What about contracts for services?

In situations where you are having some work done, and the main focus of the agreement is the service itself, you would be party to a contract for Work and Materials. This type of contract is governed by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. Under this legislation, you are always protected by three statutory terms, even though you may not have anything in writing, or the contract you signed does not specifically mention them.

Refer to the section on Doorstep Selling if you signed up to having some work done after someone paid you an unsolicited visit.

Common complaints:

How can I resolve the situation?

Using the Small Claims Court

Leave a Comment

18 comments… add one

  • helen hollins 12 March, 12:58 pm

    Hi my father is having a composite door fitted by a reputable company and they have removed his old door and frame completely and when fitting the new one my father realised the glass panels in the door the type of glass they ordered and has phoned the company to tell them. they are completely disputing what he has ordered and are saying they have supplied what was asked evebn though a rep came to the house and took the order and my father used a brochure to show him what he wanted. they are refusing to take responsibilty and they are putting it back on my parents saying they never asked for the different glass but i know they did ask for it. they are now saying that if they want the glass changing it will be at cost to my parents and the company are not taking any liability for the error and the salesman has been really nasty on the phone with my father who is 74 yrs – my father asked to speak to a mananger st the compnay but he refused his request – the salesman told him only he could deal with it as it was his contract sale and he was not prepared to budge. my oarents now have a door fitted that thay did not order and the compnay dont want to know – they keep tellingnhim they have entered into a contract and pay the remaining balance. please help – where do they stand????

  • Catriona 13 March, 1:28 pm

    Helen, this is really unfortunate, I have no doubt you are right and they are simply covering up their own mistake. Do you have any kind of contract which mentions the spec your Father chose? If they didn’t provide you with anything this is not only poor customer practice, it may render the agreement unenforceable. Could you request a copy of the invoice from them? There is no reason they shouldn’t be able to supply one. Also ask to see a copy of their complaints procedure. Most companies have one and you should be able to escalate the problem to someone higher up than the salesman. If they are a member of a trade body, you could also seek help (arbitration) from them. You might also want to consider an Alternative Dispute Resolution service (ADR) via HM Courts. Tell the company you are considering all these options, this may force their hand.

  • Graham Beamish 21 February, 8:59 pm

    I paid a company over £600 to collect, pack and transport my goods including a large quantity of floor tiles from the Uk to France (where I am renovating a property). This was done under, (what I’m told), was a fairly standard contract for carriage.
    In the event the pallet was dropped in transit and (very poorly) re-packed by the carriers. I had clear evidence of this. Most of the floor tiles were broken as well as significant damange to virtually everything else I was sending. Having read the information on whatconsumer.co.uk my understanding was that my statutory rights are that the supplier will carry out the service with reasonable care and skill. I made a claim at the small claims court but I was not successful because there was apparently not a ‘total failure of consideration’ i.e the good were delivered, even though they were largely smashed to pieces! I am hence out of pocket by £600+. This seems wholly unfair to me.

  • Ivan Brooking 12 July, 10:37 am

    Hi. I purchased a ‘track experience’ from Virgin (£98) as a Christmas present for my wife. She followed the pack inofrmation and posted a voucher off to Silverstone to book the day. The voucher has been lost by Royal Mail and so the booking hasn’t been done. Virgin are saying that they cannot refund me or issue another voucher as the posted one could still be used. I can’t get to speak to anyone other than their help line and no one is calling me back. What do you recommend as my next course of action?

  • Steven Bryson 14 August, 11:11 am

    Hi there, I am a boat painter, How long must I wait (legally) before I can start proceedings againt a non-payer. Are there a certain number of days which I am required to wait? The person involved has had and used the boat for 131 days and has now chosen to contact me to say that he is not happy with the paint job, so is not going to pay me. Where do I stand on this. Four months of use open to the weather can do a lot of damage.

    • Ivan Brooking 7 November, 3:18 pm

      Hi Steven,

      No one from this website ever replied back to me so I thought I’d give you a heads up on that.

      I have some thoughts on your situation though if you’d care to hear them? having run my own business for a time and now a manager in a very large corporation.

      They should pay you from when you specified in your invoice, so if you gave them 30 days to pay, then they should have paid you 30 days from when you submitted your invoice to them. You may or may not have guarentee (spelling?) clauses in any contract you have with them. Legally, they should pay you in full and then claim against you if they’re unhappy. You can then offer to fix whatever is wrong or refund them if that suits both parties better.

      I have no idead how long a boat paint job is supposed to last. You may wish to get some unbiased statements from other boat painters of from the paint manufacturer to back-up any claims.

      My advice would be to write a letter to these people, stating why you should be paid and how much they should pay you and by when. In the letter tell them that if they have not paid you this money or called you to make an alternative arrangement then you will be starting legal proceding against them. Remind them how expensive the legal route can be and that you will also be claiming legal costs (which can run into tens of thousands of pounds).

      Keep copies of all correspondance between you and log all telephone calls and conversations. If you have legal insurance then they will need all of this is this goes to court. Most people cave after the first few legal letters – I hope this happens with you.

      Good luck and I hope it all works out! Get legal insurance asap if you don’t already have – it will save you a ton of money!

  • carol rae 5 January, 9:41 pm

    I’ve had trouble with Talk Talk. My phones been off for two months it came back on for 3 days. With a cross line. I left my mobile phone number it said staff could’nt help me. They said u left ur number so ur calls would be diverted not if the incoming was crossed. The people who phoned said they were getting a answer machine which I could’nt access. I tried to phone talk talk several times. It cost me £130 on my mobile. Its usually £38. I asked them not to take the last payment as I had no service. They said I would get compensation. I got £10 for paying £35 this month just gone. & the same last month + connection I just changed to talk talk. I tried to phone the BT engineer who fix my phone but open reach would not let me contact him. He said when he came round that he did’nt know my place exsisted. The lady upstairs was off too.

  • Poobear 8 February, 3:13 pm

    had my house walls and ceilings skimmed in October 2011 and since then I have had a huge amount of hairline cracks appear more and more each day. The guy came back and scored out and refilled with Polyfilla and was advised to leave for 5 weeks well only one week has been and gone and so far alone I now have an additional 50+ new hairline cracks. He has now stated that he will remove all the plaster he done and will replaster using new plaster or he he will pay to have the walls lined as-well as the ceilings. I stated that there is no gaurantee that 6 months down the line the same thing wont happen again and no he couldnt promise this. Where do I stand if I want a full refund?

  • Mr.Colin Honey 25 March, 11:19 am

    Hi I have just had a wardrobe fitted in a bedroom by a reputable firm.The wardrobe has not been fitted in the position I wanted. Consequently it is out of alignment with the existing wall.
    I have complained to the company concerned – their answer is that it is fitted in accordance with the signed plans and my instructions . I did not instruct them to fit it in its current position and I actually asked the fitter to move it – which he said he could not.
    Can I legally with hold my final payment until it is fitted to my satisfaction.
    Regards Colin Honey

  • jacqui 8 June, 2:27 pm

    Hi my husband and i at the begining of this year booked a big holiday to the usa we said as it cost us just short of two grand we would get insurance with tesco. Suddenly i had to go to the dr’s who sent me to the hospital to be told after a test that i had cervical cancer. I have got throught the therapy but i have a blood clot on my lung which i have been told it would be dangeros for me to fly a long haul flight.Thomas cook who we got the tickets from say they can do nothing about canceling tickets and helping us any way round the problem that it is a lot of money we can not afford to just let go. Can anything be done.

  • Margaret Birks 12 September, 12:56 pm

    My Husband and I paid £7509.59 for our drive and paths to be done in patterned concrete in March 2011, cracks appeared soon after and puddles of water when it rained meant it was not level. I complained and a surveyor came out but said it was to be expected and there was nothing to do apart from filling in the cracks, this left it looking a mess. Where do we stand please as I don’t know how to resolve this

  • Tina 23 January, 12:04 pm

    Hiya, I’ve had a carpenter Come and lay a new wood floor, he’s made a mess of it, the joints are tight, he’s got small pieces in heavy traffic areas, the skirting s boards come off, short pieces that don’t Coe to the wall etc. this guy had a complete canvas to work with, skirting we’re off, carpet removed etc etc. I’ve had him back to have a look at the problems and he wants to silicone the gaps and cracks and I’m not happy this is the answer. Would like him to pull it up and relay out properly but that’s not going to happen. I’ve lost confidence in him, and want someone else to put it right, but can’t afford to pay it myself, and what would happen if the next guy ruins the flooring by trying to rectify it?? Please help, tearing my hair out, can’t redecorate or o anything and its been 2 months now. Thanks in advance.

    • Tina 23 January, 12:05 pm

      Sorry that should have read ” joints ARENT tight”

  • Keith Robinson 11 February, 12:10 pm

    Yesterday I contacted BT to ask for a MAC code as I was intending to transfer my broadband and phone contract to Sky. The gentleman I spoke to came up with an offer to retain my account which I agreed to. I then received an e-mail from BT detailing the terms of my new contract and I noticed that I only had free weekend calls instead of free evening and weekend calls as I thought it would be. I contacted BT again to query this and the lady I spoke to said the gentleman who had dealt with it was not available at the time but she would message him to phone me. No call mateerialised so I called BT again this morning to cancel the change and was informed by the gentleman I spoke to that I couldn`t cancel as I had only to the end of the original call to change my mind. I said this was preposterous but he said this was the rule. Consequently I have had to agree to an extra £2 per month to include free evening calls or pay a cancellation fee of £180. May I have your opinion on this please?

  • Kate Hooper 2 March, 4:47 pm

    I have a small Garden Services company http://www.the-otherroom.co.uk
    I pay my tax and full insurance .
    I recently undertook some work for a customer , as agreed ,by email .
    The work is now complete but I am having problems getting paid by the customer .
    He agreed to the work and to materials being extra to the work price .I gave him copies of all receipts of the work materials .
    Now he is avoiding my calls and emails and texts
    What should I do as an initial ‘prod’ to try to resolve this problem ?

  • Norma Ley 4 August, 12:18 pm

    Dear Sir or madam
    We are being plague with continuous phone calls from 002075984867 how can we stop these calls coming in they say they are from Microsoft & tell me we have a problem with our computer. These calls have been coming two or three times in a day for over a week now. Is there any way we can stop these. I have got the Telephone preference service I place but that does not stop all calls. What are our rights to all this.
    Can you help us in any way.
    Yours sincerely
    Norma Ley

  • helen 8 August, 4:32 am

    I purchased solar panels and had a delayed payment for twelve months.I was not told that the credit agreement was front loaded if I did not pay the full amount a year later. The solar panels do not produce ass much electricity as I thought that they would and will not pay for themselves.

  • helen 8 August, 4:36 am

    13days ago I signed up a six month agreement to let a room out in my house through a friend referal.I now have changed my mind regarding this person can I ask him to leave on a 14 day cooling off period.