. They will be left with an unsaleable off-cut, through no fault of their own, and a large bill.

Please understand that I do not know all the facts. Have never been in the furnishings business and am unfamiliar with Scot's law.

However, if this had landed on my desk,and I understand it correctly, I would be 80% certain of a victory.

What the firm is looking for is some way to make you go away without having to replace the carpet, as that would leave them with a loss.

Is there some way they can rectify the error without incurring a large expense to themselves?

If there is, they will probably do that. If your proposal would probably cost much more than any profit so far earned, then they likely will risk court.

{offered just as an observation with all the usual caveats and warnings about professional legal advice.}

What I'm really saying is what is your compromise position. Would you settle for the join where it is but a nice new carpet in the bedroom?

Jo G said...

Mr Quango: Rosie took photographs of the original carpet clearly showing where the join was. The location of the join was a factor when she decided to buy a new one. She discussed this very thing with the estimator. I'd say she could win this case.

Observer said...

You need evidence here that you specified where the join was to be. If you don't have any evidence then you need to pursue the angle that the firm was to blame by not recording your verbal instructions. When making a purchase of that magnitude the firm should have ensured that they were getting the product right.

Hamish said...

Bill Quango, luminary of many blogs, speaks a lot of sense.
I'm not sure what the problem is with the MD's offer.
Not sufficient? not penitential enough?
It is important in these matters to have a clear position on what you are seeking, short of having the MD's guts for garters.
It would be deemed unreasonable to demand that the whole job be redone. It should be possible to cut back the far end of the installed carpet, and to put in a new strip at the nearer end. There may be a slight colour mismatch, because of use of different batches. You may have to accept that, or be judged unreasonable.
Short of that, you need to put a realistic estimate on financial compensation.

Jo G said...

I don't think its about having anyone's guts for garters Hamish. If you spend a significant sum of money on something like this and go to the trouble of explaining the previous layout I don't think it is unreasonable to expect the estimator to listen. Joins in carpets absolutely must be in the right place or the whole appearance can be ruined.

Mr Quango says the firm supplied and fitted a carpet: yes, but they ignored the original instructions regarding that join. I think the photo Rosie took of the original carpet, and the original join, will come in very handy.

Joe Public said...

I have no legal training.

Mr Quango's analysis seems "reasonable"

A photo of an original carpet+join is that & that alone. It is not 'evidence' or even an indication that a request was made for the replacement carpet to have its join in a similar position.

Sadly, in the absence of a written instruction or specification, the issue boils down to one person's word against another's.

My understanding of the courts' processes is that they do look favourably on a party's demonstration of 'reasonableness'.

The ability of one party to negotiate a better-degree of 'reasonableness' is the key!

Would £250 satisfy you madam?? [i.e. Gillies have committed themselves to £200, so it'll cost them just £50 extra to avoid any risk of bad publicity. But bear in mind that £200 to 'spend in store' has cost them only about £135 because of their mark-up]

Rosie, if your readers hear nothing more on this issue, we'll know you've been knobbled by a 'non-disclosure' clause!

Observer said...

''Sadly, in the absence of a written instruction or specification,''

If necessary that's the road that Subrosa should go down. She has the photograph of the previous join & can say therefore with credibility that she wanted like for like & assuned in the absence of any argument that is what she paid for.

Subrosa's claim is that the company did not deliver what she specified. If they do not have any record of what she specified (a failure on their part) then she has a good case against them.

Joe Public said...

Observer @ 22:55

" If they do not have any record of what she specified (a failure on their part) then she has a good case against them."

On the contrary.

If no written record of a requirement or specification exists, that has been acknowledged by both parties, then neither party has a stronger case.

As I stated earlier, the fact that a photo exists does not in itself, prove that the salesperson saw it, or understood its significance, or, agreed to replicate it.

Similarly, the salesperson cannot prove that the buyer wasn't told that the join was not to be somewhere else. - Bill Quango's Point 2.

Jo G said...

Joe, I appreciate your point but the existence of the photograph does suggest the location of the join was a factor in discussions had with the estimator.

Also,joins, and where you put them, when fitting carpets are important and Rosie has also said this estimator hadn't even included the doorway in his plans. Joins near doorways are not recommended either as people are invariably turning to go in or come out of a doorway and this can affect the "lie" of the carpet if there is a join there that could be disturbed by "turning" traffic. The join could actually tear. Rosie might even want to consult a neutral carpet fitter on this and use his opinions too on the matter.

Bad publicity, or the possibility of it, can often persuade retailers to be fair. There are some people gifted enough to win cases like this. I think our Rosie is in that group.

subrosa said...

Thanks Jo, that's appreciated.

subrosa said...

It is complex JRB and that's a thought. Will have a word with a legal friend about it. I don't want to start involving lawyers at £75 a letter.

subrosa said...

I'm hoping so Brian. I intend to take my papers by hand so they may be able to look through them. Don't know if they will though.

subrosa said...

My claim is simple Bill. I want a lobby carpet joined in the place it was agreed and not 15" and right by a door surround.

The estimator said immediately a join would be needed when he first measured up. I told him I wanted it where it was in the then carpet and he remeasured saying I'd need another metre of carpet. I explained at length that where the join was was important and agreed to the extra metre. We also had quite a talk about joins outside doors. I've a witness to all that.

You think offering me £200 off my next purchase at their store is reasonable? I assure you I think that's an insult and I will be making no future purchases from them.

I have a contract for the cost of the carpet and which was signed.

They had an opportunity to send out the correct length of carpet the day after they wrong size was here. I received endless excuses about that and was told I'd be without carpet for at least 10 days as the fitters were busy and only came this way on Wednesdays.

No I wouldn't settle for that. The carpets in the rest of the house are nearly new. I know that this join will look dreadful in a year or so even though it looks just ok now. That's my concern. I bought this carpet to see me into my old age and it wasn't cheap.

subrosa said...

My verbal instructions aren't noted on the paperwork I have Observer.

subrosa said...

Hamish, the MD is offering me £200 off my next purchase in his store. Would you be buying anything more from his business?

He's not offering me £200 off the lobby carpet price and I wouldn't have accepted that anyway.

They themselves have mentioned replacing the short part would cause colour problems and refused to do it.

subrosa said...

It does Joe but I have a witness to it all.

Gillies haven't offered me £200, they've said they'll knock £200 off my next purchase.

subrosa said...

Joe/Observer, when the fitters were here I sighted a plan of the lobby (they were working from it). I didn't get a copy when he did the estimate although I've since asked for one.

The fitters complained only the doors at the far end (away from the join) were marked on it and two sets of double doors and the door in question had been omitted. The asst store manager agreed that was so on the phone as he had a copy in his office. He said he hadn't really checked the lengths because there were no doors visible.

Brian said...

Bear in mind I studied law thirty odd years ago but is there actually a contract in existence? You specified that the carpet was to be joined at a specific place which the shop ignored. I'm surprised you weren't asked to sign a copy of the estimator's plan and notes to confirm what you were ordering. Otherwise you could have got carpet tiles or samples stitched together.
Is there anything in the shop's terms and conditions that allows them to supply and fit the carpet as they see fit? No, it would seem.

Brian said...

Have you contacted the NICF for independent advice on siting carpet joins?

Jo G said...

"The fitters complained only the doors at the far end (away from the join) were marked on it and two sets of double doors and the door in question had been omitted."

Brian...this part of Rosie's earlier post, don't you think its very relevant and represents, at best, errors and, at worst, negligence, on the part of the estimator. Any plan of the area where a new carpet is going down cannot possibly omit doorways especially when a join is going to be required wouldn't you say? Rosie doesn't have to prove the estimator was there: he was. The actual fitters' plan can establish an accurate layout wasn't even provided.

Brian said...

Jo G ... I'm on Rosie's side. ;)

subrosa said...

There is a contract (signed) which agrees to the pricing Brian, but it would take a few mathematicians to decipher it.

Today the store asst manager emailed me a copy of 'the signed plan' which the fitters used. Strangely enough it isn't signed and, although the join is casually marked, the door doesn't exist.

No I can't see anything in the small print allowing them to supply and fit as they want and not the customer.

I haven't done that. All I've done is remember what I've been told over the years and also contacted a retired carpet fitter friend who, many years ago ran his own business in Shropshire.

I'll contact these people. Many thanks for all your help.

Related Posts with Thumbnails