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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I bought a dressage an expensive velvet dressing gown from

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I bought a dressage an expensive velvet dressing gown from a stall at a high class Christmas Fair in November last year. As soon as I wore the gown the belt loops came off, but I thought I could live without those. However, after 3 months light wear ( going down in the morning to make tea before showering at the weekends and the odd day in the week) the sleeves came apart at the seams. On closer examination the seam edges had not been finished and the velvet had frayed causing the seams to disintegrate. I contacted the stall holder, who told me she didn't do refunds, and to send the gown back for her to see. I sent it to the 3rd party c/o address she gave me and this is the reply I received back. Rude and inaccurate in the extreme. Can I take her to a small claims court without her business address? Is she obliged to give me the address she operates from? Her reply below:

Dear XXXXXine,

I am in receipt of the dressing gown (the first time in ten years that this has ever happened) and frankly, I am astonished that you are demanding a refund for a garment of which you have clearly enjoyed full, if not daily, use over a prolonged period of time, as indicated by the stains under the arms, on the outside of the sleeves and several other areas. The odour emanating from the garment also tells of extensive use.

I accept there appears to be a weakness in the seams on the sleeves but cannot comprehend (and neither can my UK dressmaker) the extent of the damage to the gown. It is commensurate with neither normal wear and tear, nor 'occasional use'. What happened to the belt loops and the inner tie for example?

Had you returned the gown unsoiled when it first showed signs of weakness in the sleeve(s), I could have repaired it for return or resale. I could also potentially have offered a refund. Unfortunately a refund is out of the question when one considers the shocking state in which the gown has been returned to me.

I shall be returning the gown with a postal order for the sum of £5.00 to cover the cost of your post and packaging. It is your gown. Do with it as you will.

Kind regards,


Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How much did you pay for the dressing gown please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I should also add that it is not filthy and covered in stains, and if anything it smells of Jo Malone Orange Blossom, the perfume I wear! Small mascara mark on the sleeve, but other than that very clean. It is dry clean only, and I didn't have it cleaned before I sent it back, because her initial response to my request for a refund led me to believe that she would use poor dry cleaning as an excuse to refuse me.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, do you need any more information before you can give me an answer?

No, sorry.

I have asked somebody else to look at this for you as its a civil litigation point really which is not my area.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
The original expert said she was passing my questions on to someone else to answer. I have still not received an answer yet.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

I see the expert has opted out - do you still need help?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes please, I have emailed the stall holder again,requesting a refund, but have not had a reply. My dry cleaner has offered to send the gown away to a textiles expert for testing, as he agrees that it looks hardly warn compared to dressing gowns he often gets in for cleaning, just badly made. If I decide to take her to the smalls claims court I need to be sure I have pursued the correct avenues first.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My only problem is that the address she has given me is c/o a friend at a company on the Kings Road, this is clearly not her address and she only gives out a mobile phone number. Her web site only lists a mobile number to. Do sites have to list a business address by law? If she will not reply to me how do I find a business or home address for her. I know she attends numerous fairs around the country so presumably she is taxed as a business, though I don't think she is VAT registered.

Its not the law to provide an address on the website. But sue at the c/o address as I am sure the friend wont want bailiffs turning up.


Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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