customer compensation claim

14 Dec 2007
Reaction score
United Kingdom
long story short.

4 months ago i did a job fitting a shower cubicle and shower (which required a pump) and a sink.
To fit the pump i had to t off the hw cylinder cos it was a tight fit for anything else.
customer agreed to this but i also showed them what the previous plumber had done and that it might affect me (the pipe and nut was pushed right into the tank at the top).
i completed the job fitting new pipework but got a call that night. the hw cylinder was leaking at the top. i repaired it via soldering the joint and went home.

2 days later they called me back and said my services were no longer required and that they had not used the hw cylinder cos they were frightened it would explode or something...but i must add ----it was used via the emmersion and not the arga for 4 months until this letter cos they had trouble getting a plumber.
we came to an ammicable conclusion being that i would forfeit any more monies and that was that.

now 4 months has passed and they sent me a letter stating that they got someone else in who renewed all the pipework to the shower and fitted new hw cylinder and supplied a new shower pump and that it cost them an extreme lot of money.
they state in letter that they saw i had fully insured written on my business card and now require compensation of £800 to cover the costs.

at start of job i gave quote of £430 of which a percentage was materials excluding pump.
deposit was £120 which was paid.

have i a leg to stand on??????

wow an[/quote][/b]
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heeelllooo dazzab and welcome :D :D :D :D :D

they must give you an opportunity to repair your work that they allege is not up to standard[are they experts!!!]
if they went ahead and replaced the pipework including yours without consulting you thats there problem unless they can prove they gave you ample opportunity to repair and you refused all attempts by them to rectify your work
if they agreed to your suggestion to finalise the work they can't then go back unless theres further evidence of remedial work that needed doing that wasnt origionaly seen keeping in mind the other plumber may be responsible during the "disturbance"

but in all instances you must be given reasonable opportunity to repair to reasonable standard
Hand it over to your Public Liability company they will make short work of it,.
Big-all is right
You have at least 3 chances to “correct” your work.
That does not include damage done before you arrived by previous plumber
They are not entitled to money from you if they got someone else without informing you.
You said there is an amicable agreement for you to forfeit further monies and for them to find someone else. That sounds like the end of the story to me.
Polite and professional letter (registered) pointing this out should make this clear.
Personal opinion, I think they are trying to pull a fast one
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What evidence do they have that :

  • the work was unsatisfactory
    there was some problem resulting from what you did (leak?)
    they told you of any problem
    you were negligent?

I wouldn't bother with insurance, the excess is probably £500 anyway.

I'd say very little for now. Talk to a CAB, and your insurer (you might have cover for legal costs).

I believe Big al is right, they haven't done enough to be claiming from you now.

You might be sending a letter meaning "Eh, you what?". It would perhaps be better phrased as asking for "Disclosure of evidence, and further particulars."

I had a letter with something a bit similar from someone once. I phoned them and said I'd taken legal advice, and had been told that though I was insured so it didn't really matter to me (!), they didn't have a claim because of X, Y and Z. Once they realised they were being asked to prove everything, and they'd be liable for costs if they didn't win, they lost interest.
I don't think they would get far because they didn't make their claim within a 'reasonable' time.
Don't communicate with them until you have had legal advice.
I wouldn't even bother wasting time getting that advice until you get another letter from them. Make your own decision on that bit though.
I am a little confused about the '4 months' part of the story.

But notwithstanding that, if you showed them the damage to the cylinder before you started, then they were aware at that time that the cylinder was defective.

If they have subsequently employed someone to put a new cylinder in at your cost, they have in insurance terms, had 'betterment'. In other words, they now have a new cylinder which they had no intention of paying for.

In these matters it is always best to put your side of the story in clear precise terms, in writing to the client. If it does end up going to the small claims court, the presiding magistrate will be most interested in the paper trail. The claim will be down to whether the cylinder was damaged by you or persons unknown earlier.

In this situation we would have asked the customer to make the old cylinder available for inspection, if they have disposed of the evidence the magistrate will not take a favourable view.
"....... they got someone else in who renewed all the pipework to the shower and fitted new hw cylinder and supplied a new shower pump and that it cost them an extreme lot of money."

The other plumber fitted a new HWS cylinder?
Was a new HWS cylinder a part of the work you were contracted to do?
No claim there.

The other plumber fitted a new shower pump?
They ordered a new pump to be fitted to replace the new pump? Why?
That sounds like a silly thing to have done. Did the other plumber kindly, ahem, remove the new, guaranteed (by the manufacturer) pump you'd fitted from the site? Was it defective? No? No claim there then.

The other plumber fitted new pipework to replace all the new pipework that you'd fitted? Why? Was it defective? There would a claim there if they could show it was defective. Since the other plumber has probably kindly, ahem, removed it from site, I'd think they may have difficulty showing that it was defective.

Write back, be very polite and businesslike. stat that you cannot see that they have any justifiable ground for complaint about your workmanship.
If they want to take it further they'll have to issue a County Court summns (but don't suggest that).

if the insurance find in favour of the OP then excess is not payable?

I would say let them fight it
I agree with all the above posts, but would like to point out, from personal experience, that PL will only cover damage done by you to a customers property, not if they are trying to say you done something wrong.

For this you will need professional indemnity. I've just had costs in total of £4000 due to £orgi insurance not covering a claim due to the above :eek:

I did nothing wrong, damaged nothing but got caught up in legalities.

The law is an ass, don't rely on it even if you are clearly in the right :rolleyes:
Thanks all for the replies.
Sent letter stating i will not pay cos i deem i am at no fault.
not heard from them since.
Yes they were tryna pull a fast on i thinks guys.

cheers all
Hi, I had an experience where the matter did go to court, but the magistrate basically said to the customer, "it is your responsibility to prove the plumber had done something wrong not the plumbers job to prove his innocence". If it goes to court, you have nothing to worry about as long as you are 100% sure you did nothing wrong. Be calm and ask for proof everytime they raise a objection to your work. Sadly even though I won the case I couldnt claim compensation for my time or the stress my wife was put through. And when you win if they say they will blacken your name like my experience remind them there is a law against "deformation of character" they will think twice then.
For this you will need professional indemnity. I've just had costs in total of £4000 due to £orgi insurance not covering a claim due to the above :eek:

Could you tell us the details in the Combustion Chamber Dave? It might help us to avoid these cowboy customers who are ocasionally encountered.


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