These Terms of Business, together with the Rates page, form the basis of the contract entered between you and Guardsman Group/Plumbers Limited – we recommend that you read them carefully as they affect your legal rights and liabilities. If you have any concerns or queries about these Terms of Business, they should be raised at the earliest opportunity and in any event prior to work commencing.
1.1 For the purpose of these Terms of Business the following definition shall apply:
The “Company” means Guardsman Group/Plumbers Limited.
The “Customer” means you, the person or organisation with whom the Company has entered into a contract for the supply of goods and/or services.
The “Engineer” means the representative appointed by the Company to perform the agreed work.
“Labour” means all time spent by the Engineer in carrying out work on behalf of the Customer, including all reasonable time spent in obtaining materials.
“Materials” means, in respect of each job, all hardware and fittings installed, supplied and/or purchased on behalf of the Customer by the Company.
- Fixed Price Work
2.1 Fixed price work shall be quoted for in advance by the Company. The quote shall set out the address of the Property and the work instructed by the Customer. The quoted price shall represent the total amount (exclusive of VAT) to be paid by the Customer for the work specified in the quote, except in the circumstances set out below:
(a) if after submission of the quote the Customer instructs the Company (whether orally or in writing) to carry out additional work and/ or undertake additional services which are not specified or otherwise referred to in the quote (in which case, such additional work and/ or services will be charged at the current applicable hourly rate in accordance with paragraph 3 below and the cost added to the quoted price);
(b) there is any increase in the source cost of the Materials (in which case the increase in cost will be added to the quoted price);
(c) it is discovered that additional work and/ or services need to be carried out which could not have been reasonably anticipated by the Company when the quote was prepared (in which case, such additional work and/ or services will be charged at the current applicable hourly rate in accordance with paragraph 3 below and the cost added to the quoted price);
(d) it is discovered that there was a manifest error in the Company’s preparation of the quote (in which case the quoted price is invalid and the Company will prepare a new quote/the customer has the option to cancel); and/ or
(e) the Customer instructs the Company to attend at a different Property from the Property named in the quote.
(f) the price for a Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate includes the inspection of a maximum of 3 gas appliances. Any other appliances tested at the property will incur a further charge.
2.2 The Company can only be bound by quotes, which are provided to the Customer in writing and signed by a duly authorised representative of the Company. The Customer may accept a quote either orally or in writing but in the absence of express communication the Customer shall be deemed to have accepted a quote at the time it instructs the Company to perform the work which is described or specified in the quote.
2.3 Quotes provided by the Company are valid for 15 days from the date of the issue. This does not affect the Company’s right to withdraw a quote at any time prior to its acceptance for any reason.
2.4 Certain other works and services are carried out at a fixed price and the Customer should consult the Rates page. Such works and services are subject to these Terms of Business.
These prices vary outside 0800 to 1700 on Mondays to Fridays, as shown on the rates page on the website.
- Hourly Rate Work
3.1 In the absence of an accepted quote (in accordance with paragraph 2.2) the amount charged to the Customer shall comprise:
(a) Labour charged at the Company’s applicable hourly rate set out in paragraph 3.2;
(b) Materials charged at cost plus 20% (which covers the time and effort involved in sourcing and obtaining such Materials); and
(c) any of the incidental costs set out in paragraph 3.3.
3.2 The Company’s hourly rates are as set out in the Rates page. Time starts to run from the arrival of the engineer at the Property, except where the Customer has asked the Company to collect the keys to the Property from an address which is not the Property, or any Materials are required by the Company, in which case travel time will be charged in addition.
3.3 The Company shall be entitled to recover the following reasonable and unavoidable costs from the Customer:
(a) all parking expenses incurred by the Company and the Engineer in attending the Property (and/or the premises of its preferred suppliers).
(b) all London Congestion Charge payments incurred by the Company and the Engineer in attending the Property (and/or the premises of its preferred suppliers).
(c) a charge to cover the time spent travelling to and from a Property from the Company’s office, calculated by reference to the actual time spent travelling or a minimum of one hour charged at the prevailing rate set out in the Rates page whichever is the higher, in the event that the Customer fails to provide the Company and/or Engineer with access to the Property at the time which has been scheduled for work or an inspection to take place.
(d) a charge equating to one hour calculated at the prevailing rate set out on the Rates page if the Customer cancels an appointment within 24 hours of its scheduled time.
(e) a charge to cover the time spent travelling to and from the Property from the Company’s office.
(f) the costs plus a fee of 20% (to cover the time spent making arrangements) in relation to the making good of any damage which the Customer requests the Company to arrange on its behalf pursuant to paragraph 5.10.
(g) in the event that the Customer orders Materials which are unsuitable in the Company’s absolute discretion, a charge to cover the Company travelling to and from a supplier to obtain suitable materials, calculated by reference to the actual time spent travelling or a minimum of one hour charged at the prevailing rate set out in the Rates page whichever is the higher.
(h) any costs which the Company may recover pursuant to any other paragraph of these Terms and Conditions.
(f) Parking permits. It is the responsibility of the home owner, tenant or agent to provide a parking permit or to register our Company vehicles with the local authority for parking, wherever possible. This applies where there are no pay and display parking bays within a reasonable distance (typically 100m) of the property. This is because it is very inconvenient and time consuming to have to walk to and from the van for parts that might be needed and to keep checking on it for wardens. Therefore, we kindly request that our customers organise parking prior to us arriving, our vehicle registration details are available upon request.
Payment and Customer Liability
4.1 The Company shall invoice the Customer on completion of the work, or prior to completion of the work by written or oral agreement between the parties, or in the event of one of the circumstances set out in paragraph 4.5 .
4.2 The Customer shall pay each invoice submitted to it by the Company upon receipt (except deposit invoices for fixed price work which must be paid immediately and before work commences). Any part of an invoice that has not been paid by its due date shall attract interest at the rate of 5% above the Bank of England base rate prevailing at the date of the due date and interest shall be calculated from the due date up until the date that payment is received in full by the Company inclusive of both days. The Customer is liable for all costs which may be incurred by the Company in obtaining recovery of payment for the invoice in full.
4.3 In addition to charging interest, if the Customer fails to pay by its due date an invoice which it has been agreed will be issued prior to completion of the work, the Company reserves the right to suspend all further work until such invoice has been paid in full.
4.4 The Customer has sole liability to discharge the Company’s account unless it has disclosed in its initial instruction (and in any event prior to work commencing) that it is acting on behalf of a third party and the third party has confirmed this in writing and the Company has accepted this in writing.
4.5 If the Customer cancels its instruction at any time prior to the work being completed (including during the period between instruction or acceptance of quotation (as applicable) and the date scheduled for the work’s commencement) the Customer shall be liable for all costs which have been incurred by the Company on the Customer’s behalf, together with the profit that would have been made by the Company if the work had been carried out in full and, if applicable, all of the Materials had been supplied in accordance with the Customer’s original instructions.
4.6 The Customer shall be solely liable for the status of the Property which is presented to the Company upon its arrival and attendance at the Property, including any health and safety obstructions, obstacles, hazards or similar, or any existing hazardous situation in respect of the gas or electrical safety.
4.7 The Company may, without prejudice to any other rights it may have, set off any liability of the Customer to the Company against any liability of the Company to the Customer.
- Guarantee and Company Liability
5.1 Subject to the remainder of this paragraph 5, if, within 12 months of the date of an invoice, the Customer gives notice in writing to the Company that it is not wholly satisfied with the work to which the invoice relates, or otherwise complains, the Company undertakes to carry out any remedial works necessary which in its professional judgment it considers are necessary to bring the work up to a satisfactory standard (“Guarantee”).
5.2 In order to avail itself of the Guarantee, the Customer shall afford the Company (and its insurers if necessary) the opportunity to attend the Property on a date and at a time requested by the Company in order to inspect the work. If upon such inspection the Company in its reasonable professional judgment considers that the work is not of a satisfactory standard, the Company shall carry out remedial works at its cost.
5.3 The Guarantee shall relate only to labour in respect of faulty workmanship and shall not extend to faults, defects or wear and tear of Materials installed by the Company. In respect of any faulty or defective Materials installed by the Company, the Company shall endeavour to transfer to the Customer the benefit of any warranty or guarantee given to the Company.
5.4 The Guarantee will become null and void if at any time:
(a) any of the work completed and/or Materials installed by the Company have been subject to invasive inspection, deconstruction, alteration, repair, modification, interference, misuse, negligence or similar actions by anyone other than the Company or its Engineers.
(c) the Customer has failed to service any of the Materials installed by the Company in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
(d) the Customer has failed to carry out any supplementary work that was recommended by the Company or the Engineer as being necessary at the time the work was completed; or
(e) any invoice to which the work relates has not been settled in full in accordance with paragraph 4 above (the Customer can still rely on their rights under the Consumer Rights Act).
5.5 The Guarantee shall not apply to work performed by the Company:
(a) in respect of blockages of waste and/or drainage systems or similar;
(b) at the instruction of the Customer against the oral or written advice of the Company or its Engineers; or
(c) on installations that are of inferior quality or that are over ten years old.
5.6 The Customer’s attention is drawn to the fact that the Company can only act upon the information disclosed to it by the Customer and act on the problems presented at the time of the Engineer’s visit. It is the responsibility of the Customer to alert the Company prior to the Company attending the Property to any pre-existing conditions and/ or relevant work that has been carried out by third parties which may affect the Company’s subsequent work and / or decisions the Engineer may make at the Property. If any relevant information is withheld or omitted to be disclosed by the Customer, the Company can accept no liability for any consequential loss which the Customer may suffer.
5.7 The Company shall accept no liability and shall not be held responsible for any loss, damage or defect (whether direct or consequential) resulting from:
(a) work that is not fully covered by the Guarantee;
(b) the unsuitability of any Materials supplied by the Customer;
(c) the late or non-attendance on site of an Engineer and/or the late or non-delivery of Materials beyond the control of the Company;
(d) the Customer refusing to allow the Company access to attempt to resolve any complaint (whether the Guarantee attaches or not); or where the Customer delays notifying the Company of its complaint and in either case any loss, defect or damage is made worse by such action or inaction;
(e) the Customer engages someone other than the Company to attempt to resolve any complaint about works carried out by the Company, and the attempt by someone other in turn contributes to the problem; and/ or
(f) any other matter, act, event or omission which is beyond the Company’s reasonable control.
5.8 Customers must note that (a) Engineers operate under their own Gas Safe registration and as such are solely responsible specifically for all gas related work and any subsequent liability, and (b) Guardsman Group/Plumbers reserves the right to choose whether the work requested by the Customer is carried out by employees of the Company or by Company-approved sub-contractors. Sub-contractors operate under their own insurance and assume liability for all work carried out.
5.9 Nothing in these Terms of Business excludes or limits the liability of the Company for death or personal injury caused by the Company’s negligence or for any other matter in respect of which it would be illegal for the Company to attempt to exclude its liability.
5.10 Customers must note that the Company shall have no liability for the making good of any damage caused to the Property as a result of the Company carrying out the work required, except in the case of negligence by the Company. Furthermore, the Company shall have no liability for failures or defects arising from any pre-existing plumbing or other workmanship in the Property. The Customer may ask the Company to arrange for the making good of any damage and if the Company agrees to do so, the costs will be charged in accordance with paragraph 3.3(f)
- Title to Materials
6.1 Ownership of the Materials shall not pass to the Customer until the Company has received payment in full for monies due.
6.2 Notwithstanding paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2, risk for the Materials shall pass to the Customer at the time of their delivery to the Property and until such time as their ownership has passed to the Customer the Customer shall keep the Materials insured for their full price against all risks. On request the Customer shall provide a copy of the policy of insurance to the Company.
6.3 If a Customer notifies the Company that it no longer wants the Materials after installation has been carried out, the Company will charge the Customer the cost of the removal of such Materials based on the hourly rates prevailing on the Rates page at the time of the notification by the Customer. Without prejudice to the aforegoing, any invoice relating to work already carried out must be paid in full in accordance with paragraph 4.
7.1 These Terms of Business form the basis on which the supply of goods and/or services is offered by the Company to the Customer and shall become binding upon the Customer’s acceptance of such offer.
7.2 These Terms of Business may only be varied by an agreement in writing signed by the Company and the Customer. A failure or delay by either party to exercise any of its contractual or legal rights or remedies shall not constitute a waiver of such right or remedy.
7.3 These Terms of Business shall prevail over any inconsistent terms of business (or similar) that are at any time provided or referred to by the Customer or are implied by practice or trade custom.
7.4 If any provision of these Terms of Business is found by any court to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision shall be deemed not to form part of the contract between the Customer and the Company and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions shall not be affected.
7.5 The Company shall be entitled, with the consent of the Customer (such consent not to be unreasonably withheld), to assign or transfer any of its rights, and/or to sub-contract or delegate any of its obligations, to any third party.
7.6 Headings and titles in these Terms of Business shall not affect their interpretation.
7.7 These Terms of Business, and all other contractual rights and obligations arising between the Customer and the Company, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of England and Wales and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
7.8 Upon completion of a new boiler installation or any major works entailing the draining of the heating system, the Customer shall be entitled to request one further visit from the Company to vent air from radiators (known as “bleeding”) provided the Customer notifies the Company that it requires this service within 60 days of completion of the works and in any event subject to settlement of any invoice in accordance with paragraph 4.2. Any other visits shall be chargeable.
7.9 The Company can only act upon the information disclosed to it by the Customer and act on the problems presented at the time of the Engineer’s visit. It is the responsibility of the Customer to alert the Company prior to the Company attending the Property to any pre-existing conditions and/ or relevant work that has been carried out by third parties which may affect the Company’s subsequent work and / or decisions the Engineer may make at the Property. If any relevant information is withheld or omitted to be disclosed by the Customer, the Company can accept no liability for any consequential loss which the Customer may suffer.
7.10 Our complaints policy. We are committed to providing a high-quality legal service to all our clients. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. Further details of our complaint handling procedure are available upon request. If you have a complaint, please contact us, in writing by email or letter, with the details. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. If we have not resolved it within this time you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman.