Which? Legal members came to us for help when they were told their roof was in danger of collapsing. As they paid on credit card, they weren’t out of luck…
Linda and Ben Davies faced a £10,000 bill to stop their roof collapsing after repair work left it unsound. But with our help the couple were able to have it fixed without having to pay out a single penny.
The couple had contacted The Roof Revive Company Ltd, of York, when they saw that their 13-year-old conservatory roof was starting to show signs of age. The firm quoted more than £3,000 to do the job, including insulation.
The Davies accepted the quote and the work was finished in March 2012. But six months later the couple noticed some of the roof had begun to warp.
They contacted the company again, which tried to fix it, but, in January 2014, water started to leak into the conservatory. The firm again tried to reseal it in February but did the work in heavy rain and said they weren’t sure it would work.
Sure enough, it did leak again. Linda and Ben say they were then advised to wait for better weather. This left them with a leaking conservatory roof at the height of the wettest winter for nearly 250 years. They also faced paying for the work again. The company later stopped responding to enquiries and the couple found that it had gone out of business.
Which? Legal advice
Linda and Ben contacted us. We advised that as the original cost was more than £100 and they’d used a credit card to pay for it, they should ask the card firm, Halifax, for help, as laid out in section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. They followed our advice and were impressed at how helpful Halifax was.
It advised them to get an expert’s report (which Halifax would pay for). The survey found the whole conservatory roof needed replacing as the work was structurally unsound and in danger of collapse, due to the roof’s weight and the water now in the insulating layer. Halifax was again prompt and approved work at its expense for £10,000.
What the law says on the Consumer Credit Act 1974
If you buy something on a credit card and there is a breach of contract or misrepresentation, you can hold the credit card firm liable as long as the cost of the goods or service was more than £100 and not more than £30,000.
Section 75 doesn’t say how much you must spend on the credit card to be covered, so although the couple paid only £3,000 by credit card, they could still claim more than £10,000.
If you have difficulty with your credit card firm, you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Have you ever had a similar situation and asked your card firm for help? Did you have any difficulty in getting them to pay up?