Kitchen compeny passing the buck?

  martd77 15:06 09 Nov 2008

Hoping someone on her(e knows the law regarding this sort of thing.
4YRS ago we had a kitchen fitted by a reputable local company,after a year the "laminate" doors near the oven started to blister,these were replaced immediately.
3 months ago we asked them to come and re assess the doors again,out of 11,7 showed visible blistering,some near the oven,some no where near any heat source.
The kitchen company that fitted it and the door manufacturer came to have a look and said it was due to "excess heat and moisture"we have like anyone an oven with extractor,an electric kettle and microwave.
The kitchen company agree with us that some of the manufacturers comments are inaccurate,but they can do nothing if the manufacturer doesnt want to replace the doors.
My warranty is with the kitchen fitting company(5yrs) yet they are saying the warranty lies with the manufacturer of the units?????
If i bought a tv in a high street store and it was faulty it goes back to retailers not the manufacturers,
Anyone know what the "consumer rights "are for this sort of thing???

  190119 15:17 09 Nov 2008

Would this by any chance be one of those *High Gloss* types, maybe white even?

  martd77 15:19 09 Nov 2008

no its a green door with a wood effect pattern on it,but it is laminate

  190119 15:26 09 Nov 2008

O.K, not one of the doors that is usually prone to problems. With the glossy types the doors are MDF with a plastic skin and they are prone to failure, delamination or blistering. It's a well known problem.

I am no expert on consumer matters but I would have thought that your contract was with the company who fitted the kitchen not the manufacturer, so it is their responsibilty.

Unless someone knows different.

  martd77 15:36 09 Nov 2008

Yes it is an mdf\chipboard door that has a plastic skin "laminate" but the panel in my opinion shouldnt delaminate when its nowhere near a heat source,its the heat that "melts" the glue over time,my point exactly it surely is the kitchen companys responsibility not the manufacturer

  wjrt 15:48 09 Nov 2008
  Spark6 15:57 09 Nov 2008

Are the 'kitchen company' and the 'kitchen fitting company' one and the same? If so, and they are who you paid for the kitchen, they are responsible, especially as they apparently sold you a 5 year warranty.

BTW - is the warranty guaranteed by an insurance company?

  spuds 15:59 09 Nov 2008

Your 5 year warranty is with the supplier, unless the warranty was a manufacturers one, supplied with the components.

The supplier might be reluctant to spent further money and time, considering that they have done previous replacements, hence the manufacturers inspection. But this is not really your concern, if you have a legal warranty for faulty items and workmanship.

If it was me, I would do a Google or similar search regarding this type of laminate, and see if that confirms a 'known defect'. Screwfix click here have a forum that as professional trades-person input covering various subjects, you could also try that.

There are regulations regarding 'near' heat sources, so it might pay to look into that.

You could also seek information from an association or organisation dealing with laminate products. Consumer Direct should also consumer offer advice and possible contacts click here

  spuds 16:02 09 Nov 2008

error: "also offer consumer advice and possible contacts".

  190119 16:04 09 Nov 2008

I honestly think you are being fobbed off here.

I have seen dozens of failures with this type of door and can only think of one where heat caused the problem and that was because someone was using a portable heater too close to the door.

There seems to be no logic as to the cause of failure, I have seen delamination on wall cupboards where there is no heat whatsoever yet doors next to ovens have been unaffected.

I have seen some cases where the laminate has started to come unstuck and dampness has then caused the laminate to *peel* away.

Anyway, I hope you get it sorted and don't let them pass the buck.

  Forum Editor 16:14 09 Nov 2008

In essence it's straightforward - you had a contract with the kitchen supplier, not the manufacturer, and it is to the supplier that you turn for a remedy when things go wrong.

In this case the manufacturer is trying to avoid liability, saying that the damage is due to conditions of use - it's a common ploy, and sometimes it's valid. In your case, and from what you have said it doesn't sound as if you have been instrumental in causing the problem however; it sounds as though a manufacturing fault has resulted in the bond between the laminate and the substrate failing. The fact that the damage became evident after only 12 months supports the idea of a manufacturing fault, and by accepting liability on that occasion the kitchen company can hardly avoid the matter altogether now.

I feel a degree of sympathy for the supplier in this case, because they haven't contributed to the situation - they bought the doors from the manufacturer in good faith. My advice is that you pursue this with them though, in the hope that they have sufficient clout with the manufacturer to get something done. Your alternative is legal action under the terms of the sale of goods act, on the basis that the doors are not fit for the purpose for which they were sold, but you should delay taking things that far until you've exhausted all other avenues.

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