BREAKING NEWS: Dealer loses court case over ‘unreasonable’ charges

Screenshot_2020-10-22 Adexa Direct crop
Adexa Direct sells catering equipment through its web portal.

Web-based catering equipment dealer Adexa Direct has lost a court case heard at Chester Civil and Family Justice Centre yesterday.

The court was told that Rachel Davies of The Pickmere Jam Company in Knutsford placed an order with Adexa on 16 May this year, for a commercial gas oven, commercial sink, commercial work table, a stew pan and monobloc taps, totalling £1,431.00.

However, after requesting additional technical information from Adexa and attempting to contact the company numerous times without success, Davies cancelled the order via email on 21 May.

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Adexa eventually refunded £953.25, but kept the remainder as ‘restocking fees’.

Davies detailed to Catering Insight: “I immediately issued a claim through Money Claim Online. Adexa appointed a solicitor, however they did not respond to the mediator’s phone call, therefore my case was sent directly to Chester Civil Court.”

Adexa did not attend yesterday’s hearing, and Davies said: “When I spoke to the judge he awarded in my favour, as Adexa had initially sent in a defence using its terms and conditions regarding delivery. However, the firm did not afford the court a copy of said T&Cs.”

The judge ordered Adexa to pay Davies “forthwith” the total amount of £574.21 which comprises the original ‘restocking’ fees, court fees and a small amount of interest.

Davies was advised to enforce the judgement if the payment isn’t made.

‘Restocking fees’ have historically been used by resellers to defray the costs they incur to receive and process a returned item back into inventory.

But they have attracted controversy over the years, with buyers branding them unfair and a deterrent to purchasing.

However, a number of major online catering equipment resellers make it clear on their websites that some products, particularly large or bulky items, may be subject to a restocking fee, and in some cases this could be up to 25% of the invoice amount of returned goods.

Restocking fees may also be applied in situations where delivery fails due to the address being inaccessible or the seller is not notified of any transit damage within 24 hours, for example.

The Consumer Contracts Regulations, which replaced the Distance Selling Regulations that resellers had to abide by up until 2014, state that details of who pays for the cost of returning an item if a buyer changes their mind should be stated in the seller’s terms and conditions or returns policy.

This applies to all purchases that are made at a distance, for example online or over the phone.

According to consumer rights champion Which!, buyers are entitled to a refund within 14 days of either the trader getting the goods back, or evidence has been provided that the goods have been returned, such as a postage receipt, whichever is the sooner.

Catering Insight was contacted separately by another Adexa customer recently who was surprised to learn that they would be charged a restocking fee after deciding not to proceed with a purchase.

Longley’s Fisheries in Wilsden, run by husband and wife team, Andrew and Tammy Longley, ordered two refrigeration units and a ‘B grade’ freezer to match from Adexa in April, but following confirmation and payment taken, they were informed by email that the freezer was no longer available.

“We decided the best option would be to cancel the order as we wanted all products matching,” said Mrs Longley. But Adexa responded saying that they would still be charged a 20% ‘restocking fee’, and subsequently told the Longleys that the fridges had been dispatched, so this would incur a fee too.

The Longleys received a partial refund in June, but Mrs Longley claims this still left a £400 shortfall, which the company told her it had retained to cover the ‘fees’.

Adexa states on its website that its customer service and warehouse is based in Rugby, while its trading headquarters is registered with Companies House as Croydon.

The firm was established in 2017 and is listed as having one active officer with significant control.

Catering Insight has made repeated attempts to contact senior management for comment, but the company has not responded.

Tags : adexa directcourt casedealerdistributoronline dealerweb dealer
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. Adexa are a cowboy blight on this industry and a perfect example of exactly how not to do business. Hopefully they will have scammed enough cash to retire shortly and leave the rest of us to go about business in an ethical manner.

  2. The company that sells products with no CE markings, are we surprised by this. I wonder how they are allowed to trade at all!

  3. “Companies” like this are destroying the commercial catering equipment industry offering beyond poor quality kit and branding them “commercial appliances” should also be done for false advertising! Something needs to be done industry wide for sure. Glad the customer won, shame it had to go all the way to court, I hope the legal fees were astronomical and had to be covered as well by that box shifter!

  4. Fair enough to charge a restocking fee if the item has been specially ordered for the customer and it is bespoke,and has been ex;plained to them that it would apply – but not for equipment they had in stock.- that is just daylight robbery!
    The customer probably wouldn’t have cancelled had they been able to get in touch with them but there are some cowboys in our industry who take your money and then won’t answer the phone or any emails!

  5. Extremely poor quality products, mostly out of china with fake CE certification and certainly not suitable or safe for a commercial catering environment. They supply equipment, provide no warranty, aftersales support or spares, which is illegal. They have zero regard for their clients or their reputation. They profit by relying on clients surrendering funds and not having the time or effort to fight with them. Relevant industry bodies should be involved to bring a legal case to close down this organisation, their director is not fit to hold a directorship and as such should be banned from doing do.

  6. Im glad the customers took it as far and won, perhaps it will send a message to other companies of the same ilk to book their ideas up!

  7. Absolute Joke of an outfit Are Adexa. I warn customers that once they have purchased something from them they never answer the phone so where does that leave them with warranty?? I often ask them t0 ring Adexa in front of me to see if they get through…they never do!! Trading standards should take a serious look at these Cowboys.

    Ajaz Caterfix

  8. I have tried many times to ring them as required parts. A colleague of mine was told by them that they only supply parts if the unit is in the warranty and will not sell spare parts thereafter. They never answer the phone and emails are possibly up to a week later.

    Buy cheap buy twice is often a sound bit of advice, buy Adexa and buy trouble is more the case here. An embarrassment to our industry.

    I read a comment about the products being Chinese – I think they are worse than that as I was led to believe the items are primarily built in Turkey

  9. Whilst it’s highly likely with any luck that COVID may see the end of such atrocious suppliers, sadly there will still be hundreds if not thousands of their very poor (if not dangerous) appliances waiting to find their way into UK kitchens through other channels. Awareness is the key but it will be already struggling owner operators trying to save money that will be stung worst by an outfit that frankly should not be trading.

  10. The online reviews tell you everything you need to know about this joke shop. Interestingly, on Trust Pilot they appear to have received many “excellent” reviews over the last few days which certainly falls a long way from their usual review. Sadly, these are fake and are all badly written in the same poor English by the same person, no doubt an employee or person of interest. It does make you wonder what else is being falsified at Adexa.

  11. In these really difficult times I find it so sad that customers can be treated this way. Money is tight in every direction and I can’t blame customers looking for best value for money, sadly, often mistaking “best value” for “cheapest price”. I recently lost the best part of a £6k order to Adexa. The refrigeration was dropped at the door leaving the customer to carry it inside and set it up. No answer to phone calls when items they thought would be included were not. My guy’s (doing other stuff to get the kitchen working for takeaway) took pity and helped set the bits up, we even ended up taking the wrappings and pallets away! It does leave a craw in my throat when we’ve spent around 5 unchargeable man hours doing stuff that Adexa (and other on-line suppliers) take no responsibility towards all to keep a good client/supplier rapport for the future.. Although I did draw the line when my customer asked me to take the old broken fridge away because it had been part of my original quote!
    The counter fridge seemed to be as decent as other bottom end fridge suppliers (No names here) but time will tell when they have to make a claim on the warranty.
    I can’t get too upset about it, I’ve had 42 years in our industry and I can’t remember a time when we weren’t in a battle against someone who will do it cheaper. The worry comes when it’s below known cost prices and sold for “turnover vanity” or just cash flow desperation paying bills that are 3 months old with this months income. My guess is there’s quite a bit of this going on during these difficult times.
    1) Keep the standards up, don’t let them fall
    2) Keep the faith and stick with known, trusted suppliers
    3) Times will get better
    4) The customer is always right
    5) If you are in doubt of any of the above, please read item 4 again!
    Good luck to all

  12. These people… how they have got away with it for so long I just dont know.

    Cheapest isn’t always best. I hope this is a wake up call to certain customers.


  13. I started a business in July after being made redundant, and purchased a dishwasher from Adexa in August. 4 months later it has broken, after several calls and emails I still have not had a response from them. So have had to resort to getting it fixed myself.
    I am disgusted at the non existent customer service and poor quality goods. This company need to be shut down

  14. I am currently waiting for a month for an item which meant to be next day delivery and I still have not heard from them. No customer service , no answering a call, no replying on the emails. Does anybody here have any advise? Much appreciated.

  15. These guys are complete thiefs and scum they delivered a stainless steel table to all crushed with lots of exposed sharp metal in a box that was barely holding together. There wasn’t even any legs and now they want me to repackage it as its dangerous so they can pick it up they are literally useless it was good enough to send it to me in this condition but they want me to re-pack it for them absolute joke and I even cut my hand open on the damn thing which they are saying is my own fault.

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