Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Ellie75, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Ellie75

    Ellie75 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    21 3
    What are customer rights regarding refunds?
    Is a customer within there rights to demand a refund for goods supplied and not return them?
    I have done a job for a customer who has been a nightmare from the start, I have spent a large amount of money on the goods and materials to do the job, the customer is now saying he's unhappy with the work done and is damanding a full refund without returning the goods. This is leaving me hugely out of pocket, and even worse if I end up in court paying back the refund.
    Posted: Aug 11, 2019 By: Ellie75 Member since: Jul 27, 2019
  2. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,916 1,270
    Is this a business or a private individual?

    Are the goods free- standing or part of the fabric of a construction?
    Posted: Aug 11, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  3. Ellie75

    Ellie75 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    21 3
    A private individual, and all form part of a bespoke construction
    Posted: Aug 11, 2019 By: Ellie75 Member since: Jul 27, 2019
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    18,290 2,105
    So what happens now if you take the goods and give a full refund?
    Posted: Aug 11, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  5. Ellie75

    Ellie75 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    21 3
    They won't return the goods
    Posted: Aug 11, 2019 By: Ellie75 Member since: Jul 27, 2019
  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    18,290 2,105
    Then they aren't entitled to a full refund.
    Posted: Aug 11, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  7. obscure

    obscure UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,109 763
    Courts see this sort of stuff all the time. Someone claims the dress wasn't good enough (while posting pics of themselves at a friends wedding wearing it). If they are using/keeping the goods then by default they must be fit for purpose and they don't get a refund.

    Assuming that the work really was to a suitable standard, this client is clearly trying to con/bully you into giving a refund while keeping the goods. Inform them that you stand by the quality of your work 100% and won't be issuing a refund.
    Posted: Aug 12, 2019 By: obscure Member since: Jan 18, 2008
  8. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,916 1,270
    If you have been paid in full, then you have the upper hand - any refund, full or partial is at this point down to your conscience/professionalism.

    If you have completed the job to the original brief/budget then they don't have a leg to stand on.

    If you feel they have a reasonable claim to a partial refund then you should cough up - albeit with strong caveats.

    The return of goods here seems to be something of a red herring as I'm assuming they have no real value to you? (It might help us to understand what the project/goods entailed)
    Posted: Aug 12, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  9. TopSpek

    TopSpek UKBF Contributor Free Member

    44 4
    Might be worth offering to do a couple of extra tasks for nothing. A few hours of extra work would be better than spending countless hours on worrying and stressing, not to mention the costs of courts and solicitors.

    Stay friendly and keep smiling. You will get over it soon enough and eventually calm down. Remember, word-of-mouth promotion is so valuable, and you could get some repeat work too!

    Posted: Aug 12, 2019 By: TopSpek Member since: Jul 15, 2019
  10. Nochexman

    Nochexman UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,904 290
    Out of interest - what do the terms and conditions on your website say about the matter?
    Posted: Aug 12, 2019 By: Nochexman Member since: Jun 14, 2011
  11. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,243 313
    Does that have any legal weight?

    Not being a smart-arse - curious as to whether anything on a Web site has legal value in terms of a contract, separately from anything written on a paper contract, invoice, etc.
    Posted: Aug 13, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
  12. richard10002

    richard10002 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    33 2
    It would help if you said what your work is, what you have done for this customer, what is wrong with what you have supplied and, perhaps the amount of money involved.

    Also, are you happy that what you have done is a good job, and what was requested? There will be people and companies out there who make a habit of having work done, then complaining and asking for money back.

    Personally, I would usually write a letter explaining what you agreed to provide for the price agreed, that, despite them being quite difficult to deal with, you are happy that you have done a good job, and have provided what was paid. You could add that you will be happy to visit to put right what might be wrong, but that you are not able to consider a refund. You could also add that, if they return the goods, or allow you to collect them, you may be able to consider a partial or full refund. If they dont allow this, a judge is unlikely to award.

    If they don't give you a chance, or even several chances, to rectify any problems, a judge is unlikely to award them a refund, and they may give up their attempt after a letter like the above.

    People often threaten legal action without actually intending to go through with it. After your letter, you could wait and see if they issue a summons..... if they dont, all is well.... if they do, you then have a decision to make, which is pay up, plus costs, or defend in court.
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: richard10002 Member since: Dec 3, 2015
  13. RobSwan

    RobSwan UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 2
    Do you think you might have a 'Cowboy Customer'?
    They do exist and some are very 'good' at it.
    Did you get any complaints during the work or any other indication prior to completion that the customer wasn't happy. If your work is good and what the customer requested then stand your ground. Often these things are a 'bluff' (like the famous dress example above). Be fair, reasnoable and hard as nails - don't give in if you're in the right.
    Hope all the advice given helps :)
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: RobSwan Member since: Aug 27, 2018
  14. Socio South West

    Socio South West UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    905 226
    This also has a bearing on their right to a refund - in your favour.
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: Socio South West Member since: Mar 24, 2013
  15. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,151 319
    Are you a member of a trade body, you might be able to get an independent report done against the original spec. If you are happy with your work etc then you need to consider legal action to get what you are owed.

    A local builder in my area ended up demolishing a front porch on non payment, they won in court from memory. Another put in bathrooms for the local council, then ripped them out after huge payment delays, the court ordered payment to be made for both the installation and cost of removing the goods. The council still use them today.
    Posted: Aug 16, 2019 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  16. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    649 111
    Both sides could be right here based on the information provided by you. It could be in fact not fit for purpose whatever you build for him. Also down the line you made many mistakes here in regards to how to schedule your payments.

    At this stage you would only have one payment left out of 3 payments if you would have done your home work.

    payment 1 would be made on the day the goods are on site with customer ( cost covered for goods and you are not out of pocket )

    payment 2 is a mid progress payment ( 50% -75% job done) to cover the labour costs for the works ( again at this stage you are not out of pocket )

    payment 3 : upon completion you issue final invoice ( this is your profit one or mark up, call it whatever you want ) with net terms or whatever floats your boat.

    If you would conduct business correctly at no stage you would actually loose money apart from stage 3 and you could walk away at any given stage and it is up to the customer to come after you.

    If the actual value is low take it on board as a lesson learned. You are now at a stage where he has almost the upper hand and it is up to you to come after him.

    Providing reports for court will cost you quite a bit of money to be honest so legal actions depending on the project value might cost more than it is worth.
    Posted: Aug 17, 2019 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
  17. Guy Incognito

    Guy Incognito UKBF Regular Free Member

    123 17
    We've had a couple of people like this. One through Amazon, who I reported to them to try and avoid other companies being ripped off by, and others who try it on (a favourite tactic seems to be to try and claim money back / get a discount for a courier company not delivering on the day they were meant to).
    Posted: Aug 19, 2019 By: Guy Incognito Member since: Aug 2, 2016