I ordered a £2,989 garden room on eBay – why hasn’t it arrived?

A reader writes that they paid for the item last July but the company has failed to respond

Last July I bought a garden room from United Garden Buildings via eBay, paying the full £2,989 on my Visa credit card.

We were given standard delivery dates by eBay but a note from United Garden Buildings advised that it would take longer and we should expect our order to arrive in November.

Despite multiple phone calls and emails, the company has not delivered. We are not alone and there are several reviews on Trustpilot that say the same.

In January it promised my order would arrive by the end of March but in February it did not answer the phone or respond to emails.

We have filed a claim to try to get the money back on the HSBC card we used to pay but it is just an online form sent off with no acknowledgment of receipt or promise of action.

What now? Should we try the small claims court?
Isle of Coll

You have had a terrible experience. We couldn’t get through on the phone either, but Lewis Priestley, one of the directors, confirmed in an email it is no longer trading.

However, he did not respond to a follow-up inquiry about the status of unfulfilled orders, or whether the company was in administration (which would enable you to lodge a claim as a creditor) and there is no Companies House filing.

Customers with outstanding order should try to get their money back. If you paid by credit card ask for your money back using section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you paid with a debit card ask for a “chargeback”. They can only be raised within 120 days of the transaction.

Unfortunately, you sent your form into HSBC after too much time had passed and are not eligible for a section 75 claim because you paid via eBay rather than direct to the company. You are considering pursuing the matter in the small claims court and this is something you should definitely discuss with an adviser at Citizens Advice Scotland.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions


Zoe Wood

The GuardianTramp

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