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Abandoned Repairs and recouping costs from customers

  • 16-07-2021 3:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6

    Can anyone point me to some laws that states what can be done when a customer doesn't collect and pay for a repaired item? google searches only throws up UK laws or Irish property laws for land and houses.

    Many attempts have been made to get the customer to collect and pay but it's been 15 weeks since the customers was first notified.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,232 ✭✭✭✭coylemj

    Does the item have any resale value? One option is to inform the customer that you will dispose of (sell) the item to defray the repair costs, see if that gets him moving.

    If the item has little or no resale value e.g. it's an old domestic appliance or an item of clothing that was in for an alteration or repair, there isn't much you can do. Except demand payment upfront in future.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,703 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    lots of places like restaurants and hairdressers at taking a deposit over the phone for 'bookings' in the case of no shows. it will make the likelihood of no shows less frequent & provide some compensation for your efforts.

    25 quid for an assessment paid up front, and the 25 comes off the price of the repair, when authorized would probably be a good middle ground for you. It means zero increase in the cost of having an item repaired - but some recompense for your time if its wasted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Johnny Kojack

    The Item does have resale value. But how long do I have to wait before I can take that action?

    I can't seem to find any information about this in Irish law, the closest thing I can find is UK legislation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Johnny Kojack

    Yes, I'm thinking I'll have to start doing this as we have had a lot of no shows when repairs are booked in. I give them a grace period in case they can't drop their items to me for repair due to personal circumstances but after a certain amount of time they're dropped from the queue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭athlone573

    Do you have a sign up saying that uncollected items will be disposed of after 6 months (or whatever)?

    If not I would tell them it will be sold on such and such a date (a month or so from now) to light a fire under them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Johnny Kojack

    My problem is I can't seem to find any law or regulation stating that I'm actually allowed to do that.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Ive seen signs saying items not collected within 90 days will be sold to recoup costs (i work in area with alot of these issues).....where i work takes a e30 deposit on repairs now aswell

    How legal this is,i havnt a could send message/contact giving x numbers of days or else it'll be sold on.... at least you have something to fall back on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    Why does everything require a law?

    Did you know that there is no law saying that you have to give customers change if they hand you a €50 note for a €20 purchase? Yet people get their change all the time.

    If your knowledge of basic business procedure is this bad, you need to do a course urgently.

    If you have a sign up and also stated on the docket that goods are sold/disposed of after 7, 30, 90, 180 days or whatever you choose, then that is part of the contract the customer enters into and you are covered.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    So point me out the law that says a retailer must give change?

    There is none.

    I'll guess you know very little about contracts?

    In a way there is a law. It states that if you enter a contract that has the terms outlined to you, then you have accepted those terms and are legally obligated to adhere to those conditions.

    The exception is if there is a statutory right that says otherwise - eg, you have a statutory right to remedy if goods become faulty within a certain timeframe. So a store cannot ignore that.

    There is no statutory right to leave goods in a repair shop and the shop has to keep them for you forever and ever.

    And a garage can keep a car if a repair has not been paid for if they had that policy in writing and the customer agrees to it. (a garage would not be in business if they had such policy)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,770 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    We have strong property protection laws in this country, show me this law that says that a business can keep other peoples property for unpaid services?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    You seem not to understand the very very basic idea of a contract between 2 people or a person and a business.

    You give the terms of the contract, the customer agrees or disagrees. If they agree they have LEGALLY entered into a BINDING LEGAL contract. - So if you want the "law" that backs this, I suggest you study contract law.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,770 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Under our law you can't sign away your rights. So a contract which has a right being removed can't be legally binding.

    A business can write "Trade Sale, sold as seen" on a receipt to a private individual, a legally binding sale has taken place. The private person still has the full protection of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act (SoGaSoSA) because you can't sign away your rights. The only way a business can sell something where the private individual has no come back is if they document any issues/defects on the invoice/receipt, but if anything unrelated goes wrong the SoGaSoSA applies.

    If a plant from person A's property grows into person B's property person B can cut the plant up to the property line. But person B has to offer the rubbish back to person A or they can be done for theft, the chances of a neighbour being prosecuted is slim but the law still says the person B stole A's property when they disposed of the plant.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,904 ✭✭✭✭Esel

    No, the cuttings can be offered, they don't have to be. And they can be refused. Pretty sure it is not theft!

    Re the OP, are you saying that a lien is not legal in Ireland?

    Not your ornery onager

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,770 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    All cuttings must be given back to the owner of the tree or at least offered back. If the owner of the tree does not want the cuttings, they must be disposed of in a responsible way and should not be left in the tree owner’s property without permission.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Johnny Kojack

    Well I'm not cutting trees.

    I'm just curious if anyone can tell me weather there are any specific laws that states I can or can't sell on repaired items that a customer isn't bothered to come pay for and collect.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,961 ✭✭✭The Continental Op

    I'm not going to argue the legal side of it but I'd send them a registered letter (being registered means nothing but might help show you mean business) and tell your customer that you will be disposing of his goods 4 weeks after the receipt of the letter to recoup your costs.

    Wake me up when it's all over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,770 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,232 ✭✭✭✭coylemj

    If you recklessly sold the goods without giving the owner the option of coming in and paying for the repairs (within a reasonable timeframe) then you could be charged with theft...

    (1) Subject to section 5 , a person is guilty of theft if he or she dishonestly appropriates property without the consent of its owner and with the intention of depriving its owner of it.

    Note the essential ingredient is that you must 'dishonestly' appropriate the goods. But if you have made a genuine effort to contact the owner and he/she doesn't reply or fails to show up to collect the goods, you would have a good case to show that they had abandoned the goods and you would then be within your right to dispose of the goods to defray the cost of the repair.

    The short answer to your question is this: The Gardai are not going to charge you with theft if the owner ignores your requests to collect the goods and you sell them. Because the element of fraud will be absent and no criminal case for theft can stand without it.

    I certainly wouldn't be wasting money consulting a solicitor. I assume that would cost you more than what is outstanding on the repair.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    I can assure you that if you have a clear notice and customers are fully aware of a policy that goods will be disposed of after a reasonable period (I'd say 90 days and allow 120 days) and you make efforts to contact them, then you are fully covered.

    You can contact a solicitor to get this confirmed.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    You really have no understanding whatsoever of how a contract works.

    If a garage sells you a vehicle "as seen" and as a "trade" sale, then unless some serious defect is found that was known by the seller and not pointed out, there is zero comeback.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,961 ✭✭✭The Continental Op

    You have no idea how the law works. I had a proposed contract checked out by a solicitor and their main comment was most of it was unenforceable because you can't sign away rights that you have in law.

    Wake me up when it's all over.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    That is correct.

    But if you leave an item in and don't collect it and the terms clearly state that goods are disposed of after 90 days, that is not affecting any legal rights you have.

    And as I said earlier, if a retailer refuses to give you change, there is no law that can force them to do so. - proper business management makes sure people do get change, but from a strict legal sense, there is no absolute requirement.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    ^^^^^ Put a sign up to this effect NOW, OP.

  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭athlone573

    I would argue that its an implied term of the contract (based on custom and practice) for the business to be able to give change out of a 20 and possibly a 50.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    Yes, that is correct.

    But there is no specific law stating it. And that shows del2005 that not everything needs to be specifically written as a law.

  • Registered Users Posts: 726 ✭✭✭athlone573

    Also the de minimis rule

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    For the op, here is the legal aspect allowing you to put a notice up regarding uncollected repairs

    Where the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to accept and pay for the goods, the seller can bring an action for the price against the buyer (section 49, Sale of Goods Act 1893) and/or an action again the buyer for damages for non-acceptance (section 50, Sale of Goods Act 1893).

    Where the buyer defaults on its obligation to accept and pay for the goods in accordance with the contract of sale, the unpaid seller may also have the following remedies available:

    • Lien. A seller that is in possession of the goods has a right to retain possession of the goods until the price has been paid.
    • Stoppage in transit. The seller may have the right to stop the goods in transit, that is, to resume and retain possession until payment has been discharged. This is a weaker remedy than a lien, as there are three conditions to meet to use this remedy.
    • Re-sale. A seller may have a right to re-sell the goods.

    (Sections 38 and 39 and 41 to 48, Sale of Goods Act 1893.)

    Additionally, a term is implied into every commercial contract that the supplier is entitled to late payment interest under the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2012 (SI 580/2012) (Late Payment Regulations). These give effect to the Late Payments Directive (2011/7/EU).

    Where the buyer does not pay for goods or services by the relevant payment date, the supplier is entitled to interest on the amount outstanding under the contract (regulation 4(1), Late Payment Regulations). The supplier is entitled to statutory late payment interest on the outstanding amount for the period from the day after the relevant payment date to the date on which the payment of the amount due is made (regulation 4(2), Late Payment Regulations). A supplier is entitled to statutory late payment interest to the extent that they have:

    • Fulfilled their contractual and legal obligations.
    • Not received the payment due by the relevant payment date, unless the buyer is not responsible for the late payment.

    (Regulation 4(3), Late Payment Regulations.)

    Unless otherwise specified in the contract, the statutory late payment interest payable is the interest rate applied by the European Central Bank to its most recent main refinancing operation carried out before 1 January and 1 July each year (reference rate) and published in the Official Journal of the European Communities plus 8 percentage points (regulation 5(1), Late Payment Regulations). This rate should be checked for every individual case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 Johnny Kojack

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,940 ✭✭✭CollyFlower

    They could be dead.