Consumer Contract Regulations experts?

3 months ago I ordered a tubular manifold for my car from an established online seller who makes these to order (i.e. does not keep a stock) but they are made so they fit all car models for which they are made - so crucially the item can be sold to another customer for the same price (as opposed to the example recently of bespoke window shutters for a specific house’s set of windows).

This should have arrived within 4 weeks. I chased a couple of times and was told “it would arrive next week”. When I phoned yesterday and was fobbed off with the same excuse I asked very clearly if he’d started making it yet - “No”. I told him to cancel and refund me and he agreed. Two minutes later I get an email from his invoicing system saying order cancelled and refunded. Fine.

An hour after this I get an email saying “order processed” and “payment taken”. After subsequent grilling this was not an unauthorized payment as he never actually refunded me, he just sent that email. He also text me at the same time saying “my mistake, production started on Friday, you’ll get it this week”. Yeah, likely story. I told him as far as I was concerned the order is cancelled and I would be refusing delivery and that he had 15 calendar days to refund me.

Things got a bit messy through the day, him saying I couldn’t cancel etc etc. I didn’t take his bait on anything and kept everything from that point in writing. He was blaming the pandemic for stainless steel supplies. My point was that a) he lied by saying it would be with me “next week” previously when I would have been understanding if he’d said from the outset that he’s having supply issues b) we were 12 months into UK’s lockdowns when I placed my order, maybe I’m an a****hole but I’m not accepting that as an excuse anymore, that’s more than enough time to build up a backlog of raw materials OR update a website with revised delivery times OR just keep your customers updated.

He then went on to say “I’ve got recordings of the phone calls”, I’m not sure why he thought that would be useful thing to say because this would actually benefit me. I told him because he didn’t make any attempt to alert me that calls are recorded that this was a breach of Regulation of Investigatory Powers act 2000. But that I wanted to access these calls under GDPR as I can provide them to my bank and he had 30 days to hand them over, and I asked him to ensure they don’t go missing. He then back tracked and said that he won’t be providing me with the calls because they don’t record the customer, only him. This would still be useful to me but he won’t hand them over.

Maybe I’m petty, but I don’t want the item anymore because I can’t stand lying or incompetence and he’s guilty of both. This was a £600 manifold, more than I might have paid elsewhere but I was happy to pay the premium for the materials used and that the flange is machined after manufacture to fix any warping that happens during welding, a common complaint with tubular manifolds. Because of the cost I’m also covered by Section 75.

My question for the community if they know the answer is how much am I covered here by CCR - the fact that it is made to order shouldn’t absolve him of any responsibity to deliver within a reasonable time frame I don’t think, and certainly shouldn’t stop him from lying through his teeth rather than admit a delay

If you’ve paid by credit card speak with the issuer and they should be able to provide advice and hopefully get a refund.

As for the call recording as a business (iirc) he is required to notify you before and for what reasons they are being recorded. You as a private individual you can record without requiring permission. Because of so many arsehole companies out there I have a ACR on my mobile and record all calls. It has come in very handy.

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Thanks for reply, I did phone them yesterday and they said what I had said to the seller which was comforting - 15 days for CCR and if he challenges that one then we’ll proceed to section 75. That said, this was only a discussion on not a formal process which is why I just want to sanity check that - the specific sticking point here for me is the semi-custom nature of the item, that’s what I’m unsure of

FWIW he’s offered £75 off, I’m not accepting that. It’s not about the money but obviously if he said I can have it for free I’d take it so there is a number I’d accept. Based on the way he’s behaved I don’t believe he deserves to make a profit, pay his staff sure. I think he’s break even on it is about £300 so I’d probably take it for that, that seems fair to me under the circumstances (he’s said all he has to do under CCR is negotiate a discount).

I’ll take a look into an ACR as I do seem to wander into these arguments

Hey Slow-Ride, judging by this it is a bit sticky as the rules for “custom” equipment are different from an off the shelf. If he has indeed not even started they likihood you’ll be fine.

FWIW I order something that had some custom changes, it did not fit when it arrived, after much tooing and throwing I eventually agreed to get a 70% (I think) refund as I didn’t have much ground on the customisation as they simply could not resell the item after (but sounds different on yours)

He gave up, agreed to honour his commitment to canceling, money back in my account this morning. I guess throwing knowledge of a few regulations at people can have a big impact

@The_Sleeper I’m honestly surprised by this - was it their fault it didn’t fit? Customisations or not I’d be expecting a full refund if it’s their mistake


Great news.

That depends because they might be able to prove they made it to a spec, but there was something else that couldn’t be accounted for that made the item not fit.

Not really, I think some differences in yours it that although the market was small it could be resold. Mine could not, it was a wedding ring which was engraved and due to the design they could not reuse it.

TBH I was fine with it, so happy days.