EVEREST HOME `IMPROVEMENTS` PART FOUR

Four

“I introduce to you…”

So we left the last “chapter” with this guy….

SIMON GOBLE, the so called Operations Manager, realising that he is out of his depth dealing with me and has handed it to another equally useless individual whose position in the circus is “Head of Legal”, I introduce to you….

“Head of legal” Mr Nick Flanagan.

MR NICK FLANAGAN.

So the letter I sent to SIMON GOBLE was handed to NICK FLANAGAN and so began the communication with possibly the biggest clown of the circus…

15th February 2018 “Dear Mr Pas, If you have been advised by any source that you are entitled to disregard the terms of the agreed contract, and that you are entitled to make time the essence of the contract expressly providing 20 days with which to complete the contract and in default of which that you shall be entitled to consider the contract cancelled, I am afraid that they have advised you incorrectly. The target delivery period on your contract is expressly a target, and not a term of the contract.  The delivery period is further qualified by the terms of the contract and once the target period has expired and if the works are not complete.  You may make time the essence of the contract, you must however in line with the terms of the contract provide a further period of six weeks.  Additionally, the penalty for failure is not the immediate repudiation of the contract, but the reduction of the balance payable, by 1% of the cost of the incomplete works. I am aware of your suggestion that we address your claims for compensation and I am content to do so, however not until the works are complete and we may address the entire installation. Therefore, in order to progress matters, I would confirm that we have the parts and materials on order, at present, and subject to no additional objections on your part, we are able to attend on the 7th 8th and 9th of March to complete these works.   Once the works are complete, I shall be more than pleased to assess your claim for losses and compensation in full taking all factors into account. I would therefore be grateful if you would confirm that this is in order, upon receipt of which I shall advise our Conservatories division to proceed without further delay. I look forward to hearing from you shortly. Yours sincerely,”

A couple of emails went back and forth between us, the first informing NICK FLANAGAN that I would revisit the solicitor in the morning for further legal advice and also many emails including one sent to DEAN WANT in November of 2017 stating that the farce had gone on for long enough. In reply to this, NICK FLANAGAN told me that the dates in March would not be available indefinitely. This was clearly a threat to me that the works would be prolonged even further if I did not back down immediately BAD IDEA. There are many things I don’t like or appreciate in this world and two of them are being threatened and bullies. It is immediately clear to me that this FLANAGAN bloke is a bully and will happily make threats on a keyboard. A true keyboard warrior if you like. I warned him right away not to threaten me with prolonged timescales and that after treating me the way they have thus far, they should be doing all they can to put things right, NOT agitating the situation. Obviously he replied with the whole “I am not threatening” line and then followed it up with, and this is VERY important and also will become VERY clear, is a standard bullshit line from this clown, “I assure you we are fully committed to completing these works…” I had during the conversation suggesting he visit the site so he could see why I was so pissed off and so he could see what needed doing to rectify the problems but I ended the conversation by telling him that I assumed neither him or GOBLE would be attending.

On the 16th of February 2018 An email from FLANAGAN and the first line isThank you for your email. I am perfectly happy to attend site at any time if you think it will assist matters” I replied informing him that I was on my way to the solicitors to give the communications thus far so as to know how to proceed from that point. I also expressed my disbelief that almost a year after the process originally started, with the designing and contracts signed, they STILL had items for the build ON ORDER! This in itself shows how incompetent EVEREST HOME IMPROVEMENTS are. On the 23rd of February 2017 I sent a letter to FLANAGAN whereby I told him that in the interests of finally getting the bloody thing finished, they could return to get it done but as they had refused my 21 day deadline and instead they gave their own date of 22nd of March, the works must be completed by that time or they would be in breach of their contract and as such the contract would be treated as terminated and further action would be taken. I also stated that I wanted DEAN WANT, SIMON GOBLE and himself to visit the site so they knew exactly what was needed to be done. Don’t forget, FLANAGAN said he was happy to attend site at any time if I thought it would assist matters, well clearly knowing what needed to be done would be assisting matters don’t you think????

Dear Mr Pas, Thank you for your email.  Thank you also for your invitation to attend during this week.  Unfortunately, I am not available this week.  I would suggest however that the requirement for a meeting prior to progression of the works appears to be unnecessary, we are aware of what is required and are simply awaiting your permission to proceed.   I repeat my offer to meet with you and discuss your claims for compensation once the works are completed but do not agree that such a meeting is necessary at this stage. I am afraid that your notice making time the essence on February the 8th, therefore requiring the works to be completed by 22nd of March, cannot be considered to be effective.  Initially because the notice, dated 8th of February is not almost three weeks old, and in the three weeks since its service you have expressly refused access whilst you obtained legal advice.  I am sorry but the deadline of 22nd March must be extended to compensate for the period during which you refused access.  Indeed, I am not convinced that you are, even now, providing access as required.  You are placing a pre-conditions of a meeting ahead of access, and even now, you state that “before the works are completed I want you to have sorted out the VAT relief on my build” We are happy to address the issue of VAT but not as a pre-condition to the works, we are happy to meet with you, but again not as a pre-condition to our attending to the works. I therefore repeat my request that you permit access to attend, once the works are done I shall be pleased to meet with you and address any remaining concerns regarding the value of the contract, both in terms of VAT and compensation.  For the purposes of clarity, the six week period will commence only once you have provided access, and cannot run whilst entry is refused or conditional. Yours sincerely,

So you can see immediately that he is not actually prepared to visit the site. He is also going back on the completion date and finding any way possible to prolong the completion of the build. Like I said, the head clown at the circus. This served another purpose for me though, I knew that there was NO WAY that EVEREST HOME IMPROVEMENTS had any intention of sorting their mess out and that I would be in for a long haul of constant bullshit from someone who probably didn’t have any legal qualifications. It also showed me that after a six year legal battle with my accident, the likely hood of actually having the expected quiet life in our new house which was supposed to be the start of a new life was clearly just a pipe dream that had already been blown to bits by the head clown of the circus that is EVEREST HOME IMPROVEMENTS.

There were letters and emails back and forth from this. I wrote pointing out that it was he who had said he would visit but very quickly refused. I pointed out that they must be finished by the date they had given which was the 22nd of March 2018 and that saying that I had to give them extra was bullshit. They had already told me that they were unable to attend until the 7th of March and so the deadline stood. Other things were pointed and stated but it would make no difference as FLANAGAN simply does what he wants knowing that the company has your money and effectively there is F*** all you can do about it. I want to share the next two emails with you so you can see what I have had to be dealing with…

“Dear Mr Pas, Thank you for your email. I take it from your comments that you will now allow access.  I will ask Mr Want to arrange as soon as possible, as advised however I cannot guarantee that the dates previously offered in March can be accommodated, and my comments in respect of your position since 8th of Feb remain. Kind regards”

“Oh Mr Flanagan. 
My solicitor was VERY CLEAR on the Time of essence and you stated that you could not come sooner as the parts are not ready.
You have not commented on the fact that you have taken over 15 thousand pounds more from me than you should have. No mention of a sorry we will refund it to you pending completion. Your company and how it is run is ridiculously unprofessional and your consumer reviews show as such. 
In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, I’m not one of your customers who will simply bend over and take it from you. 
You have until the 22nd of March to get this finished. 
Mr Pas”

“Dear Mr Pas, Thank you for your email, I have this moment spoken to Dean Want, and we shall do all we can to install in advance of your deadline.  Irrespective of your advice, or the fact that we were unable to attend prior to March, this does not extend the period during which you were refusing access.  We shall contact you shortly in order to appoint.  I would also draw your attention to the VAT guidelines in respect of exemption copied below for ease of reference. 6.2 Ramps, doorways and passages You may zero rate the service of constructing a ramp or widening an existing doorway or passage but not the construction of a new doorway or passage, provided the work is done to help a disabled person gain access to, or move about within the building and in the case of a:

  • supply to a disabled person, the building is his or her private residence – a private residence includes the garden, yard, outbuildings, detached garages and even an orchard as well as the home
  • charity, the building may be any building

Construction of a ramp doesn’t include the lowering of a doorway threshold or the construction of a vehicle driveway. Widening a passage includes the widening of an existing:

  • room through which a disabled person passes to gain access to another room, for example a bedroom which has an en suite facility
  • path across a disabled person’s garden but not the construction of a new path

Widening a doorway doesn’t include replacing a window with a new doorway.

Mr Flanagan. Thank you for your amusing reply.
I will forward it to my solicitor as I will be requesting a refund as they have clearly given me false advice. 
With regards to your frankly hilarious comments regarding my “refusal to allow access”. Are you taking the p***??? You have had 37 WEEKS access that YOU HAVE REFUSED TO USE. There has been NO LOGICAL EXCUSE as to why you could not have sorted the outside if you had no parts for the inside. The ONLY REASON that there is any talk of completion or recommencement of works is because I finally had enough and gave you a time of essence letter. 
On the subject of advice. It seems that your salesman/designer also gave us false advice as the only reason we went for a larger build was because we were told that it was eligible for the VAT relief. We would certainly not have had anything except for the covered walkway that we originally asked for had we had known that the advice given was also BS, something that you all seem to be exceptionally good at. 
All you had to do was do what you had been paid to do and build my walkway but instead you have taken full advantage of my gentlemanly manor and patience. I request that you refund the money that has been incorrectly paid to you due to the request from you, which was not in line with the contract, in the next five days. 
I am a patient and reasonable man but due to how I have been and continue to be treated by Everest and seeing that it is common place and standard practice, I am sending the file I have compiled to BBC Watchdog and the Trading Standards agency for their consideration along with the numerous print outs taken from your website of testimonies from people who have also had the same problems from your company. 
Mr Pas”

Now most companies I would have thought would be concerned at the prospect of being bought to the attention of TS and Watchdog but not one ounce of shit was given by the “head of legal”, this I found peculiar and could only put it down to one of two things. 1. He thought I was bluffing. (Big mistake) 2. It had been threatened and/or had been done before. Well, one thing I do not do…

To the BBC Watchdog programme.
To the Trading Standards.

IS BLUFF.

The emails continued back and forth with FLANAGAN where I asked him why he had not commented on my query regarding the amount of money I had paid which was far in excess of that stated in the contract. The contract clearly states that any purchase over £20,000 will be paid with 50% upon being told it is ready for manufacture and the remaining 50% upon completion of all trades. NICK FLANAGAN said that he would discuss this upon the completion of the conservatory, This was confusing in itself as once the conservatory was complete the money would be due to be paid. I simply asked for an explanation as to why is was in liner with the wording in the contract. The reply I got again showed that the contract I had entered in to was utter bollocks….

“Mr Pas. I am afraid that you have lost me, the value of the contract and therefore any perceived overcharging, is nothing to do with the stage payments that are due under the terms of the contract.  The part payments made can perfectly reasonably be requested, at levels both higher and lower than those defined in the terms of the contract. You have not been overcharged in my view – however as advised, I am, happy to discuss this with you generally once the works are all completed.”

So essentially, they can ignore the wording of the contract and charge whatever they like and demand it whenever they like. Something to be aware of if you are stupid enough to get in to business with these clowns. On the 26th of February 2018, which I did not know at the time, NICK FLANAGAN wrote an internal email to SIMON GOBLE and DEAN WANT which read as follows; “Why would we need to visit and inspect again to establish the works. I thought we were set to go. Just needed access.” So it is clear from this that NICK FLANAGAN has no idea what problems there are at the build, furthermore he has no interest in what they are either. I wrote again to NICK FLANAGAN

“Mr Flanagan. It has become clear from communicating with you that Everest simply do as they want. The contract is ignored and adapted to suit yourselves leaving the customer with presumably no rights to question, request or demand anything in their favour.
Despite my solicitor reading through your contract and advising me of my rights, you tell me that my solicitor is wrong. I hope with all sincerity that trading standards do indeed take the time to look over this file and deep down I hope that they ensure you as a company sort your s*** out.
I wish with all my heart that I had never got in touch with Everest. I will be writing my customer review, when you eventually finish and with luck people will use local tradesmen who have to actually think of their reputation. Everest is an embarrassment. It is unprofessional. It is shoddy. It lacks integrity, honesty and any form of moral decency and I WILL make sure that people know. 
The Internet is a wonderful tool for advertisement Mr Flanagan, but unfortunately for company’s and traders such as yourselves,  that works both ways.
I very much look forward to our eventual meeting Mr Flanagan, I have a feeling that you will be meeting my solicitor at the same time. 
Yours even more disgusted than before. 
Mr Pas

I decided also to return to my solicitor. She wrote a long and detailed letter to NICK FLANAGAN pointing out our consumer rights and the wording of their contract, she pointed out the amount of times we had complained about the shoddy workmanship and the amount of times the builders and workmen had simply not shown up. The fact that it was THIRTY EIGHT WEEKS since the physical works had commenced and it was not only unfinished but was not built to a standard of a company who profess to “Fit the best”. The letter was as I said, long and detailed. This is what the solicitor does for a living and the things she was saying was the same as the advice I had been given by the Citizens Advice Bureau so you would think it was good sound advice, especially as I was paying my solicitor good money to know her stuff. Apparently though…

“Dear Sirs, Thank you for your letter of March 1st.   I do not agree with your analysis and do not propose to debate matters with you, save to say that the notice making time the essence provided a period less than that prescribed in the contract, we were able at that time to attend in March as indicated following the order and delivery of materials.   However, the fact that we were not able to attend prior to that date does nothing to affect the notice or period permitted by virtue of the contract.  Your clients’ express refusal to permit access following our query however does affect the notice period – the duty of mitigation applies following advice from your client that access was refused, we were under a duty to cease all activity where possible, this would include the order and delivery of materials and this could affect our ability to attend in March as previously advised.  Had we failed to do so and your client had not changed his mind and continued to refuse access, we could not recover the costs incurred after his refusal, these would be avoidable losses [Thai Airways International Public Company Ltd v KI Holdings Co Ltd & Anor [2015] EWHC 1250 (Comm) (11 May 2015)] and therefore irrecoverable, so we were entirely correct to cease activity in the light of your clients’ refusal to permit access.  The effect of this is that the service of the notice making time the essence cannot stand at the originally served date.  To suggest otherwise is entirely simplistic and wrong. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and your references to same are equally incorrect.  This contract is not silent upon the delivery period and so the imposition of a reasonable period as mentioned in the Act is inappropriate. Equally there is no suggestion that your clients’ rights are being fettered by the contract and the rights that extend in the event of a breach of the agreed terms regarding delivery.  Your clients’ rights are defined.  If it is the case that failure in terms of the agreed contract represents a complete failure and repudiates the contract then of course your clients’ rights to terminate exists, however that is not the case here. All of this aside, the fact is that we are set to attend as requested, are likely to be able to complete the works, access permitted, in advance of the imposed deadline irrespective of whether we are under a duty to do so or not. We will, in the absence of advice to the contrary, continue to deal with matters via your client direct and hope to complete the works shortly. Yours faithfully,”

As I said, apparently, according to the all knowing “Head of Legal” NICK FLANAGAN, none of the consumer laws, trading laws, contract laws, or indeed any rights that a consumer has, apply to EVEREST HOME IMPROVEMENTS. He must know, he is head of legal. What a shame I had wasted money on a solicitor, and the time on the telephone with the CAB, it appears that they don’t know what they are on about. I spoke to my solicitor and authorised her to reply to the email from NICK FLANAGAN as I felt it was important, I will share the letter with you now…

“Dear Sirs
Works at ************ , **********, Devon
Our Clients : Mr. and Mrs. Pas
We acknowledge safe receipt of your e-mail dated 3rd March 2018.
It appears that we have very different interpretations of the law in relation to Consumer Rights, and furthermore that we have different interpretations of the communications which have passed between you and our Clients. We cannot see that our Clients have refused access in a way that would have restricted your ability to complete the project within the time frame requested, and instead note that they were very sensibly asking for you to attend site first in order to clarify the issues that required remedy. In any event, we are unclear as to why these materials had not already been purchased.
In the circumstances, however, we maintain our view that our Clients have the right for services to be performed within a reasonable time frame in accordance with the Consumer Rights Act. To suggest otherwise and to suggest that your Contract does not allow for that, would, in our opinion, be something that a Court would take a very dim view on, and if such an interpretation of your Contract were correct and you could allow the Contract to continue indefinitely with minimal compensation being due, we would anticipate that a Court would consider that to be an unfair Contract term.
In any event, we note that you have conveniently failed to comment upon your Company’s failure to complete the works to a satisfactory standard, which, as you will be aware, is a term which is to be
treated as being included in every Contract for the supply of services. We therefore have no concerns about our Clients’ ability to treat your continuing breaches as Repudiatory Breaches of the Contract in the event that you fail to remedy them as set out in our previous correspondence.
We note that you say that you are “likely to be able to complete the works, access permitted, in advance of the imposed deadline” which obviously helps to establish the reasonableness of that
deadline in the first place. In the circumstances, therefore, as access has quite clearly been granted by virtue of numerous letters and e-mails from our Clients, and our confirmation of the same, our Clients
look forward to hearing from you with confirmation as to when you will be attending on site to complete the work to a satisfactory standard.
We further note that you have refused to comment upon our Clients’ request for you to attend site in order to clarify what works are required in order to complete the project to a satisfactory standard with all reasonable care and skill, and in the circumstances, therefore, our Clients will provide you with their list of outstanding works that need rectification so that you can be clear as to what they are expecting within the time frame discussed. Had you agreed to meet with our Clients before now, then this would be have been discussed at that meeting.
We can confirm that you are able to liaise with our Clients direct in order to arrange the attendance on site to complete the works, and our Clients very much hope that everything will now proceed as
discussed and that the project will be completed to a satisfactory standard within the discussed deadline.
Yours faithfully”

So we are over 38 weeks in to a 14 week build with a company who profess to be “The Best” and it resembles something that would have been built by Frank Spencer from Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em fame (a bit old for some of you!)

I’m sure he could not have done worse!

There has been a great deal to take on board there, moreover, a great deal to try to believe is real but I can assure you it all absolutely is. We are only just in to the start of March 2018 so there is much more to show and tell you all yet but for now, I will close so you can ponder over what you have read. Shortly will be Part Five (told you I had to do it in chapters!) Until then, if you are contemplating having home improvements done. Stay with local firms, they have much more to loose!

Next time, “DEAN WANT gets things moving again…”

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