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Cleaner damaged granite-- can I take them to small claims court

(24 Posts)
LondonGirl83 Mon 09-Feb-15 17:17:50

The cleaning service we used brought in a new cleaner who appears to have used bleach on our granite counters.

The woman who runs the cleaning service won't let us speak to the cleaner and is claiming she can't establish what happened so will only pay for half of the cost of the damage.

We noticed the damage immediately and sent photos that night and reported the smell of bleach. Any lawyers out there willing to tell me if we have a chance of getting her to pay?

bryonyelf Mon 09-Feb-15 18:30:31

It was an accident. Can't you just claim on your insurance?

bryonyelf Mon 09-Feb-15 18:31:42

Did you give instructions to the company? If so and they didn't relay that to their employee claim from them not the cleaner.

ginmakesitallok Mon 09-Feb-15 18:32:19

Bollocks should you claim on your insurance! They damaged your property and should pay to get it fixed, they should claim of their insurance!

LondonGirl83 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:34:38

Sorry, I meant the cleaning company not the cleaner herself. Also, it was a negligent accident. A professional cleaner has a duty of care.

Meltingbutter Mon 09-Feb-15 18:39:42

Haven't the cleaning company got insurance? Things like this must happen all the time.

LondonGirl83 Mon 09-Feb-15 18:47:40

She has insurance but she's told us its below her deductible so she is refusing to pay.

She also won't let us speak to the cleaner to clarify what product she used.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 09-Feb-15 18:49:45

We have granite work tops and I often use bleach spray on them - they look fine. Obviously I shouldn't be confused

StAndrewsDay Mon 09-Feb-15 18:52:06

If it's a proper cleaning company then they should have liability insurance. Insist they claim on it or take them to the small claims court.

pashmina696 Mon 09-Feb-15 20:25:16

My cleaner chipped my composite quartz worktop - it was below the amount of her insurance so the owner of the cleaning company paid it for me. she wasn't happy about it but she did pay. good luck.

kittentwo Tue 10-Feb-15 09:48:33

Oh gosh I spent ten years cleaning my black granite with bleach. What did it do to it? Cleanining company should have public liability insurance. Do you have a contract from them.

LondonGirl83 Tue 10-Feb-15 10:00:19

It removed the colour from the granite! They do have insurance and we do have a contract. They are simply refusing to use their insurance because the damage is below their deductible. They got 3 quotes to repair it which were all more expensive than they were anticipating so they quit.

They are claiming that liability for domestic cleaning is a gray area legally but the advice I've received from another cleaning company suggests otherwise. I'm going to speak to the citizens advice bureau as it appears the owner is lying about that.

highlighta Tue 10-Feb-15 10:07:40

I also use bleach on my granite. For years now and nothing has ever happened. Are you sure it was bleach OP?

TranmereRover Tue 10-Feb-15 10:08:26

The whole point of using a company rather than an individual direct is to take advantage of their insurance, and their expertise in training their staff - and it is that training / expertise which you rely upon and pay inflated fees to benefit from.
The level of their deductible / coverage is utterly irrelevant, and there is no grey area. They are responsible for providing trained staff and both they and the staff they provide (for whom they are responsible) have a duty of care to you. They're utterly liable and are trying to make you get so bored of correspondence that you give up and accept.
Put one last letter on file with them as a "letter before action" - ie setting out what has happened, why they are responsible and that if you do not have satisfactory resolution (ie payment of the full amount within 10 days), you will issue proceedings in the small claims court. Remind them that court record are public documents and that any resultant adverse publicity will cost them more than the value of the claim
Those companies are all arseholes (MOLLY MAID I'M LOOKING AT YOU...)

LondonGirl83 Tue 10-Feb-15 10:19:48

Yes, the bathroom stank of bleach when we got home which is unusual-- they had brought in a new girl who was cleaning our bathroom for the first time. We've also spoken to the manufacturer who confirmed bleach would damage the granite in this way. Also, its not ever recommended to use bleach on natural stones.

highlighta Tue 10-Feb-15 10:23:50

I didn't realize this OP. I think i have just been fortunate to not have had a problem. Tanmere gives good advice.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 10-Feb-15 10:26:35

What the friff? I thought the whole point f granite is that it is sealed so it doesn't get damaged. My cleaner and I have been using bleach spray on out black granite for 7 years and it's fine.

Is this special bathroom granite? Re: deductible, it's irrelevant. But - if you do go to court, you'll need to demonstrate that the cleaner did not use reasonable care and damage was foreseeable. I'm not sure that is generally known that bleach damages granite. Did you warn of this?

LondonGirl83 Tue 10-Feb-15 10:34:07

It is generally known that bleach damages granite (certainly if you are a professional cleaner). The cleaning company doesn't deny that and couldn't in court. It is granite designed to be used in a bathroom as its part of a vanity created by Albion who are a bathroom specialist company.

Starsandbutterflys Sat 25-Mar-17 13:09:17

Hi some advice please

I have a silk persion rug that I have in my front room.

My friend came over with her young step daughter (12 yards old at the time) who I made a hot chocolate for which she then spilled all over my rug some time later. My friend was on her phone on the sofa not watching her. I had to pay £900 to get the stain removed it went everywhere. My friend didn't offer to make any contribution to the cleaning or take any responsibility for her step daughter's accident. She avoided me for over a month when I started contacting her politely to say that I needed to get the cleaning started. Her boyfriend (father of the step-daughter) told her to tell me where to 'stick it' (how flattering), and we haven't spoken since. Can I take her to the small claims court..? I have evidence on email acknowledging that her step daughter caused the damage

VintagePerfumista Sat 25-Mar-17 13:18:09

This is an old thread Stars- you'd be best off reposting your query on a new one.

(click on "start thread in this topic" button up at the top)

OrangeSquashTallGlass Sat 25-Mar-17 13:20:53

Stars, this is an old thread. You're more likely to get a response relevant to your question if you start a new thread of your own.

LesLavandes Sat 25-Mar-17 14:15:47

Some granites can be very porous, like marble, especially the lighter ones. Did your cleaning company have specific written instructions from you, on what they must use on these surfaces? If not, I would imagine, if there is no accidental damage insurance cover on your own insurance , which includes staff, you may not be covered. As far as cleaning company, I think their insurance will be asking to see if you have given the company written instructions beforehand

Starsandbutterflys Sat 25-Mar-17 14:47:10

Thank you I've started a new thread x

LesLavandes Sat 25-Mar-17 16:24:26

What is the thread name?

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