Sandwell trading standards help couple get double-glazing refund

A Rowley Regis couple have been helped to get £4,000 back – from a double-glazing company – thanks to the intervention of Sandwell Council’s trading standards team.

The couple in their 80s signed a contract worth £12,500 for double-glazing to be installed at their home.

Due to a change in personal circumstances, they weren’t able to go ahead with the work and asked to cancel the contract later on.

The trader cited the contract was non-cancellable and told the couple they would lose their £4,500 deposit and that legal action would be taken to recover the rest of the contract value – £6,000.

The distraught couple contacted Sandwell’s trading standards team which intervened on their behalf and reminded the trader of their legal obligations under consumer protection legislation – in this case that they were restricting the consumer’s statutory rights under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, 2008.

As a result, the couple have now received a £4,000 refund, from their original £4,500 deposit.

A spokesperson for Sandwell’s Trading Standards team explains: “Although the contract was non-cancellable due to the windows being made to the couple’s specifications, work hadn’t yet started on the production of the double-glazed window units. “Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, commonly known as contract law – a business cannot profit from the default of a contract, they can only charge a reasonable cost incurred as a direct result of the breach of contract, in this case £500, rather than the full £12,500 that the trader was seeking.” The couple said the whole episode has been extremely stressful, and they were very grateful to trading standards intervening on their behalf and reaching an agreement with the trader.

Councillor Farut Shaeen, Sandwell’s cabinet member for living healthy lives, said: “This is a great result for the team and for the couple involved who, happily, have had most of their original deposit returned to them. “If there is a lesson to be learned here, it’s to make sure you read the small print in any contract you sign, and make sure you understand your rights under the law.” Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell’s deputy leader, added: “This is a busy time of the year with many of us buying gifts for our family and friends so it’s more important than ever to be aware of your consumer rights.” Anyone wanting help and advice about a trading standards issue can visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/tradingstandards or call 03454 040506.

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