Hot tub owner sues firm for ‘scratching tub in Carterton house move’

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A hot tub was left scratched in a house move, Oxford County Court heard – as the tub owner sued the firm that moved it.

Movers from Chesterfield company Palm Spas were said to have damaged the £3,000 tub moving it to Carterton customer Ashley Clack’s new home in February last year.

Mr Clack won his claim after suing the firm for damages last Friday.

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He alleged the removal men failed to bring a trolley as advertised on the firm’s website, wrapped the hot tub with a ‘piece of black wrap’ rather than bubble wrap, and ‘used a sheet to drag the tub’.

A small, knee-high section of wall was removed at the new property as the tub would not otherwise fit through, it was said.

Claimant Mr Clack claimed the movers had caused ‘severe deep scratches’ to the tub when they positioned it in place. The damage was highlighted to him and the movers ‘stated they were light scratches and could be rectified’.

He claimed in papers filed with the court: “Upon further inspection from ourselves once the movers had left, we found further scratches to the hot tub which were deep and in a different area.”

Mr Clack claimed the company had not accepted liability and suggested some scratches were caused during a previous move, although Palm Spas were said to have been the only company that had moved the tub.

In its defence to the claim, Palm Spas director Jamie Bowmer said he was ‘gobsmacked to say the least’ by the claim. He alleged: “There are so many false statements in this I am surprised you have clicked the submit button.”

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The firm said the claimant had not taken out the ‘insured option’ due to the extra cost. A trolley was not used as the tub was in an enclosed area and there was not the ‘870mm clear unobstructed’ access required. The access was also ‘unsuitable’ at the new property, Mr Bowmer said. This was allegedly not flagged when the removal job was booked.

Mr Bowmer said in court papers: “We will not be accepting any liability [for the scratches] as this was not our fault as to [how] the hot tub got damaged on the day. The access was unsuitable at both properties, which you were fully aware of but insisted we proceed with yours and [your] maintenance man’s help.”

Deputy District Judge Rea, sitting at Oxford County Court, found in favour of customer Mr Clack. She ordered the company pay £1,425.99.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward